Methodology of Research

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1. Research Methodology refers to the way in which research has been conducted regarding strategy, tools, and methodologies used in the direction of finding an answer to the lookup question and meeting goals outlined in the first chapter of the study.

This chapter seeks to discuss details on the:

  • Research Strategy and the cause for the chosen research design
  • Target Population and the sampling process
  • Data collection methodologies adopted and Research equipment and software utilized in the analysis of data

2. Research strategy

According to Creswell (2013), lookup strategy also acknowledged as research design is the basic plan to integrate the one-of-a-kind segments of the study logically and coherently. The design lays the blueprint for statistics collection, measurement, and analysis. Many research strategies based on the type of study, location and time, type of data and method of analysis employed. This study utilized a descriptive survey research design which seeks to provide further insight into the problem of study which aims to establish the effect of environmental design factors in the quality of education in universities. This type of design facilitates the relationship between the factors identified and the research problem. A descriptive research design was preferred since it facilitates for profiling and segmentation which is necessary for describing population samples. Also, this analyzes large amounts of data feasible thereby giving results a statistical significance.

3. Target population and sampling

3.1 Population

A population is a well-defined set of people, elements or group of things being investigated (McGuirk & O'Neill, 2016). The target population of interest for this study was heterogeneous as it consisted of students and personnel from the university. The students are from different levels of study while staff comprises of lecturers from various departments at the university.

3.2 Sample Size and Characteristics

A sample of 40 subjects was selected which included 30 students and ten lecturers. 15 of the students were seniors while the other 15 were juniors at the university. According to (Cooper et al., 2006), a sample size should be big enough to facilitate capturing of responses to enable comparative analysis. Random sampling technique was used to select the sample for the study, only those subjects willing to participate in the study were chosen.

4. Data collection

4.1 Data Collection Instrument

The primary data to evaluate the effect of environmental design factors in the quality of education in universities was collected using a structured questionnaire. According to Rowley, (2014), a questionnaire is a research instrument that facilitates the collection of data within a short period. Questionnaires were chosen because;

  • They allow collection of data within a short time. The time allowed for data collection for the study is one week, which makes questionnaires the best data collection tool to use.
  • They offer anonymity which assures respondents of confidentiality allowing them to provide their response without the fear of being observed
  • They utilize multiple question formats which facilitates an in-depth comparative analysis of responses given

Two types of questions were used for data collection. One was for students and the other for lecturers. Each of the questionnaires had two sections. The first, part A, aimed to obtain demographic information while section B contained questions assessing the opinion of respondents on the research topic. Secondary data used for the study was obtained published journals, reports and online databases from the university website and other reliable sources.

4.2 Questionnaire Administration

The questionnaires were personally distributed to the students and lecturers by the researcher. The data collection exercise was done over a one week period. Respondents filled in the questionnaires in the presence of the researcher who provided clarification wherever it was needed.

5. Validity

The validity of the questionnaire content was achieved through the use of a variety of questions and multiple formats for the selected questions. The choice of questions was based on the objectives of the study and the information collected during the review of the literature. Simple English language was used to ease understanding and ensure clarity for respondents. Questionnaires were completed in the presence of the researcher.

6. Ethical consideration

The study maintained ethical standards required for research thorough protecting the rights to confidentiality and anonymity. The study also obtained responses from consenting subjects. Permission was obtained from the university administration to conduct the study. Respondents were informed about the objective of the study and allowed to participate in the research voluntarily. The data collected from the respondents were recorded as obtained and objectivity was maintained in analysis through the use of research facilitation software.

7. Data analysis

Data collected was analyzed using ATLAS, a qualitative research program and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). ATLAS was used in the objective analysis of unstructured data while SPSS was used in the coding of questionnaires and performance of a variety of statistical operations on the data collected. Data was presented using graphs, tables, and charts to facilitate analysis of factors identified in the study with the aim of responding to the research question.

References

Cooper, D. R., Schindler, P. S., & Sun, J. (2006). Business research methods (Vol. 9). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications.

McGuirk, P. M., & O'Neill, P. (2016). Using questionnaires in qualitative human geography.

Rowley, J. (2014). Designing and using research questionnaires. Management Research Review, 37(3), 308-330.

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