Chapter 1 Teaching Aptitude (UGC NTA NET JRF Teaching and Research Aptitude Book)
Philosophy is a vast subject. All aspects of education such as aims, objectives, curriculum, teaching methods, teacher, text books and discipline are infl uenced by philosophy. Keeping in view that an examiner now tends to ask multidimensional aspects in a single question, philosophies become important.
Definitions and meaning of Education
The word ‘education’ has a wide meaning, and it is diffi cult to defi ne it in precise terms. As per NTA Exam pattern, there are no direct question pertaining to definition, still some of the statements are here for better retention of concept of education. The terms education, teaching and learning are closely related. The objective of education is learning, not teaching. Teaching is the way to make students learn, but then, it is not the only way. Education is the key to everything that is good in our world today.
Education is not only about the past and present, but it is also the key to the future. Education not only teaches our children facts but also teaches them how to think and learn on their own. Swami Vivekananda defines education as the manifestation of perfection already in man. Aristotle defined education as a ‘creation of a sound mind in a sound body’. According to Heinrich Pestalozzi, ‘Education is the natural harmonious and progressive development of man’s innate powers’. This definition means each human being has immense natural, inborn talent or talents in him. Education provides development conducive atmosphere to him or her. John Dewey defines education as the power by which man is able to control his environment and fulfill his possibilities.
According to Frobel, ‘Education is a process by which the child develops its inner potential in a manner so as to participate meaningfully in the external environment’. ‘The purpose of education is to expand the life of the individual in order to participate in its all pervading spirit which manifests and realizes itself in and though the whole universe’.
Major philosophies and Approaches in Education
1. Three basis of education: The educational process is decided on the basis of three questions – ‘Why’, ‘How’, and ‘What’. Here, the question of ‘Why’ is most important. This is answered by philosophy. The ‘How’ is decided by the psychology and ‘What’ is decided by the social needs. Hence, education is based on the basis of philosophical, psychological, and sociological basis. There are many philosophies of education, some of the important philosophies of education have been mentioned below.
2. Idealism: The word ‘idealism’ has been derived from ‘Ideal’. It is basically about ‘Mind and Self’, that is actually spiritualism. The universal mind or God is central in understanding the world. God is the source of all creation and knowledge, spirit and mind constitute reality. Values are absolute, eternal and unchanging. Real knowledge is perceived in mind that is more important than knowledge gained through the senses. Man has a superior nature that is expressed in the form of intellectual culture, morality and religion.
Froebel, Kant, Plato, Swami Dayanand, Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo are main proponents of idealism.
3. Naturalism: Contrary to idealism, naturalism is a philosophy with the belief that nature alone represents the entire reality. Human life is a part of nature; it is a self sufficient entity having its own natural matter, natural force and natural laws. Its emphasis is on matter and the physical world. It does not believe in spirituality and supernaturalism. Our senses are the gateway to knowledge, and nature is the source of all knowledge. Mind is subordinate to nature. The educative process must be pleasurable and set in natural surroundings. The main protagonists of naturalism are Tagore, Rousseau, and Herbert Spencer.
4. Pragmatism: ‘Pragmatism’ is basically a greek word that means practice or action. Here, the key word is ‘utility’, whatever is useful is good and whatever is good is useful. A pragmatist lives in a world of facts. Pragmatism focuses on activity or doing. There are no absolute values of life. Truth is created during the course of experience. Humans are active beings and have the ability to solve their problems through the logic of experiments and scientific methods. The main thinkers are John Dewey, Kilpatrick, Mead are some of the exponents of this philosophy.
5. Constructivism: The learner actively constructs knowledge. Jean Piaget and J. S. Bruner believed that learning involves an active processing of information and that each individual activity organizes and constructs knowledge for itself. Educational psychology believes that there are developmental stages for knowledge organization.
According to Jean Piaget, ‘accommodation’ and ‘assimilation’ are basic to learning. A learner develops new ‘schema’ through accommodation. New experiences are assimilated into already existing schemas or they may be accommodated by creating new schemas.
6. Humanism: It is a reasonable balance in life and regards humans as the centre and measure of all activities. Humanism believes in the interests and welfare of all human beings. Thus, the life of a human being should be transformed so that the welfare of all becomes the goal. The form of learning is on self-actualization. It advocates cooperation, mutual tolerance and social understanding.
7. Rationalism: Rationalists claim that there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge are gained independently of sense experience.
8. Empiricists claim that sense experience is the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge.
9. Existentialism: It is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice. This emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or in different universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts.
10. Behaviourism: It assumes that learner is a passive organism who may be conditioned to learn new behaviour. Therefore, learning could be explained by change in observable behaviour. E. L. Thorndike postulated the law of exercise and the law of effect.
(a) Law of exercise: Repeating a conditioned response would strengthen the bond between the stimulus and the response. In other words, practice makes a man perfect.
(b) Law of effect: Law of effect is the principle of reinforcement and punishment. Pleasures and pains resulting from previous behavior decides our future behaviour.
11. Gestalt psychology: It believes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
For example, in the human body, there are cells, tissues, organs, systems, etc., the sum of all these components (human body) is greater than the sum of its parts. This is because the parts are interrelated to each other.
Further, Gestalt psychology demonstrated the significance of perception. It also showed that complex learning need not occur gradually through lengthy practice but may develop through insight.
12. Eclectic philosophy: Eclecticism is nothing but fusion of knowledge from all sources. It is a peculiar type of educational philosophy which combines all good ideas and principles from various philosophies. There are many more philosophies of education, each of the philosophies have its contributions and limitations. Not a single philosophy is complete in itself. Also, a single philosophy cannot be applied successfully in all situations because the world and its values are continuously changing. The educational system also changes from time to time.
Important Concepts in Education and its Proponents
|Basic education (Wardha Education System)||Mahatma Gandhi|
|Learning to take place in nature and from nature||Rabindranath|
|Integral education||Sri Aurobindo|
|Focus on spiritual aspects of Indian philosophy||Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan|
|Education to transform human mind||J. Krishnamurti|
|Experiential learning||John Dewey|
|Self-education through development of individuality||Maria Montessori|
|Kindergarten focus on self-activity, creativeness, and social cooperation||Froebel|
|No formal learning nature is the only teacher||Rousseau|
Forms of Education
Though there are no clear-cut forms of education, we can discuss about the three types that are as follows.
1. Formal 2. Informal 3. Non-formal
1. Formal education: It is pre-planned direct, organized and given in specific educational institutions, such as schools and colleges. It is limited to a specific period and it has well-defined curriculum. It is given by qualified and trained teachers. Formal Education observes strict discipline. It occurs at different levels, such as in primary, middle, secondary, higher secondary, graduate, post graduate, doctorate, post doctorate. It can be in humanities, science, technical and professional areas.
2. Informal education: The quote by George Santayana, ‘A child educated only at school is an uneducated child’, amply reflects upon the importance of informal education. Informal education is not pre-planned or deliberate, it is indirect and spontaneous. It takes place from day to day activities, experiences and living in the family or community. There are no formal goals. Pestalozzi believed parents are the first informal teachers of every man or woman, family environment is the first learning environment.
3. Non-formal education: Education is a lifelong process, it is integrated with life and work.
It falls within the formal and informal types of education. It is a flexible system. It is intentional, incidental and given outside the formal system of system. It is consciously and deliberately planned, organized and systematically implemented. It is an open system of education without rigid rules, regulations and fixed ages, stages or time schedule. Social or adult education, distance education are the examples of non-formal education.
All these three types of education, such as formal, informal and non-formal, have their due place in the modern system of education. Each has its own merits and demerits. There is need to integrate the three forms and make education holistic and comprehensive. Thus we can see that above three components are mixed up in actual life situations. Active agencies like family, schools and colleges work through human interaction. Cinemas, radios, newspapers and magazines are counted as passive agencies where education is mostly seen as one way interaction but some feedback mechanism and panel discussions may also exist.
Aims And Objectives Of Education
In today’s situation, no nation can think of social or economic development without an abundant supply of highly educated and skilled people. The issue of function and objectives of education is of utmost importance because all other aspects of education, like the content (subject matter), method (of teaching and instruction), discipline and evaluation are integrated with it.
Most of the functions of education become clear to us through various definitions given above.
Havighurst and Neugarten have given two important functions of education system:
1. A mirror that reflects society as it is or to be stabilizer of the society.
2. An agent of social change or a force directed towards implementing the ideas of society.
George Payne, a sociologist, has given three main functions:
1. Assimilation of traditions 2. Development of new social patterns 3. Creative and constructive role
Emile Durkheim established ideas on transmission of society’s norms and values as the major function of society. He also acknowledged education as a training for specialized roles including adopting some occupation for livelihood. Education is required to perform the function of cultural transmission and enrichment, acceptance and reformulation, change and reconstruction. The process why the young generation learns the traditional ways of society is called enculturation and it differs from society to society. Through education, enculturation is formalized.
Acculturation is a process through which a person or group from one culture comes to adopt the practices and values of another culture, while still retaining their own distinct culture. This concept has become important in an increasingly globalized society.
Factors Determining Educational Aims
Education is mostly a planned and purposeful activity.
Educational aims are necessary in giving direction to unique activities which are determined by the following factors.
1. Philosophy: Philosophy and education are the two sides of a coin. Philosophy is the main factor that determines the aim of education. Education is termed to be the best means for propagation of philosophy.
2. Human nature: It is closely linked with philosophy.
For example, idealists regard unfolding of the divine in man as the aim of education.
3. Socio-cultural factors and problems: Education has to preserve and transmit the cultural heritage and traditions from one generation to another.
4. Religious factors: In ancient India, Buddhism emphasized the inculcation of the ideals of religion, such as ahimsa and truth into the prevailing educational system.
5. Political ideologies: The educational aims of a democratic political system can be quite different from that of an autocratic political set up.
6. Exploration of knowledge: Knowledge is must for good interpersonal relationships, healthy adjustment in life, modification of behaviour, selfawareness and for social growth, it is also a source of happiness.
7. Vocational: Education should prepare the child to earn his livelihood and make him self-sufficient and efficient in both economic and social factors.
8. Self-actualization and total development:
Education should help a person to become what he has to become according to his or her individual potentials. The education aims at total development of an individual and it includes physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual developments.
9. Harmonious development: Mahatma Gandhi emphasized this aim of education very much when he said ‘By education, we mean an all round drawing out of the best in child and man-body, mind and spirit’.
10. Moral and character development: Some educationalists consider these as the supreme aim of education.
Herbert Spencer emphasized that education must enable the child to cultivate moral values and virtues, such as truthfulness, goodness, purity, courage, reverence and honesty.
11. Citizenship: As a member of the society, a student should be conscious about his or her duties, functions and obligations towards society.
12. Education for leisure: Leisure is the time which is utilized for enjoyment and recreation. It is needed to keep up rest and regain energy. Leisure, if wisely used, gives birth to physical and mental balance. Artistic, moral and aesthetic developments can be inspired through the beneficial use of leisure time.
Some specified aims of education in Indian context:
When India became free there was a need for re- orientation and restructuring of all our existing social, political and educational systems, in order to meet the socio-economic, political and educational needs of the country.
Since independence, various committees and commissions were appointed to lay down the aims and objectives of education in India.
1. University Education Commission of 1948 was chaired by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.
2. Secondary Education Commissions of 1952–53. was headed by Dr. Murlidhar as its chairman.
3. National Education Committee was set up under Dr. S. Radhakrishnan as its chairman.
4. Kothari Education Commission of 1964–66.
National Educational Policy (1986) specified the following aims and objectives of our education:
1. All round material and spiritual development of all people.
2. Cultural orientations and development of interest in Indian culture.
3. Scientific temper
4. National cohesion
5. Independence of mind and spirit. Furthering the goals of socialism, secularism and democracy.
6. Man-power development for different levels of economy.
7. Fostering research in all areas of development.
8. Education for equality.
For this purpose, we need highly competent teachers. Teaching aptitude is all about evaluating candidates who want to enter teaching profession on the basis of their knowledge and skills. It refers to basic qualities required to become a successful teacher. This includes qualification, intelligence, attitude and many other qualities expected from a person who wants to become a successful teacher. Teaching can be defined in the following ways:
1. Teaching is the purposeful direction and management of the learning process.
2. Teaching is a process of providing opportunities for students to produce relatively permanent change through engagement in experiences provided by the teachers.
3. Teaching is a skilful application of knowledge, experience and scientific principles with an objective to set up an environment to facilitate learning.
4. Teaching is a planned activity and effective teaching depends on the following factors.
(a) How clearly the students understand what they are expected to learn.
(b) How accurately their learning can be measured.
5. Teaching is a process in which the learner, teacher and other variables are organized in a systematic way to attain some predetermined goals.
6. Teaching is an activity that influences a child to learn and acquire desired knowledge and skills and also their desired ways of living in the society.
Basic Teaching Models
There is no basic model of teaching that augurs well for all the situations. Two contrasting models are discussed here; these models separately or in combination could be used for different courses.
Major Shifts in Pedagogy
|Teacher centered, fixed designs||Learner centered, flexible process|
|Teacher’s direction and decisions||Learner’s autonomy|
|Teacher’s guidance and monitoring of learning||Teacher’s facilitation, support and encouragement for learning|
|Passive reception in learning||Active participation in learning|
|Learning within the four walls of the classrooms||Learning in the wider social context|
|Knowledge as ‘given’ and ‘fixed’||Knowledge as it evolves and is created|
|Disciplinary focus||Multidisciplinary, educational focus|
|Linear exposure||Multiple and divergent exposure|
|Assessment short, Few||Assessment multifarious, continuous|
Pedagogy is a conventional approach. In this method, the instructor, more or less, controls the material to be learned and the pace of learning while presenting the course content to the students. The purpose of this method of learning is to acquire and memorize new knowledge or learn new skills.
Instructor-centred teaching can also be described as ‘pedagogical approach’. Pedagogy is the art and science of teaching. It determines ‘how the teaching occurs, the approach to teaching and learning, the way the content is delivered, and what the students learn as a result of the process’.
In pedagogical approach, the learner is dependent upon the instructor for all learning, and the teacher assumes full responsibility for what is taught and how it is learned. The teacher or instructor evaluates the learning processes of the students.
In this model, the learner is mostly self-directed and is responsible for his or her own learning. The students learn best not only by receiving knowledge but also by interpreting it, i.e., learning through discovery and, at the same time, setting the pace of their own learning.
In this method, the instructors facilitate the learning of participants and help them by offering opportunities to learn themselves and acquire new knowledge and develop new skills. This type of teaching is also referred to as andragogical approach.
Self-evaluation is also the characteristic of this approach. Andragogical approach is also identified with ‘adult learning.’
Nature Or Characteristic Features Of Teaching
The characteristic features of teaching includes the following:
1. It has different levels of teaching.
2. It takes place in a dynamic environment.
3. It is closely related to education, learning, instruction and training.
4. It is essentially an intellectual activity.
5. It is an art as well as science.
6. It tends towards self-organization.
7. It is a social service.
8. It includes lengthy period of study and training.
9. It has high degree of autonomy.
10. It is a continuous process.
11. Teaching is a profession.
Different Levels of Teaching
Teaching takes place at three levels progressively, such as memory level of teaching, understanding level of teaching and reflective level of teaching.
Memory Level of Teaching (MLT)
1. Herbart is the main proponent of memory level of teaching.
2. It is the initial stage of teaching.
3. It induces the habit of rote memorization of facts and bites of information.
4. The teaching–learning process is basically a ‘Stimulus–Response’ (S–R) here.
5. It enables the learner to retain and also to reproduce the learnt material whenever required.
6. The evaluation system mainly includes oral, written and essay-type examination.
7. Good memory includes rapidity in learning, stability of retention, rapidity in recalling and the ability to bring only desirable contents to the conscious level.
Understanding Level of Teaching (ULT)
1. Morrison is the main proponent of understanding level of teaching.
2. It is ‘memory plus insight’ as it goes beyond just memorizing of facts. It focuses on mastery of the subject.
3. It makes pupil understand the generalizations, principles and facts.
4. It provides more and more opportunities for the students to develop ‘intellectual behaviour’.
5. It provides active role for both the pupil and the teacher for the assimilation of facts.
6. The evaluation system mainly includes both essay and objective-type questions.
Reflective Level of Teaching (RLT)
1. Hunt is the main proponent of reflective level of teaching.
2. It is the highest level of teaching and it includes both ULT and MLT.
3. It is a problem-centric approach of teaching.
4. The students are assumed to adopt some sort of research approach to solve the problem.
5. Classroom environment is to be sufficiently ‘open and independent’. The learners are motivated and active.
6. The aim is to develop the reflective power of learners so that they can solve problems of their lives by reasoning, logic and imagination, and lead successful and happy lives.
7. The pupils occupy the primary place and teachers assume the secondary place.
8. Essay-type test is used for evaluation. Attitude, belief and involvement are also evaluated.
Teaching is dominated by communication, which is very dynamic in nature. Teaching changes according to time and place. Its environment consists of interaction among three variables, namely, independent, dependent and intervening variables.
As students depend upon teachers for learning, students are assumed to be dependent variables. Teachers are in a position to manipulate the behaviours of students and hence, teachers are considered as independent variables. Teaching methods, teaching instructional facilities and motivational techniques which also facilitate the teaching–learning process are termed as intervening variables.
In case we want to look at teacher, learner, curriculum, physical conditions (climate), the following scenarios emerge, starting from bipolar to quadrilateral.
1. It is a bipolar process
2. It is a tripolar process
According to the modern concept, education is more of a tripolar process that involves pupil, teacher and social environment.
Closely Related to Education, Learning, Instruction and Training
Teaching is basically a method to influence the learning process. Nothing is assumed to be taught unless it is learnt by the students. Thus, learning and teaching go hand in hand. Teaching is the main tool to educate a person.
Teaching is essentially an intellectual activity. It is not merely talking or expressing one’s ideas, whereas it requires conscious and continuous organization of learning activities. It entails the creation of a conductive and supportive learning environment. A teacher has to evolve a suitable plan of action to achieve desired changes in the behaviour of a group of learners. In teaching–learning process, learners constitute the raw material. Learners are prepared to teach in continuous involvements in the society with varied expectations.
Teaching Is a Science as well as an Art
The teaching profession is based upon a systematic body of knowledge, which has been derived from Instruction: It is the delivery of contents by the teacher. It does not involve an interaction between the teacher and the learner but it still facilitates the achievement of teaching objectives. Instructions includes both teaching and classroom management.
Teaching and Training: The main purpose of imparting training is to equip candidates with specific or job-related or technical skills. Teaching is assumed to be a wider concept than training. While teaching deals mainly with theoretical aspects and training is the practical application of theoretical knowledge.
Also, teaching seeks to impart new knowledge while training equips and enhances the already knowledgeable concepts with tools and techniques to develop a specific skill set. One of teaching’s goals is to enrich the mind while training’s end is to mould habits or performance. Teaching is usually within the context of the academic world while training is generally associated with the commercial realm. Another difference is found between thought and action.
Indoctrination: Indoctrination can be termed as the highest order of teaching. In indoctrination, the beliefs and ideas are impressed upon others and can be included in teaching. Teaching can be done without indoctrination but no indoctrination is possible without teaching.
Important Concepts Related to Teaching
social, psychological, historical, political and economical spheres of life. It is also influenced by the religious, spiritual and ethical beliefs of the society. Teaching techniques are systematic, it has definite steps to be followed, and are easily communicable. On the basis of assumptions of science, a teacher can be trained. There are definite steps that are followed in training a teacher. Teaching is an art as well. It takes places in a dynamic environment. The teacher has to deal with individual differences in a class in a tactful manner, it needs a lot of individualized approach and discretion.
The people in teaching profession are sensitive towards growth and development because it is self-organized. They evolve a definite mechanism to sustain and promote the standards of teaching profession. The growth in teaching profession is organic in nature, i.e., the growth happens in a spontaneous manner.
It has been accepted that education is a potent tool to bring about changes in any nation. It is useful to develop the society.
High Degree of Autonomy
There is a high degree of autonomy in the teaching profession right from curriculum development, planning activities of a year, identifying instructional objectives, deciding upon the method of teaching, media, evaluation criteria and techniques to divide the admission and promotion rules, and autonomy in planning and execution of co-curricular activities.
Teaching as a Profession
Teaching is the profession that makes other professions possible. There are many courses, such as B.Ed, M.Ed, etc., which impart knowledge and skills that establish the foundation for a successful pathway to a teaching career. It entails a number of years of study and intermittent training periods. A teacher has to improve his or her qualification for advancements in the teaching career.
Effective Teaching Practices
Maxims of Teaching
A maxim is a ground rule or fundamental principle that has evolved over a period of time. It is a guide for future action or behaviour. Teaching has also its own set of maxims, which have been discussed below.
1. From simple to complex: The teacher should start with simple things and ideas, and these can be done with day-to-day examples, if possible. Then gradually, a teacher can move towards concepts and technical terms. This creates interest among learners to acquire new knowledge. This is helpful in better retention.
2. From known to unknown: This is related to first maxim. Retention is always better if new knowledge can be linked with the known one.
3. From seen to unseen: The students should be imparted knowledge about the present and then they can understand the past and the future better.
4. From concrete to abstract: The mental development of students happen better with the concrete objects, they become familiar with and define micro-words for them at a later stage.
5. From particular to general: The students should be presented with examples first and then general laws and their derivations can be explained to them. The experiments and demonstrations serve this purpose.
6. From whole to part: Gestalt psychologists have proved that we first see the whole object and then its parts. For example, we first perceive the tree and then its trunk, branches, leaves, etc. Thus, the introduction or overview of the topics is important.
7. From indefinite to definite: The teacher should help to transform indefinite knowledge into definite one and aim to clarify the doubts of students.
8. From psychological to logical: During initial stages, psychological order is more important, whereas for grown-up learners, logical order is emphasized more.
9. From analysis to synthesis: Initially, the students have little or vague knowledge about the topics. Analysis means dividing problems into its constituent parts, and then, these are studied. Synthesis means to understand by connecting the knowledge acquired through analysing the parts. A teacher should use analytic–synthetic method.
10. Follow nature: It means to regulate the education of a pupil according to his nature.
11. Training of senses: The types of sense, like sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch are gateways to knowledge. It is better if all or maximum of these senses can be applied in teaching. Montessori and Froebel are the main proponents of this maxim.
12. Encouragement to self-study: Dalton’s system is based on self-study.
Principles of Teaching
They are closely related to maxims. Teaching methods are based on two types of principles, such as general principles and psychological principles.
1. Principle of motivation: It creates curiosity among students to learn new things.
2. Principle of activity (learning by doing):
Froebel’s Kindergarten (KG) system is based on this principle. It includes both physical and mental activities. For example, students are asked to make charts and models.
3. Principle of interest: By generating genuine interest among the learner’s community, the effectiveness of the teaching-learning process can be increased.
4. Principle of linking with life: Life is a continuous experience and learning linked with life can be more enduring.
5. Principle of definite aim: This is important for optimum utilization of teaching resources and making learning more focused.
6. Principle of recognizing individual differences:
Every student is unique in terms of intelligence, attitude, abilities and potentialities, and socio-economic background. The teaching method should be devised in such a manner to make all the students to avail equal opportunities in life.
7. Principle of selection: The horizon of knowledge is expanding every single day. The teacher should be able to pick contents that can be more relevant and updated to the learners’ objectives.
8. Principle of planning: Every teacher has certain time-bound objectives, and hence, teaching should be systematic to make optimum use of resources within the time limit.
9. Principle of division: To make learning easier, the subject matter should be divided into units and there should be links between the units.
10. Principle of revision: To make learning enduring, the acquired knowledge should be revised immediately and repeatedly.
11. Principle of creation and recreation: This principle is a must to make the classroom environment humorous and creative.
12. Principle of democratic dealing: It entails students in planning and executing different activities; it helps in developing self-confidence and self-respect among the learners.
1. Principle of motivation and interest: A teacher needs to understand that every student is a unique psychological entity and a student can be motivated after identifying his or her motives and needs.
2. Principle of recreation: Recreation is necessary to tackle fatigue after attending lengthy classes. This breaks monotony and prepares students for learning again.
3. Principle of repetition and exercise: This is specifically true in case of small children.
4. Principle of encouraging creativity and selfexpression:
This is specifically applicable in subjects, such as mathematics and in learning languages.
5. Principle of sympathy and cooperation: This principle is required for the motivation of students.
6. Principle of reinforcement: Students should be suitably rewarded for their desired behaviour.
7. Principle of imparting training to senses: The use of multimedia makes many senses get involved simultaneously, which is crucial for enduring learning.
8. Principle of remedial teaching: This principle is necessary for the teacher to identify mistakes and suggest better answers to the problems.
Microteaching is a teacher training technique for learning teaching skills. It employs real teaching situation for developing teaching skills and helps to get deeper knowledge regarding the art of teaching. This Stanford technique involves the steps of ‘plan, teach, observe, re-plan, re-teach, and re-observe’. Most of the pre-service teacher education programs widely use microteaching, and it is a proven method to attain gross improvement in the instructional experiences. Effective student teaching should be the prime quality of a teacher. As an innovative method of equipping teachers to be effective, skills and practices of microteaching have been implemented.
Objectives Of Teaching
An objective describes an intended result of instruction rather than the process of instruction itself. A good objective should be specific, outcome based (i.e., it should emphasize on the output rather than the process of instruction) and measurable. The objectives of teaching and learning must integrate at the end of the instruction. There are two main ways of classifying instructional objectives. One classification is given by Bloom, whereas another classification is given by Gagne and Briggs.
Bloom’s Classification of Teaching and Instructional
According to this classification, instructional objectives fall under one of the following three categories:
1. Cognitive domain: It is related to the development of intellectual capability (i.e., thinking or knowledge) and it is the core learning domain. The other domains (i.e., affective and psychomotor) require at least some cognitive components. It functions at six levels, which are as follows.
(a) Knowledge: It is basically about recalling information or contents.
(b) Comprehension: It is the ability to grasp the meaning of a material.
(c) Application: It converts abstract knowledge into practice.
(d) Analysis: It involves breaking down a communication into its constituent parts in such a manner that relationship of ideas is understood better.
(e) Synthesis: It is basically about combining the constituent parts to make it a whole. It is the antonym of analysis.
(f) Evaluation: It involves judgement made about the value of methods and materials for particular purposes.
Anderson, a former student of Bloom, and David Krathwohl rearranged the levels as following: (i) Remembering: Recall or retrieve previous learned information.
(ii) Understanding: Comprehending the meaning, translation, interpolation and interpretation of instructions and problems.
State a problem in one’s own words.
(iii) Applying: Use a concept in a new situation or unprompted use of an abstraction.
Applies what was learned in the classroom into novel situations in the work place.
(iv) Analysing: It separates a material or concepts into component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood.
It distinguishes between facts and inferences.
(v) Evaluating: Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials.
(vi) Creating: Builds a structure or pattern from diverse elements. Put parts together to form a whole, with emphasis on creating a new meaning or structure.
2. Affective domain: Man is a rational animal being endowed with human qualities of love, sympathy, tolerance, co-operation, fellow-feeling and similar things. The term ‘affects’ has a literary meaning of feeling, emotion and having preference for some object, issue, notion and etc. Affect is also treated as a response to different social, political and economic issues in the form of attitudes.
An individual has to develop and nurture desirable positive attitudes and interests for his or her better adjustment in the society. Thus, sffective domain deals with attitude, motivation, willingness to participate, valuing what is being learned and ultimately incorporating the values of discipline into a way of life. It asks for better student participation. It includes the following levels: (a) Receiving: Willingness to listen.
(b) Responding: Willingness to participate.
(c) Valuing: Willingness to be involved.
(d) Organizing: Willingness to be an advocate of an idea.
(e) Characterization: Willingness to change one’s behaviour or way of life.
Affective education takes a long time to achieve the objectives. For example, any desirable change in the learner’s affective behaviour cannot be accomplished through a singular learning situation.
As per one finding, an individual’s emotional and rational components of the brain are somewhat independent of each other and operate separately.
But there are times when both the components work in harmony with each other.
When the individual is faced with a problem or dilemma and is required to make a decision, the emotional center of the brain functions first while the rational brain is yet to start functioning. This implies that the educational process should provide the individual with adequate knowledge about the situation to enable him or her to use reasoning to mould the emotional behaviour in a desirable form. Daniel Golemann (1995) calls this type of mental functioning ‘Emotional Intelligence’, which enables the individual to deal intelligently with various social problems that one faces in life situations.
An individual’s affective behaviour or learning is influenced by both emotional intelligence and cognitive learning. Therefore, the implication for the educational process is that cognitive learning and affective learning should be planned to go hand in hand.
3. Psychomotor domain: It is mainly concerned with the acquisition of technical skills. Following are the five different levels of instructional objectives in psychomotor domain.
(a) Imitation: It includes demonstration of a skill by a skilled person and the learner tries to follow the same.
(b) Manipulation: A learner tries to experiment various aspects, like manipulating machinery, equipment, etc.
(c) Precision: Accuracy in performing various acts increases with practice.
(d) Articulation: Achieving a desired level of efficiency and effectiveness through practice.
(e) Naturalization: Skill is internalized and an individual is able to adapt, modify or design new techniques, methods or procedures according to the requirements of a situation. Thus, we can see that learning takes place through three different channels cognitive, psychomotor and affective, it takes place as one process. The three types of learning are not mutually exclusive, the differentiation among them is warranted because of the nature of the behavioural outcomes.
