Diagnostic method plays a vital role in research design and gives
a clear and exact view of area of study. While performing social research,
diagnostic research comes in existence mostly. The experimental
method is a systematic and scientific approach to research in which the
researcher manipulates one or more variables, and controls and measures any
change in other variables. Evaluate research is to evaluate the impact of
social interventions such as new treatment methods, innovations in services,
and a host of others.
The researcher must be able to define clearly, what he wants to
measure and must find adequate methods for measuring it along with a clear cut
definition of population he wants to study.
Methods of Diagnostic research
Formulating the objective of
Designing the methods of data collection.
Selecting the sample.
Collecting the data.
Processing and analyzing the data.
Reporting the findings.
It plays a vital role in
research design and gives a clear and exact view of area of study. While performing social research,
diagnostic research comes in existence mostly
The word experimental research has a
range of definitions.
The experimental method is a systematic
and scientific approach to research in which the researcher manipulates one or
more variables, and controls and measures any change in other variables.
In the strict sense, experimental
research is what we call a true experiment.
This is an experiment where the
researcher manipulates one variable, and control/ randomizes the rest of the
variables. It has a control group, the subjects have been randomly assigned
between the groups and the researcher only tests one effect at a time.
Steps Involved In
Conducting an Experimental Study
Identify and define the research problem
deciding the topic of interest, the researcher tries to define the research
problem. This helps the researcher to focus on a narrow research area to be
able to study it appropriately. Defining the research problem helps you to
formulate a research hypothesis.
Review relevant literature
In the research process, the literature
review stands as the pivotal point of all activities.
This literature review helps researcher
weather the topic is worth studying and it provide inside into ways in which
the researcher can limit the scope to a needed area of inquiry.
Formulate hypothesis and deduce their
It is almost impossible for a researcher
not to have any hypothesis or objectives before proceeding with his works.
Because a hypothesis or the objective shows the direction to a researcher.
That is why, in the experimental
research the research design is built around a tentative hypothesis or clearly
Construct an experimental design
represents all the elements, conditions, and relations of the following
Select sample of subjects
Identify and control non experimental
Select or construct, and validate
instruments to measure outcomes
Conducts pilot study
place, time, and duration of the experiment
Conduct the experiment
An experiment is typically carried out
by manipulating a variable, called the independent variable, affecting the
experimental group. The effect that the researcher is interested in, the
dependent variables, is measured.
Identifying and controlling non
experimental factors which the researcher does not want to influence the
effects, is crucial to drawing a valid conclusion. This is often done by
controlling variables, if possible, or randomizing variables to minimize
effects that can be traced back to third variables. Researchers only want to
measure the effect of the independent variables when conducting an experiment,
allowing them to conclude that this was the reason for the effect.
Compile raw data and condense to usable
When the experiment is impose to a
specific variable, related data should be collected and compiled in systematic
After analyzing compiled data it should
be condensed to a usable form
Evaluation research, sometimes called program
evaluation, refers to a research purpose rather than a specific method. This
purpose is to evaluate the impact of social interventions such as new
treatment methods, innovations in services, and a host of others. Evaluation
research is a form of applied research—it is intended to have some real-world
effect. Many methods, like surveys and experiments can be used in evaluation
research. In recent years, the field of evaluation research has become an increasingly
popular and active research specialty, as reflected in textbooks, courses,
and projects. Evaluative research seeks to assess or judge
in some way, providing useful information about something other than might be
gleaned in mere observation or investigation of relationships.
Types of evaluation
seeks to understand the outcomes or effects of something, for example where a
test in of children in school is used to assess the effectiveness of teaching
or the deployment of a curriculum. The children in this case are not direct
beneficiaries – they are simply objects that contain information that needs
to be extracted.
Summative evaluations can
assess such as:
Finance: Effect in terms of
cost, savings, profit and so on.
Impact: Broad effect, both
positive and negative, including depth, spread and time effects.
Outcomes: Whether desired or
unwanted effects are achieved.
Analysis of existing data to derive additional information.
Integrating results of multiple studies.
Formative evaluation is
used to help strengthen or improve the person or thing being tested. For
example where a test of children in school is used to shape teaching methods
that will result in optimal learning.
Formative evaluations can
assess such as:
Monitoring success of a process or project.
Needs: Looking at such as type
and level of need.
Potential: The ability of using
information for formative purpose.
Process evaluation determines if specific
program strategies were implemented as planned. It focuses on program
implementation. It is used to determine why an established program has
changed over time. For example, Did your program meet its goals for
recruitment of program participants? Or Did participants receive the
specified number of service hours?
address inefficiencies in program delivery of services
accurately portray to outside parties program operations (e.g., for
Outcomes evaluation focuses on the changes in
comprehension, attitudes, behaviors, and practices that result from programs
activities. It can include both short and long term results. For example, did
your participants report the desired changes after completing a program
cycle? Or what are the short or long term results observed among (or
reported by) participants?
include both short and long term results
decide whether program/activity affect participants outcomes
establish and measure clear benefits of the program
Impact evaluation focuses on long term, sustained changes
as a result of the program activities, both positive/negative and intended/unintended.
For example, what changes in your program participants’ behaviors are
attributable to your program? Or what effects would program participants
miss out on without this program?
see impact in longitudinal studies with comparison groups
Steps in evaluation
Step 1: Engage the
Step 2: Describe the
Step 3: Focus the
Step 4: Gather Credible
Step 5: Justify
Step 6: Ensure Use
& Share Lessons
In diagnostic method the researcher must be able to define
clearly, what he wants to measure and must find adequate methods for measuring
it along with a clear cut definition of population he wants to study.
method is an experiment where the researcher manipulates one variable, and
control/ randomizes the rest of the variables.
Evaluative research seeks to assess or judge in some way,
providing useful information about something other than might be gleaned in
mere observation or investigation of relationships.