The progress of any educational programs very much depends upon well conduction research. It postulates sufficient, reliable and valid facts. Such facts are normally obtained through a systematic procedure which involves various devices. Each data collecting device has both merits and demerits. Each research tool is appropriate in a given situation to accomplish a specific purpose. These tools should be used together or in combination as they supplement the work of each.
John Best (1992, P.159) commented that “Like the Tools in the carpenter’s box, each is appropriate in a given situation.” to accomplish a particular purpose Each data-collecting device has both merits and hazards or limitations, However for an effective result, each tool has its own significance. It must be used according to the required situation.
Types of Research Tools
There are varieties of tools of research used in collecting data.
1- Inquiry Forms.
3- Interview schedule.
4- Rating scale
6- Attitude scale.
8- Observation Schedule.
9- Sociometry Tests.
Let us discuss the characteristics, nature, and construction of each of the above-mentioned tools.
In general, the word questionnaire refers to a device for getting answers to questions by using a form that the respondent fills in himself. As a matter of fact, the questionnaire is a systematic compilation of questions that are subject to a sampling of the population from which information is desired.
A questionnaire has two kinds of items.
(1) The closed or structured form
(2) The open-ended or unrestricted form.
Items on which information is required may be considered and determined carefully.
Related items should be grouped together. Items may be arranged in categories.
It may be kept in view that there are several ways of arranging items
and the investigator should not be wedded to any particular way.
Rating scale is a tool which records judgments or opinions and indicates degree or amount. Essentially, it is very useful device in assessing quality.
According to Aggarwal, J.C. (1991, P.234) “Rating is a term applied to the expression of opinion or judgment regarding some situation, object or character. Opinions are usually expressed on a scale of values. Rating techniques are devices by which such judgments may be quantified.”
The rating scales are usually employed for selecting, evaluating and predicting teachers. These scales are used for evaluating the personality of an individual and for appraising the school; its courses, practices, and programs. They are further used for testing the validity of many objective instruments like paper-pencil inventory.
There are six forms of rating scales. These include:-
1- Numerical scales,
2- Graphic scales.
3- Descriptive scales.
4- Cumulative points scales.
5- Standard scales.
6- Pooled judgment scales.
Attitude scale is also called opinion are scale. It is a type of inquiry form which is used to obtain the measure of the attitude or belief of an individual or a group of individuals towards some phenomena. It consists of a set of statements indicating a favorable or unfavorable attitude towards a phenomenon or a person.
Attitude may be defined in terms of an inner feeling or belief of a person towards a particular phenomenon. Opinion denotes what a person says about his attitude towards some phenomenon. In order to measure attitude, the following two methods are used.
The Thurstone technique of scaled values. Likert’s method of summated ratings. Thurstone technique of scaled values. A number of statements (twenty or more) expressing different points of view about the subject under study are assembled to measure the attitude of an individual or individuals towards a group, institution, idea or practice.
A panel of fifty or more judges is formed and asked to arrange these statements in eleven groups–ranging from one extreme to another in position. Those items regarding which there is wide disagreement among the judges in assigning a position are discarded. Respondents may not be aware of their real attitude Respondents tend to respond according to what they should feel rather than they really feel.
Observation deals with the overt behavior of persons in appropriate situations. John W.Best and Other (1992) regards observation as the primary research instrument which seems to be observing human intelligence trying to make sense out of the human experience. It is the oldest technique. The physician and the psychologist depend heavily on what they observe of the patient’s talk, gestures and facial expressions. Observation is interviewing the other for a particular purpose.
Significance of interview
The interview is in a sense, the foundation upon which all other elements rest. The interview involves more than an oral questionnaire. It permits the gathering of development data to supplement the cross-sectional data obtained from observations. The interviewer can probe into casual factors. determine attitudes, discover when the problem started, enlist the interviewee in an analysis of his own problem and secure his support.