It is clear that cognitive as well as affective learning takes place simultaneously and with the same content of learning.
Gagne and Briggs Classification of Teaching and
According to this classification, the learning outcomes fall under one of the following categories.
1. Intellectual skills: These skills are crucial for dealing with the environment. They include concept learning, rule learning and problem solving.
2. Cognitive strategies: These include methods and techniques for one’s own learning, remembering and thinking skills.
3. Verbal information: It refers to organized bodies of knowledge that an individual acquires.
4. Motor skills: They are basically about motions carried out when the brain, nervous system and muscles work together.
5. Attitudes: They refer to an internal state of an individual.
Methods Of Teaching
‘If a child can’t learn the way we teach, we should teach the way they learn’
—Ignacio Estrada Once the instructional objectives are specified, the next step is to select an appropriate instructional method to achieve them. The teacher has a number of methods at his disposal to select from. These methods are as follows.
As per NTA-NET syllabus, we have the following two extreme set of methods for institutes of higher learning:
1. Teacher centred methods 2. Learner centred methods These can be assumed to be two extreme approaches.
In between we can have a third method approach, that is called as mixed approach.
Teacher-centred Teaching Methods Lecture Method
Lecture method is the most conventional and dominating teaching method and is preferred by many teachers.
In this method, a teacher attempts to explain facts, principles or relationships to help learners understand.
Here, the teacher is an active participant, the students are assumed to be passive listeners. Usually, the students do not converse with the teacher during lecture by the teacher. That way, it is one way communication. The teacher talks more or less continuously to the class. The class listens, writes and notes facts and the ideas for remembering and to think them over later. It can be made a two way communication, if the teacher allows students to ask few questions to clarify a point but no discussion is usually held.
Important Methods of Instruction
|Teacher-centred strategy||Mixed strategy||Learner-centred strategy|
|Large group methods||Small group methods||Individualized methods|
|1. Lectures||1. Group discussion||1. Tutorials|
|2. Team teaching||2. Seminar||2. Assignments|
|3. TV or video presentation||3. Panel discussion||3. Project work|
|4. Brainstorming||4. Case study|
|5. Project method or work||5. Programmed instruction|
|6. Tutorials||6. Computer-assisted learning|
|7. Case study||7. Interactive video|
|8. Role play||8. Open learning|
|9. Simulation||9. Personalized system of instruction (PSI)|
|10. Demonstration||10. Heuristic method|
1. It is formal and narrative in nature.
2. It presents a series of events or facts.
3. It explores problem.
1. It is economical and a single teacher can teach a large number of students at a time which is not possible by using other methods. It saves much time and the syllabus can be very easily covered within a limited time.
2. It simplifies the task of the teacher.
3. It is useful for imparting factual information and drawing attention to its important points.
4. During lecture, interruptions and distractions are usually avoided.
1. It provides very little opportunity for student activity, the teacher takes special care to make the class interesting.
2. It usually does not provide opportunities to learners to solve problems.
3. It offers limited opportunities for checking learning progress, whether the students are attending and understanding all that the teacher is explaining.
4. The interests, abilities and intelligence of students are not taken care of.
5. It does not allow individual pace of learning.
Suggestions to make lecture method more effective:
1. The teacher should avoid the tendency to read from the lecture notes word by word.
2. The teacher should maintain eye to eye contact with the students so as to seek their continuous attention.
3. Good lesson planning with introductory remarks, main headings, sub-headings, figures and important data and concluding remarks. The students should get opportunity to make notes.
4. Use of simple language so that students are able to understand. The main points should be repeated in alternative language.
5. Make effective use of audio-visual instructional facilities to improve communication of ideas.
6. Make appropriate use of illustration and examples. There is a need to ensure fair presentation of different views and theories.
7. Provide short breaks during the lecture period for asking thought provoking, stimulating and problem solving questions. Leave time at the end for clarifications and questions. Team Teaching Method
Team teaching is an innovative approach in teaching large groups in which two or more teachers are involved in planning, executing and evaluating the learning experiences for a group of students.
1. Sharing the best faculty by more students.
2. Optimum use of multiple teaching techniques and devices.
3. Improvement of teaching quality.
1. Finding teachers with special competencies is a difficult task.
2. More teachers are required for this method.
3. Not useful for teaching all subjects.
4. Requires much time for planning and scheduling. TV or Video Presentation
Television or video presentation is an improved presentation of radio or audio presentation and it can virtually bring the whole world inside the classroom.
Screening of video presentation is followed by a discussion or task.
1. Many important personalities and experts are brought to the classroom through video presentation.
2. Specifically useful for adult learners.
3. Illustrated lectures and demonstrations can be supplemented by other teaching instructional facilities, such as slides, models, specimens, etc.
4. Easily accessible for learners in remote areas.
5. Specifically useful for subjects, such as geography, astronomy, etc.
1. Less possibility for two-way communication.
2. There can be difficulty in adjusting to complicated schedules to telecast period.
Mixed Group Teaching Methods
Most of the methods of instructional delivery for the learning of smaller groups numbering between 3 and 12 trainees lean towards trainee-centred approach. Some of these methods are group discussion, seminar, project work, tutorials, role playing, etc. These are briefly discussed below.
Group Discussion (GD)
This may be counted under small as large group teaching methods. It is one of the oldest methods used by Greek scholars and scholars from Nalanda University. A discussion method of teaching is a democratic method used to develop better understanding among students, for supplementing a lecture, in connection with an observation visit or case presentation and for sharing information.
In this method of considering various facts about the topic under consideration, understanding of these facts by studying their relationships and drawing out conclusions of the facts and their relationships are studied. It stimulates students’ thinking process to analyse and integrate facts and help in developing their abilities in presentation of their ideas and facts clearly and fluently.
Forms of Discussion
The types of discussion can be classroom discussion, formal group discussion, discussion in terms of symposium, panel, seminar and conference.
1. Classroom discussion: This is an informal method of discussion with the class. If the class is not too large, sometimes the teacher may select a particular topic with the whole class participating as one group. In this situation, the teacher acts as a leader, they present the topic guides and directs the discussion. At times, a student may take the role of a leader. The leader usually notes down the main points on the blackboard or may ask one of the students to do this. He or she also assists the group in summing up.
2. Formal group discussion: Formal group discussion is comprised of small group discussion followed by large group discussion. It is desirable when the number of students is more or when it is desirable to discuss several aspects of a topic. To start with the discussion, the teacher may act as the chairman. He or she introduces the topic for discussion and explains the objectives of discussion.
He or she helps the students get organized into 3 to 5 small groups. Each group selects a leader and a recorder. Each sub-group (small group) discusses the topic. The leader initiates, coordinates and controls the group discussion. The recorder notes down the discussion points. The teacher acts as a facilitator and a resource person. She is available to assist groups as required. At the end of allotted time (not more than 30 minutes), all the groups reassemble as large group. The leader or the recorder of each small group presents the report; and the teacher then leads the general discussion, clarifies points and finally sums up.
Symposium, seminars are also forms of group discussions but they have been discussed in the second unit as many questions have been asked from them in the NTA-NET Exam. Group discussion can be of the following types as well:
1. Planned: There is certainty about the conclusions and objectives. The discussion is guided by the trainer in an appropriate sequence.
2. Partly planned: Here, the concluding and opening statements are known, but the discussions inbetween is not directed or very loosely guided.
3. Unplanned: The topic presented for discussion is without any opening statement and the discussion that follows is entirely spontaneous without any guidance from the trainer.
1. A stimulating thinking process, it helps in the development of critical thinking.
2. It is pooling of knowledge, ideas and feelings of several persons analysis and integration of facts, ideas and concepts.
3. Rationalization of facts and it thus promotes intelligent learning.
4. Learning together, sharing responsibilities and interests.
5. Developing team spirit in teaching-learning process.
6. Discovering talented students. Good for developing oral and non-verbal communication Limitations
1. It requires more time, efforts and resources of both teachers and students.
2. It may involve unnecessary arguments. Discussion may go off the track.
3. It may create emotional stress and unpleasant feelings.
4. Possibility of domination of session by a few students.
5. It is not suitable for all the topics.
General Principles for Organizing Discussion
1. The objectives should be clearly defined and understood by all participants.
2. The members of the group should come prepared, have a basic knowledge about the topic to be discussed.
3. The leader needs to guide and coordinate the proceedings so that the discussion should be kept to the point.
4. A recorder may be elected by the group to record the main points of discussion as it is going on. The points can be noted on the black board.
5. Each one in the group should feel free to participate and a shy person should be encouraged to contribute.
6. All points of view should be fairly considered.
7. Discussions should be properly ended with a report, decision, recommendation or summing up of the matters are discussed.
It is a type of group discussion where one trainee or several, prepare a paper on a given topic, issue or problem, which is then presented to the whole group for discussion and analysis. A series of seminars can be presented by the trainees around a major topic, so that they form a linked series of discussions. The main stages in seminar are preparation of paper, presentation of paper and discussion on it. Seminars can be bigger ones also.
1. This method gives more independence, which leads to the development of presentation skills of the participants.
2. It provides opportunity for the trainees to prepare and contribute to a particular topic thoroughly.
3. It provides opportunity to the trainees towards practical group leadership and allows them to use analytical skills, research on conclusions, solve a problem, etc.
1. It is time consuming and may cause stress to participants.
2. It needs a group of trainees with fairly high-level of attainment.
A panel consists of a small group of six to eight people. They carry on a guided and informal discussion before an audience. For example, a panel discussion takes place on the issue of climate change. The leader must, in addition, take special care to select the panel members who can think and speak effectively. He must also be sure that they prepare themselves to discuss the subject.
1. Panel discussions, if well conducted, are usually more interesting to the audience than the singlespeaker forum.
2. Usually on socially relevant issues.
1. Bringing experts to a single forum can be difficult.
2. The audience is not actively involved.
Brainstorming is a creative group work in which the group members produce a large number of ideas quickly on a given topic or problem for subsequent evaluation. In this method, anyone can exchange remarks with anyone except that the participants are not allowed to criticize the ideas at the time when views are being invited. Sometimes quantity of ideas is more important than quality. Spontaneity is the hallmark of brainstorming sessions.
Several rounds of brainstorming are conducted till all the ideas are exhausted. Participants are then asked to evaluate all ideas and list the best one.
1. It encourages creativity that helps trainers to produce, think and explore ideas.
2. Scope for larger participation.
3. It is economical as it does not require much preparation.
1. It is not a very systematic way of studying a subject.
2. There is a possibility of some trainees being reluctant to participate.
This can be described as both a small group and an individualized instruction. In this method, the students are allowed to explore and experience their environment through their senses and direct their own learning by their individual interests. Very little is taught from the textbooks and the emphasis is on experiential learning rather than rote learning and memorization. A project method classroom focuses on democracy and collaboration to solve purposeful problems.
1. Students are likely to develop the habit of critical thinking.
2. They develop the habit of working in teams.
1. Continuous monitoring may be required.
2. Additional resources may be required.
Role playing has been used effectively by many teachers to help solve classroom interpersonal problems and to teach human-relations skills in the classroom.
Role playing has also been used to facilitate subjectmatter learning through the dramatization of literary and historical works and historical or current events.
In all these uses, role playing provides the student with a dramatic confrontation and clarification.
1. It is the semblance to real-life situations.
2. Interactive and interesting, it entails participation of every member of the group.
3. It gives immediate feedback.
4. It develops social, decision-making, problem-solving, negotiating and manipulating skills.
5. It is effective to change the attitude of the participants.
1. It has unpredictable outcomes.
2. Real-life situations are usually more complex.
3. It requires a considerable amount of resources.
Simulation means creating conditions that are quite similar to actual conditions and then training is provided under those conditions. For example, the training of pilots and astronauts takes place in conditions that are quite similar to actual flight conditions. Simulation is specifically used for training purpose.
1. They are economical in the long run.
2. Safety aspects are taken care of.
1. It entails high initial investment in machinery equipment, etc. Tutorials
Tutorial method is a method employed for teaching small groups for developing skills for solving numerical problems, providing individual guidance and sorting personal problems. It is appropriate for taking care of individual differences and guiding the students as per their needs, mastery, learning, comprehending concepts, principles and their applications and for remedial exercises.
1. Focused attention 2. Generates more ideas 3. Better control over pace of teaching and learning process.
1. It is difficult to find a suitable pace if the trainees vary greatly in ability.
2. It can be time consuming.
This method is based on the principle of learning by doing and learning from concrete to abstract. The term demonstration means to show. It is adopted in the classroom for the achievement of cognitive, affective and psychomotor objectives.
Demonstration can be defined as a combination of verbal explanation coupled with a live display of using apparatus for presenting important facts, ideas or processes.
It may entail audio–visual explanation.
1. It is effective in explaining materials, objects and ideas.
2. It is effective in explaining abstract concepts.
3. It is useful for achieving objectives in cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains as there is mental and physical participation of students.
1. Only few get opportunities to participate in the experimental process.
Learner Centred Teaching Methods
The learner centred teaching methods try to accommodate the differences displayed between the learners. The main teaching methods include assignments, case-study approach, computer-based learning, open learning, personalized system of instruction and programmed instructions, which are discussed below.
Assignments are given to students for a number of purposes, such as for acquiring additional information, surveying, application of knowledge and solving numerical problems. Although the main role is of the learner, the teacher too has a crucial role. The teacher has to plan the assignments and guide the student regarding references for collecting relevant information.
Assignments can be prepared on any type of topic, but the nature of assignment should be such that the students may not merely copy from the books. The assignments should be open-ended and should promote creativity among the students.
1. It helps students work independently.
2. It helps in sharpening the student’s comprehension, analytical and problem-solving abilities.
3. It helps in the inculcation of creativity among the students.
1. Students may copy each others material unless the assignments are carefully planned.
For students who have been exposed only to the traditional teaching methods. The case studies calls for a major change in their approach to learning. A case is usually a ‘description of an actual situation, commonly involving a decision, a challenge, an opportunity, a problem, or an issue faced by a person or persons in a social set up such as an organization’.
In learning with case studies, the students must deal with situations described in the case, i.e., in the role of a decision maker facing the situation. This method has applications across disciplines, such as psychology, management, biology, law, sociology, history, etc., to name a few.
By allowing the students to gain hands-on experience of the real world and shifting the work focus from professor to the student, the case-study method becomes an efficient tool for the creation of a learnercentred education rather than a teacher-centred education. The student becomes actively involved in the course and is no longer an observer in class developments. The cases can be short from brief classroom discussions to long and elaborate semester-long projects.
It is important for bringing real-world problems into a classroom or a workshop. They ensure active participation and may lead to innovative solutions to the problems.
1. It provides opportunity to the participants to analyse, critically examine, evaluate and express reasoned opinions.
2. It enhances decision-making and problem-solving skills.
3. It ensures active participation, which may lead to innovative solutions.
1. It requires training for the teachers to use this method.
2. It is not useful for all subjects and situations.
Programmed Instruction (PI) is a general term for a highly structured system of learning, which is based on logical sequence of self-paced, learning steps with feedback between each step. The learner gets immediate feedback after each step.
1. There is regular feedback.
2. This ensures active participation of the learner and it can be used for any subject.
1. Learner motivation may get diminished after sometime.
Personalized System of Instruction
Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) can be used for all subject matters except where the students are to select the contents. Learners must achieve mastery of a series of written mastery units, assisted by teachers, proctors and enriching lectures before proceeding to the final test. PSI consists of five basic elements as shown below.
1. Mastery learning 2. Self-pacing 3. Stress on written material 4. Proctors 5. Lectures It is best suited for contents that are usually conveyed through written material.
1. It is based on mastery learning.
2. It facilitates self-paced learning.
1. It is not suitable for rapidly changing course contents.
2. It is not suitable for psychomotor and affective domains.
Computer-assisted Learning (CAL) is concerned with the use of a computer to mediate the flow of information in a learning process. A computer has the ability to process information very quickly, accurately and to adapt and respond to the learner’s need, difficulties, and progress, which is much greater than that of a book or video tape.
1. It has more flexibility and better control in comparison to other methods.
2. It can be effectively used for drilling and practicing, simulation and modelling.
1. It is impersonal and costly.
It is a flexible method of delivering the instruction, where the learner has open access to learning resources of people, material, equipment and accommodation, although regular class attendances are not necessary. There are no or minimal restrictions on admissions. The face-to-face interaction between teachers and students through tutorials should form a part of open learning. For open learning, the learning packages are to be developed, making use of multimedia.
Open learning instruction is, however, not suitable for the rapidly changing nature of content as this involves time, expertise and resources.
1. It offers flexibility to the learner.
1. It is not suitable for achieving psychomotor and affective learning objectives.
2. It requires time, expertise, resources and hence, not suitable for subjects of rapidly changing nature.
The interactive video approach to teaching can be employed to achieve cognitive, psychomotor and affective objectives. It allows the learner to randomly access any piece of information and provide immediate feedback regarding the consequences of their action. The essence of the interactive video experience is video simulation with more number of video presentations of real images as possible.
1. Interactive video approach enhances the decisionmaking power of the individual.
1. This method is time consuming and requires resources and expertise.
This method was advocated by Professor Armstrong.
In this method, the student has to find out the answer to his/her own problem by unaided efforts. Thus, the child becomes a discoverer of knowledge by developing a spirit of inquiry. The main aim of teaching by this method is not to provide much facts about Science, Mathematics, Grammar, etc., but to teach how knowledge of these can be obtained.
1. Self-learning approach
1. Not much focus on factual knowledge Differentiated Instruction (DI)
Differentiated instruction is a dynamic, proactive method of teaching. It means that the teacher plans and uses a variety of ways to teach learning. It is a combination of whole group, small group and individual instruction methods.
In this method, the qualitative aspects are given more weightage than quantitative aspects. It uses multiple approaches to accommodate multiple intelligences.
It is student-centred, meaning that the lessons are engaging, relevant, interesting and active. It is an organized and planned method of teaching.
Classroom teaching depends on many factors, such as individual differences, class environment, teacher’s and learner’s abilities and the lesson subject matter. There is no standard and perfect teaching method to follow and the teachers should seek a suitable approach to present their lessons.
We assume that reflective teachers are knowledgeable about pedagogy, but still there is scope of improvement. Reflective teaching is a means of ‘looking at what you do in the classroom, thinking about why you do it, and thinking about if it works, a process of self-observation and self-evaluation’. The purpose of doing it is to improve the quality of teaching. In general, reflection involves ‘working towards a better understanding of the problems and ways of solving it’. The steps involved in reflective teaching cover ‘suggestions, problems, hypothesis, reasoning and testing’. Reflective teaching is also seen as the attitude of questioning the practice of teacher’s profession. The peer observation, written account of experiences, self-reports, auto biographies, journal writing, collaborative diary keeping and recording lessons, student’s feedback, teacher’s stories.
It may be specifically helpful for pre-service teachers in their professional development, where in a teacher act as adult learner and the facilitator in education system. It also includes training, practice and feedback.
Blended learning: This term originated in USA. There is no clear single definition available for it. Blended learning combines online learning with face-to-face learning. It is also defined as the combination of multiple approaches to pedagogy or teaching, for example, self-paced, collaborative or inquiry-based study. The goal of blended learning is to provide the most efficient and effective instruction experience by combining delivery modalities.
Offline Vs Online Methods
Their differences have been shown below:
Differences Between Offline Classroom and Online Classroom
|Offline Teaching Methods||Online Teaching Methods|
|It is teacher focused. Teacher is the central component of teaching l-learning process.||It is learner focused. Learner is the central focus of teaching -learning process.|
|Learning is more passive; there are fewer roles for learners in the instructional process.||Learning is more active and role of learners is more in the instructional process|
|Teacher concentrates on delivering knowledge and subject content||Teacher helps in construction of knowledge|
|Instructional strategy is verbal oriented and is based on traditional methods of teaching||Less focus on verbal instruction. Instructional strategies make use of different styles and methods of teaching|
|Multimedia may be used, but delivery of instruction is mainly verbal||Multimedia are used in a variety of ways|
|Student interaction with technology is less||Students’ interaction with technology is more|
|Focus on face-to-face interaction between teacher and learners||Opportunity of face-to-face interaction between teacher and learners is less|
|Less chance for motivation and self leaning||It gives learners chances for selflearning and motivation|
|More use of traditional styles of teaching||Makes use of innovative techniques of instruction|
|Use of technological instruments is less.||Use of technological instruments is more|
|Opportunity of interaction between students and teacher is limited||Opportunity of interaction between teacher and student is more|
|Duration and period of study is fixed||Duration and period of study is not fixed|
|Rigid in character||Flexible in nature|
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
MOOCs have become a popular avenue for diverse learners to upgrade their knowledge and skills.
Instructors who are new to creating MOOCs tend to focus on the use of technology features to mimic their classroom actions. While it is necessary to be aware of the technology affordances, it is more important to focus on the pedagogy of how to use the MOOC features effectively to foster student engagement and learning.
Hence MOOC instructors need a set of design principles and guidelines to create a learner-centric MOOC.
In this course, we will discuss the Learner-Centric MOOC (LCM) model, and how to apply it to create effective MOOCs.
Intended Audience: Teachers, MOOC creators Core/Elective: Elective UG/PG: PG Prerequisites: None Industry Support: Companies creating online courses, L&D (Training) divisions in companies across various sectors.
SWAYAM is an educational programme started by Government. It was designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education – access, equity and quality. The main objective of this programme is to take the best optimal teaching learning resources to all, including the most disadvantaged sections of the society. SWAYAM seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy. The more details of Swayam have been discussed in the 8th Unit of ICT.
The SWAYAM PRABHA is a group of 32 DTH channels devoted to telecasting of high-quality educational programmes on 24 × 7 basis using the GSAT-15 satellite.
Every day, there will be new content for at least (4) hours which would be repeated 5 more times in a day, allowing the students to choose the time of their convenience. The channels are uplinked from BISAG, Gandhinagar. The contents are provided by NPTEL, IITs, UGC, CEC, IGNOU, NCERT and NIOS. The INFLIBNET Centre maintains the web portal. The DTH Channels shall cover the following:
1. Higher Education: Curriculum-based course contents at post-graduate and under-graduate level covering diverse disciplines such as arts, science, commerce, performing arts, social sciences and humanities, engineering, technology, law, medicine, agriculture, etc. All courses would be certification- ready in their detailed offering through SWAYAM, the platform being developed for offering MOOCs courses.
2. School education (9-12 levels): These are basic modules for teacher’s training, teaching and learning instructional facilities for our children to help them understand the subjects in better manner.
It also helps learners to prepare themselves for various competitive exams to get admissions into professional degree courses.
3. Curriculum-based courses that can meet the needs of life-long learners of Indian citizens in India and abroad.
4. Assist students (class 11th and 12th) prepare for competitive exams.
Teaching Support System
Teacher Support System is basically a set of tools that helps to improve student achievement by building newer capacities in the teachers. It can be taken as kind of process as well, it influences the way decisions are made and what information is passed on. This helps us to know that how teachers acquire new skills and increase student achievement in areas they are underperforming. Though they are happening simultaneously, the movement has taken place from traditional to modern to ICT (Information and Communication Technology) based education. It happens with help from technology also. Traditional can be somewhat compared with orthodox education also.
Traditional and Modern Methods
Let’s first differentiate between traditional and modern approaches:
1. Traditional is basically teacher centred instruction that reflects educational essentialism and education perennialism.
Modern is students’ centric approach that reflects educational progressivism.
2. In traditional approach, memorization of facts, objective information; correct knowledge is paramount.
In modern approach, understanding the facts, Application of facts, Analysis, Evaluation, Innovation; Critical thinking is paramount 3. Traditional approach aims at high test scores, grades and ultimately degrees. Subjects are individual and independent.
Modern approach aims at Learning, retention, accumulation of valuable knowledge & skills.
Subjects are integrated and multidisciplinary.
4. In traditional methods, students matched by age, ability etc, while modern and possibly also by ability.
In modern approach, students match by interest or ability for each project or subject. It can be multiage also.
5. Traditional method has direct instruction and lectures, seatwork. Here, students learn through listening and observation. The teacher relies on textbooks, lectures, and individual written assignments etc.
In modern teaching, practicality, discoveries, group activities are the main pillars. Focus is on Internet, library and outside experts.
6. In traditional approach, presentation and testing methods favor students who have prior exposure to the material or exposure in multiple contexts.
In Modern approach, context learning integrates personal knowledge within the school environment.
ICT Based Teaching
ICT based teaching support is an approach to facilitate and enhance learning through, and based on, both computer and communication technology. It refers to the use of computer-based electronic technologies of internet, e-mail, websites and CD-ROMS to deliver, facilitate and enhance both formal and informal learning and knowledge sharing from any place at any time. The communication devices can also include digital television, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile phones.
ICT based learning is also called Computer-Based Training (CBT). Generally, CBT and e-learning are treated as synonyms, but CBT is the older term dating from the 1980s. The term ICT evolved from CBT along with the maturation of the internet, CDs and DVDs. It includes Internet-based Learning, Web-based Learning and Online Learning.
ICT is significant in many ways. It enables flexible learning where just-in-time, effective and efficient learning. The pace is determined by the learner. ICT facilitates collaborative internet and web-based learning opportunities to the learners. ICT supports distance learning with wide area networks (WAN) and by creating multimedia CD-ROMs or websites.
In ICT teaching methods,there is advantage of having hyperlinking. There are interactive parts that illustrate difficult things. Here doing some exercises is also possible; It allows a wider range of learning experiences, such as there is educational animation to online learners. It also imparts e-training through the asynchronous and synchronous communication modes. Thus it permits learners the convenience of flexibility. Learners may look at many other options to learn.
Specialised training is rendered through customised software, which addresses the particular needs of the clientele mostly through the synchronous mode on a dedicated broadband internet connectivity. Equally, it also renders training to the learners through the generic software displaying universal contents in asynchronous mode to the learners through a shared network with limited internet access or on World Wide Web; and enhances teaching by professional development of teachers through training on usage of ICT in education. World Links enables the teachers to integrate technology into teaching and thus create dynamic student-centred learning environment in classrooms. The faculties can also interact with their peer groups in the world and exchange ideas and notes on the subject.
ICT is a planned effort towards providing interactive and experiential learning; flexibility in terms of time, place and pace; participation and accessibility; expertise and qualitative subject matter; best resource at the learners’ doorsteps and personalised training; and centres round the trainees.
Learning and Learner’s Characteristics
It appears quite simple to define the term ‘learning’, where we all have spent our entire lives learning new things. Learning is basically psychological in nature and a few definitions offered by psychologists are given below.
1. Learning is the process whereby the behaviour of an organism undergoes changes as a result of experience.
2. Learning is relatively a permanent change in the capacity for performance, which is acquired through experience.
3. Learning is the way through which human beings acquire new skills, knowledge, attitudes and values. The outcomes of learning are the new capabilities possessed by the learner.
Individual Differences in Learning – Types of Learners
Learners have many common characteristics at various ages and stages, but they also differ significantly in many ways. Teachers need to understand both the commonalities and the differences in order to meet the students’ needs as no two individuals are alike. There are variations among learners with respect to their age, cultural environment, past experiences, physical, mental and emotional make up, goals, needs, etc.
Furthermore, different learners have different learning styles and as heterogeneity is increasing day by day, they may perceive, interpret and evaluate the same learning event in different ways.
Learners’ characteristics, therefore, merit consideration in selection of media. Learners benefit from those media that match their individual learning styles. Therefore, it is understandable why a variety of methods, resources and paths should be provided for different students to achieve a particular objective. Thus, while designing an instructional plan, the important task for the designer is to identify the most critical characteristics for the attainment of instructional objectives. The main components of learning event are as follows:
1. Learner: The learner must interpret the stimulus, differentiate and combine them and give them some meaning.
2. Stimulus: Any stimulus or set of stimuli to which the learner is sensitive can become a part of his learning situation.
3. The internal conditions of the learner:
These are perception, cognitive structure, self-concept, attitudes, needs, motives, intelligence, previous learning, etc.
4. Response: Any action or reaction to a learning situation.
Elements of Learning Event In NET Exam, there may be direct or indirect questions on learning process. Reception: Gaining attention by making some abrupt changes in stimulus or stimuli.
Expectancy: Informing learners of the objective and what they will be able to do after learning.
Retrieval to working memory: Stimulating recall of prior knowledge.
Selective perception: Displaying contents with distinct features.
Semantic encoding: Learning guidance.
Responding: Asking learner to perform.
Reinforcement: Providing feedback to the learner.
Retrieval and reinforcement: Additional performance by learner and it entails feedback also.
Generalization: More practice of varied problems so as to increase retention.
Main Steps in Learning Process
Types Of Learners
In the past, many direct and indirect questions have been asked in the NET exam. There are three main categories of learner characteristics, such as general characteristics, specific entry competencies and learning styles.
1. On the basis of personal and social attributes:
They help in planning instructional objectives as it may reveal physical characteristics that are relevant to training or instructional decisions. The social factors mainly include the following.
(a) Age and maturity level (b) Motivation and attitude towards the subject (c) Expectations and vocational aspirations (d) Special talents (e) Mechanical dexterity (f) Ability to work under various environmental conditions.
Some of the differences in learner characteristics between the adolescence and the adults has been described further.
2. Field independent vs. Field dependent: ‘Field’ here means context or surroundings. Some people are more and some less, influenced by the context when performing a skill or learning.
