Research design is a master plan that is specifics the methods and procedures for collecting and analyzing the needed information.
The design includes an outline of what the research will do from writing the hypothesis and its operational implications to the final analysis of data.
More explicitly, the design decisions happen to be in respect of:
- What is the study about?
- Why is the study begging made?
- Where will the study be carried out?
- What type of data is required?
- Where can be required data be found?
- What period of time will be study include?
- What techniques of data collection will be used?
- How will the data be analyzed?
- In what style will the report be prepared?
Based on the designed decision one may split the overall research design into the following parts:
a) The sampling design: which deals with the method of selecting items to be observed for the given study;
b) The observational design: which relatives to the conditions under which the observations are to be made;
c) The statistical design: which concerns with the questions of how many items are to be observed and how the information and data gathered are to be analyzed; and
d) The operational design: which deals with the techniques by which the process specified in the sampling, statistical and observational designs can be carried out.
From what has been stated above, we can state the important features of a research design as follows:
a) It is a plan that specifies the sources and types of information relevant to the research problem.
b) It is a strategy specifying which approach will be used for gathering and analyzing the data.
c) It also includes the time and cost budget since most studies are done under these two constraints.
In brief, Research Design Must, at least contain-
a) A clear statement of research problem;
b) Procedures and techniques to be used for gathering information;
c) The population to be studied; and
d) Methods to be used in the processing and analyzing data.
Features of Good Design
A good design should be –
Economical and so on.
The designer who is minimizing bias and maximizes the reliability of the data collected and analyzed is considered a good design.