Choosing a research approach will determine the kind of outcome your study yields. For example, imagine you were interested in studying a mentoring program for nursing students. A qualitative study of the mentoring program might result in data that addresses nursing students’ perceptions of the mentoring program and how they describe their own participation in the program and their relationship with their mentor. Contrast this with a quantitative study on the same topic. A quantitative study might explore the relationship between nursing-student satisfaction with the mentoring program and their success in clinical classes. In the first example, qualitative data would reveal a rich synthesis of information about the experiences and perceptions of nursing students. The quantitative study would provide statistical information about the correlation between student satisfaction with the mentoring program and his or her subsequent academic achievement.
Both types of studies—quantitative and qualitative—would produce potentially interesting information that could be used by scholars and practitioners to understand the impact of a mentoring program for nursing students. However, the different study outcomes answer different research questions and yield different types of data. Which study is more valuable? That can’t be answered, because both studies have merit. A researcher must determine his or her objectives for a study and the use of potential data prior to choosing either a quantitative or a qualitative research design. This assignment challenges you to think about your own research topic and proposed question and how the topic and question could best be studied, quantitatively or qualitatively.
Written Assignment Instructions:
In a paper of at least 1,700 words (not including title, abstract, and reference pages), describe how your research topic and question could be studied both quantitatively and qualitatively. In your paper, demonstrate your understanding of quantitative and qualitative research approaches by discussing the following:
- How the two research approaches (quantitative and qualitative) would lead to different types of studies with potentially different research questions
- The types of data each study approach (quantitative and qualitative) would yield
- The kinds of conclusions that could be reached in each type of study (quantitative and qualitative)
- The advantages and disadvantages of each research approach (quantitative and qualitative) in answering your proposed research question
- The approach (quantitative or qualitative) that you believe would be best to answer your research question and the justification for your decision
Support your arguments with references to at least three different scholarly articles (academic journal articles) in addition to any required course readings.