Field-independent learners tend to rely less on the teacher or other learners for support. Field independent learners perceive analytically. They see objects separately from the surrounding field, they prefer to work in self-structured situation and have self-defined goals. In the classroom activities, such as extensive reading and writing, which learners can carry out alone are useful for fieldindependent learners.
On the other hand, field-dependent learners often work well in teams as they tend to be better at interpersonal relationships. They perceive globally. They prefer to work in existing structure or context, they require externally defined goals and reinforcements and are more aware of their surroundings.
In the classroom, activities that connect different parts of a lesson are useful for field-dependent learners. For example, learners can discuss what they know about a topic, predict content or look at and listen to related material.
3. Reflectivity and impulsivity:
When a question is posed, some students take long time to respond while others are quick in response. The speed with which the respondents make a response to the task and the number of errors they make is termed as conceptual tempo. Those students
who respond quickly and make a fair number of mistakes are said to have a fast conceptual tempo. They are said to possess impulsive style of learning. Learners who are slow in response and tend to make fewer mistakes are called reflective. In problem-solving situations, the impulsive learner collects less data, they are less systematic and does not look for alternative solutions. Reflective learner spends more time collecting information and analyzing the data before offering a response.
4. Class-room based learning styles: Learning styles are traits that refer to how learners receive and process information.
(a) Visual learners learn easily and better through sight. Brightness, size, colour, distance, clarity, frame and symmetry are important to visual learners. Visual learners must see so that they may learn easily. Visual learners may be categorized as verbalists (they see words and letters) or imagists (they see images, i.e., pictures).
(b) Auditory learners acquire information through sound, i.e., the ear gate. Various aspects of sound, for example, pitch, volume, tempo, rhythm, resonance are important for auditory learners. Auditory learners may be aural (they learn by listening to others) or oral
(they learn by talking and hearing themselves).
(c) Motor learners learn through motor activity. Various aspects of action, for example, frequency, duration, intensity, pressure, etc., are important for them. Motor learners may be kinesthetic (they learn through the use of gross motor muscles) or mechanical (they use fine motor muscles to support their learning). Apart from above, the classroom style learners can be of the following types.
(i) Intuitive: Insights and hunches (ii) Inductive: From facts to generalization (iii) Deductive: From theory to individual facts (iv) Reflectively: Introspection 5. Learner characteristics on the basis of listening skills: Listening in an important skill and there are four types of listening styles, which are as follows: (a) Active listening: It is listening with a purpose.
(b) Empathic listening: It is a form of active listening in which you attempt to understand the other person.
(c) Evaluative listening or critical listening:
In this type, the listener evaluates the accuracy, meaningfulness and utility of speaker’s message.
(d) Appreciative listening: Listening for enjoyment involves seeking situations involving relaxing, fun or emotionally stimulating information.
6. Learner characteristics on the basis of thinking styles: There are different thinking styles of learners, which are mentioned below.
(a) Reflective thinkers (i) View new information with respect to the subject.
(ii) Relate new information to past experiences.
(iii) Always ask ‘why?’ (iv) Examine their feelings about what they are learning.
(b) Creative thinkers (i) Like to play with new information.
(ii) Always ask ‘why?’ (iii) Create their own solutions and shortcuts.
(c) Practical thinkers (i) Always look for factual information.
(ii) Seek the simplest and the most efficient way to do their work.
(iii) Not satisfied until they know how to apply their new skills to their job or other interest.
(d) Conceptual thinkers (i) Accept new information only after seeing the big picture.
(ii) Want to know how things work, not just the final outcome.
(iii) Learn the concepts that are presented but also want to know the related concepts that may not have been included.
Characteristics of Adolescence and Adult Learners: Academic, Social, Emotional and Cognitive
‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow’ ‘Learn as if you were to live forever’
— Mahatama Gandhi Learning is a fundamental, continuous, ongoing and a lifelong process. It’s for our successful adaptation of human beings to internal and external environment.
It should be according to the physical and intellectual ability of the learner. Both teachers and learners must be aware of this fact. Here, we are first going to discuss concepts of adolescence and adult learning and thereafter comparison of both.
Adolescence means ‘to emerge’ to achieve ‘identity’. It is a time for the maturing of mind and behaviors. It is not an age, but a stage. It is divided into three major stages:
1. Early adolescence: (10 to 12 years) growth hands, feet and later in the limbs. There is demand for independence and privacy, so chances of conflict.
2. Middle adolescence: (12 to 16 years) there are further bodily and genetic developments, specifically in girls. Girls develop into personal skills quicker, loyalty and commitment matter more. The decisions of vocations and education are made. The physical effect of pubertal development becomes incorporated into the self-image.
3. Late adolescence: (16 to19 years) and transformation towards adulthood. In late adolescence, career decisions are finally traced. The child gradually returns to the family, on a new footing. WHO defines adolescence both in terms of age spanning the ages between 10 and 19 years. Hall describes adolescence as “storm and stress” period that reflects the unsettling growth period in modern societies. This concept was recognized by Margaret Mead also. Academically, adolescence is the time spent in high schools and early colleges.
Psychologically it is a period of transition, during which cognitive, physical, personality and social changes occur. Sociologically, it is a period that fills the gap between dependent childhoods to self-sufficient adulthood. From medical point of view, adolescence begins with the growth and hormonal changes with the growth of body. In India, the adolescent is dependent on his parents for many more years in comparison to the West. The emotional dependence is also termed as ‘Delayed Adolescence’ that can go upto 21 years and even up to 25 years.
Adolescents spend more waking time in school. Academic achievement during adolescence is predicted by interpersonal (parental engagement), intrapersonal (intrinsic motivation), and institutional factors. It can set the stage for future career opportunities.
Sports, games, arts and crafts also play some role. Parents put greater efforts during this stage.
Malcom Knowles has identified following characteristics of adult learners.
1. More autonomous and self-directed 2. Goal-oriented and practical 3. Relevancy-oriented and see a reason for learning something.
4. Adults must be shown respect. The adult trainers must acknowledge the wealth of experiences that adult participants bring to the classroom.
Now-a-days children know more, learn more, and want more. This may lead to arguments, friction and tears, all leading to a ‘cultural gap’ from their parents.
Adults learn voluntarily, they require more time to practice new skills. They have many responsibilities and have less time to learn. They prefer to learn by participation.
As they have own self-esteem and ego, they evaluate learning in terms of results, and its utility to their life situations.
Margaret Mead highlighted the role of cultural factors in the development of personality of the Adolescent. Mead observed “storm and stress” as a serene and gradual, transition from childhood to adulthood and an easy acceptance of adult roles. It is relatively stressfree in a society.
Harold W Bernard also subscribes it as a cultural phenomenon. The cultural aspect of adolescence states that two main aspects:
1. a rapidly widening life 2. an increasing overlapping between the roles of the child and adult.
Adolescents may feel bad while facing conflicts, values, emotional tension and extreme attitudes. With industrialization, urbanization and individualization, the incidents of Juvenile delinquency also increase. With fast growth and structural bodily changes, new attitude towards oneself and others, rising awareness of one’s rights and duties, adolescence is a transitional period. The adolescence is affected by the following:
1. There is search for self concept or self identity.
2. There is demand for more independence to make decisions.
3. They think more about right values and wrong values.
4. Peer pressure also increase.
5. They communicating in different ways – through internet, cell phones and social media Socialisation is affected during this stage.
During ‘Homophily’, an adolescence spends more time with friends. The peer groups evolve from primarily single-sex to mixed-sex. The ‘deviant peer contagion’ under which peers reinforce problem behavior by laughing or showing other signs of approval that then increase the likelihood of future problem behavior. Negative peer pressure leads to vices and crime. Friends may provide support mechanism.
Crowds refer to different groups of people such as ‘theater kids’ or ‘environmentalists’. Friendships are reciprocal dyadic relationships. Cliques refer to frequently interacting groups of individuals. They enjoy ‘shared reputations’ than actual interactions, such as when the whole group is famous or notorious for an activity. Romantic relationships are usually short-lived rather than long term commitment.
Research indicates that emotions cannot be separated from the intellect (learning). If the learner is stressed, over anxious he/she will not be able to learn. Role confusion is an indicator of not successfully meeting the task of adolescence. Adolescents face problems of morality and being much ambitious. They favour freedom and democratic life. They like permissive atmosphere so that parents and teachers to be lenient towards them. They tend to be rebellious by nature. ‘Conscience formation’ takes place during this stage.
Adolescents possess a self-owned yearning for religion, God, worship, prayer and spiritual values.
Hall says that the major physical changes during this phase cause major psychological changes.
Adolescent years are more important for the formation of personality. Anne believed that the libido, which quieted during the latency years, reawakens in Adolescence and threatens to upset the delicate balance of ego and id.
According to Erik Erickson adolescence resolves the conflict of identity vis-à-vis identity confusion.
Early puberty and cognitive changes come with worse outcomes for girls than boys. It impacts decision making controls also. The emotional changes with the unique combination of genes, brain, environment, experiences, and culture shape development. There is more self-consciousness about physical appearance and changes. It is basically an “invincible” stage of thinking and acting. The egoistic needs are in the form of dominance, achievement, retention, attention, autonomy, acquisition, cognizance and destruction. Moffitt regards adolescent- limited antisocial behavior as resulting from a “maturity gap”. The genetic changes to environmental factors are called as a differential susceptibility model. These variations are considered riskier than others.
Individual differences play an important role in adolescent development. The ‘unholy triad’ sums up these as substances abuse, violence and early sexual experimentation.
Cognitive development refers to the mental activities that enable an individual to adjust to the environment while mental development refers to intelligence, thinking or imagination about the environment. Cognitive development takes place at different paces at different stages of life. At elementary level, there is an increase in children’s capacity to learn, qualitative aspects and maturity. The capacity develops in the learners through interaction of innate power (heredity), environment and maturation. It is the mental process that can systematize, organise and utilise knowledge.
Piaget mentioned the following stages for cognitive development:
1. Sensory period (0–2 years) 2. Pre-operational period (2–7 years) 3. Concrete operation period (7–11 years) 4. Formal operation period (11–15 years) The main characteristics displayed here are:
1. Systematic analysis of a problem 2. Logical approach towards a solution of problem – to move away from rote learning.
3. Ability to use higher order structure to solve a problem 4. Systematic analysis of a problem 5. Moral maturity It has been observed that the type of language used in uneducated homes is mostly of commands whereas in educated homes it is mostly of explanations.
Individuals struggle through environmental changes. Through this process of adaptation, cognitive development takes place. The purpose of this process of adjustment is to bring about a ‘State of Equilibrium’ in the life of individuals.
At adolescence stage, social interaction plays a very significant role in learning. Readymade solutions of problems should be discouraged. The teachers should provide such type of education that helps to form minds which can be critical, can verify and not accept everything that is offered.
At the stage of formal operation, the child displays three new qualities: 1 i. systematic analysis (with all possible solutions) of the problem ii. logical approach, and I i iii. ability to use higher order structure. There is no knowledge development without relating objects within the environment. An individual acquires knowledge not by passively copying objects in the environment but by acting upon it.
Life is busy, adults are busy. They are actively engaged in the process of life. To take time out of this buy process, adults may ask: How will this benefit me? What makes learning this worth the effort?
Adult education is based on a philosophy called ‘andragogy’ that is art and science of helping adults learn. The guiding principles of adult learning aim at bringing:
1. changes in what people know 2. changes in what can do 3. changes in what people think 4. changes in what people actually do.
In other words, it must emphasize change knowledge, attitude and skills of the learner.
Adulthood is mostly defined on the basis of age or cognitive maturity. While in India, adulthood is defined between 15 to 35 years, UNESCO and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development defines it between 24 to 65 years.
Adult learning process may be systematic learning process, be it formal or non formal or informal, it may be self-mentored or corporate-sponsored, may be undertaken as fulltime or a part time learner.
Important Characteristics of Adulthood
Adults are not just grown children. Adults learn differently from children.
With the maturity, the self concept of a person moves from being a dependent personality towards one of being a self directed person. Adulthood is the stage where this transition occurs.
Adults are experiential learners. The person accumulates a growing wealth of experience that is used to make sense of the environment. Adults may know more than the teacher.
With maturity, the readiness to learn becomes oriented to the development tasks of social roles, but contents must be relevant and legitimate. The life application is critical.
With maturity, the time perspective moves from one of the postponed application to one of the immediate application. The shift is from subject-centeredness to problem centeredness. Adults enjoy solving problems.
Here, the motivation to learn is increasingly internal.
Personality responsibility is significant. Adult learners want to meet the requirements of their lives. They want to be successful. In India, an adult learner is a person who has had no opportunity of formal education in their early years of life.
Once gone through both adolescence and adult learners, we need to get focused on difference between the two:
Differences Between the Adolescence and the Adults
|Elements||Adolescence Learners||Adult Learners|
|Learner||• The learner is dependent on the teacher for learning||• The learner is selfmotivated and self directed|
|Role of learners experience||• The learner has little experience. It has to be built on, more than used as resource|
• The experience of the instructor is most influential
|• The learners have a tremendous amount of life experience|
• Adults are a rich resource for one another
• Experience becomes the source of self identify
|Orientation to learning||• Learning is a process of acquiring prescribed subject matter|
• Content units are sequenced according to the logic of the subject matter
|• Learning must have relevance to real-life tasks|
• Learning is organized around life/work situations rather than subject matter units
|Motivation for learning||• Primarily motivated by external rewards and punishment, competition for grades, and the consequences of failure||• Motivation by internal incentives: recognition, better quality of life, self confidence self actualization|
• The need to know, in order to perform more effectively in some aspect of one’s life is important
|Demand for learning||• Learner must balance life responsibilities with the demands of learning||• Learner can devote more time to the demands of learning because responsibilities are minimal|
|Permanence of learning||• Learning is self-initiated and tends to last a long time||• Learning is compulsory and tends to disappear shortly after instruction.|
|Climate||• Tense, low trust|
• Formal, cold, aloof
• Competitive, judgmental
|• Relaxed, trusting|
• Mutually respectful
• Informal, warm
• Collaborative, supportive
Teaching And Learning Factors
According to new NTA-NET Exam pattern, teaching and learning are important for effective teaching.
A teacher should have the following qualities.
1. Personal qualities like warmth, affectionate, sympathetic, democratic, optimistic, dynamic, etc.
2. Professional competencies like command on the subject matter, effective communication, proper use of teaching instructional facilities, classroom management, evaluating students learning also.
From the training point of view, we classify teaching skills into three broad categories. These are:
1. Core teaching skills (common for all subjects) 2. Specific teaching skills (for specific subject areas like language, Social Science, Science, Maths, etc.) 3. Target group specific skills (for exceptional children).
Some factors as practised by teachers in classroom are as follows:
1. A teacher having limited exposure and experience in teaching is prone to: (a) follow textbook reading by the students (b) transmit information through lecture (c) dictate notes (d) impart required information 2. A teacher having professional training and reflective thinking is tempted to: (a) adopt new ways to teach (b) involve students in teaching (c) generate new ideas through problem solving (d) teach through group activities (e) follow cooperative learning (f) adopt interactive approach.
At different stages of teaching, with added experience, a teacher goes on enriching higher style of teaching. This is indicative of teacher’s growth in higher professional pursuits. Teacher on its role needs to focus on clarity, variety, task orientation, engagement in learning task in classroom environment. A teacher like a doctor, pilot, engineer or a counselor is supposed to possess the repertoire of teaching skills so that s/he could perform his/her teaching well. These are called as ‘Metacore Skills’. These help during professional coaching. The more variety of sub-skills is called as ‘Polycrest skills’. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in its publication Core Teaching Skills
(1982) has laid stress on the following teaching skills:
1. Teacher solutions manual: They are designed to assist teachers in effective teaching such as the solutions manual provide suggestions on how to teach a topic. They are kind of comprehensive supplementary resources such as an end-to-end solution.
2. Lecture slides: While teachers develop their own instructional facilities to deliver a lecture in the class, the lecture slides provide a firm base for instructors to build on.
3. Extra practice questions: Students always demand extra practice that authors of a book can provide. The texts are bundled with extra exercise questions, case studies, and other such materials used by teachers to frame homework, quizzes and tests.
Learning Environment and Institutions: We have discussed many things that contribute towards learning. The leadership approach of management also comes into play. That can be autocratic, democratic, laissez faire and so on. Political, social, legal environments can also be used here. The present trends in the management of institutions of higher education indicate changes in many directions. These changes may be implementation of democratic principles for better participatory culture, delegation of power to the lower level executive bodies; faculty members participation etc. There is increased focus on identifying objectives and planning for both short-term and long-term perspective; and greater concern for the economics of institutional operations. The term institutional building is the process of internal development of an institution as well its impact on the society. The functions of any universityteaching, research and extension activities – are more important. The delegating and organising function, organization Development, the directive function, the operative function, and the evaluative function are all important for the management of an institution. The sharing of experiences, innovations, approaches and problems among institutions, feed-back on various dimensions of teaching and, non-teaching activities and generating ideas and suggestions to solve the main problems faced by the institution.
Evaluat ion Systems
Interdependence of Teaching, Learning, and Evaluation
Teaching has been defined as the process of facilitating learning and learning is broadly defined as the process of acquiring knowledge, attitude, skills, habits and abilities. To determine whether teaching has facilitated learning, evaluation is carried out. In other
1. Writing instructional objectives 2. Organizing the content 3. Creating set for introducing the lesson 4. Introducing a lesson 5. Structuring classroom questions 6. Question delivery and its distribution 7. Response management 8. Explaining 9. Illustrating with examples 10. Using teaching instructional facilities 11. Stimulus variation 12. Pacing of the lesson 13. Promoting pupil participation 14. Use of blackboard 15. Achieving closure of the lesson 16. Giving assignments 17. Evaluating the pupil’s progress 18. Diagnosing pupil learning difficulties and taking remedial measures 19. Management of the class
In effective learning, mostly we notice of these factors
1. more intensity of learning 2. more retention 3. Joyful learning 4. more scope of cognitive development 5. self-directed learning 6. self-motivation for further learning.
Keeping the above in consideration, the following factors become automatically important:
1. Background of the learner (repertoire) 2. Nature of learning material (easy or difficult) 3. Environmental factors (space, physical condition and psychological support) 4. Motivation (intrinsic and extrinsic) 5. Learning support (human-teachers and parents; electronic – audio, video and computer) Certain qualities and traits of learners such as their level of intelligence, their attitudes, their motivation, their learning styles, aptitudes, their readiness to take risks, etc. can impact the way they learn. Many factors have been defined under the learning topic itself.
Teacher Support Material
The support materials aim to support teachers and students in achieving the learning outcomes of any subject. The ideas and resources are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive. Teachers and students can discover many other ways of reaching the learning outcomes. They can relate to any book, practical sessions, some specific activities etc. We can take example from a book here: words, teaching, learning and evaluation are the three interdependent aspects of the educative process. This interdependence is clearly seen when the main purpose of instruction is conceived in terms of helping students achieve a set of learning outcomes that include changes in the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains. The instructional objectives or the desired changes in students (learning) are brought about by planned learning activities (teaching) and the students’ progress is determined by tests and other devices (evaluation). There is a direct relationship among the four important factors of the educational system, such as objective, curriculum, method and evaluation. As the Indian Education Commission (1944–1966) has remarked, ‘It is now agreed that evaluation is a continuous process, it forms an integral part of the total system of education, and is intimately related to educational objectives, it exercises a great influence on pupil’s study habits and the teacher’s method of instruction and this helps not only to measure educational achievement but also to improve it’.
Desirable Characteristics of Evaluation
1. Comprehensiveness: It must try to assess all aspects of a child’s development. Thus, different techniques might be used by the teachers to evaluate the performance of the child.
2. Continuous: Evaluation is a continuous process in education. It is not just an examination but a part of the evaluation process. There is no fixed time limit for the completion of evaluation work, but it is a continuous process.
CBSE’s Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) is based on the above two parameters. CCE helps in improving the student’s performance by identifying his or her learning difficulties at regular time intervals right from the beginning of the academic session and employing suitable remedial measures for enhancing their learning performance.
Functions of Evaluation
Evaluation does not end with the summarization of results. It has direct bearing on the improvement of the system as a whole. The functions of evaluation are as follows:
1. Feedback: To assess strengths and weaknesses.
2. Motivation: The mere realization that you would be evaluated propels a student to work hard.
3. Better guidance: Crucial for the growth of pupils.
4. Remediation: It helps in locating the areas that require remedial measures.
5. Facilitates planning: It helps the teacher in planning, organizing and implementing learning activities.
6. Revision of curriculum.
7. Inter-institutional comparison.
8. Educational decision-making: It relates to selection, classification, placement, promotion, etc.
9. Submission of progress report to parents.
Classification of Evaluation Techniques
A good evaluation device is one which secures valid evidence regarding the desired change of behaviour.
A teacher needs to know the various devices that are helpful in gathering evidence on the changes taking place in a pupil. They can be categorized into quantitative and qualitative techniques and it is described as follows.
1. Written examination: It is also known as paper pencil test. In this technique, the answers are to be written as per the instruction of questions.
2. Oral examination: They supplement the written examination. Examples are test of reading ability, and pronunciation and viva voce is also an example.
3. Practical examination: These tests are necessary to test experimental and manipulative skills of a learner, particularly in subjects, such as science, technology, agriculture, craft and music.
1. Observation and interviews: Observation is used to evaluate the behaviour of the pupil in controlled and uncontrolled situations. It is purposive and systematic and carefully viewing or observing the behaviour and recording it. Interview is sometimes superior to other devices. It is because of the fact that pupils are usually more willing to talk than write.
2. Checklist: A checklist is an instrument that is used for collecting and recording evidence regarding significant behavioural tendencies of the pupils or specific problems they present in the classroom.
3. Rating scale: Rating is a term applied to the expression of opinion or judgement regarding some situation, object or character. Rating scale is a device by which judgements can be quantified.
4. Cumulative records: Anecdotal records, cumulative record cards and diaries of pupils are some other devices used in evaluation process to know the details about a child’s behaviour.
Type of Evaluation on the Basis of Phase of Instruction
In the various phases of instruction, evaluation is integrated. The four types of evaluation are placement, formative, diagnostic and summative.
1. Placement evaluation: It determines the knowledge and skills the students possess, which are necessary at the beginning of instruction in a given subject area. The purpose of placement evaluation is to check the aptitude of a candidate for the course or subject, whether the candidate has calibre or not. Various entrance exams can also be conducted for the same purpose. This is also done to see the knowledge base of students and a teacher can start discussion keeping that in view.
2. Formative evaluation: A formative evaluation (also referred to as internal evaluation) is a method for judging the worth of a programme while the programme activities are in progress. It focuses on the process. This evaluation provides the student with feedback regarding his or her success or failure in attaining the instructional objectives. It also identifies the specific learning error that needs to be corrected.
For instance, a student learns and scores high on the objective part of the test but fails in the essay part and he is reinforced to exert more effort in answering essay questions in the succeeding tests.
For a teacher, formative evaluation provides information for making instructions and remedies more effective. Quizzes, unit tests and chapter tests are examples of evaluative instruments used in this type of evaluation.
3. Diagnostic evaluation: The formative evaluation determines the extent to which students accomplish the learning targets. Therefore, it focuses on the measurement of the intended outcomes. The diagnostic evaluation goes a step further and tries to provide an explanation for the possible causes for problems in learning. Thus, diagnostic tests are more comprehensive and detailed.
4. Summative evaluation (external evaluation):
Summative evaluation is a method of judging the worth of a programme at the end of the programme activities (summation). The focus is on the outcome. It determines the extent to which the objectives of instruction have been achieved and is used for assigning course grades. Summative evaluation generally includes oral reports, projects, term papers and teacher-made achievement tests and it shows how good or how satisfactory the student is in accomplishing the objectives of instruction.
‘I hear and I forget, I see and I believe, I do and I understand’
—Confucius As mentioned in new NTA-NET Exam, teaching instructional facilities or Teaching Learning Material can be assumed to be part of major instructional facilities. These are also termed as instructional facilities that assist an instructor in the teaching–learning process. They supplement teaching methods and are themselves not as self-supporting as teaching methods. The teaching instructional facilities include audiovisual instructional facilities. They follow the assumption that learning originates from senses’ experience. They help in better learning, retention and recall, thinking and reasoning, activity, interest, imagination, better assimilation and personal growth and development. The Main Benefits of Instructional Facilities
Instructional facilities are also known as Teaching Learning Materials (TLMs). They are used to make the teaching-learning process effective. They also help learners achieve the learning outcomes after classroom teaching and learning. Some of the reasons to use teaching instructional facilities in classroom are of various types as described below.
1. Motivation of learners: Capturing attention is the first step to any learning and teaching instructional facilities help in capturing the attention of learner in classroom. Teaching instructional facilities provide a variety of stimuli, which helps in making classroom teaching most effective.
2. Based on maxims of teaching: The use of teaching instructional facilities is not a haphazard exercise, but based on maxims of teaching.
3. Better retention of information: The more the number of sensory channels involved in interacting with teaching instructional facilities, the longer will be the retention of information. Therefore, the learning will be effective and will last long.
4. Teaching instructional facilities facilitate change in attitude: Pictures, models, etc., helps in the inculcation of positive attitude of learners.
5. Better organization of classroom teaching: The teachers need to organize learning experiences, making them as realistic as possible. They need to use visual or verbal teaching instructional facilities to present accurate data in sequentially organized manner. Teaching instructional facilities helps in overcoming shortcomings in verbal or visual communication.
6. To facilitate holistic learning: Keeping in view that there are varied learning objectives in cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. Therefore, varied learning experiences need to be provided, which can be done through teaching instructional facilities. They supplement classroom teaching. They cater to individual differences as well.
7. Promotion of scientific temper: Teaching instructional facilities promotes scientific temper, which is one of the main goals of education.
8. Practical applications: Teaching instructional facilities show application of theoretical knowledge into practical applications.
9. Making learning fun: Learners enjoy novelty of handling new objects and learn new concepts through them.
10. Concept formation: Teaching instructional facilities facilitate the formation and attainment of concepts among children. They concretize the abstract concepts. Thus, children are able to understand them and not resort to rote learning.
Educational technology can be divided into two categories, they are hardware approach and software approach.
1. Hardware approach: It mechanizes the process of teaching so that teachers are able to deal with more students with less expenditure in educating them. Hardware includes computer, epidiascope, overhead projector, radio, slide and film projector, teaching machines, television, etc.
2. Software approach: This makes use of the principle of psychology for building in the learner a complex repertoire of knowledge, modifying a learner’s behaviour. It evolved through the pioneering work of Skinner and other behaviourists. Software approach is characterized by task analysis, writing precise objectives, selection of appropriate learning strategies, immediate reinforcement of responses and constant evaluation.
Newspapers, books, magazines, educational games, flash cards, etc., also form a part of software approach.
According to the senses involved, the educational technology can be divided into audio audio, video and audio-video instructional facilities.
1. Audio instructional facilities: They are instructional devices through which message can only be heard. We spend more than 50% of our time in hearing. This reflects the importance of audio media in our life. Examples of audio instructional facilities include language labs, radio sets, sound distribution sets, etc.
2. Visual instructional facilities: Instructional devices through which the message can only be seen are known as visual instructional facilities.
Examples include posters, flashcards, charts, bulletin boards, maps, models, photographs, etc.
3. Audio–visual instructional facilities: Audio– visual instructional facilities are those instructional facilities that help in completing the triangular process of learning, i.e., motivation, classification and stimulation. They are instructional devices in which the message can be heard and seen simultaneously.
Out of five senses, seeing at 87% and hearing at 7% are the major ones to attract attention and increase learning. Examples of audiovisual instructional facilities include television, video films, documentary films, etc.
Functions of Audio–visual Instructional Facilities
When properly used, audio–visual instructional facilities contribute to one or more of the following functions.
1. More clarity and understanding.
2. Better attention, interest and retention.
3. It helps in faster and comprehensive learning.
4. Better access 5. Save the instructor’s time.
6. Supplement the spoken words by combining audio and visual stimuli.
Limitations of Audio-visual Instructional Facilities
1. Learners may form distorted impressions unless audio-visual instructional facilities are supplemented with required explanations.
2. Teaching may be narrowed down to only a few big ideas, not giving the complete picture of a subject.
3. There is the possible risk of spectatorism instead of the attitude of thoughtful enquiry. Some extension workers acquire the mistaken idea that they have little to do when audio-visuals are used.
4. Multimedia: It is a combination of more than one media, but it could include several forms of media and audios, texts, still images, animations, graphics, videos and films.
Types of Instructional Facilities According to Projection or Show
Teaching instructional facilities according to projection or show are divided into projected and non-projected instructional facilities.
1. Projected instructional facilities: Visual instructional devices that are shown with a projector are called projected instructional facilities. Examples include slides, filmstrip, silent films, cartoons, etc. These are projected through an opaque projector (epidiascope) or an overhead projector.
2. Non-projected instructional facilities: Visual instructional devices that are simply presented without any projection equipment are non-projected instructional facilities. Examples include blackboard, chart, etc.
Apart from these instructional facilities, there are two additional categories of the teaching instructional facilities, they are display instructional facilities and presentation instructional facilities.
1. Display instructional facilities: Visual instructional facilities that are spread before the audience for viewing information and instruction. Examples are posters, bulletin boards, models, exhibits, etc.
2. Presentation instructional facilities: Visuals instructional facilities are presented or projected before the audience for viewing, explaining or presenting the message of the visuals, so that the audience gets meaningful understanding of the subject.
