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Skills of Technicians Essay

The previous section of this paper, chapter two, provided the reader with a review of the literature that is available in the field within which this research is to be conducted. The literature to be found within the field of video conferencing in the education sector was provided and analyzed. This section is going to provide the reader with the methodology that the researcher will use to conduct this study. Silverman (2004) is of the view that the methodology chapter of any qualitative research provides the reader with a highlight of the steps that the researcher followed in collecting and analyzing data for the study.

This chapter will cover, among others, the research design that the researcher is going to use, a description of the participants in the study, a description of the tools for data collection, procedure that the study will follow, ethical considerations and limitations of the methodology among others. 3. 1: Research Design Denzin & Lincoln (2005) conceptualize research design as general format that the researcher would assume in conducting the study. There are several research designs that are at the disposal of the researcher. Selection of a particular research design is informed by various factors.

These include the nature of the study and the kind of data that the researcher expects to collect for the study (Holliday, 2007). One of the research designs at the disposal of the researcher is the quantitative research design. This is whereby the researcher collects data that can be quantified and presented in numerical value (Holliday, 2007). This is for example number of residents in a city, number of trees in a forest and such others. On the other extreme of the continuum is the qualitative research design. This, according to Stebbins (2001) is used when the researcher uses data that can not be quantified.

This is for example attitudes such as love and preferences of respondents. In between the continuum is a research design that combines the attributes of both the qualitative and quantitative designs. This is when the researcher collects data made up of quantifiable and non-quantifiable factors. This research will assume a qualitative design. This is because the researcher expects to collect data that can not be quantified. This is for example the attitudes of the technicians in the IT department as far as video conferencing is concerned among others. 3. 2: Participants for the Study

3. 2. 0: Target Population Loseke & Cahil (2007) define a target population as the larger population within which the study is to be conducted. For this study, the target population is the technician staff at IT departments of universities that are not for profit. 3. 2. 1: Sample Population A sample population can be defined as a section of the target population that the researcher actually carries out a study within (Loseke & Cahil, 2007). More often than not, the sheer size of the target population makes it impossible to carry out a comprehensive study on it as a whole.

To circumvent this challenge, a researcher selects representatives from the target population that they carry a study on. This is what is referred as the sample population. The sample population must exhibit characteristics of the target population for it to be an effective representative of the same (Marshall & Rossman, 2008). The sample population in this study is the technicians in the IT department of the selected university. 3. 2. 2: Sample Selection The researcher will use stratified sampling to select the respondents for the study.

All of the universities in the state will be stratified into those that offer video conferencing facilities to their students and those that do not. The researcher will select the respondents from the former strata (Ziman, 2000). Those universities so selected will further be stratified according to their location, and the researcher will select the university that is closer to them geographically. The researcher will stratify the staff members in the university according to their departments, and they would select those from the IT department stratum. 3. 2. 3: Sample Size

The sample size for this study will be 20 IT technicians. The researcher will settle for this number given that they would be able to conduct the research on them effectively. 3. 2. 4: Sample Composition The sample population would be made up of 2 Puerto Ricans, 2 Colombians, 3 Americans, 3 Africans, 2 Indians, 2 Russians, 2 Middle Eastern, 2 Dominicans and 2 Haitians. This is in order to make the results of the study as representative as possible as far as cultural background is concerned (Pawluch, Shaffir & Miall, 2005). The ages of the participants will be between 18 and 45 years of age.

3. 3: Tools for Data Collection The researcher will make use of structured interviews to collect data from the respondents. The interviews will be structured so that consistency can be assured for as far as responses are concerned (Mahoney & Goertz, 2006). All of the respondents will be required to respond to the same set of questions. 3. 4: Procedure for Data Analysis and Presentation The researcher will make use of recursive abstraction to analyze the data collected in the study. This will include summarizing the data and deducing from the summaries so made (Stebbins, 2001).

Simple statistic manipulations will be used in this summarizing. This would include percentages, fractions and such others. The findings of the study will be presented using simple methods of representations. These will include graphs and pie charts together with tables. This is in order to make the results of the study to be easily understood by the target audience (Pawluch et al, 2005). 3. 5: Ethical Considerations According to Silverman (2004), ethical considerations are of utmost importance as far as studies making use of human subjects are concerned.

To this end, the researcher in this study will make sure that confidentiality and privacy of the participants is provided for. The participants will be allowed to make informed decisions on whether to participate in the study. Voluntary participation will be encouraged, and the participants will be free to drop out of the study at any stage before completion if they feel so. The names of the participants will not appear anywhere in the findings of the study. The participants will also be interviewed privately, and the findings of the study will not be disclosed to third parties.

3. 6: Trustworthiness To ensure trustworthiness of the study, the researcher will seek endorsements from the university’s ethical committee. The researcher will present a research proposal to the committee, and will only proceed with the actual study only after the proposal is assented. 3. 7: Potential Research Bias Personal biases on the part of the researcher are likely to impact on the study. The researcher has a background in education studies, and they hold IT in the educational sector in high regard.

As a result of this, the researcher may subconsciously desire to portray integration of video conferencing in the university in a positive light. This bias will be checked by having the researcher following the advice of the supervisor, and been objective as much as possible. 3. 8: Limitations The study will be limited to IT technicians in the IT department of one university only. This is despite the fact that there are many universities that use video conferencing in their departments. The research will also be carried out only on the IT technicians in the selected university.

The views and opinions of other stakeholders such as students and lecturers will not be included. References Denzin, N. K. , & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005). The Sage handbook of qualitative research. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Holliday, A. R. (2007). Doing and writing qualitative research. 2nd Edition. London: Sage Publications. Loseke, D. R. , & Cahil, S. E. (2007). “Publishing qualitative manuscripts: Lessons learned”. In C. Seale, G. Gobo, J. F. Gubrium, & D. Silverman (Eds. ), Qualitative Research Practice: Concise Paperback Edition, pp. 491-506.

London: Sage. Mahoney, J. , & Goertz, G. (2006). A tale of two cultures: Contrasting quantitative and qualitative research. Political Analysis, 14(2), 227–249. Marshall, C. , & Rossman, G. B. (2008). Designing qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Pawluch, D. , Shaffir, W. , & Miall C. (2005). Doing ethnography: Studying everyday life. Toronto, ON Canada: Canadian Scholars’ Press. Silverman, D. (2004). Qualitative research: Theory, method and practice. London: SAGE. Stebbins, R. A. (2001). Exploratory research in the social sciences. Thousand Oaks,

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