Examples are flashcards, slides, filmstrips, etc.
shows the different types of teaching instructional facilities according to projection or show.
Projected Visual Instructional Fa Cilities
Any visual instructional facilities that is used for magnification of image on a screen in dark or semi-dark conditions can be called a projected visual instructional facilities. There are three important methods of projection and they are listed below.
1. Direct projection: Slide and film projectors 2. Indirect projection: Overhead projector 3. Reflected projection: Opaque projector and epidiascope
Projected and Non-projected Instructional Facilities
|Projected||Non-projected instructional facilities|
|Posters||Bulletin board||Objects and specimens||Digital Audio Player||Dramatics|
|Epidiascope||Pictures and photographs||Flannel board||Puppets||Television||Teaching machines|
|Graphs||Magnetic board||Telephone and mobile||Programmed|
|Film strips||Map diagrams||Peg board|
A slide is a transparent-mounted picture that is projected by focusing light through it. The projection may be made on a screen or on a white wall. Slides of 35 mm films mounted on individual cardboard or plastic frames are common and are extensively used in extension work during training programmes, seminars, workshops, group meetings, campaigns, exhibitions, etc.
Overhead Projector (OHP)
The overhead projector projects the picture over the head of the speaker on the screen. Drawings, diagrams, letterings, etc., are made on transparent sheets and are put on the glass platform of the overhead projector, through which a strong light is passed. The rays of light are made to converge with a lens and are reflected by a mirror held at an angle on the screen at the back. Transparencies can also be made through photographic, xerox or electronic processes as well. Overhead projection is used in training programmes, group meetings, seminars, symposiums, workshops, etc.
Advantages include synchronization of projections with audio, facing audience and observing their reaction, sustaining audience interest, clear presentation of complex ideas, time saving and easy availability of materials for making transparencies.
It is also known as a pocket projector, a mobile projector or a pico-projector. It is an emerging technology that applies the use of a projector in a handheld device.
It is a response to the emergence of compact portable devices, such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants and digital cameras, which have sufficient storage capacity to handle presentation materials with an attached display screen.
A video projector is also known as a digital projector, which is now popular for many applications for extension and development. All video projectors use a very bright light to project the image.
Opaque Projector (Epidiascope or Episcope)
It is a device that displays opaque materials by shining a bright lamp onto the object from above. The material can be book pages, drawings, mineral specimens, leaves, etc.
Mind Mapping as a method of teaching was developed by Tony Buzan in 1960. A ‘mind map’ is a diagram for representing tasks, words, concepts or items linked to and arranged around a central concept or subject. It uses a non-linear graphical layout that allows the user to build an intuitive framework around a central concept and it can turn a long list of monotonous information into a colourful, memorable and highly organized diagram that works in-line with a learner’s brain’s natural way of doing things.
Using mind maps as an innovative thinking tool in education helps students to visualize and externalize concepts and understand the connections between different ideas. It is commonly used in presentations, critical thinking, brainstorming, decision making and project management.
PowerPoint is an application program of presentation that is found in Microsoft Office.
Nowadays, many of the audio–visual teaching instructional facilities have been replaced with PowerPoint presentations. Here, the slides give us the flexibility in terms of fonts, visuals, sizes, ability to change, etc. It allows the teachers to reflect on a lesson and correct any changes, and they can create perfect lessons and can print them out. Using PowerPoint improves the students’ learning motivation, increases authentic materials for study and encourages interaction between the teacher and the students.
The filmstrip was a common form of still image instructional multimedia. It was once commonly used by educators in primary and secondary schools, now overtaken by newer and increasingly low-cost, full-motion videocassettes and DVDs, since 1940s till 1980s.
Non-Projected Visual Instructional Fa Cilities
Non-projected visual instructional facilities are those instructional facilities that are used without projection or help of any projector. Advantages include easy availability, no specific power supply requirement, economical and ease in handling. They can be useful in small group situations. Many of them can be converted into projected instructional facilities. For example, charts, flannel graphs and flash cards can be photographed or scanned and converted into slides. Some of them can be projected through an opaque projector.
A chart is a symbolized visual instructional facilities with pictures of relationships and changes, which are used to tabulate a large mass of information or show a progression. Charts can help communicate difficult and dull subject matter in an interesting and effective way. They make facts and figures clear and interesting, show or compare changes and show the size and placement of parts. They are also helpful in summarizing information and presenting abstract ideas in visual form. Types of Charts
There are many varieties of charts. Some common types of charts are briefly discussed below for your understanding.
1. Process charts are used to show steps in a process.
For example, charts can show life cycles of insects, energy cycles, etc.
2. Organizational charts are used to represent hierarchal relationships, flow of communication among different departments in an organization.
3. Time charts are used to represent events, occurrences in chronological sequences, such as evolution of man, political empires, etc.
4. Tabular chart represents data in tabular form for easy comparison and understanding. For example, types of plantations, etc., are represented in tabular form, which makes comprehension easier.
5. Tree chart shows the growth and development from single source to many branches like in a tree.
For example, family tree is a familiar example.
6. Stream chart is opposite to a tree chart wherein many branches come together to converge into a single stream. For example: Many rivers like Yamuna fall in Ganga, which then flows down to fall in the sea.
7. Sequence charts or flip charts are collection of charts like flip charts used to show many events or series of events in succession. The flip chart is like a calendar with a sheet each for twelve months. As the month changes, the sheet is flipped over. Actually, flip chart consists of several charts arranged in a sequential order and fastened together at one end with this spiral, metal or wooden strip.
Flash cards are brief visual messages on poster board. The cards are flashed (turned over at short intervals) before the audience to emphasize the important points in a presentation. Flash cards are held like a pack of cards and are flashed to the audience one at a time in a sequence along with the talk.
A poster is displayed in a public place with the purpose of creating awareness among the people. A poster is generally seen from a distance and the person glancing at it seldom has the time or inclination to stop and read. The job of the poster is to stop the persons hurrying past and thrust the message upon them.
1. Posters give only an initial idea and cannot furnish detailed information. They need to be reported for further information by another instructional facilities or method (Examples: Leaflets and demonstration).
2. The production of good posters is a technical job and requires skill and time.
3. It cannot be repeated, so for each occasion, a new poster has to be made.
An attractive poster with appealing text to indulge the audience is known as ‘caption’. Usually, a caption conveys the important message and the visual is to attract attention and therefore, to support the message to be conveyed. Posters can be of themes, such as ‘Save Earth’, ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, ‘Rural Health’, etc.
Pictures and Photographs
A picture is a representation made by drawing, painting or photography, which gives an accurate idea of an object. A good picture may tell a story without using a single word. Pictures may be in black and white or in colour. Nowadays, digital cameras are popularly used to take many photos and eye-catchy images.
A graph is an image that represents data symbolically.
A graph is used to present complex information and numerical data in a simple, compact format. Bar graphs, line graphs, scatter graphs, and pictographs are some types of graphs. In a two-dimensional graph, the information is represented along two co-ordinates: X coordinate and Y coordinate. An independent variable is shown along X axis and dependent along Y axis. More about graphs is discussed in Chapter 7 on Data Interpretation.
A map is a visual representation of an area. It is a symbolic depiction highlighting the relationship between elements of that space, such as objects, regions and themes. Cartography or map-making is the study and practice of crafting representations of the earth upon a flat surface.
Maps are useful tool in every discipline. In social studies, it is very important for learning geographical, historical and economical concepts.
A plan, sketch, drawing or outline designed to demonstrate or explain how something works or to clarify the relationship between the parts of a whole is called a diagram.
Blackboard or Chalkboard
It is one of the oldest teaching instructional facilities and the chalkboard is probably the simplest, inexpensive, most convenient, and widely used non-projected visual instructional facilities in extension teaching. It is a vehicle for a variety of visual materials. The chalkboard is suitable for use in lectures, training programmes, group meetings, etc.
It facilitates step-by-step presentation of the topic, creates a dramatic impact and sustains audience interest.
Presentations may be adjusted according to the receptivity of the audience. It helps the audience to take notes. It helps in comprehension and retention of knowledge.
Modern classrooms are equipped with boards also called marker boards or multipurpose boards. They require special erasable markers. A felt eraser is required to erase the surface soon after use. Markers are available in different colours. It may be used as surface for projecting films, slides and overhead transparencies. A white board with a steel backing can be used as magnetic board for display. An interactive white board is a large interactive display that connects to a computer and projector. A projector projects the computer’s desktop onto the board’s surface, where users control the computer using a pen, finger or other device. The board is typically mounted to a wall or to a floor stand.
A bulletin board displays messages. It is a surface in which bulletins, news, information and announcements of specific or general interest can be displayed. Bulletin boards are of different sizes with provisions to hold pins, book exhibits and other materials.
Flannel Board and Flannel Graph
A flannel board is a visual instructional facilities in which messages are written or drawn on thick paper and presented step-by-step to the audience to synchronize with the talk. The board is a flannel-covered flat surface. Flannel is stretched and then glued to a piece of plywood or heavy cardboard.
It can be a sheet of tinplate and it is simply a type of chalkboard and the surface of which is treated or coated with a porcelain-like substance. The base of the board is steel and pictures and objects can be pasted or mounted with small magnets and can easily be moved about.
Perforated hardboard is tempered hardboard, which is pre-drilled with evenly spaced holes. The holes are used to accept pegs or hooks to support various items, such as tools in a workshop.
Real things may not be available all the times, and in the desired form. Hence, models help to tide over this problem. A model is a recognizable representation of real things in three-dimensional view, such as its height, width and depth. This makes the understanding better and easy.
Models can be of three types, such as (i) solids, (ii) cut away or cross sections and (iii) working models. They have advantages of reality depiction, illustration and are complex and intricate. They are long-lasting and inexpensive.
Objects, Specimens, and Globe
Objects are collections of real things for instructional use. Specimen is any typical object representing a class or group of things. A globe is the spherical model of earth.
Audio Instructional Facilities
Radio has been a popular mass medium for close to a century. These days many of us are tuned to Radio through FM channels. Radio is due to its easy access, speed and immediacy. In its start in 1917, radio was visualized as a source for mass education. In India, the first radio station was established in Mumbai (Bombay) in July 1927. Two more radio stations in Calcutta and Delhi were established in 1936. All India Radio (AIR) broadcasted radio programmes for the country. In 1937, Calcutta station broadcasted school programmes for the first time and it continues till date. School educational programmes are still in demand and are used by teachers to generate interest of students.
Gyan Vani is a dedicated FM channel for educational broadcasts. It is used to broadcast educational programmes from Educational Media Production Centre (EMPC) of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi. Audio programmes developed by Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) of NCERT for school children are also broadcast by Gyan Vani.
Radio is a mass broadcast medium whereas podcasts are personalized broadcast. Podcasts are prepared for specific target and made available to the target group for specific learning objectives. Podcast is the portmanteau of words ‘pod’ from iPod and ‘cast’ from broadcasting.
A tape recorder or any other kind of audio recording is suitable for extension work in meetings, training programmes, campaigns, recording radio programmes, etc. It facilitates on-the-spot recording of sound. It is easy to operate and preserve. It has low operational cost as the same tape may be used again.
Digital Audio Player
A digital audio player is sometimes referred to as an MP3 player and has the primary function of storing, organizing and playing audio files. Some digital audio players are also referred to as portable media players as they have image viewing and video-playing support.
An ideal example is iPod (fourth generation audio instructional facilities).
Telephone and Mobile
Usually, two persons can communicate at a time through a telephone and the system serves many people in a given area if a speaker is attached to it like Cell Phone-Operated Mobile Audio Communication and Conference System (COMBACCS). This technology is seeing a phenomenal growth in many developing countries. Short message service (SMS) and wireless application protocol (WAP)-enabled cell phones with cameras can be effective in offering always available extension between experts and people. COMBACCS can help community members at different locations build relationships and understanding.
Television is an effective tool in expressing abstract concepts or ideas. Abstract concepts are usually produced and conveyed with words. Besides this, in making an abstract concept concrete, the role of animation and visual experimentation is very important.
Activity Instructional Facilities
1. Field trip: A field trip is a structured activity that occurs outside the classroom. It can be a brief observational activity or a longer, more sustained investigation or project. Field trips offer an opportunity to students to get exposure to real people, events and opportunity to make connections with others.
2. Experimentation: The experiments are specifically useful in science subjects so as to relate theory with practice.
3. Dramatics: They can convey some message to society or public at large. These are usually themebased and the students are assigned different roles.
4. Teaching machines: There are many types of teaching machines. In general, they all work on the same method, which is to present a question, have the user indicate the answer and then provide the user with the correct answer. They are usually programmed. They are particularly useful in subjects that require drill, such as arithmetic or a foreign language. Users can proceed at their own pace and also have an opportunity to review their work. If the machines are used in a classroom, they relieve teachers of some of the time-consuming aspects of drilling students and allowing them to give more attention to individuals with specific problems or to concentrate on some particularly difficult area of instruction.
5. Programmed instructions: They are also useful instrument.
Factors Influencing The Selection Of Instructional Facilities
No single rule-of-thumb can be given for the selection and use of various audio-visual instructional facilities to ensure effectiveness in all situations. In order to get the most effective results, the following aspects are important:
1. Selection of appropriate instructional facilities 2. Suitable combination of the selected instructional facilities 3. Their use in proper sequence.
Audio-visual instructional facilities are used singly or in combination, thereby taking into consideration the following factors.
1. Nature of audience: Printed media are meant for literate people, whereas exhibits, pictures and symbols are for less literate people.
2. Size of audience: A video show or whiteboard cannot be used effectively when the number of participants exceeds 30 and internet can be used for large audiences.
3. Teaching objective or expected nature of change: Select the audio-visual instructional facilities based on the objective of extension teaching, i.e., to bring about a change in (a) Thinking or knowledge (b) Attitude or feeling (c) Actions or skills.
If you merely want to inform or to influence a large number of people slightly, then use mass media, such as radio or television.
4. Nature of subject matter: In case new practice is simple and familiar, a news article, a radio message, or a circular letter will be effective, whereas complex or unfamiliar practices will require audio-visual instructional facilities.
5. Availability of instructional facilities: Despite the availability of the Internet two decades back, it was not being used on a large scale. With the availability of speed, due to better technology and cost effectiveness, more people are now using internet- based technologies as teaching instructional facilities.
6. Relative cost: Effective instructional facilities need not be necessarily costly. The amount expended on audio-visual instructional facilities, in relation to the extent of effectiveness is also an important consideration in their selection and use.
Dale’s Cone of Experience
Dale’s Cone of Experience is a model that incorporates several theories related to instructional design and learning processes. During 1960s, Edgar Dale theorized that learners retain more information by what they ’do’ as opposed to what is ‘heard’, ‘read’, or ‘observed’.
His research led to the development of the ‘Cone of Experience’. Today, this ‘learning by doing’ has become known as ‘experiential learning’ or ‘action learning’.
How can instructors use the cone of experience? According to Dale’s research, the least effective method at the top involves learning from information presented through verbal symbols, i.e., listening to spoken words. The most effective methods at the bottom involve direct, purposeful learning experiences, such as hands-on or field experience. Direct purposeful experiences represent reality or the closet things to real, everyday life. The cone charts the average retention rate for various methods of teaching. The further you progress down the cone, the greater the learning and the more information are likely to be retained.
It also suggests that when choosing an instructional method, it is important to remember that involving students in the process strengthens knowledge retention.
It reveals that ‘action–learning’ techniques result in up to 90% retention. People learn best when they use perceptual learning styles and these learning styles are sensory based. The more sensory channels possible in interacting with a resource, the better chance that many students can learn from it. According to Dale, the instructors should design instructional activities that build upon more real-life experiences. Dales’ cone of experience is a tool to help instructors make decisions about resources and activities.
Important Tips Fo R Better Classroom Management
In NET examination, there are questions about class indiscipline and how to deal with the situation. There are number of things a teacher must keep in mind when dealing with students who do not behave in a disciplined manner in the class. There is a basic rule that the teacher must consider that he or she does not hurt them physically or emotionally. This would prove psychologically harmful to the student and our purpose is surely not to harm them but to modify their behaviour as individuals.
Punishments, if any, should be seen as reasonable and fair, and never vicious. The ability to control a group of students depends on the personality of the teacher and also the rapport that he or she develops with them. There are some tips to be kept in mind.
1. Immediate action: In case of deviant behaviour, a teacher must take immediate action.
2. Stop teaching in case of misbehaviour: The moment the teacher stops teaching, it is clear that the teacher means business and will not tolerate misbehaviour in the class.
3. Change seats: If few students disrupt the class, change their seats. Separating the troublemakers is quite effective in controlling indiscipline.
4. Adapt and be sensitive: In case the entire class is gradually getting out of control, then it’s a signal that the activity is boring. The best way of n Laughter is a natural, universal phenomenon, with beneficial effects, which is both physical and psychological.
n Everyone loves a teacher with an infectious sense of humour.
n It builds cordial relationship.
n It has the ability to relax people and reduce tension.
n It is an effective advertising strategy.
n Teaching with the help of cartoon is a very effective way.
n When there is a willingness to change, there is hope for progress in any field.
n Students enjoy humour in forms of funny anecdotes.
Teaching with Sense of Humour
controlling them is by changing the activity, for example, if they are reading, immediately switch over to a writing task, which would keep them all quiet and involved. The teacher must learn to adapt and be sensitive to the mood of the class.
5. Counsel after class: One of the most effective ways of tackling a student is by giving counselling after class. The teacher should also clearly explain the consequences of not improving.
6. Talk to the parents: In several cases, a talk with the parents will improve the behaviour of the student.
It would also give a better insight into the reasons for indiscipline by individual students.
Interdependence of Teaching, Learning, and Evaluation
Teaching has been defined as the process of facilitating learning and the term learning is broadly defined as the process of acquiring knowledge, attitude, skills, habits and abilities. To determine whether teaching has facilitated learning and if yes, upto what an extent, evaluation is carried out. In other words, teaching, learning and evaluation are the three inter-dependent aspects of the educative process. This interdependence is clearly seen when the main purpose of instruction is conceived in terms of helping students achieve a set of learning outcomes that include changes in the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains. There is a direct relationship among the four important factors of the educational system, such as objective, curriculum, method and evaluation. As Indian Education Commission (1944–1966) has remarked, ‘It is now agreed that evaluation is a continuous process, it forms an integral part of the total system of education, and is intimately related to educational objectives. It exercises a great influence on pupil’s study habits and the teacher’s method of instruction and this helps not only to measure educational achievement but also to improve it’.
Evaluation is a systematic process of collecting, analysing and interpreting information to determine the extent to which instructional objectives are being achieved.
Perhaps the most comprehensive definition of evaluation has been given by Beeby, ‘Evaluation is the systematic collection and interpretation of evidence leading as a part of process to a judgement of value with a view to action’.
From this definition, it is clear that the following four key elements constitute the process of evaluation.
1. Systematic collection of evidence (Example: score) 2. Its interpretation 3. Judgement of value 4. With a view to action Difference between Measurement, Assessment and
Measurement is the quantitative description of one’s performance. For example, a student scored 92 in Mathematics, 75 in Science, 65 in Social Science, 64 in Hindi and 68 in English.
Gathering information Measurement
Assessment is the second step of evaluating student’s performance. The description that a student stood first in the class represents the concept of assessment. It makes student’s performance more meaningful. Unless we interpret, analyse, rank-order and compare one’s individual score with the average score of the group, we cannot find out one’s relative position in a group.
If in case of a student, the case of a student, we find that she has ‘improved significantly in half-yearly examination’ in comparison to her performance in the earlier examinations. What does it mean? We can conclude that this type of judgement carry certain value and add to the performance of student to make it more meaningful.
While forming the judgement like ‘improved significantly’, the earlier performance of student in the previous examinations has been taken into consideration by the teacher. When we add value to the assessment of student performance, we carry out evaluation of their performance.
Functions of Evaluation
Evaluation does not end with the summarization of results. It has direct bearing on the improvement of the system as a whole. The functions of evaluation are as follows.
1. Feedback: To assess strengths and weaknesses.
2. Motivation: The mere realization that you would be evaluated propels a student to work hard.
3. Better guidance: Crucial for the growth of pupils.
4. Remediation: It helps in locating the areas that require remedial measures.
5. Facilitates planning: It helps the teacher in planning, organizing and implementing learning activities.
6. Revision of curriculum.
7. Inter-institutional comparison.
8. Educational decision-making: It relates to selection, classification, placement, promotion, etc.
9. Submission of progress report to parents.
Types of Evaluation
A good evaluation device is one which secures valid evidence regarding the desired change of behaviour.
A teacher needs to know the various devices that are helpful in gathering evidence on the changes taking place in a pupil. The following table depicts the categorization of evaluations that is very important from NTA-NET Exam point of view. It is important to mention here that there is some overlapping among different concepts.
According to basic nature: They can be categorized into quantitative and qualitative techniques: Quantitative Techniques
1. Written examination: It is also known as paper pencil test. In this technique, the answers are to be written as per the instruction of questions.
2. Oral examination: They supplement the written examination. Examples are test of reading ability, and pronunciation and viva voce is also an example.
3. Practical examination: These tests are necessary to test experimental and manipulative skills of a learner, particularly in subjects, such as science, technology, agriculture, craft, and music.
1. Observation and interviews: Observation is used to evaluate the behaviour of the pupil in controlled and uncontrolled situations. It is purposive and systematic and carefully viewing or observing the behaviour and recording it. Interview is sometimes superior to other devices. It is because of the fact that pupils are usually more willing to talk than write.
2. Checklist: A checklist is an instrument that is used for collecting and recording evidence regarding significant behavioural tendencies of the pupils or specific problems they present in the classroom.
3. Rating scale: Rating is a term applied to the expression of opinion or judgement regarding some situation, object or character. Rating scale is a device by which judgements can be quantified.
4. Cumulative records: Anecdotal records, cumulative record cards and diaries of pupils are some other devices used in evaluation process to know the details about a child’s behaviour.
Type of Evaluation on the Basis of Phase of Instruction
In the various phases of instruction, evaluation is integrated. The four types of evaluation are placement, formative, diagnostic and summative.
1. Placement evaluation: The key word which is used for placement assessment is the ‘entry behaviour’.
It determines the knowledge and skills the students possess, which are necessary at the beginning of instruction in a given subject area. Evaluation of entry behaviour is done just before teaching starts, a teacher should know the previous knowledge of students. This helps teacher to organise teaching-learning activities according to the previous knowledge of learners.
Various entrance exams can also be conducted for the same purpose. This is also done to see the knowledge base of students and a teacher can start discussion keeping that in view.
2. Formative evaluation: It is also known as internal valuation, it is done during the programme before its completion. It focuses on the process. It is conducted more than once depending upon the length of activity. This evaluation provides the student with feedback regarding his or her success or failure in attaining the instructional objectives. It also identifies the specific learning error that needs to be corrected. For instance, a student learns and scores high on the objective part of the test but fails in the essay part. He is reinforced to exert more effort in answering essay questions in the succeeding tests. For a teacher, formative evaluation provides information for making instructions and remedies more effective. Formative evaluation is quite helpful in the early stage of development of a programme as it helps in improving the programme. The examples of formative evaluation are unit end tests, monthly test, quarterly tests, etc.
3. Diagnostic evaluation: While the formative evaluation determines the extent to which students accomplish the learning targets, the diagnostic evaluation goes a step further and tries to provide an explanation for the possible causes for problems in learning. Thus, diagnostic tests are more comprehensive and detailed. Diagnostic evaluation is done at any time in the programme to pin point anything wrong in the programme. This helps the teacher in correcting the problems immediately, thereby, improving the course.
4. Summative evaluation (external evaluation):
As the name indicates, it is done at the end or completion of the course.
It determines the extent to which the objectives of instruction have been achieved and is used for assigning course grades. Summative evaluation
|According to approaches||According to phase of instruction/function||According to nature of reference||According to purpose||According to grades|
|1. Placement||1. Norm referenced||1. Diagnostic tests||Direct|
|2. Formative||2. Criterion referenced||2. Aptitude tests|
|3. Diagnostic||3. Achievement tests||Indirect|
|4. Summative||4. Proficiency tests|
Types of Evaluation and their Functions
1. According to nature of reference: Here, normreferenced testing and criterion-referenced testing can be termed as the two alternative approaches to educational testing. Though there are some similarities between these two approaches to testing, there are also fundamental differences between the two. These are termed as complementary approaches.
|Areas of function||Types of evaluation and their functions|
|After instructions||Summative evaluation (To certify the learner)|
|During instructions||Diagnostic evaluation|
(To solve learning difficulties)
|Formative evaluation (To provide feedback on the teaching-learning process and to know mastery in content)|
|Before instructions||Placement evaluation (To know entry behaviour)|
Scholastic Assessment 2. Criterion-referenced evaluation: Glasar (1963) first used this term, ‘Criterion-reference test’ to describe the learner’s achievement on a performance continuum.
Consider the following statements: (a) Amit scored 95 or 95% marks in Mathematics.
(b) The typing speed of Davinder is 58 words per minute.
A criterion-referenced test is used to ascertain an individual’s status with respect to a defined achievement domain. In the above statements, there is no reference to the performance of other members of the group. Thus, criterionreferenced evaluation determines an individual’s status with reference to well-defined criterion behaviour. There are clearly defined learning outcomes which serve as referents (criteria). Success of criterion-reference test lies in the delineation of all defined levels of achievement which are usually specified in terms of behaviourally stated instructional objectives. The purpose of criterion-referenced evaluation or test is to assess the objectives and that’s why it is termed as objective based test. The objectives are assessed, in terms of behavioural changes among the students. Hively and Millman (1974) suggested a new term, domain-referenced that has a wider connotation.
A criterion referenced test can measure one or more assessment domain/s.
3. Norm referenced evaluation: A norm-referenced test is used to ascertain an individual’s status with respect to the performance of other individuals on that test. It is normally used in competitive exams.
Consider the following statements: (i) Amit stood third in Mathematics test.
(ii) Rajesh scored 98 percentile that means only 2% candidates scored better than him. This is used in CAT for admission into IIMs and some other top notch institutes in India. In the above statements, the person’s performance is compared to others of their group and the relative standing position of the person in his/her group is mentioned. We compare an individual’s performance with similar information about the performance of others.
Norm-referenced tests are mostly easy but can be tough as well Reflective Prompts Reflective prompts is a technique in which the teacher provides a set of flexible questions to the students that prompt them to reflect on their own learning. In this technique, each student answers some questions such as given below after completion of a lesson/unit by the teacher. If the test scores are interpreted in terms of an individual, then they are known as self-referenced.
Types of Evaluation Tests of the Basis of Purpose
Though there is some overlapping with the evaluation techniques as discussed earlier, purpose-specific category includes tests designed to achieve a specific purpose of evaluation. Generally four test-types are identified in this category. Let us briefly present the features of each of these.
These tests help us in identifying ‘area of learning’ in which a learner may need a remedial course and they provide us a profile of what the learner knows and does not know. A diagnostic test may consist of a battery of a number of sub-tests to cover sub areas.
Aptitude tests basically serve a predictive function, they help us in identifying potential talents and desirable characteristics which are essential for one to be competent to perform a specific task. These tests are generally used while selecting people for special courses.
As the name indicates, such tests aim to measure the extent to which the objectives of a course have been achieved. The usual end-of-course exam may be taken as a typical example of an achievement test.
These tests aim to assess the general ability of a person at a given time. Their scope is governed by a reasonable exception of what abilities learners of a given status (say, matriculates or graduates) should possess.
Grading System of Evaluation
The word ‘grade’ is derived from the Latin word Gradus which means ‘step.’ In educational measurement, grading involves the use of a set of symbols to communicate the level of achievement of the students. Types of Grading
1. Direct grading: In direct grading, the performance exhibited by an individual is assessed in qualitative terms and the impression so obtained by the examiner is directly expressed in terms of letter grades. The advantage of direct grading is that it minimizes the inter-examiner variability.
Moreover, it is easier to use in comparison to indirect grading. Direct grading lacks transparency.
2. Indirect grading: In this method, the performance of an examinee is first assessed in terms of marks and subsequently transformed into letter grades by using different modes. This transformation may be carried out in terms of both ‘absolute grading’ and ‘relative grading’ as discussed below.
(a) Absolute grading: Absolute grading is a conventional technique of evaluation. It is based on a pre-determined standard that becomes a reference point for assessment of students’ performance. It involves direct conversion of marks into grades, irrespective of the distribution of marks in a subject. For example, the categorization of students into five groups, namely, distinction (75% and above), first division (60% and less than 75%), second division (45% and less than 60%), third division (33% and less than 45%) and unsatisfactory (Below 33%).
(b) Relative grading: Relative grading is generally used in public examination. In this system, grade of a student is decided not by her performance alone rather than performance of the group. This type of grading is popularly known as ‘grading on the curve.’
Choice Ba Sed Credit System (Cbcs)
Ministry of Human Resource Development has started the process for developing New Education Policy (NEP) in our country to bring out reforms in Indian education system. With UGC has more active participation, it has already initiated several steps to bring equity, efficiency and academic excellence in National Higher Education System. The important ones include innovation and improvement in course- curricula, introduction of paradigm shift in learning and teaching pedagogy, examination and education system. The education plays enormously significant role in building of a nation. There are quite a large number of educational institutions, engaged in imparting education in our country. Majority of them have entered recently into semester system to match with international educational pattern. There has been complete lack of relationship between education, employment and skill development in conventional education system. The present alarming situation necessitates transformation and/ or redesigning of education system, not only by introducing innovations but developing “learner-centric approach in the entire education delivery mechanism and globally followed evaluation system as well.
Majority of Indian higher education institutions have been following marks or percentage based evaluation system, which obstructs the flexibility for the students to study the subjects/courses of their choice and their mobility to different institutions. There is need to allow the flexibility in education system, so that students depending upon their interests and aims can choose interdisciplinary, intra-disciplinary and skill-based courses. This can only be possible when choice based credit system (CBCS), an internationally acknowledged system, is adopted. The choice based credit system not only offers opportunities and avenues to learn core subjects but also exploring additional avenues of learning beyond the core subjects for holistic development of an individual.
Advantages of the choice based credit system:
1. Shift in focus from the teacher-centric to studentcentric education.
2. Student may undertake as many credits as they can cope with (without repeating all courses in a given semester if they fail in one/more courses).
3. CBCS allows students to choose inter-disciplinary, intra-disciplinary courses, skill oriented papers (even from other disciplines according to their learning needs, interests and aptitude) and more flexibility for students).
4. CBCS makes education broad-based and at par with global standards. One can take credits by combining unique combinations. For example, Physics with Economics, Microbiology with Chemistry or Environment Science etc.
5. CBCS offers flexibility for students to study at different times and at different institutions to complete one course (ease mobility of students).
6. Credits earned at one institution can be transferred. Though difficult to adopt, the uniform grading system will also enable potential employers in assessing the performance of the candidates. In order to bring uniformity in evaluation system and computation of the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) based on student’s performance in examinations, the UGC has formulated the guidelines to be followed.
Outline of Choice Based Credit System
1. Core course: A course, which should compulsorily be studied by a candidate as a core requirement is termed as a Core course.
2. Elective course: Generally a course which can be chosen from a pool of courses and which may be very specific or specialized or advanced or supportive to the discipline/subject of study or which provides an extended scope or which enables an exposure to some other discipline/subject/domain or nurtures the candidate’s proficiency/skill is called an Elective Course.
3. Discipline Specific Elective (DSE) Course:
Elective courses may be offered by the main discipline/ subject of study is referred to as Discipline Specific Elective. The University/Institute may also offer discipline related Elective courses of interdisciplinary nature (to be offered by main discipline/ subject of study).
4. Dissertation/Project: An elective course designed to acquire special/advanced knowledge, with an advisory support by a teacher/faculty member is called dissertation/project.
5. Generic Elective (GE) Course: An elective course chosen generally from an unrelated discipline/subject, with an intention to seek exposure is called a Generic Elective.
6. Ability Enhancement Courses (AEC): This may be of two kinds: Ability Enhancement Compulsory Courses (AECC) and Skill Enhancement Courses (SEC). “AECC” courses are the courses based upon the content that leads to Knowledge enhancement; Skill Enhancement Courses (SEC): These courses may be chosen from a pool of courses designed to provide value-based and/or skill-based knowledge.
Central/State Universities have lot of flexibility in deciding common minimum syllabi of the core papers and at least follow common minimum curriculum as fixed by the UGC. This allows deviation from the syllabi being 20 % at the maximum.
Computer Ba Sed Testing (Cbt)
CBT seems to be catalyst for changes in pedagogical methods. It brings about a transformation in learning, pedagogy and curricula in educational institutions. The setting is the basis of both computer-based and paper-based testing.
Benefits of Computer-Based Testing (CBT)
1. More frequent testing opportunities 2. Data rich results 3. Increasing candidate reach 4. Streamlined logistics There are two types of CBT which include:
1. Linear test: This involves a full-length examination in which the computer selects different questions for individuals without considering their performance level.
2. Adaptive test: Here the computer selects the range of questions based on individuals performance level. These questions are taken from a very large pool of possible questions categorized by content and difficulty.
Using the waterfall model, the CBTS SDLC was split up into a number of independent steps. Each step was carried out in sequence and accordance to one after the other. The previous stage is always completed before moving to the next stage of the life cycle.
1. Requirements analysis and definition 2. System and software design 3. Implementation and unit testing 4. Integration and system testing 5. Operation and maintenance In India, CBT has been started for number of exams such as by IBPS for banking exams and currently by National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct exams for UGC, NEET, GPAT, GMA etc.
Curriculum Framework, Curriculum And Syllabus
Until 1976, Indian constitution allowed the state governments to take decisions on all matters pertaining to education including curriculum. The centre could only provide guidance to the states on policy issues.
National Council for Education Research and Training developed National Curriculum Framework (NCF) in 1975 following the recommendations of Education Policy on 1968.
In 1976, the constitution was amended to include education in the concurrent list and for the first time in 1986 the country as a whole had a National Policy on Education (NPE-1986) which envisions NCF as a means of modernizing education, taking into consideration the capability of responding to India’s geographical and cultural diversity while ensuring the common core values and a comparable standards of education.
NPE-1986 emphasized a relevant, flexible and learnercentred curriculum. NCF was subsequently revised in the years 1988, 2000 and 2005. The curriculum framework is a plan that interprets educational aims with regard to both individual and society. This plan leads to an understanding of the kinds of learning experiences that an educational institute must provide to children.
Curriculum is perhaps best thought of as the sum total of all deliberately planned set of activities, which facilitate learning and are designed to implement specific educational aims.
It is a plan to explain what concepts are to be transacted, what knowledge, skills and attitudes are to be deliberately developed among learners. It includes statements of criteria for selection of content and choice of methods for transaction of content as well as evaluation. It is concerned with the following factors.
1. The general objectives of education at a particular stage or class.
2. Subject-wise learning objectives and content.
3. Course of studies and time allocation.
4. Teaching-learning experiences.
5. Teaching-learning instructional facilities and materials.
6. Evaluation of learning and feedback to learners.
In reference to the discussion given above, it would mean that curriculum core and syllabus put together form the curriculum.
It is a document that gives details of the content of subjects to be transacted and the skills, knowledge and the attitude which are to be deliberately fostered together with the stage (level) specific objectives.
Syllabus is a descriptive list of subjects to be covered and a summary of their contents. It describes and summarizes what should be taught to the students, it may have details, such as schedule, assessments, assignments, projects, etc. Thus, it may highlight the schedule of assignments, projects and exams, etc.
Main Differences Between Syllabus and Curriculum
1. The syllabus is described as the summary of the topics covered to be taught in the particular subject.
Curriculum refers to the overall content, taught in an educational system or a course.
2. The curriculum has a wider scope than the syllabus.
Syllabus is descriptive in nature, but the curriculum is prescriptive. Syllabus varies from teacher to teacher while the curriculum is same for all teachers.
3. The syllabus is accessible to the learners, at the beginning of course in secondary or tertiary education. They can use it as a guide for their studies. On the other hand, curriculum is not made available to the learners unless they specifically ask for it.
4. Syllabus is set for a particular subject, unlike curriculum, that covers a particular course of study or a program.
5. Syllabus is mostly prepared by the teachers.
Conversely, a curriculum is decided by the government or school or college administration.
6. The duration of a syllabus is for a year only, but curriculum lasts till the completion of the course.
Basic Approaches to Curriculum
1. Subject-centred curriculum: Here it is assumed that universal and objective knowledge can be transmitted directly from those who have acquired the knowledge to those who have not.
Lecture is the most commonly used method to communicate subject knowledge to students.
Students generally memorize the subject content provided by the teacher or textbook. Examinations test the content knowledge of students.
2. Behaviourist curriculum: Behaviourist psychologists view learning as change in behaviour and learning objectives are defined in terms of behavioural change. Knowledge is the capability for action, identified as the ‘successful performance of tasks.’ The only way to determine whether or not students ‘know’ or ‘do not know,’ something is to see how they behave in certain situations. The following falls within the scope of behaviourist theories of learning: (a) Competency-based curriculum (b) Criterion referenced curriculum (c) Mastery learning (d) Programmed learning These approaches assume that large or complex tasks can be broken down into small or simpler tasks and these can be sequenced in order from simple to complex. In competency-based curriculum, terminal competencies are defined in behavioural terms. These are then sub-delineated into sub-competencies. The competency based curriculum (minimum levels of learning) has been developed in India and some other countries.
In behaviourist curriculum, the teachers are instrumental to implement curriculum developed by curriculum developers. Teachers do not question the ‘ends or means of curriculum.’ The behaviourist curriculum does not take into consideration the learner’s experiences, context and cognitive predispositions. The learners are treated as passive receivers of knowledge and teachers are regarded as transmitter of knowledge.
Chalk and talk is the common method of teaching. Learners memorize, recite or study their lessons silently without questioning. Childhood is viewed as the preparation for adulthood within the society. The education aims at developing such knowledge and skills which will be helpful for students to serve society in their adult life. Critiques of subject-centred and behaviourist approaches say that these curricula do not help in achieving the aim of all-round development of the learner.
3. Learner centred curriculum: Here the purpose is to stimulate and nurture growth of learners and teachers must trust in the innate abilities of learners. The learning is viewed from a constructivist perspective.
Learning is more effective when learners engage with stimulating environment, get involved in inquiry and make meaning for themselves out of interactions with environment. Here, the mantra is ‘what is happening within’ and the learner stands between stimulus and response. The curriculum must engage learners with stimulating experiences by arranging suitable learning environment. The educators are interested in parameters, such as the state of learner’s cognitive structures, her meaning-making abilities and her creative spirit.
‘Constructivist curriculum’ is based on the following assumptions.
(a) Knowledge is actively constructed, invented, created or discovered by learners. It is not passively received and stored by learners.
(b) Knowledge cannot be separated from the process of learning. It is based on learner’s conceptual structures and prior experiences.
(c) Learners are constantly constructing and reconstructing their cognitive structures, both as a result of newly acquired knowledge and as a result of their reflection on previously acquired knowledge.
(d) Social interactions with peers and adults in a cultural context are important in the construction of knowledge.
(e) Concept formation progresses from concrete to abstract slowly.
(f) Learners have different learning styles and teaching–learning should accommodate this process.
(g) The teacher in constructivist curriculum is the provider of the learning environment and a facilitator of learning.
Educat ion and Teaching-related Important Day
|January 04||World Braille Day—A form of written language for blind people, in which the characters are represented by patterns of raised dots that are felt with the fingertips.|
|January 24||National Girl Child Day also known as Balika Divas.|
|February 21||International Mother Language Day|
|February 28||National Science Day—To commemorate invention of the Raman Effect in India by the Indian physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman on the same day in 1928.|
|June 21||International Day of Yoga— United Nations proclaimed 21 June as International Yoga Day.|
|September 5||Teachers’ Day is celebrated on 5 th September every year, which is also the birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the first Vice-President of independent India and the second President of the country.|
|September 8||International Literacy Day—To highlight the importance of literacy in life and remind ourselves of the status of literacy and adult learning worldwide.|
|September 14||Hindi Day|
|October 5||World Teachers’ Day—UN World Teachers’ Day commemorates the work of teachers and their contributions to society.|
|October 11||International Day of Girl Child|
|October 20||World Statistics Day|
|November 1||National Education Day—It is also the birthday of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, eminent educationist and the first Education Minister of independent India.|
|November 14||Children’s Day—It is also the birthday of independent India’s first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.|
|November 20||Universal Children’s Day|
Research: Meaning And Characteristics
Earlier it might have taken thousands of years to double up the amount of knowledge, but now, this may happen every few years. Progress in any domain of knowledge, be it natural science, applied science or social science does not happen without research.
Research is the lifeblood of any institute of higher learning. Research is more than a set of specific skills, it is a way of thinking and it critically examines the various aspects of any professional work.
It is a structured enquiry that utilizes the acceptable scientific methodology to solve pr oblems and create new knowledge that is generally applicable. The enquiry is aimed at understanding a thing or phenomenon or solving a problem. The term research comprises of two words, namely ‘re’ and ‘search’. Generally, ‘re’ means again and ‘search’ means to find out. According to Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, ‘research is a careful investigation or inquiry specially to search for new facts in any branch of knowledge’.
According to Creswell, ‘research is a process of steps used to collect and analyse information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue’.
From the definitions mentioned above, there is a general agreement that research
1. Is a process of enquiry and investigation, 2. Is systematic and methodical and 3. Increases the knowledge.
Cook has beautifully outlined research as an honest, exhaustive, intelligent searching for facts and their meanings or implications, with reference to a problem. To him, research is an acronym of the following that defi nes its essence.
R = Rational way of thinking E = Expert and exhaustive treatment S = Search and solution E = Exactness A = Analysis R = Relationship of facts C = Critical observation, careful planning, constructive attitude and condensed generalization H = Honesty and hard working The scientifi c method consists of systematic observation, classifi cation and interpretation of data. Research is basically scientifi c in nature to provide an objective, which is an unbiased e valuation of data. There is nothing like unscientifi c research approach, even in case of social sciences.
Here, we should know what is scientific method. According to Random House Dictionary, scientific method is a method in which a problem is identified, relevant data is gathered, a hypothesis is formulated, which is empirically tested. Research is like undertaking a journey and one must know about its destination and which route to take. The sequence of steps during the journey is not absolute. At every step, there is multiplicity of methods, approaches and procedures. Here, experience of guide comes handy to guide our actions to achieve our objectives.
For a teacher, the following questions may be important to you.
1. What are the common conditions prevalent among rural students? 2. What are the possible causes of such conditions? 3. What is the degree of satisfaction of parents with the teaching of school? 4. The change in level of understanding of students with the change in method of teaching. The list of questions may be endless. Various research should be carried out to find answers to these questions.
Research adds to the existing stock of knowledge. The main purpose of research is to discover answers to questions through the application of scientific procedures. The typical objectives of research can be summarized as follows:
1. Gain familiarity with a new phenomenon or develop new insight into a phenomenon.
2. Review and synthesize the existing knowledge.
3. Investigate some existing situation or problem.
4. Offer solutions to a problem.
5. Explore and analyse more general issues.
6. Construct or create a new procedure or system.
7. Generate new knowledge. The actual research may encompass one or the combination of any of the above objectives.
Motivation In Conducting Research
Although there is some overlapping between the research objectives and motivation for undertaking research, they are different. Some factors, single or combined, for undertaking any research are as follows.
1. Acquire a research degree along with its consequential benefits.
2. Face the challenge in solving unsolved problems.
3. Intellectual satisfaction of doing some innovative work.
4. Service to the society.
5. Desire to enhance the social status.
6. Input for policy decision-making.
However, the list for motivating people to undertake research studies is not exhaustive.
There are certain common desirable characteristics in the research process. However, there is a word of caution, that there is an overlapping in the meaning and scope of these characteristics. They ensure that research is free of biases, prejudices and subjective errors.
1. Objectivity: It means research is without any bias. All other characteristics are built around it.
Researchers usually take utmost precautions that results are not affected by their own presence, behaviour and attitude. They critically examine the research methods to avoid any bias. The following means can be adopted to ensure objectivity during research process: (a) Procedural safeguards: The processes involved in procedural safeguards is as follows.
(i) Keeping complete records of observations and data analyses in a form that other researchers can understand and evaluate.
(ii) Most scientific reports are written in a similar form and published by organizations of scientists. These reports communicate ideas to the entire scientific community and open those ideas to criticism.
(b) Standardization: It means using uniform, consistent procedures in all phases of data collection.
(c) Operationalization of concepts: It is basically standardizing the meaning of concepts.
An operational definition of a concept defines that concept in terms of how it is measured or what operations produce it.
(d) Avoiding bias: Bias from external influences, personal beliefs, observers’ perspectives and human expectations can distort all data. As we know that research follows scientific approach with the sole purpose of finding out the truth which is hidden and which has not been discovered as yet. But finding the truth may be affected by certain kinds of biases. So, the most formidable challenge in research is to remain objective and free from biases. There can be a variety of biases to distort people’s impressions of collected data.
Let’s discuss some important biases: (i) External influences: One’s culture or opinion created by media (say social media) can influence people to accept a particular world view.
(ii) Personal bias: This may happen due to personal beliefs, attributes or past experiences.
(iii) Observer bias: Some events are taken as meaningful by some and not taken as meaningful by others. Researchers themselves were raised in certain cultures and societies. They also have role expectations. These background factors can all affect the way that researchers observe and interpret events in their lives.
(iv) Expectancy bias: Researchers sometimes expect to find specific outcomes, they may see (or note) what they expect to see rather than remain objective.
(v) Placebo biases: It operates when people strongly want to believe a treatment is successful.
For example, many people may claim to feel better after taking a placebo, such as a sugar pill.
Here it is important to mention that there can be overlapping of biases.
2. Reliability: Reliability in the context of research is consistency. It refers to the extent to which an investigation produces consistent results. It can also be termed as verifiability.
If any research yields similar results each time, then it is undertaken with similar population in the given context and with similar procedures, it is said to be a reliable research.
Suppose a research is conducted on the effects of watching television on the class performance of the children and if the results conclude that watching TV causes low grades in class and if another sample taken from the population shows the same results with the same research procedure, then we can say that the research procedure and the outcomes are reliable. The more the similarity in the results, the more is the reliability of research. The coefficient of determination is also termed as reliability coefficient.
3. Validity: Here, validity in research mainly stands for accuracy of procedures, research instruments, tests, etc. The concept of validity can also be understood by posing a question, ‘are we measuring or able to measure what we originally intended to measure?’.
Validity means that research must be unbiased and free from any systematic error as these may impact the applicability of research. Without validity, research goes in the wrong direction.
Generally, validity is termed to be much more important than reliability. To keep the research on the right track, it is must that the concepts are defined in the best possible manner so that no error occurs during measurement. Different types of validity are given below.
(a) Internal validity: With higher internal validity, a researcher is able to establish better causal relationship between two or more variables. This is specifically true in case of laboratory experiments where cause-and-effect relationship is supposed to be more clearly established.
(b) External validity: It means that external factors that can affect the study must be controlled.
For example, the response of a respondent in social sciences surveys may be affected by the mere presence of a non-participant observer. It also refers to the extent to which the research outcome can be generalized and applied to other cases that are not under study.
Sometimes, internal validity is also termed as credibility and external validity is termed as generalizability or transferability. Both credibility and generalizability have been discussed as separate features also in the ensuing discussion.
(c) Face validity: By valid, we mean that survey and questionnaire accurately measures what they are supposed to measure. For example, all participants who filled a questionnaire meant for measuring certain personality traits agree that this exercise appears to measure those traits and not something very different.
(d) Content validity: The indicator measures all aspects of the construct (or concept as discussed earlier) and not just a part of it.
(e) Criterion validity: The indicator corresponds with and is predictive of measurements using related indicators.
(f) Construct validity: The indicator measures the construct in a manner that is convergent with other measures in terms of direction.
For example: The level of education and income level converge. The indicator also allows discrimination of opposing constructs.
4. Accuracy: It is closely related to validity. It is also the degree to which research processes, instruments and tools are related to each other. Accuracy also measures whether the research tools have been selected in the best possible manner and research procedures suit the research problem or not.
Rigorous scientific methods and procedures have been adopted in research and each step in the research is tested for accuracy. Thus, choosing the best data collection tool improves the accuracy of research.
5. Credibility: It is the use of best source of information and the best procedures in the research. The use of secondary data saves time and reduces cost. However, the excessive reliance on secondary data when the option of primary data is available entails the risk of reducing the credibility of the research. Hence, it has to be a trade-off between primary data and secondary data. The accurate references in research enhances the credibility of research but fake references also decreases the credibility of research.
6. Generalizability: It is closely related to validity. It refers to the degree to which research findings can be applied to a larger population. The sample considered is the representative of the whole population so the findings should also be applicable to the whole population.
7. Empirical research: It is based on real-life experiences, direct experiences or observation by the researcher. It implies that research is related basically to one or more aspects of a real situation and deals with concrete data that provides a basis for external validity to the results of the research.
8. Systematic: For a research to be effective, it has to be systematic. It is the only approach to undertake any research work and each step must follow the other. There are a set of procedures that have been tested over a period of time and are, thus, suitable to use in research. Therefore, each research should follow a definite procedure.
9. Controlled factors: In real-life experience, there is always more than one factor that affects an outcome of an event. Similarly, in research, various factors may affect the outcome and some are taken as controlled factors, whereas the others are tested for possible outcome. The concept of control implies that, in exploring causality in relation with two variables (factors), we set up a study in a way that minimizes the effects of other factors affecting the relationship. The controlled factors or variables have to be controlled rigorously.
In physical sciences, it is easier to control such factors as the experiments are conducted in laboratories.
In social sciences, it is extremely difficult as research is carried out on the issues related to human beings living in society, where exerting such controls are not possible. Moreover, within social sciences, the level of control may vary significantly from one discipline to another.
10. Cyclical: Research is a cyclical process because it starts with a problem and ends with a problem.
11. Logical: The statement, a good research is logical, implies that research is guided by the rules of logical reasoning. Induction and deduction are of great value in research, which have been discussed under types of research.
12. Replicable: This characteristic allows the results of the research to be verified by replicating the study and thereby building a sound basis for decisions.
Positivism and Postpositivistic Approach to Research
The research is basically about gaining knowledge for different purposes. To gain knowledge is a human quest. Different approaches were developed over the period to acquire knowledge through research.
In NET Exams, the questions are asked on basic concepts. These concepts will help the candidates in better understanding of various aspects of research as well.
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that deals with abstract concepts, such as being, knowing, identity, time and space. It is intimately connected with epistemology.
Epistemology is the study of knowledge. It deals with the origin, nature, scope and methods to acquire knowledge. This term was first used by Frederick Ferrier. There are basically two ways to acquire knowledge and they are rationalism and empiricism.
1. Rationalism: Rationalism tends to believe that logic and reason as the means of acquiring knowledge.
Mind is given the authority over senses. This is basically a prior use of logic and reason comes first to conclude something before experience.
Rationalism is associated with deduction.
2. Empiricism: Empiricists claim that sensing experience is the ultimate starting point for all our knowledge. The senses give us all our raw data about the world and without this raw material, there would be no knowledge at all. This is termed as a posteriori.
It is related to induction.
Theory: A theory is a set of systematically related statements, including some law-like generalizations that can be tested empirically. These generalizations provide hypothesis and these hypothesis determine what must be measured.
Research paradigms: A paradigm is a model of the functions and interrelationships of a process, a ‘way of thinking’ about something and how to study it. There is a difference between natural sciences and social sciences and so is the difference between research approaches relating to them. Hence, there are two competing paradigms to acquire knowledge. The paradigms are grouped as positivist paradigm and interpretive paradigms.
The term positivism was coined by the French philosopher Auguste Comte in 19th century and reflected through by Francis Bacon, John Locke, Isaac Newton and contemporary thinkers like Mortiz Schlick, Ernst Mach, Rudolf Carnap among others.
Auguste Comte worked upon Course of Positive Philosophy (1829), Elementary Treatise on Analytic Geometry (1843), the Philosophical Treatise on Popular Astronomy (1844) and The Discourse on the Positive Spirit. Comte also divided the theological stage into three parts, such as Animism, Polytheism and Monotheism.
Bacon proposed that philosophers should not attempt to wander beyond the ‘limits of nature’. Saint– Simon applied the term positive in his Essay on the Science of Man to the sciences which were based on facts which have been observed and analyzed. The term ‘positivist’ has no negative connotation.
In philosophy, positivism mainly adheres to the idea that ‘factual’ knowledge gained through observation (senses and measurement) is trustworthy. Positivism depends on quantifiable observations that lead to statistical analyses. Here, the role of the researcher is limited to data collection and interpretation in an objective way. He is independent from the study and there are no provisions for human interests within the study. Positivists usually adopt deductive approach, the concentration is on facts. The researcher is independent that means maintaining minimal interaction with participants and research is purely objective and world is external. There is one reality, knowable within probability.
Specifically, positivism relies on the following aspects of science.
1. Science is deterministic as it explains the cause and effect relationships.
2. Science is mechanistic as researchers develop hypotheses to be proved or disproved via application of specific research methods.
3. Science uses methods such as selection of sample, measurements, analysis and reaching conclusions about hypotheses.
4. Science deals with empiricism, where it is assessed as objective, as seen or measured. Science must be value free.
Drawbacks of Positivism
Positivism as an epistemology is associated with the following set of disadvantages.
1. Positivism relies on experience as a valid source of knowledge.
2. All types of processes can be perceived as a certain variation of actions of individuals or relationships between individuals.
3. Adoption of positivism in business studies and other studies can be criticized for reliance on status quo.
4. Sometimes positivism is a rejection of metaphysics.
It is a position that holds that the goal of knowledge which is simply to describe the phenomena that we experience. There can be many approaches to carry out the research. Some of them have been mentioned below for the sake of comparison.
Positivist/post-positivist paradigm: To discover laws that are generalizable and govern the universe.
Constructivist/interpretative paradigm: To understand and describe human nature.
Transformative/emancipatory paradigm: To destroy myths and empower people to change society radically.
Postcolonial/indigenous research paradigm: To challenge deficit thinking and pathological descriptions of the former colonized and reconstruct a body of knowledge that carries hope and promotes transformation and social change among the historically oppressed.
According to Collins, we can categorize four sociological traditions and they are listed below.
1. Tradition of conflict: Society is inherently conflictual.
2. Utilitarian-rationalist tradition: Human beings are rational.
3. Holistic tradition: ‘Durkheimian’.
4. Micro-interactionist: Interactions must be analyzed at the micro-relational level. As we discussed, positivism is associated with quantitative research strategies. There is one particular view of how research should be conducted, which suggests that we should carry out research in social sciences in ways that are similar to the methods within the natural sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Biology). Two people observe the same event and understand it differently, based upon their own experiences and beliefs.
Objectivity can be achieved by using multiple measurements and observations and triangulating the data to gain a clearer understanding of what is happening in reality. It is important to note that the post-positivists share a lot in common with positivists, but most of the research approaches and practices in social science today fit better into the post-positivist category.
Since the inception of 21st century, the focus of research shifted from ‘reality’ to ‘critical reality’. Physicists like Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr focused on this reality. The emphasis was turned away from absolute certainty to probability. Now the scientist was portrayed as a person who constructs knowledge, instead of just passively noting the laws of nature and no matter how faithfully the scientist adheres to scientific method research, research outcomes are neither totally objective nor unquestionably certain. This approach was called up as post-positivism (or logical empiricism), where it describes a less strict form of positivism. Logical empiricists (or post-positivists) support the idea that social scientists and natural scientists share the same goals for research and employ similar methods of investigation.
It can be distinguished from positivism according to whether the focus is on theory verification (positivism) or on theory falsification (post-positivist). A million white swans cannot prove that all swans are white, but one black swan can disprove this contention.
Critical realism recognizes that observations may involve error and theories can be modified. Reality cannot be known with certainty. Observations are theory laden and influenced by the observer’s biases and worldview.
Methods Of Research
gives an idea about the main basis adopted for the classification of research. Here, it is important to mention that these approaches are not exclusive. The research is usually interdisciplinary. Depending upon the subject area, it is better that the researcher specializes in any one form of research because all research methods have their own advantages and disadvantages.
enlists the basis for classification and the types of research that form a part of it. It is important to note that there is overlapping among different types of research.
Classification of Research on the Basis of Objectives
From the purpose and objectives point of view, a research can be classified as follows.
1. Descriptive research 2. Correlational research 3. Explanatory research 4. Experimental research The following terms are also important.
Interpretive paradigm: It is usually associated with qualitative research strategies. It is specifically applicable in social sciences, such as sociology, political science, etc. According to interpretive approach, the research design should be flexible and unstructured, the methods should be valid and the research design should generate small-scale and intensive data, using insider accounts and based on descriptions of what is seen and what is heard.
Verstehen: The term is closely associated with the work of the German sociologist, Max Weber. In social sciences, such as anthropology and sociology, Verstehen means a systematic interpretive process in which an outside observer of a culture attempts to relate to it and understand others. Verstehen roughly translates to ‘meaningful understanding’ or ‘putting yourself in the shoes of others to see things from their perspective’. The method of the natural sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc.) is explanation (erklären), whereas that of history is understanding (verstehen). The understanding about positivist and interpretive paradigms is crucial to differentiate between quantitative, qualitative and other types of approaches or methods that are basic types of research.
The term ‘Descriptive’ is self-explanatory and the research that describes a situation, an event and an institution is descriptive research. It describes the nature of a situation as it exists at the time of study.
Descriptive research answers the questions who, what, where, when and how…..Descriptive research is a quantitative research method. In simple words, descriptive research is all about describing the phenomenon, observing and drawing conclusions from it.
Here, the information is collected without changing the environment (i.e., nothing is manipulated). It is ‘any study that is not truly experimental’. It includes surveys and fact-finding enquiries with adequate interpretation. National Sample Surveys (NSS) and Census can be taken as the best examples of descriptive research.
Census unveils what exists, but not necessarily known earlier by us with accuracy, such as population, literacy, etc., and also the differences among states. ‘The study of socio-economic status of distance education students in India’ describes the gender composition, economic status of students, rural-urban composition, etc. The findings (description) of one such study, say in 2009, can be different than what one would find in a similar study in 2019. The aim of descriptive research is to describe ‘what exists’ with respect to variables or conditions in a situation.
Studying relationships between two or more variables also falls under the scope of descriptive studies. For example, ‘study the problem of relationship between residential status of learners and their performance in university examination’. We can go little beyond and study the cause and effect relationships among variables. You may try to find out the causes of drop out among the rural background students.
For example, in human research, a descriptive research can provide information about the naturally occurring health status, behaviour, attitudes or other characteristics of a particular group. Depending upon the number of times the data is collected, descriptive research can be of two types:
1. Cross-sectional study: Onetime interaction or one time data collection.
2. Longitudinal study: A study that collects data more than once from the same individuals. Two specific examples are being given here,
1. Ministry of Agriculture would like to know about the crop patterns across different states in India and 2. School principal may be interested to know about the result of his own school in comparison to other schools in the district.
Types of Descriptive Research
This categorization helps us to understand the phenomenon (research) more clearly.
Classification of Research
|S. No.||Basis of classification||Types|
|5.||Inquiry mode||1. Structured|
|6.||Idea or concept||1. Conceptual|
Survey research, correlational studies, and causalcomparative studies are the main types of descriptive research. Ex post facto, historical, exploratory and analytical research are other variants of descriptive research and many times are used interchangeably.
1. Survey studies: Often, descriptive research itself is equated with survey research. It is better to consider survey as one category of research under descriptive research. Surveys are conducted to create authentic descriptions of existing situation, phenomena that help carrying out situational analysis, diagnosing problems and make more informed decisions and intelligent plans for improving the situation. The objective may not only be to ascertain the status, but also to evaluate the status against pre-decided norms or established standards. Researcher needs to collect data according to the purpose of survey.
2. Correlational studies: As the name indicates, the purpose of correlational studies is to explore whether there is any relationship or interdependence between two variables or characteristics, and to ascertain the degree of such relationships. The value of correlational research is to discover relationships among phenomena with a view to predict and in some situations, controlling their occurrence. Much of social sciences research in general and educational research in particular, is concerned with establishing interrelationships among variables. They enable us to measure the extent to which variations in one variable are associated with variations in another.
Some examples of descriptive research are as follows: (a) How performance of learners is related to their learning skills and study habits? (b) Whether a relationship exists between the number of years spent in full-time education and subsequent annual income? (c) Whether there is a link between personality and achievement? Correlational studies are generally intended to answer the following three questions.
1. Is there a relationship between two variables (or two sets of data)? If ‘yes’, then two other questions follow: (a) What is the direction of the relationship and is it positive or negative? (b) What is the magnitude of the relationship as indicated by the coefficient of correlation? The correlational statistics will help test researchers hypothesis about the relationship between two variables and assess the magnitude of the relationship.
Ex Post Facto Research
1. It is used in social sciences and business organizations.
2. It is conducted in context of a phenomenon after it has occurred or at the time of its occurrence.
3. It basically deals with non-manipulated variables of a phenomenon.
1. It is another dimension of descriptive research and somewhat similar to ex post facto research.
2. It usually focuses on the historical aspect of an issue of interest or problem.
3. Examples are growth of trade unions in India, evolution of modern education system in India, etc.
1. In this method, the researcher uses facts or information already available.
2. It attempts to make critical evaluation of the material.
Explanatory research attempts to answer how and why between two aspects of a situation or a phenomenon.
For example, why examinationrelated stress leads to rote learning? Why and how stress leads to a heart disease? Exploratory Research
1. It is generally done in the beginning of a research.
It is undertaken to explore an area where little is known or to investigate the possibilities of undertaking a particular research study and is akin to feasibility study or pilot study. A ‘small-scale study’ is undertaken to decide whether it is worth carrying out a detailed investigation.
2. It attempts to clarify why and how there is a relationship between two or more aspects of a situation or phenomenon.
3. The purpose of exploratory research is to gain background information, to define terms, to clarify the problems, to develop hypothesis, to establish research priorities and objectives, and to develop questions to be answered.
4. It makes use of secondary data (mainly literature review), experience surveys, case studies, interviews (mainly focus groups’ interviews), projective techniques, and Delphi techniques.
Experimental research is designed for establishing causal relationships. It begins with a question concerning the relationship between two or more variables.
Simultaneously, the researcher develops one or more hypotheses to state the nature of expected relationship. The experiment is the event planned and carried out by Then researcher tries to get evidence. The application of experimental method yielded better results in physical sciences. Therefore, this method was soon applied to other sciences like biological sciences and medicine.
In its simplest form, an experiment has three characteristics as follows:
1. An independent variable is manipulated.
2. All other variables except the independent variables are held constant.
3. The effect of manipulation of the independent variable on the dependent variable is observed. The variable upon which the effects of changes are observed is called the dependent variable, which is observed but not manipulated by the experimenter. The dependent variable is so named because its value is hypothesized to depend upon and vary with the value of the independent variable.
For example, to examine the effect of different teaching methods upon achievement in reading, an investigator would manipulate method, the independent variable, by using different teaching methods in order to ascertain their effect upon achievement, the dependent variable.
Three Characteristics of Experimental Research
There are three essential ingredients in the conduct of an experiment and they are control, manipulation and observation. We shall discuss each of them as follows.
1. Control: Control is the first essential ingredient of experimental method. The main purpose of ‘control’ in an experiment is to arrange a situation in which the effect of variables can be measured, specifically to evaluate the effects of an independent variable.
A high degree of control is much easier to achieve in a physical sciences, such as in a laboratory setting.
In the laboratory, there are only a limited number of variables which can be manipulated easily.
However, social sciences research as human beings are involved, there are always many variables present in a situation. In such situations, the law of the single significant variable is more appropriate.
For example, if you were to study the effect of two methods of teaching Mathematics to two groups of children, then you are likely to select the two groups which are identical in every aspect regardless of the method in which they are taught arithmetic.
But it is impossible to have two groups that are identical in every respect to the extent possible. The variables identified could be, general intelligence, motivation, reading ability, etc. Other variables, such as height and weight, that are not likely to affect achievement in arithmetic can be ignored while establishing the similarity of the two groups.
An extraneous variable is a variable that is not related to the purpose of the study but may affect the dependent variable.
2. Manipulation: Manipulation of a variable is another distinguishing characteristic of experimental research. It refers to a deliberate operation performed by the researcher. In contrast to the descriptive research, in which the researcher simply observes conditions as they occur naturally, the researcher in the experimental research actually sets the stage for the occurrence of the factors whose performance is to be studied under conditions where all other factors are controlled or eliminated.
For example, if the researcher compares two methods of teaching, then the method of teaching is the independent variable and can be manipulated by the teacher. We may manipulate a single variable or a number of variables simultaneously.
3. Observation: In experimentation, we are interested in the effect of the manipulation of the independent variable on a dependent variable.
Reflexivity refers to circular relationships between cause and effect. A reflexive relationship is bidirectional with both the cause and the effect affecting one another in a relationship in which neither can be assigned as causes or effects. For example, poverty is the main cause of unemployment and unemployment is the main cause of poverty.
Classification of Research on the Basis of Application
On the basis of application, research is of two types, namely pure (or basic research) and applied research.
Classification of Research on the Basis of Application
|Fundamental research||Applied research|
|Addition to knowledge||Solution to existing problems|
|Discovery or invention||Innovation or application|
|Mostly academic||Practical use in solving a problem|
|Extensive in nature||Intensive in nature|
1. The main purpose of basic research is to add to the existing stock of knowledge and thus, it can be intellectually challenging.
2. The knowledge produced through pure research is sought in order to add to the existing body of research methods.
3. It is not likely to have any practical application at the present time or even in the future.
1. Applied research is done to solve specific, practical questions facing the society.
2. It can be used for policy formulation, administration and understanding of a phenomenon.
3. It is always done according to basic research and can be carried out by academic or industrial institutions.
For example, an academic institution, such as a university, will have a specific applied research program funded by an industrial partner interested in that program.
Classification of Research on the Basis of Logic
In research, the conclusions are based on two approaches and they are known as deduction and induction.
It is also termed as top-down or general-to-specific approach.
In deduction, we start from a theory and try to prove it right with the help of available information. The deductive method involves the following three steps.
1. State the hypothesis (based on theory or research literature).
2. Collect data to test the hypothesis.
3. Make decision to accept or reject the hypothesis.
1. All men are mortal (general fact, applies to all men).
2. Socrates is a man.
3. (Therefore,) Socrates is mortal (specific).
It is also termed as bottom-up approach.
In inductive research, we move from specific to general. This approach also involves the following three steps.
1. Observe the different phenomena in the world.
2. Make a search for a pattern in what is observed.
3. Make a generalization about what is occurring.
1. Socrates is mortal (specific).
2. Alexander is mortal (specific), Pluto is mortal and so on (specific).
3. All men are mortal (general). Take another example: 3 + 5 = 8 and eight is an even number. 7 + 59 = 66 and the result is again an even number. Therefore, the conclusion is when an odd number is added to another odd number, the result will be an even number.
Figure 2.2 shows the main components that form a part of inductive and deductive approach.
Classification of Research on the Basis of Inquiry Mode
Basically, the process adopted to find answers to research questions involves two approaches, they are structured and unstructured.
1. The structured approach to inquiry is usually classified as quantitative research.
2. Everything that forms the research process, such as objectives, design, sample and the questions that a researcher plans to ask of respondents, is predetermined.
3. It is more appropriate to determine the extent of a problem, issue or phenomenon by quantifying the variation. For example, how many people have a particular problem? How many people hold a particular attitude? Unstructured Approach
1. The unstructured approach to inquiry is usually classified as qualitative research.
2. It allows flexibility in all aspects of the research process.
3. It is more appropriate to explore the nature of a problem, issue or phenomenon without quantifying it.
Classification of Research on the Basis of Process
It is similar to deductive research. It is also termed as linear research as it typically follows a linear path.
1. Stating with testable hypothesis 2. Collection of data 3. Analysing the data 4. Accepting or rejecting the hypothesis.
Quantitative research is mostly associated with the positivist or post-positivist paradigm. It involves collecting and converting data into numerical form. We can do statistical calculations and draw conclusions.
1. This is basically an approach and not just a method to conduct research.
2. Qualitative research is basically inductive or spiral in nature and has a very different structure. The researcher starts with a tentative idea or question and these questions become more specific with progress in research. Then, a pattern may emerge in research. Thus, in qualitative research, one starts with observation and ends with a theoretical position or stance. Thus, it is inductive in nature, i.e., the research moves from specific to theory.
Qualitative research is appropriate when:
1. The intended research area is not well studied or understood.
3. A holistic perspective is needed.
4. Behavioural aspects of people need to be studied.
5. Measurement techniques like questionnaires are not considered suitable.
6. A researcher is more interested in the process (how it works) and not the product (the outcome). The important methods and approaches used in qualitative research have been discussed below.
1. In-depth interview: This is usually one-to-one interview, with one participant at a time. Though it is systematically planned, it may have unstructured elements as well. The researcher prepares questions in advance to make sure that only the most important questions are asked to the participant. The interview can last anywhere between twenty minutes to half an hour, during which the researcher tries to collect as many meaningful data as possible from the participants to draw inferences.
2. Focus group: A focus group comprises of around 6–10 participants who are usually subject matter experts. A moderator, usually an experienced person, is assigned to a focus group to facilitate the discussion. The role of a moderator is to probe the participants by asking the correct research questions so as to collect research related information.
3. Narrative research: It is an approach to review the literature. Sometimes, it is contrasted with a systematic review. It tends to be less focused than a systematic review and seeks to arrive at a critical interpretation of the literature that it covers.
4. Phenomenology: It is a form of qualitative research in which the researcher attempts to understand how one or more individuals experience a phenomenon. For example, interviewing the wives of 10 prisoners of war and asking them to describe their experiences.
5. Ethnography: It is the process of studying and describing a culture (a culture is the shared attitudes, values, norms, practises, language and material things of a group of people). Ethnographic research is an in-depth form of research where people are observed in their natural environment without any changes. It intends to provide an insider’s picture of a community under study. A researcher may go and live in that specific community and study the culture and their educational practises.
6. Case study research: Case study research is mostly used to study an organization or an entity. This research method has evolved over the years as one of the most valuable qualitative research methods. This type of research is used in the areas of management, education sector, philosophical and psychological. This method involves a deep digging into the developments and collects data.
7. Content analysis: Content analysis is also known as text analysis, this method is a bit different from other qualitative research methods. It is used to analyse the social life by decoding words, texts, etc., through any available form of documentation. The researcher studies and understands the context in which the documents are furnished with the information and then tries to draw meaningful inferences from it. In modern times, researchers follow activities on a social media platform and try to understand the pattern of thoughts.
8. Grounded theory: It is a qualitative approach to generate and develop a theory from data that the researcher collects.
Role play, simulation and diary methods are also used in qualitative research.
Once the candidates go through the research process, they can have a look at the following table again:
Qualitative Research Quantitative Research
Here, the main objective is to develop understanding on
|Qualitative Research||Quantitative Research|
|Here, the main objective is to develop understanding on human beings/social sciences to know what people feel and think.||Researcher decides what to do and what not to, then to generate numerical data and hard facts by employing statistical, logical and mathematical techniques.|
|The main objective of subjective approach here is to explore and gain understanding of the problems.||Objective approach is to describe, explain and quantify the problem.|
|The approach is bottom-up. It explores to know ‘How’ and ‘When’.||The approach is top-down. The objective is to confirm – ‘what’ and ‘when’.|
|Inductive reasoning method starts from observation, then pattern, develop the tentative hypothesis and finally form|
|Deductive reasoning method starts from the theory, then form hypothesis, make the Observation and finally confirm our hypothesis.|
|Verbal data such as words and images. In-depth Interviews, Focus Group Discussion, observation and document reviews||Data collected such as numbers and statistics, structured interviews, surveys and statistical records.|
|Qualitative Research||Quantitative Research|
|Holistic approach contains mostly ‘random sampling’ where we get limited information of more cases. There is higher possibility of methodological innovations.||It is non-random sampling. The specific variables are picked for discussion here.|
|Process oriented inquiry.||Result-oriented inquiry.|
|No statistical tests required.||Statistical tests are necessary to prove the hypothesis.|
|Generation of hypothesis.||Testing of hypothesis.|
|Less generalisable findings.||More generalisable findings.|
|Results are very descriptive.||Results are quite specific.|
|Report of qualitative researches are narrative that includes direct quotation of the participants.||Report of quantitative researches are more statistical that shows the relationship between the variables.|
|Small sample size, large volume of data, researchers bias and creative process are the main issues.||Good statistical analysis, more sample size requirement are the main challenges.|
Introduction: There is a question on action research almost every time in NTA-NET Exam, it has been discussed in detail here. There are two dimensions attached to this word ‘Action Research’, where one is action, which is doing something and second is research, which is analyzing. Action research also means ‘learning by doing’.
Action research refers to a wide variety of evaluative, investigative and analytical research methods designed to diagnose problems or weaknesses, and help researchers to develop practical solutions to address them quickly and efficiently. It may also be applied to programs or educational techniques that are not necessarily experiencing any problems, but that researchers simply want to learn more about the techniques and improve their knowledge. The term ‘action research’ was coined during 1940s by Kurt Lewin, a German-American social psychologist who is widely considered to be the founder of ‘Action Research’. He said ‘if you want to know how things really are, just try to change them’. He defined Action Research as ‘a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, and fact-finding about the result of the action’. Cohen and Manion (1989) described action research as, ‘a small-scale intervention in the functioning of the real world and a close examination of the effects of such intervention’. A lot of research has taken place on ‘action research’.
Features of Action Research: On the basis of various definitions, the following points emerge to describe action research in a comprehensive manner.
1. Situational and problem solving perspective: It usually emerges out of situational needs and a solution to a problem is also designed with respect to the situation.
2. Intervention in real world: As problem emerges in practical real life situation, so action is to be taken in real world as well.
3. Adoption of alternative practices: Through action research, we intend to discover new and alternative ways to achieve our objectives, be it teaching or management sector.
4. Immediate problematic situation: The focus may be more on problems that need urgent attention.
5. Goals of social science: It is mostly in social situations, such as in educational institutions.
6. Collaborative and participatory.
7. Co-learning: As action research is collaborative approach, co-learning is also the outcome.
8. Self-evaluative: Just as action research is self-initiated since it evolves out of the perception of problems by the practising individual or group, it becomes self-evaluative where the action research team evaluates the outcome of the exercise.
9. Action research is a process: It has been discussed in the following paragraphs.
Action Research Process or Cycle
To get an overview first, the basic steps of an action research process constitute an action plan in which we review our current practice, identify an aspect that we want to investigate, imagine a way forward, try it out and take stock of what happens.
Action research is a process by which change and understanding can be pursued at one time. It is usually described as cyclic, with action and critical reflection taking place in turn. The reflection is used to review the previous action and plan the next one. It is commonly done by a group of people, though sometimes individuals use it to improve their practice.
Stephen Kemmis has developed a simple model of the cyclical nature of the typical action research process, that consists of four steps, such as planning, acting, observing and reflecting.
Development and research in any field of life cannot be separated from each other. In order to effectively handle the intricacies of teaching-learning process, apart from being properly trained, a teacher must also be able to comprehend the problems emerging at every step of the process and to find their appropriate and scientific solution. A teacher may face many problems and he or she tries to find an instant solution based on previous experiences, but many times such solution is either partial or temporary. Thus, a teacher needs to find a solution which is based on research, so that the solution obtained really solves the problem. Here, action research comes handy.
1. Suggesting a solution based on above analysis.
2. Testing the solution herself or himself.
3. Accepting the solution only when it satisfies the above test.
Such a process adopted by the teacher to solve her or his own problem is called ‘action research’. Action research is done by practitioners themselves rather than professional researchers. The solution so found may or may be generalizable. In this case, teacher is a part of situation, rather than outside spectator.
1. Planning: First thing to do is to analyze the problem scientifically in the specific perspective in which the problem has emerged. Planning covers the initial reflection. A teacher faces a number of issues in the teaching- learning process which needs to be addressed. It may be a general concern, a perceived need or a problem with a class you are teaching.
Planning entails identification of the problem and changes a teacher can make to overcome the problem.
2. Action: After the planning stage in which all the procedures of investigation have been determined, comes the action stage. This stage is time bound. The researcher has to administer tools to collect data and information.
Systematic analysis has to be done. Results have to be recorded.
3. Observation: During ‘action research’, observation of tools has to be done cautiously. Observation has to be objectively done without any presuppositions. The detailed observations, monitoring and recording enables you to report your findings to others. Those involved in action research should also keep a detailed diary or journal.
4. Reflection: Once the results have been obtained and analysed and conclusions drawn, you are ready to initiate changes in your teaching strategy. This change or modification in the style of teaching is the result of action-research aimed at improving the teaching-learning process. It is also aimed at adopting a new method. You would also reflect on the efficacy of the changes you are bringing in.
Scope of action research in education: As action research is a well-developed research technique. It is also widely used in various sectors, especially in sector education, it covers almost every area of education as mentioned below.
1. Curriculum planning and course material development
2. Programme delivery and learning strategies
3. Student assessment and evaluation
4. Staff development 5. Management and administration
6. Behavioural changes, like attitudes, values, staff motivation, etc. Thus, almost all areas have the potentiality of using action research for solving problems and for improvement of practices.
Both quantitative and qualitative researches are not exclusive. Qualitative research may end in a hypothesis that can be quantitatively tested later. Quantitative research may involve qualitative research elements.
Quantitative research may answer questions, such as the extent and pattern of poverty in India, but it may not be efficient in answering questions, such as what is the experience of facing poverty, hardships, consequences and circumstances that lead to poverty. This may be answered by qualitative research. As quantitative research is generally well known, it may be useful to outline when qualitative research is needed.
Classification of Research on the Basis of Concept
Conceptual research is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or to reinterpret the existing concepts. It is related to some abstract idea or theory.
Empirical research relies on experience or observation alone, which is without due regards for system and theory. It is a data-based research coming up with conclusions that are capable of being verified by observation or experiment.
In this research, the researcher must formulate a working hypothesis. He collects data to prove or disprove his hypothesis. The researcher is in control over the facts. Empirical research is appropriate when proof is sought that certain variables affect other variables in one way or the another.
Steps Of Research
The research process usually adopts the following three criteria:
1. It is conducted within a framework of a set of approaches. It may be qualitative or quantitative and depends upon academic discipline.
2. The logical sequencing of steps undertaken in order to find the answers to the research questions are termed as research methodology. It adopts procedures, methods and techniques that are tested for their validity and reliability.
3. It is unbiased and objective.
According to the definition given by Cresswell, research consists of three basic steps:
1. Formulating a research question or posing a problem, to which the researcher wants to find answers to.
2. Collecting data to answer the questions.
3. Present an answer to the question. These basic steps have been elaborated further in
and discussed in detail in the following paragraphs.
Triangulation: There are multiple realities in social research. It is akin to solving a research problem in multiple ways so as to increase the validity of answer. The triangulation is mostly used in the qualitative research. It entails the use of multiple data sources, multiple investigators and multiple methods.
It also overcomes the problem of subjectivity. It involves the use of multiple data sources, multiple investigators and most importantly, multiple methods (such as participant observation, focus groups, case studies and so on) to get complete understanding of the social phenomena. This provides validity to research process and also overcomes the problem of subjectivity and biasedness to an extent. It is the multiple validations of results. The use of results from one set of data to corroborate those from another type of data is also known as triangulation.
Research Process—a Snapshot
|Step 1: Formulation of Research Problem|
• Literature review
• Formulation of objectives
• Identifying research variables and measuring scales
• Formulating hypothesis
|Step 2: Preparing Research Design|
• Problem structure
• Study design
• Experimental study
• Non-experimental study
|Step 3: Developing Data Collection Instrument (Research Instrument)|
• Types of data
• Methods of data collection
• Designing research tool
|Step 4: Selecting Samples Types of samples|
• Determining sample design
|Step 5: Writing a Research Proposal|
– Types of data
– Justification for funds and other resources
|Step 6: Collecting Data|
|Step 7: Processing and Analyzing Data|
• Editing and Coding
• Classification of data
• Hypothesis testing
|Step 8: Writing a Research Report|
• Title page
• Table of contents
Step 1: Formulation Of The Research Problem
The manner in which a problem is formulated determines almost every step that follows.
Steps in Formulation of a Research Problem
Here, we can start with the concept of ‘context of discovery’. This is the initial phase of research. During this process, observations, belief, information and general knowledge, etc., guide us about a new idea or a different way of thinking about phenomena.
A reasonable level of knowledge in the broad subject area is required to work through these steps. Usually, the following steps are undertaken to formulate a research problem.
Step 1: Identifying a broad area of interest: What really interests me as a professional? As a teacher, I might be interested in the area of teaching methodology or increasing acts of violence among students, psychology or existence of common conditions of the students in an area.
Step 2: Dividing broad areas into subareas: Suppose I want to study acts of violence among students.
It can have various subareas (1) profile of families these students come from, (2) profile of perpetrators, (3) causes for violence, (4) role of politicization of education, (5) impact on society and so on.
Step 3: Focusing on and selecting an area of interest:
The researcher may choose one or two areas for current research because it is not possible to pick many areas simultaneously. Delete the subareas in which you as a researcher do not have any interest and subsequently focus on the area you are passionate about.
Step 4: Identifying the gaps and raising research questions: Within an area, list all the questions the researcher wants to find answers to.
Step 5: Formulation of broad objectives: Objectives grow out of the questions.
Step 6: Assessing and reviewing objectives: As a researcher narrows the research problem, the specific identification of study population is crucial in order to select the appropriate respondents.
Main Considerations in Selecting a Research Problem
These help ensure that your study remains manageable and that you remain motivated.
You can find innumerable research problems in any area. Obviously, you cannot study all the problems.
1. Interest: Research is usually time-consuming and entails the use of resources. Many unforeseen problems may crop up. So the topic should be of interest to the researcher to sustain the desired motivation level.
2. Manageable magnitude: The topic should be manageable within the available time and resources. The broader topic should be broken down to something that is more relevant for the purpose and manageable. It should be specific and clear to the extent possible. The cardinal principle is to choose a research problem that is not too small to be insignificant but not too big to be impossible.
3. Concept measurement: The clarity about indicators and measurement of concepts is required. The idea of construct is important here.
4. Level of expertise: The adequate level of skills for the task is required.
5. Relevance: Though relevance is again a subjective term, the research should add to the existing stock of knowledge and bridge the current knowledge gaps.
6. Availability of data: The availability of data of sources is to be ensured before finalizing the topic.
7. Ethical issues: The ethical issues and their remedies must be anticipated before formulating the problem.
Extensive Literature Review
Literature review is an integral part of entire research process. It makes significant contribution to each and every operational step at a later stage. After passing through this stage, a researcher is able to acquaint oneself with the available body of knowledge in the area of interest. The main objectives of literature review are as follows.
1. It broadens the knowledge of researcher about the research problem.
2. It brings better clarity and focus to the research problem and it also helps to improve the authenticity of research.
3. It helps to improve the research methodology.
4. It helps to contextualize the findings. It means how value addition has been done by the researcher to the existing stock of knowledge. The procedure for reviewing literature covers searching the existing literature, reviewing it and developing a theoretical and conceptual framework. The main sources of literature review are books and journals. In both cases, specifically in journals, there can be a gap of two to three years between the completion of a research project and the publication in a journal.
As with books, the researcher needs to prepare a list of journals for identifying the literatures relevant to his research. Nowadays, researchers make extensive use of the internet sources for literature survey and review, and at the same time, the researcher should be careful about the authenticity of the contents.
Bibliography given at the end of a project gives a clear and complete description of the sources that were used while preparing the report.
Formulation of Objectives
Objectives are the goals you set out to attain in your study. They inform the reader what the researcher wants to accomplish through the research work. The wording of the objective should be very precise and specific.
Objectives can be written under two headings:
1. Main objectives or aims 2. Sub-objectives The main objective is an overall statement of the study.
It also states the main associations and relationships that we want to establish. The sub-objectives are the specific aspects of the topic that you want to investigate within the main framework.
1. They should be listed numerically.
2. The wording should be clear, complete and specific.
3. Each objective should contain only one aspect of the study.
4. Use action-oriented words or verbs when writing objectives. The objectives should start with words, such as ‘to determine’, ‘to find out’, ‘to ascertain’, ‘to measure’, ‘to explore’, etc. The wording of objectives determines the type of research (descriptive, correlational and experimental) and the type of research design you need to adopt to achieve them. For example, in case of descriptive studies, the objective can be stated as, ‘To describe the types of incentives provided by the organizations in Chandigarh to their employees in IT industry’.
In correlational studies, it may state, ‘To ascertain the impact of coaching classes on students’ performance’.
Example of Main Objective and Sub-objectives
The main objective is to explore the relationship between the use of modern teaching techniques and student performance.
The sub-objectives are as follows:
1. To find out the extent of relationship between the use of modern teaching techniques and student performance.
2. To compare the use of modern teaching techniques in government and private schools.
3. To study the impact of modern teaching and the level of motivation of students to learn.
Concepts and Variables
The meanings of terms, such as teaching effectiveness, class performance, job satisfaction may vary from one person to another, from one place to another. Concepts (also known as constructs) are mental images, thus are not directly measurable. For research, we have to define concepts so that they are understood in the same sense by respondents in case we collect data.
Again for research purpose, concepts have to be made measurable, otherwise how the data can be collected.
It means that concepts should be capable of assuming different values. Here, the term indicators and variables come into picture. Anything capable of assuming different values is known as variable.
Let’s take another example, if richness is a concept or construct, then assets and income are its indicators. The asset values and annual incomes are variables. Types of Variables
The variables are classified into categorical and quantitative variables. Quantitative variables vary in degree or amount, such as annual income and categorical variables vary in type or kind such as gender.
Categorical variables have been discussed in subsequent discussion.
On the basis of causation, the variables are basically of two types, namely independent and dependent variables.
In an experiment, one discovers and confirms a relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable.
1. Independent variables (IV) are also known as the manipulated, experimental or treatment variables. They become the cause of another variable. It is the variable manipulated by the researcher in an experiment.
2. Dependent variables (DV) are also called the outcome or response variables. The dependent variable is the variable that changes as a result of changes made on the independent variable.
For example, in the study about impact of coaching on student performance, coaching is independent variable and student performance is dependent variable.
In addition, there can be intervening variables and extraneous variables.
1. Intervening variables: These are also termed as mediator variables. They establish link between IV and DV. These are variables through which one variable affects another variable. These are helpful to understand the process.
For example, tissue damage is an intervening variable in smoking and lung cancer relationship.
We can use arrows (which mean causes or affects) and draw the relationship that includes an intervening variable like the one given below.
Smoking Tissue damage Lung cancer
2. Extraneous variable: (a) In real-life situations, there can be many factors or variables that may affect the outcome. These variables are termed as extraneous variables.
(b) Extraneous variables also affect the dependent variable, although these are not manipulated by the researcher.
(c) They may ‘mask’ the relationship between independent variable and dependent variable.
Extraneous variables may directly affect the dependent variable or may combine with the independent variable to produce an affect. Therefore, extraneous variables must be controlled so that the experimenter can determine whether the dependent variable changes in relation to variation in the independent variable. They actually compete with the independent variable in explaining the outcome.
(d) If an extraneous variable is the real reason for an outcome instead of independent variables, then it is also known as confounding variable because it has confused or confounded the relationship we are interested in. Take an example from teaching. Speed of learning then depends upon meaningfulness of topic, the greater the meaningfulness, the faster the learning. Therefore, the speed of learning is called dependent variable and meaningfulness is independent variable.
On the basis of study design, the variables can be active variables and attribute variables. Active variables can be manipulated or controlled during the study, whereas attribute variables, such as gender, age, etc., cannot be changed, controlled or manipulated.
On the basis of unit of measurement, the variables can be categorical or continuous. Categorical are measured on nominal or ordinal scale and they can be further classified as follows.
1. Constant variable: Only one value, such as flower, tree, etc.
2. Dichotomous variable: Two categories such as male and female, rich and poor, etc.
3. Polytomous variable: More than two categories, such as below average, average, above average, etc.
Measurement of variables is central to research studies.
According to Stevens, measurement scales can be of four types and they are listed below.
1. Nominal scale: It is also termed as classificatory scale. A variable being measured on a nominal scale may have one, two or more subcategories depending upon the extent of variation. For example, gender can be classified into two subcategories, such as male and female.
2. Ordinal or ranking scale: It usually ranks the subgroups in a certain sequence or order. For example, examination marks can be measured either quantitatively, i.e., in absolute terms or in percentage terms or qualitatively using subcategories, like above average, average and below average. The distance between these subcategories may or may not be equal. The socio-economic status can be categorized as lower class, middle class and higher class. The middle class can further be divided into lower middle, middle-middle, and higher middle. The attitudinal or Likert scale also falls in the same category.
3. Interval scale: An interval scale has all the characteristics of an ordinal scale. In addition, it uses a unit of measurement with an arbitrary starting and terminating points. For example, Celsius scale is from 0°C to 100°C.
4. Ratio scale: They are used to gather quantitative information. It combines the properties of nominal, ordinal and interval scales. In addition, it has its own property. It has a fixed starting point. Ratio scale consists of equidistant points and has a meaningful zero point. If we ask respondents about their ages, the difference between any two years would always be the same and zero signifies the absence of age or birth. A 20-year-old person is twice the age of 10-year-old ones. In order to respect the notion of equal distance between adjacent points on the scale, you must make each category of the same size. Therefore, if the first category is `0 to `9,999, then the second category is to be `10,000 to `19,999, and so on. There should be no overlapping of categories, and they should follow a logical order, in increasing order.
If you want to ascertain the attitude of students towards a teacher, the questionnaire framed may be open-ended or close-ended. If the questionnaire is open-ended, it may invite respondents from sample to describe the attitude they hold towards teaching quality.
If the researcher has framed close-ended questions, the respondent is given options, such as strongly agree (SA), agree (A), undecided (U), disagree (D) and strongly disagree (SD). Types of attitudinal scale
As the attitudinal scales are very important in qualitative research, the different types of attitudinal scales are as follows.
1. Likert scale: It is also termed as summated rating scale. It is the easiest one to construct. It is based upon the assumption that each statement or item on the scale has equal attitudinal value, importance or weight. The quality of a teacher may have many dimensions, like use of knowledge base, communication skills, presentation of contents, organization of material, promptness to solve student problems, etc. The respondents may have different attitudes towards different aspects.
Statements about teacher SA A U D SD
1. Knows the subject well (+)
2. Willing to solve students’ problems (+)
3. Have poor communication skills (-)
4. Is hard to approach (-)
5. Good teaching skills (+)
6. Liking/disliking (+/-)
Some statements may be positive, some negative and some neutral. Then, the scores may be assigned to different responses and the score of each respondent is calculated. Some respondents may have more positive attitude than others. There can be numerical scale as well. Instead of SA, A, U, D and SD, it will have values 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1.
2. Thurstone scale: It may assign weightages to the different statements, such as willing to solve student problem may have a weight of 1, the statement about subject knowledge has weight of 1.5, and statement in context of teaching skill can have weight of 2 and the scores are calculated accordingly.
3. Guttman scale: It is mainly based on ratio scale.
It is quite difficult to develop.
Factor analysis allows researchers to describe many variables using few factors, thus reducing the number of variables to a manageable level in terms of factors can be analysed further.
Formulating Hypothesis (Plural – Hypotheses)
Researchers will have one or more hypothesis. These are the questions that they want to address, which include predictions about possible relationships between the things they want to investigate (variables).
As a researcher, we do not know the exact truth but have a hunch about the outcome and thus, we make some prediction about the outcome. This hunch or prediction about the outcome is called hypothesis. It can also be termed as an educated guess or assumption about some phenomenon. This assumption is tested by collecting information that will enable us to conclude if our hunch was right. Thus, defining hypothesis has the following features.
1. It is a tentative proposition.
2. The validity of a hypothesis is unknown.
3. In most cases, formulating a hypothesis specifies the logical relationship between two variables.
4. It must be generalizable.
5. It should be simple.
Main Functions of a Hypothesis
Formulating a hypothesis, though important, is not absolutely necessary for a research. A perfectly valid research can be conducted even without formulating any hypothesis. In general, formulation performs the following functions.
1. They bring focus, clarity and specificity in the research study.
2. It helps in making sample design.
3. They make the study more objective.
4. They facilitate the formulation of a theory.
Hypothesis can be of the following types:
1. Descriptive hypothesis: It is formulated to describe the characteristics. For example, the present rate of unemployment in urban areas of India is 10%.
2. Relational hypothesis: They indicate the relationship between two variables. For example, parents residing in urban areas spend more money on the education of their children.
3. Explanatory hypothesis: They guide about the cause-and-effect relationship between two variables.
For example, when salaries increase, the spending on food items also increase. However, reverse may not be true.
In statistical hypothesis testing, you have a null hypothesis against which you are testing an alternative. The hypothesis concerns one or more characteristics of the distribution.
Concept of Null and Alternative Hypotheses
Professor R. A. Fisher was the first to use such an experiment for testing the hypothesis by scientific investigation. He talked about the principle of replication, randomization and local control in research.
Observations that run contrary to those predicted are taken as evidence against the hypothesis; observations that are in agreement with those predicted are taken as supporting the hypothesis. It is the same as we solve everyday problems, but there is only a small twist that is termed as null and alternate hypothesis.
As discussed, a hypothesis is a statement that relates two or more constructs. For example, the greater the stress experienced in a job, the lower the job satisfaction of employees.
Here, you need a clear operational definition of stress and job satisfaction. A good hypothesis is tested by the research that you propose to do.
In classical hypothesis testing, a statement about the population parameter and then a random sample from the population are taken and the hypothesis are tested with the appropriate sample statistics.
Suppose, as a teacher you are under the impression that a high dropout rate exists among students from rural background or semi-urban areas. Then, we collect data from all the students or some of them to check the validity of the assumption or prediction.
Null hypothesis (Ho) will state that the place of residence (rural, urban, semi urban) does not have any impact on the dropout ratio. The alternative hypothesis (HA) will state that dropout rate is higher among students from rural areas. Then, data are collected to challenge the null hypothesis. If null hypothesis is rejected based on the data analysis, the alternative hypothesis will be automatically accepted. Hypothesis can also become the basis of further enquiry. Its formulation is based upon your own or someone else’s observation.
Directional and Non-directional Hypothesis
In studies relating to the academic performance of boys and girls, the null hypothesis would state that boys and girls have equal performance level. The directional hypothesis may state that boys or girls are more able. It tends to be more specific about the outcome. The non-directional alternative would simply state that there is a gender difference. We have no idea whether boys are more able or girls are more able and only say that they are not the same.
Step 2: Preparing Research Design And Study Design
Now, when the setting up of hypothesis is done, the next step is research design. It is a roadmap to carry out the research. It is a step-by-step approach addressing basic questions like, what is the scope of research study?, what type of data is to be collected? or something like, what methods should be used to collect the data and to analyse them? The justification is required at every step as the resources are at stake. In fact, many of the research methods are basically research designs or closely linked with them.
Research design is an activity and time-based plan keeping in view of the research objectives. It guides about the types of information to be collected and their sources. It is a framework for specifying the relationship among the variables under study. It outlines the procedures. It also answers questions, like is that an intensive study of a small sample more effective than a less intensive study of a large sample? and should the analysis be primarily qualitative or quantitative? Research design is also defined as plan, structure and strategy of investigation to get answers to research questions. It also controls variance. It is a master plan specifying the methods and procedures for collecting and analyzing the needed information.
Ghauri (1995) tried to establish a link between research design and problem structure as shown in Figure 2.5. Therefore, research design involves the following consideration.
1. Objectives of research study 2. Selection of method of data collection 3. Source of information—sample design 4. Tools for data collection 5. Data analysis—qualitative and quantitative Research design achieves the following purposes:
1. It makes research efficient 2. Optimum utilization of resources—maximum information with minimal expenditure, time and money 3. Flexibility 4. Minimization of bias 5. Reliability and objectivity
Study Design on the Basis of Number of Contacts
On the basis of contacts, research can be cross-sectional or longitudinal. In cross-sectional studies, data is collected only once during the research process. The data are not necessarily gathered simultaneously and data collection may spread over a period of time, such as one week, one month or so. It may also take a longer period. For example, data may be collected about holiday preference of software professionals in India.
In longitudinal studies, data would be collected at several points of time. For example, a drug has been administered to a group of patients to check the efficacy of drug and the data may have to be collected many times to check their health conditions. HR department of an organization may collect data about employee satisfaction level before and after the raise of pay or promotion. The marketer may be interested in getting information about the impact of advertisement on sales.
Study Design on the Basis of Reference Period
1. Retrospective study design: It is meant for a phenomenon or a situation that has occurred in the past.
2. Prospective study design: It pertains to likely prevalence of a phenomenon in the future.
Study design based on reference period can be a combination of both retrospective and prospective studies.
Study Design on the Basis of Nature of Investigation
For example, a pharmaceutical company wants to test the impact of a drug in treating people. There is causeand- effect relationship between the two variables. The research can be broadly classified into two for the purpose of study design, namely experimental study and non-experimental study.
If a study is done in a manner that we start from cause to establish the effects, the independent variable can be manipulated by the researcher so as to see the effect of change in independent variable (cause) on dependent variable (effect). The treatment groups (not in terms of medical science) are of two types, they are experimental group and control group.
1. Experimental group: Group receiving treatment is the experimental group.
Example: Students of a class being taught with new teaching method, a group of patients being administered a new medicine, etc.
2. Control group: Group not receiving treatment is the control group.
Example: Students being taught with same conventional method, a group of patients with no medicine or no new medicine, etc.
Control in an experiment means that the researcher wants to investigate the effect of various factors one at a time in that experiment.
It covers the following aspects:
1. The selection of a group as experimental or control group is random.
2. All participants have equal chance of being chosen for experimental group or control group.
3. The larger the number of participants, the greater the chance that groups will represent the population.
It is a retrospective type of study. Thus, we start from the effects to trace the cause. Here, the assumed cause has already occurred. Variables are still referred to as IV and DV. Example: Comparing opinions from natural groups. There can be other types of study designs as well.
A few important study designs are as follows.
1. Action research: Action research has been discussed earlier. It is a research initiated to solve an immediate problem. It was coined by Kurt Lewin. The aim of fundamental research is the development of theory and that of applied research is on its general application, whereas the action research is focused on immediate application of theory.
For example, the objective of action research by the teacher will be to identify the problems and then to improve classroom practises himself.
2. Cohort studies: It is based on the existence of some common characteristics, such as year of birth, graduation or marriage. For example, the researcher wants to study the pattern of employment of MBAs passed in 1991, when India was facing economic crisis or study of people born between 1995 and 2000.
3. Placebo design: A patient, for example, may have an impression that he is undergoing treatment, but in reality, he is being given only sugar pills. It can play an important role in his recovery. There can be two groups, where one receiving the actual treatment and the second receiving placebo treatment. The control group can also be used in this design. The first group receives the actual treatment, the second placebo treatment and the third group (control group) receives nothing.
Step 3: Developing Data Collection Instrument (Research Instrument)
Data is defined as the information recorded to represent facts. Some important points about data are worth mentioning here.
1. Data represent facts about hypothesized variables.
2. Data is analysed to determine consistency with prediction. Prediction is in the form of setting up of hypothesis.
3. If data and prediction are consistent, then null hypothesis is supported.
4. If data and prediction are inconsistent, hypothesis is not supported and is rejected. The quality and validity of the output are solely dependent on the tools used for data collection. The data can be classified as primary and secondary, objective and subjective, and qualitative and quantitative.
Primary Data and Secondary Data
Primary data is collected for the purpose of current research project, whereas secondary data is collected for some other research purpose. It is collected fresh by the researcher and is based on surveys, observations and experimentation. It is expensive and difficult to acquire. It is reliable as it has been obtained directly with a specific problem in view. Figure 2.6 shows various ways in which primary data can be collected. Secondary data is collected from external sources, such as TV, radio, the Internet, magazines, books and newspapers.
These data might have been collected for different purposes. It is an inexpensive and a quick method to obtain information. Sometimes, it is the only way when the original source is inaccessible. It should be ascertained (i) whether the data is relevant to your study? and (ii) is it credible?
Objective Data and Subjective Data
Objective data are independent of any single person’s opinion, whereas subjective data can be an individual’s opinion or it can be dependent upon the researcher.
Qualitative Data and Quantitative Data
Qualitative data is the description of things made without assigning numeric values. For example, facts generated from unstructured interview. It needs the researcher’s interpretation.
Quantitative data entail measurements in which the numbers are used directly to represent properties of things. It is ready for statistical analysis. A larger sample is required in quantitative data and with proper sampling design, the ability to generalize is also high.
This is used in behavioural sciences. It is about collecting primary data by investigator’s own direct observation of relevant people, actions, and situations without asking from the respondent. For example, a retail chain sends observers posing as customers into competitors’ stores to check on cleanliness and customer service.
Observation can yield information which people are normally not willing or able to provide. For example, by observing many copies of class work, the untidy copies indicate that quality of teaching is not satisfactory.
Types of Observations
1. Structured—for descriptive research 2. Unstructured—for exploratory research 3. Participant observation 4. Non-participant observation 5. Disguised observation
Initially, there are many behavioural aspects that may not be observable directly. For example, marketer as a researcher cannot measure the feelings, beliefs and attitudes that motivate buying behaviour and infrequent behaviour cannot be observed.
Secondly, the observation method is quite expensive.
Sometimes, observation method is supplemented with survey method. This approach is most suited for gathering descriptive information and this research may be direct or indirect. It is of two types and they are structured and unstructured surveys.
1. Structured surveys: They use formal lists of questions to be asked from all respondents in the same manner.
2. Unstructured surveys: They give the interviewer the flexibility to probe respondents and direct the interview according to their answers.
1. Quick and low cost in comparison to observation method.
2. Survey method can be administered to collect many different types of information.
1. Privacy issues 2. Reluctance on the part of respondents 3. Biases.
Information may be collected by mails, telephone, personal interview, etc.
1. It includes collecting large amounts of information at a low cost per respondent.
2. Respondents may give more honest answers to personal questions on a mail questionnaire.
3. It is unbiased as no interviewer is involved.
4. Convenient for respondents who can answer when they have time.
5. Good way to reach people who travel.
1. It is not flexible.
2. It takes a longer time to complete than telephonic or personal interviews.
3. It has low response rate.
4. Little control of researcher over the process. Telephonic Interviewing
1. It is a quick method.
2. It gives greater flexibility to interviewer as he can explain questions not understood properly by the respondent.
3. It has greater sample control.
4. It has higher response rate.
1. High cost per respondent as interviewer should be more skilled.
2. Privacy issues.
3. Complete standardization is not possible.
4. Wrong entry is possible due to lack of time.
It is very flexible and can be used to collect large amounts of information. Trained interviewers can hold the respondent’s attention and are available to clarify difficult questions. They can guide interviews, explore issues and probe as the situation requires. Personal interviews can be used in any type of questionnaire and can be conducted fairly quickly. Interviewers can also show actual products, advertisements or packages, and observe and record their reactions and behaviour. This takes two forms, namely intercept interviewing (for individuals) and focus group interviewing (for groups).
1. It is widely used in marketing research such as tourism.
2. It allows the researcher to reach known people in a short period of time.
3. It is the only method of reaching people whose names and addresses are unknown.
4. It involves talking to people at homes, offices, on the street or in shopping malls.
5. The interviewer must gain the interviewee’s cooperation.
6. It is time-consuming and may range from a few minutes to several hours (for longer surveys, compensation may be offered).
7. It involves the use of judgemental sampling, i.e., the interviewer has guidelines as to whom to intercept, such as 25% under 20 years of age and 75% over 60 years of age.
1. There is greater room for error and bias on the part of the interviewer who may not be able to correctly judge age, race, etc.
2. Interviewer may not be comfortable talking to certain ethnic or age groups.
Focus Group Interviewing
1. It is usually conducted by inviting 6–10 people to gather for a few hours with a trained moderator to talk about a product, service or organization. The meeting is held in a pleasant place and refreshments are served to create a relaxed environment.
2. The moderator needs objectivity, knowledge of the subject and industry and some understanding of group and individual behaviour.
3. The moderator starts with a broad question before moving to more specific issues, encouraging open and easy discussion to bring out the true feelings and thoughts. At the same time, the interviewer focuses on the discussion and hence, the name focus group interviewing.
4. It is often held to help determine the subject areas on which questions should be asked in a later, large-scale, structured, direct interview.
5. Comments are recorded through note taking or videotaped and studied later (content analysis).
1. It is more expensive than telephonic survey.
2. Group interview studies keep the sample size small enough to keep the time and cost down. Therefore, it may be difficult to generalize from the results.
3. There is some possibility of interviewer bias.
Construction of a Research Tool (Questionnaire)
The questionnaire depends upon research objectives.
For each objective or research questions, list all the associated questions that a researcher wants to answer through study. Then, the information required to answer them is listed and finally, the questions are listed.
Questionnaire – Concept and types
A questionnaire consists of a set of questions presented to a respondent for answers. The questionnaire is used during structured surveys or interviews. The respondents read the questions, interpret what is expected, and then write down the answers themselves. It is also called an interview schedule when the researcher asks the questions and records the respondent’s reply on the interview schedule. Here, the researcher may have to explain questions to the respondents. There are many options before the researchers adopt this method, but questionnaires should be developed and tested carefully before being administered on a large scale. There are three basic types of questionnaires, such as closed-ended, open-ended and a combination of both.
1. Closed-ended questionnaire: Closed-ended questionnaires generally include multiple choice questions or scale questions. This type of questionnaire can be administered to a large number of respondents or sample size. As there is a set format, the data generated from questionnaire can be easily fed into a computer system for the purpose of analysis.
2. Open-ended questionnaire: Open-ended questionnaires offer the flexibility to respondents to answer in their own words. It may leave a blank section to write an answer.
Closed-ended questionnaires might be used to find out how many people use metro rail service in New Delhi, but open-ended questionnaires might be used to find out what people think about the quality of service.
3. Combined questionnaire: In this method, it is possible to find out how many people use a service and what they think of the service in the same form. The combined questionnaire may begin with a series of closed-ended questions, with boxes to tick or scales to rank and then finish with a section of open-ended questions or a more detailed response.
Step 4: Selecting Samples
If the population under study is small or manageable then the data should be collected on each item or entity under study. But this is rarely the situation in a survey research. Sampling is required if the universe of population under study is too large.
A sample may be defined as a representative subset or cross section of the population in miniature.
It should homogeneously represent the entire field.
Validity of research results much depends upon the quality of the sample drawn. There are scientific, logical or statistical techniques for formulating a sample.
If the sample is biased or lopsided then the results cannot be trusted or generalized. The main benefits of sampling are as follows:
1. Reduction in overall cost of research.
2. Less time-consuming and in certain cases, this is desirable as well.
3. In case, the population is consistent, this becomes even more desirable.
Ideally, a representative sample should be an unbiased indication of what the population is like. Some of the factors that researchers consider when selecting a representative sample include sex, age, educational level, socioeconomic status and marital status.
For example, if roughly half of the total population of interest is female, then a sample should be made up of approximately 50 per cent women in order to be representative.
In research, the population does not mean only human population all the times and it can be factories, schools, etc. Population is denoted by N and sample as n. The factors affecting inferences drawn from a sample are dependent upon the following.
1. Sample size: The larger the sample, the more is the accuracy.
2. Variation in population: The greater the variation in population, the greater will be the uncertainty of outcome. The higher the consistency in population, the more confident we are about the quality of outcome. The higher the variations in population, the larger should be the sample size.
Types of Sampling Techniques
1. Probability or random samples: Each person in the population has equal, independent and known chances of being selected. In case, there are 100 elements in a population, every element has 1/100 chance of being selected in a sampling exercise.
Here, independence means that selection of one element is neither being affected by the selection of other elements nor it will affect the other elements. Though probability or random sampling is mostly correct, still some error, technically known as ‘Margin of Error’ cannot be avoided. It can be calculated statistically and accounted for in the results. NET aspirants can refer to terms, such as ‘level of significance’ for better idea.
Now we can discuss the important types of probability sampling.
(a) Simple random sample: Every element or member of the population has a known and equal chance of being selected.
(b) Stratified random sample: In case, the population is heterogeneous, the population can be divided into different strata. The population within a stratum is homogeneous with respect to the characteristics under study. Population is divided into mutually exclusive groups, such as age groups and random samples are drawn from each group. The population in a particular stratum may be in proportion to its population. Suppose there are 1000 students in a college, 600 of them study humanities and 400 pupils study commerce. In a sample of 100, 60 students will be from humanities and 40 from commerce, i.e., in the same ratio as in the overall population.
(c) Cluster sample: The simple and stratified sampling is adopted in situations when population size is small and units are identifiable.
But if the population is larger, the researcher can go for cluster sampling. The population is divided into mutually exclusive groups and the researcher draws a sample of the group to interview. For example, in a national level survey, at the first few levels, a few states may be selected. Within the states, a few districts may be selected and then, within each district, blocks may be selected and then villages. It is termed as ‘multistage cluster sampling’.
2. Non-probability sampling: It is a non- structured sample and items are included in the study due to some convenience of the researcher, etc. This sampling takes less time and is handy. As all members of population do not get equal chance of being selected, non-probability sampling may be lopsided, loaded with biases and has higher margin of error. The types of non-probably sampling have been discussed as follows: (a) Convenience sampling: The researcher selects the easiest population members from which to obtain information.
(b) Judgement or purposive sampling: The researcher uses his or her judgement to select population members who are likely to provide accurate information. This can be used for historical research or descriptive research.
(c) Quota sampling: The researcher finds and interviews a prescribed number of people in each of several categories. Here, the main criterion used by the researcher is the ease to access sample population. The sample is selected from a location convenient to him or her. Here, there are some possibilities to include people with some visible characteristics.
However, the results may not be generalized to larger populations.
(d) Accidental sampling: It is akin to quota sampling, but it is used in market research (in market places) where a researcher can come across any person and they may not have any information.
(e) Snowball sampling: In this kind of sampling, the information may be selected from few individuals and they may identify other people for the purpose of gathering information. They may also become a part of the sample.
It creates a network of sample elements.
Determining Sample Design
Designing the sample calls for three decisions:
1. Sample itself: Who will be surveyed? It further depends upon what type of information is required.
2. Sample size: How many people should ideally be surveyed? Large samples are likely to give more reliable results than small samples. However, it has to be a trade-off between cost and accuracy.
3. Sampling: How should the sample be chosen? Sampling can be done by adopting either probability or non-probability method. The sample size for any research study depends upon four Ps:
1. Purpose: The required precision of study.
2. Population: The size and nature of population under study 3. Procedure: The time, budget and resources available.
4. Publishing: The importance of the studies.
Note: The more heterogeneous or diverse the population is, the bigger should be the sample size.
Step 5: Writing A Research Proposal
A research proposal is a document of usually three to seven pages that informs others of a proposed piece of research. This proposed research is usually a Masters or Doctorate by thesis, but it can also be a work for a corporate purpose.
A research proposal is a document written by a researcher that provides a detailed description of the proposed program. It is like an outline of the entire research process that gives the reader a summary of information discussed in the project.
Research proposals are written for various reasons, like budget request for the research certification requirements for research, etc.
Main Elements of Research Proposal
1. Need of a specific research project
2. Benefits and beneficiaries
3. The type of data to be collected and the means to collect the data.
4. Types of analysis.
5. Help required from other organization, if any.
6. Duration, facilities and requirement of funds.
7. Profile and credentials of the proposers.
Step 6: Collecting Data
There are many alternatives available to collect relevant data. The researcher should select one of these methods of collecting data taking into account the nature of investigation, scope and objective of inquiry, financial cost, availability of time and the desired accuracy.
Primary data can be collected either through experiment or through survey. If the researcher conducts an experiment, he will take some quantitative measurements (data). The data is analysed further to test the hypothesis.
In case of a survey, data can be collected by any one or more of the following ways.
1. By observation: This entails the collection of information by the way of investigator’s own observation without interviewing the respondents. The information obtained relates to the current happenings. This method is very expensive and the information gathered in such a manner is limited. This method is not suitable for research where large samples are required as is the case with quantitative research.
2. Personal interviews: The investigator follows structured approach and the questions are preconceived.
Here, the output also depends upon the ability of the interviewer to a large extent.
3. Telephonic interviews: This method of collecting information involves contacting the respondents on telephone itself. It is used when the survey has to be accomplished in a very limited time.
4. Mailed questionnaires: Questionnaires are mailed to the respondents with a request to return after completing the same. It is the most commonly used method in economic and business surveys.
A pilot study may be conducted for testing the questionnaire to check its appropriateness for the purpose.
5. Schedules: In this method, the enumerators are specially appointed and trained for gathering information. Schedules consist of relevant questions. The enumerators visit respondents with these schedules. Schedules are filled up by the enumerators on the basis of replies given by the respondents.
Some random checking by the supervisors may be required to ensure the validity of the research process.
Although he should pay attention to all these factors, but much depends upon the ability and experience of the researcher.
Step 7: Processing And Analysing Data
After collecting data, the next step is to analyse it.
It requires a number of closely related operations, such as establishment of categories and the application of these categories to raw data through coding, tabulation and then drawing statistical inferences. The large data should be condensed into a few manageable groups and tables for further analysis. This is done with the help of classification of data into more relevant, purposeful and usable categories.
1. Editing: The process of cleaning data is called editing. The purpose of editing is to identify and minimize errors, miscalculations, misclassification or any gap in information provided by the respondent.
Editing improves the quality of the data for coding.
2. Coding: It depends upon how a variable has been measured in your research instrument. For coding, the first step is to ensure the nature of data, i.e., whether it is quantitative or qualitative. The qualitative data may be descriptive about the following details or case history. For example, categorical or discrete, gender (male or female), income (below average or above average), attitude (strongly favourable, favourable or unfavourable).
Quantitative and categorical information is processed to be converted into numerical values called codes. It is usually done at this stage through which the categories of data are transformed into symbols that may be tabulated and counted. After coding is completed, the data are tabulated. The descriptive information goes through a process called content analysis with a motive to get an idea about the ‘themes’ of the descriptive information such as an interview. In descriptive or qualitative data, the researcher may go through the transcription of all interviews in which people may use different words to express the same phenomenon.
Classification of Data
Classification of data is a process of arranging data in groups or classes on the basis of common characteristics.
It can be done in the following ways.
Classification According to Attributes
The data can be descriptive (Example: Literacy, sex, religion, etc.) or numerical (Example: Weight, height, income, etc.). Further classification can be either simple classification or manifold classification.
1. Simple classification: In this classification, we consider only one attribute and divide the universe into two classes, where one class consisting of items possessing the given attribute and the other class consisting of items which does not possess the given attribute.
Example: The number of candidates with MBA degree is as follows.
Yes No Total
MBA degree 21 09 30
The most formidable challenge in research is to remain objective and free from biases. There can be a variety of biases to distort people’s impressions of collected data.
Let’s discuss some important biases as shown below:
1. External influences: One’s culture or opinion created by media (say social media) can influence people to accept a particular world view.
2. Personal bias: This may happen due to personal beliefs, attributes or past experiences.
3. Observer bias: Some events are taken as meaningful by some and not taken meaningful by others. Researchers themselves were raised in certain cultures and societies. They also have role expectations. These background factors can affect all the way that researchers observe and interpret events in their lives.
4. Expectancy bias: Researchers sometimes expect to find specific outcomes, they may see (or note) what they expect to see rather than remain objective.
5. Placebo biases: It operates when people strongly want to believe a treatment is successful.
For example, many people may claim to feel better after taking a placebo such as a sugar pill.
Research Biases 2. Manifold classification: In this classification, we consider two or more attributes simultaneously and divide the data into a number of classes.
Example: The educational qualification of faculty members is given below.
Classification According to Class Intervals
Classification is done with data relating to income, age, weight, tariff, production, occupancy, etc. Such quantitative data are known as the statistics of variables and are classified on the basis of class intervals. For example, people whose income is within `2001 and `4000 can form one group or class, those with income within `4001 and `6000 can form another group or class and so on. The number of items which fall in a given class is known as the frequency of the given class.
Tabulation is a part of the technical procedure wherein the classified data are put in the form of tables. It is the process of summarizing raw data and displaying the same in compact form for further analysis. The mechanical devices can also be used for this purpose.
When data are really large, computers can be used for tabulation. It also makes it possible to study large number of variables affecting a problem simultaneously.
It is an orderly arrangement of data in columns and rows. It is essential because of the following reasons.
1. It conserves space and reduces explanatory and descriptive statement to a minimum.
2. It facilitates the process of comparison.
3. It facilitates the summation of items and the detection of errors and omissions.
4. It provides the basis for various statistical computations. Tabulation may also be classified as simple and complex tabulations. Simple tabulation generally results in a one-way table that supplies answers to questions about one characteristic of data only. Complex tabulation usually results in two-way tables, which give information about two interrelated characteristics of data, three-way tables or still higher order tables are also known as manifold tables.
Analysis of Data
After tabulation, analysis is done with the help of different mathematical and statistical techniques, such as percentages, averages, coefficients of correlation, regression and so on. It largely depends upon whether the data is qualitative or quantitative.
Qualitative Data Analysis
The analytical approach may be personalized and there may be few rigid rules and procedures.
Generally, the researcher needs to go through a process called content analysis. Content analysis means analysis of the contents of an interview in order to identify the main themes that emerge from responses given by the respondents. This process involves the following steps:
1. Identify the main themes: The researcher needs to carefully go through the descriptive responses given by respondents to each question so as to understand the meaning they communicate.
It helps in developing broad themes that reflect these meanings. For example, people use different words and languages to express themselves.
2. Assign codes to the main themes: Assigning codes is required when the researcher wants to count the number of times a theme has occurred in an interview.
3. Classify responses under the main themes:
Having identified the themes, the next step is to go through the transcripts of all the interviews and classify the responses under different themes.
4. Integrate themes and responses into the text of your report: Having identified the responses that fall under different themes, the next step is to integrate the themes and responses into the text of your report.
It entirely depends upon the way the researcher wants to communicate the findings to the readers.
Quantitative Data Analysis
This method is most suitable for large, well-designed and well-administered surveys using properly constructed and worded questionnaire. Data can be analysed either manually or with the help of a computer.
1. Manual data analysis: This can be done if the number of respondents is reasonably small and if there are not many variables to analyse. However, this is useful only for calculating frequencies and for simple cross-tabulations. Manual data analysis is time consuming. The easiest way to do this is to code it directly onto a large graph paper in columns.
2. Data analysis using a computer: If you want to analyse the data using computer, you should be familiar with the appropriate program. In this area, knowledge of computer and statistics plays an important role. The most common software is SPSS for windows.
However, data input can be a long and laborious process and if data is entered incorrectly, it will influence the final results.
In the process of analysis, relationships or differences, supporting or conflicting with original or new hypothesis should be subjected to tests of significance to determine with what validity the data can be said to indicate any conclusions.
After analysing the data as stated above, the researcher is in a position to test the hypothesis. As discussed earlier, the qualitative studies may not have any formal hypothesis.
In quantitative studies, we have to see whether the facts support the hypothesis or they happen to be contrary. This is the usual question that should be answered while testing hypothesis. Various tests, such as Chi-square test, t-test and F-test have been developed by statisticians for this purpose. The hypothesis may be tested through use of one or more such tests, depending upon the nature and object of research inquiry. Hypothesis testing will result in either accepting the hypothesis or rejecting it. If the researcher had no hypothesis to start with, generalizations established on the basis of data may be stated as hypothesis to be tested by subsequent researches in times to come.
Generalizations and Interpretation
If a hypothesis is tested and upheld several times, it may be possible for the researcher to arrive at generalization, i.e., to build a theory. As a matter of fact, the real value of research lies in its ability to arrive at certain generalizations. If the researcher had no hypothesis to start with, he might seek to explain his findings on the basis of some theory. It is known as interpretation. The process of interpretation may trigger off new questions which in turn may lead to further researches.
Step 8: Writing A Research Report
Writing a report is the last and for many, the most difficult step of the research process. The report informs the world what you have done, what you have discovered and what conclusions you have drawn from your findings. The report should be written in an academic style. The language should be formal and not journalistic.
Research Report Format
Traditional written reports tend to be produced in the following format.
1. Title of the research project.
2. Name of the researcher.
3. Purpose of the research project.
This section introduces the research, setting out the main aims and objectives. It is actually a rationale for the research.
Theoretical Framework and Review of Literature
This section includes all the background research information that has been obtained from the literature review. You must indicate from where all the information was obtained. Thus, it is mandatory to keep a complete record of everything the researcher has read.
Otherwise, there are chances that the researcher could be accused of plagiarism, which is akin to intellectual theft.
This section includes all practical details followed for the research. After reading this, any interested party should be able to replicate the research study.
It includes the methods used for data collection, sampling procedures, tools used for data collection and analysis of data.
Data Analysis and Interpretation
If you have conducted a large quantitative survey, this section may contain tables, graphs, pie charts and associated statistics. If you have conducted a qualitative piece of research, this section may be a descriptive prose.
Summary and Conclusion
In this section, you sum up your findings and draw conclusions from them, perhaps in relation to other research or literature.
If the research has been conducted for any client organization, this section could be treated as the most important part of the report. Sometimes, this section is included at the beginning of the report.
Suggestions for Further Research
Research is a continuous process. This section shows how research could be continued. This could happen as some results are inconclusive or the research itself has thrown up many more research questions that need to be addressed. It also shows the honesty and integrity of the researcher that he has a wider perspective and has actually not tried to cover up the shortcomings.
List of References/Bibliography
The list of references contains only the details of those works cited in the text. It includes sources not cited in the main text matter but are relevant to the subject of study, specifically in case of larger dissertations or thesis. Small research projects may need just a reference section to include all the literature that has been referred to in the report.
1. Authors’ surname (alphabetically), followed by their initials.
2. Date of publication.
3. Title of the book in italics.
4. Place of publication and publisher.
For Journal Articles
The title of the article appears in inverted commas and name of the journal comes in italics, followed by the volume number and pages of the article.
Madaan KVS; ‘Influence of British Rule on Indian Culture’; Journal of Tourism; 10–18.
This is specifically required in case of questionnaires or interview schedules constructed for conducting the research; it may be useful to include them in the report as an appendix.
Appendices do not count towards your total number of pages or words. It is a useful way of including relevant material so that the examiner can gain a deeper understanding of your work by reading it.
Certified that this research project titled ___________ ___________________________ is the bonafide record of work carried out by __________ for final year __________. Technical guide Research coordinator Principal Place __________
A dissertation culminates in a postgraduate degree such as MS/M.Tech./M.Sc./M.Phil., whereas a thesis leads to a doctoral degree (Europe and India). In American universities, a dissertation leads to a Ph.D.
degree and a thesis leads to a Master’s degree. We will adhere to the former one.
In a dissertation, it is adequate if one has a decent knowledge of the new discoveries in order to arrive at the conclusion effectively. In a thesis, one has to substantiate the hypothesis with original research work. The hypothesis or the ‘synopsis’ should contain the gist of the new findings one has made on the subject of research. The written thesis should contain all details of original research work that one has made on the subject. A thesis may be subjected to scrutiny for any plagiarism to determine the originality of the effort.
Another finite difference between the two is that in a thesis, analysis of any existing literature is added, whereas a dissertation by itself is an analysis of any existing literature. The differences between a dissertation and a thesis are given below.
1. A researcher has to utilize the already collected information in order to prepare a dissertation, whereas thesis is based on the research conducted all by himself.
2. A thesis is lengthier, thus, it takes more time to be completed, whereas dissertation is short. Therefore, it does not consume too much time to be completed.
3. In thesis, the researcher have to include a hypothesis based on your research work. In contrast to thesis, in dissertation, researcher should have a decent knowledge of the new discoveries in order to infer conclusion effectively.
4. In thesis, the researcher has to focus on your primary argument in order to prove your standpoint to the readers. In contrast to thesis, dissertation focuses on background work.
5. In Master’s dissertation, the researcher has to utilize the research work in order to prove his point. In case of Ph.D. thesis, the researcher has to add novel findings to the existing literature.
6. Thesis is written as an academic research paper, whereas dissertation is more like an academic book.
7. The data collected in dissertation is based upon the hypothetical analysis of contents, whereas thesis is comprised of theory and argumentation based on original research. The structure of a dissertation and thesis writing is normally described in university students’ handbook.
Dissertation And Thesis
Format And Styles Of Referencing
A referencing style is a set of rules telling you how to acknowledge the thoughts, ideas and works of others in a particular way.
Referencing plays a crucial role in the following:
1. Successful academic writing 2. Avoiding plagiarism 3. Key to your assignments and research.
Earlier, after the last step of research steps, we discussed about the ‘Research Report Format’ that may vary somewhat according to university as well.
Different types of sources have different formatting in the bibliography. Background research plan and bibliography worksheet help in the development of bibliography. There are standards for documenting sources of information in research papers. Even though different journals may use a slightly different format for the bibliography, they all contain the same basic information. The most basic information that each reference should have is the author’s name, the title, the date and the source.
In research areas, the two most commonly used guidelines for this formatting are published by the MLA (Modern Language Association) and the APA (American Psychological Association). The MLA guidelines call for the bibliography to be called ‘works cited’. The APA guidelines call for the bibliography to be called the Reference List. The other styles have been given as follows: Abbreviation Full Name
ACS American Chemical Society
AGLC Australian Guide to Legal Citation
AMA American Medical Association
AMJ Academy of Management style
Chicago Chicago Manual of Style
CSE (CBE) Council of Science Editors/Council of Biology Editors Harvard
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Vancouver
Chicago/Turabian style is generally used by Business, History, and the Fine Arts.
Ibid is the abbreviation for the Latin Ibidem, meaning the same. It refers to the same author and source (Examples: Book and journal) in the immediately preceding reference.
op. cit. is the abbreviation for the Latin opus citatum, meaning the work cited. It refers to the reference listed earlier by the same author.
Loc. cit. is of Latin origin and the abbreviation for loco citato, meaning in the place cited. It is a footnote or endnote term used to repeat the title and page number for a given work.
et. al. refers to and others, where it is used when referring to a number of people.
Main Terms Used in Context of Footnotes and Reference Writing
The Indian National Bibliography has been conceived as an authoritative bibliographical record of current Indian publications in Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu languages, received in the National Library, Kolkata, under the Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954. The main entries are in Roman Script and the collations and annotations, if any, are in English. The classified portion follows the Dewey Decimal Scheme of Classification, but the numbers from the Colon Classification scheme are assigned to each entry at the bottom right hand to facilitate the use of the bibliography and libraries arranged according to the Colon Schemes of classification. Indian National Bibliography and Central Reference Library fall under the supervision of Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
Shodhganga and Shodhgangotri: Shodhganga is the name coined to denote the digital repository of Indian electronics thesis and dissertations set up by Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) Centre, an autonomous Inter-University Centre (IUC) of the University Grants Commission. Now, the candidates will have to store the thesis in a compact disc (CD) and upload each chapter in a separate PDF file using naming convention as prescribed by Shodhganga. The CD must be authenticated by the Supervisor/Head of Department.
INFLIBNET introduced Shodhgangotri, which has been built to maintain a database of synopsis of on-going M.Phil./Ph.D. in Indian universities and institutions.
Application Of Ict Tools On Research Process
Use of ICT in research is very extensive, where nowadays it is difficult to conceive a scientific research project without it.
Many research studies cannot be carried out without the use of computers and specifically ICT that entails complex computations, data analysis and modelling.
Computer in scientific research is used at all stages of study, from proposal/budget stage to submission/presentation of findings.
Statistical Analysis Tool: The acronym SPSS stands for Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The latest version of SPSS is IBM SPSS STATISTICS 20 (purchased by IBM after version 19). It provides the following attributes.
1. Provides data view and variable view measures of central tendency and dispersion 2. Statistical inference 3. Correlation and regression analysis 4. Analysis of variance 5. Non-parametric test 6. Hypothesis tests: T-test, chi-square, z-test, ANOVA, Bipartite variable, etc.
7. Multivariate data analysis 8. Frequency distribution 9. Data exposition by using various graphs, like line, scatter, bar, Ogive, histogram, pie chart….
Data Analysis Tool: Spreadsheet Packages
Since ICT has become indispensable tool for research, the various contents have been picked from websites to throw some information on it. A spreadsheet is a computer application that simulates a paper worksheet.
It displays multiple cells that together make up a grid consisting of rows and columns, each cell containing either alphanumeric text or numeric values. Microsoft Excel is a popular spreadsheet software. The other spreadsheet packages are Lotus 1-2-3, Quattro Pro, Javelin Plus, Multiplan, VisiCalc, SuperCalc, Plan Perfect, etc.
Other Statistical Tools SAS, S-PLUS, LISREL, EViews, etc.
Word Processor Packages
A word processor (document preparation system) is an ICT application used for the production (including composition, editing, formatting and possibly printing) of any sort of printable material. The word processing packages are Microsoft Word, WordStar, WordPerfect, Softward, AKHAR (Gujarati), Ami Pro, etc.
A presentation program is a computer software package used to display information, normally in the form of a slide show. It typically includes three major functions, such as an editor that allows text to be inserted and formatted, a method for inserting and manipulating graphic images and a slide show system to display the content. The presentation packages are Microsoft Powerpoint, Lotus Freelance Graphics, Corel Presentations, Apple Keynote, etc.
Database Management Packages (dbms)
Database is an organized collection of information. A DBMS is a software designed to manage the database. The various desktop databases are Microsoft Access, Paradox, dBase or dBase III+, FoxBASE, FoxPro/ Visual FoxPro, FileMaker Pro. The commercial database servers that supports multiuser are Oracle, MS SQL Server, Sybase, Ingres, Informix, DB2 UDB (IBM), Unify, Integral, etc. The open source database packages are MySQL, PostgreSQL, Firebird, etc.
A web browser is a software application which enables a user to display and interact with text, images, videos, music, games and other information typically by accessing a web page found on a website which is collectively provided in the World Wide Web or a local area network.
Some examples of browsers are Microsoft Internet explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Netscape Navigator, Chrome (Google browser), Safari, etc.
Tools Through Internet
Search engines (To search the information) Google (Popular search engine) Yahoo! WebCrawler Excite AltaVista Online Data/Documentation Management
(To Manage Documents Online)
Dropbox Google Drive Google Docs MS SkyDrive (Free) Microsoft 365 (Paid version) Online Data Collection
(To Collect Data Online from Different Users)
Online forms – Online questionnaires Online surveys Collaboration tools Skype : Voice and video conferencing Google Hangouts : Voice and video conferencing Modern Research Tools
Modern electronic research tools, like Zotero and Evernote, make the collection of research data and collaboration between colleagues possible, which that in the past would have been difficult, expensive or even impossible. They also save large amount of time citing and creating bibliographies. Evernote allows the user to capture digital content, including web pages, PDF files or snippets of web pages, organize them, annotate them, share them, publish them and search them.
Ethics are the principles and guidelines that help us to uphold the things we value. Ethics and law are different aspects, although laws of the land are intended to be based on certain ethics. Almost all societies have legal rules to govern certain behaviour in a country or society, but ethical norms tend to be broader and more informal than laws. An action may be legal but unethical or illegal but ethical. Ethics aim to achieve two fundamental objectives, i.e., to tell us how we ought to act in a given situation and to provide us with strong reasons for doing so.
Ethics always emerge from conflict between values, and research ethics are not an exception. In research, these conflicts may take different forms, such as participant’s concern for privacy versus some justification for manipulation, openness and replication versus confidentiality, present loss versus future benefits and so on. Each decision made in research involves a potential compromise of one value for another. However, still researchers must try to minimize the risk to participants, colleagues and society while trying to optimize the quality of outcome. Research ethics help us to reconcile value conflicts. The benefits of observing ethics in research studies are as follows:
1. It helps in promoting the aims of research, such as bringing out the truth and avoidance of errors.
2. It promotes the values that are essential to collaborative work, such as trust, accountability, mutual respect and fairness.
3. It holds the researcher accountable to the public and society.
4. It helps in building public support for research, which in return can help in getting participants who take part in the research willingly.
Main Approaches to Research Ethics
The following are the three major approaches to ethics:
1. Deontological approach: We should identify and use a universal code in making ethical decisions. This is an absolutist approach.
2. Ethical scepticism approach: It states that ethical standards are not universal but are relative to one’s own particular culture and time. This is based on relativism.
3. Utilitarianism approach: Decisions regarding ethics in research should be based on an examination and comparison of the costs and benefits that may arise from a study. If the expected benefits exceed the expected risks, the study is presumed to be ethical. The risk-benefit precaution is a modern version of the end justifying the means. It has its most direct application when those exposed to the risks also receive the benefits. The ratio is more difficult to justify when the participants are subjected to potential harm and when the benefits are directed to other individuals or to the society to be absolute in their requirements.
Some Desirable Elements to Ensure Ethics in Research
The following is a general summary of some research ethical guidelines and principals that various codes address.
1. Honesty in reporting data, results, methods and procedures and publication status.
2. Objectivity to avoid bias in experimental design, data analysis, interpretation and peer review.
3. Integrity, acting with sincerity, striving for consistency of thought and action.
4. Carefulness to avoid careless errors and negligence and proper documentation of all aspects.
5. Openness in sharing data, results, ideas, tools, resources and openness to criticisms and new ideas.
6. Respect for intellectual property rights, such as patents, copyrights and other forms of intellectual property.
7. Confidentiality in context of communications, personal records and privacy issues.
8. Responsible publication with an aim to serve the society. Avoiding wasteful and duplicative publication.
9. Responsible mentoring in terms of guiding research students.
10. Respect for colleagues translates to extending fair treatment to the colleagues.
11. Social responsibility means to serve the society and different stakeholders.
12. Non-discrimination against colleagues or students on the basis of sex, race or factors that are not related to their scientific competence and integrity.
13. Enhancing competence for own professional advancement or lifelong learning and taking steps to promote competence in science as a whole.
14. Ensuring legality of the whole process by obeying relevant laws, i.e., institutional and governmental policies.
15. Animal care through proper experimental designs.
Stakeholders in Research
There are three stakeholders in the research process, namely participants or subjects, researcher and the funding organization.
Ethical Issues Relating to Participants
There are many ethical issues in relation to participants of a research activity. One of the most commonly cited ethical principles is that we should not cause harm to our research participants. The issue of ethics in research mainly caught the attention of policy makers as a result of many gruesome instances, few of which have been mentioned below.
1. Medical experiments conducted by Nazi doctors in German concentration camps in 1930s. Nazi doctors in German concentration camps killed twin gypsy teenagers in order to determine why some of them had differently coloured eyes while conducting experiments.
2. A South African oncologist experimented with women suffering from cancer to excessive dosages of chemotherapeutics without informing the patients and taking their due consents.
3. Ethical issues during organ transplant, sterilization and so on.
4. Experiments on animals.
In research, specifically in medical sciences, the observance of ethics is very crucial. Even now, when pharmaceutical companies want to conduct clinical trials in underdeveloped or developing countries, this issue crops up again and again. It is a general understanding that ethical research issues are more moral than legal.
Apart from physical injury, the psychological distress or emotional harm, loss of self-esteem, being persuaded to conduct morally reprehensible acts and hampering one’s physical, intellectual or emotional development are other important concerns.
We must also be careful about the security of our research records, so that respondents may not be identified or otherwise harmed through loss of confidentiality.
During the initial phase of medical research history, people participating in trials were referred to as research subjects. Now, they are known as trial participants.
Now, their role has transformed from a passive subject to that of an active participant. Thus, we can see that research ethics are basically about means of ensuring that vulnerable people are protected from exploitation and other forms of harm. The ethical issues are to be observed at every stage of a research process.
1. Collecting information: Before a researcher actually collects information, his request for information may put pressure or create anxiety on a respondent and it may not be ethical, but without research, there will be no intellectual progress or development in the society. A researcher is required to improve the conditions by considering various points in the ensuing discussion.
2. Seeking consent of participants: Informed consent refers to an individual’s willingness to participate in a study. Individuals who provide informed consent have been made aware of the design and procedures with enough detail to exercise a rational decision to participate.
3. Providing incentives: Most people do not participate in a study because of incentives, but they are motivated because of the importance of the study.
Giving a gift before data collection is not ethical on the part of a researcher.
4. Seeking sensitive information: Some pieces of information can be regarded as sensitive or confidential by some people. This may be akin to invading their privacy. Seeking such kind of information may make them upset. Questions on income, age, marital status, etc., may be considered as intrusive.
However, it may not be unethical to enquire if the participants be explained before the research and give them sufficient time to decide if they want to participate without any major inducement.
5. Possibility of causing harm to the participants:
When you collect data from the respondents or involve subjects in an experiment, you need to examine carefully whether their involvement is likely to harm them in any way. Harm may include use of chemicals, drugs, discomfort, anxiety, harassment, invasion of privacy or demeaning or dehumanizing procedures. Even after the consent, the researcher must make sure that the risk is minimal.
6. Maintaining confidentiality: In case, the researcher has to identify the respondent as information needs to be sought more than once, sharing information about a respondent with others for purposes other than research is not ethical and at least the information provided by the respondent should be kept anonymous.
Ethical Issues Relating to the Researcher
1. Avoiding bias: Objectivity in research means to avoid bias in the research process as it is considered unethical. Bias means deliberate attempt to either hide facts or to under represent or over represent them. It may undermine the truth.
2. Provision or deprivation of a treatment: This is specifically true in case of medical research. Is it ethical to provide to a study population with an intervention or treatment that has not yet been conclusively proven effective? Thus, it imposes an ethical dilemma before researchers. Informed consent, minimum risk and frank discussion can help to resolve the ethical issues.
3. Using inappropriate research methodology:
The deliberate use of a highly biased sample, method or procedure is unethical.
4. Incorrect reporting: This can be done to advance the interests of the researcher.
5. Inappropriate use of the information: Sometimes, it is possible to harm individuals in the process of achieving benefits for the organization. An example would be a study to help in the formulation of a policy by the organization. New policy may not serve the interests of certain individuals but may be good for the organization as such.
Should you ask respondents for information that is likely to be used against them? Some of the key terms used in the context of ethical issues concerning researchers are as follows:
1. Fabricating behaviour: Creation of spurious data by researcher, their recording and drawing inferences.
2. Falsification: It manipulates the research material, equipment and processes or changes or omits data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research records.
3. Plagiarism: It is the act of appropriating somebody else’s ideas, thoughts, pictures, theories, words or stories as your own. If a researcher plagiarizes the work of others, the integrity, ethics and trustworthiness of the sum total of his or her research becomes questionable. Plagiarism is both an illegal and punishable act and is considered to be on the same level as stealing from the author who originally created it. It can take the following forms.
(a) Intra-corpal: A case of plagiarism where one student has copied from another in the same submission is known as intra-corpal plagiarism.
(b) Extra-corpal: It is an instance of plagiarism where a student has copied the material from an external source (Example: Books, journal article, world wide web, etc.).
(c) Autoplagiarism: It is citing one’s own work without acknowledgement.
4. Multiple authorship: There can be many improprieties in authorship. Improper assignment of credit, such as excluding other authors, inclusion of other as authors who have not made a definite contribution towards the work published or submission of multi-authored publication without the knowledge of all the authors.
5. Peer review: It is the process in which an author submits a written manuscript or an article to a journal for publication. The journal editor distributes the article to experts or reviewers. The peer review process seldom proceeds in a straight line. The entire process may involve several rounds of communication between the editor, the reviewers and the original author before an article is ready for publication. The two most important ethics in the process are maintaining confidentiality and protection of intellectual property. Reviewers and author should not know the names of each other. Only then, the peer review process can be genuinely open and beneficial.
None in the process can publicly disclose the information in the article or use the information in a submitted article for personal gain.
6. Duplicate and partial publication: It is publishing the same data and same results in more than one publication or journal. This is unethical but may be acceptable in certain cases, such as publishing results in a journal to provide research participants with a summary of the results. Partial publication involves publishing parts of your results in different journals. It is specifically unethical for a small, focused study. However, in case of large studies with many variables, this may be acceptable as different publications involve different research questions and different data and it actually advances the interest of the study.
Important Measures to Make Research More Ethical
1. Informed consent: The provision of informed consent also includes the knowledge that the informed participation is voluntary and that participants can withdraw from the study at any time.
2. Protective research design: This involves estimating the probability of happening of harmful effects, their severity and the likely duration of these effects.
3. Screening: It is an attempt to select only those individuals for study who show a high tolerance for potential risks.
4. Pilot studies: When the potential harms are uncertain, a useful precaution involves a pilot study with follow-up diagnostic interviews to assess the effects and request advice from the participants.
5. Outside proposal review: Requesting others to review research proposals is a helpful precaution in minimizing risks.
6. Professional codes: Two features of professional codes are important for discussion. Firstly, professional codes have been developed inductively from the wide research experiences of professionals.
Secondly, professional codes place strong emphasis on researchers’ responsibility for their research.
7. Government regulations: Government regulations such as state and central laws are designed to protect or advance the interests of society and its individuals. Thus, the researchers are required to take certain precautions.
Articles, Workshop, Seminar, Conference, and Symposium
Article or Journal Article
‘The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking’
— Albert Einstein Since we are discussing articles within research, an article is also to be discussed in the manner of research only. This topic can be divided into research article and review paper.
A research article is based on original research. The kind of research varies depending upon the field or the topic (experiments, survey, interview, questionnaire, etc.). Here, the authors need to collect and analyze raw data and conduct an original study. The research paper will be based on the analysis and interpretation of this data. The various steps followed to show the process have been given as:
1. Conducting research 2. Manuscript writing 3. Journal selection 4. Journal submission 5. Manuscript tracking 6. Peer review 7. Manuscript rejection 8. Post publication A review article or review paper summarizes the findings of existing literature. So, the readers can develop an idea about the existing knowledge on a topic without having to read all the published works in the field. It does not report original research. Review articles generally summarize the existing literature on a topic in an attempt to explain the current state of understanding on the topic. Review articles can be of three kinds.
1. Narrative review: It explains the existing knowledge on a topic based on all the published research available on the topic.
2. Systematic review: It searches for the answer to a particular question in the existing scientific literature on a topic.
3. Meta-analysis: It compares and combines the findings of previously published studies, usually to assess the effectiveness of an intervention or mode of treatment.
Most reputed journals publish review articles. If published in a good peer-reviewed journal, the review articles often have a high impact and receive a lot of citations.
Difference Between a Thesis and an Article
A researcher is always under pressure to publish, where one good way to do this is to convert doctoral thesis into a journal article, during or after Ph.D. It is essential to know how a thesis differs from a journal article. Here are some of the elements that you will need to work on to successfully create a journal article from your thesis.
|Purpose||The purpose is education as it shows how much a person knows.||The purpose is advancement to enhance credibility and contribution in the field.|
|Audience||Educational committee and professors to decide whether a person is worthy of degree.||Here, person may look up to become a scientist or further researcher.|
|Abstract||Longer up to 500 words||Shorter up to 150-250 words.|
|Introduction||More detailed||More concise, only absolutely required information.|
|Length||Longer as the page count can be up to 50 pages and around 20000 words.||It is shorter between 3 to 6000 words. Better to avoid copying, rewriting or paraphrasing.|
|Material and method||Extensive|
|Discussion||Detailed interpretation of results||Clear and concise presentation of results.|
|References||Exhaustive list||Selective list|
A meeting is an assembly or coming together of people be it a symposium, workshop, conference or so. In a very remote sort of a way, all of them convey the same meaning, i.e., people coming together for a purpose.
It is usually a formal meeting at which specialists deliver short addresses on a topic or on related topics and then answer the questions relating to these topics.
It is especially one in which the participants form an audience and make presentations.
Symposium is also defined as a collection of writings on a particular topic, as in a magazine.
It is usually an academic meeting at which specialists deliver addresses on a topic or on related topics and then answer the questions relating to these topics. A colloquium is targeted to a well-educated but not specialized audience.
A conference is a meeting of people who confer about a topic. It is a meeting where people come for discussion.
It features keynotes and presentations delivered to all attendees, as well as multiple break-out sessions.
Attendees expect to receive information about industry trends and developments.
It can be an academic conference (a formal event where researchers present results), a business conference (organized to discuss business-related matters), or a parent–teacher conference (meeting with a child’s teacher to discuss grades and school performance), a peace conference (a diplomatic meeting to end conflict) and so on.
Webinars or Web Conferences
Webinars or web conferences are presentations that involve an audio and video component. The audio portion of the event is delivered via phone or over the internet, so that participants can listen via their computer speakers. The video portion of the event is delivered via the internet, giving participants a presentation to watch while listening to the instructor.
The word seminar is derived from the Latin word seminarium, meaning seed plot. It is a formal presentation by one or more experts to a small group of audience. It can be conducted on recurring or regular basis, monthly or even weekly, there is an invited speaker, and audience is much more technically versed or specific in nature. The motive behind the seminar system is to familiarize the students extensively with vital aspects of their study and also to allow them to interact with examples of practical problems that always occur during study or research work. Thus, a seminar is a form of academic instruction either at an academic institution or offered by a commercial or professional organization.
Seminars focus on some particular subject in which everyone present is requested to actively participate.
Colloquia and seminars both happen in an academic setting. Phenomena such as global warming and climate change and nuclear power accidents are discussed but from the perspective of a scientist. However, well-educated audience is able to understand it. Teleseminars are seminars which is delivered via a conference call over the telephone and/or through the internet.
Workshops tend to be smaller and more intense than seminars. This format involves students practising their new skills during the event under the watchful eye of an instructor.
Hands-on workshops typically involve participants doing work on a particular issue during the program. The promise is that when they leave, they will have at least a rough plan or tools in place to address the challenge. The impact factor of an academic journal is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to recent articles published in the journal.
It reflects the relative importance of a journal within its field. The journals with higher impact factors are deemed to be more important than those with lower ones. The h-index is an index that attempts to measure both the productivity and the impact of the published work of a scientist or a scholar. The g-index is like h-index and it has an averaged citations count. The i10-index indicates the number of academic publications an author has written that have at least ten citations from others. It was introduced in July 2011 by Google as part of their work on Google Scholar, a search engine dedicated to academic and related papers.