Student Resources

This site is intended to enhance your use of Research Design and Methods by Gary J. Burkholder, Kimberley A. Cox, Linda M. Crawford, and John H. Hitchcock. Please note that all the materials on this site are especially geared toward maximizing your understanding of the material.

SAGE Case Studies

Case studies curated from the SAGE Research Methods platform are available to accompany chapters 5, 8, 11, and 15.

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Chapter 5: Quantitative Analysis

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Article 1: Cockbain, E., Ashby, M., & Brayley-Morris, H. (2017). Children, Gender, and Sexual Exploitation: A Quantitative Analysis of Administrative Data. SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2,

Summary: In quantitative research, perhaps the most obvious limitation of working with secondary data is the lack of influence on the design and deployment of the data collection instrument. In this article, we have demonstrated that there are additional pitfalls in working with secondary data generated not for research but for administrative purposes.

Questions to Consider

  1. In our research, we were able to consult with those responsible for managing the original data collection and inputting process. What problems could we have faced if we had not been able to do this?
  2. For this study, we used secondary data that were collected for administrative purposes; what are the challenges and benefits of this approach?
  3. What are the different approaches to dealing with missing data and why might you continue with the research when you do not have a complete data set?
  4. This study was conducted as part of a collection of complementary research projects. What are the key considerations when conducting research that is part of a larger program of work?

Chapter 8: Mixed Methods Designs and Approaches

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Article 1: Snyder, M. M. (2015). Mixed Methods in the Classroom: Peer Assessment/Feedback Training in an Undergraduate Sports Medicine Course. SAGE Research Methods Cases,

Summary: There are many details that are important to consider before formulating a mixed-methods study.

Questions to Consider

  1. What are some other ways that I could have collected data to determine whether peer assessment/feedback (PAF) training was effective?
  2. What are some other potential pitfalls of conducting classroom research that were not mentioned in this case?
  3. Think about a teaching technique that you use. If you are not an educator, think about a technique you use while you are working. How can you critically examine the method using quantitative methods? How can you critically examine the method using qualitative methods?
  4. How else might a teacher researcher control and/or acknowledge biases during classroom research?

Chapter 11: Survey Research

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Article 1: Giesler, F. (2019). Survey Research: Learning about the Decision-Making Strategies of Local Policy Makers. SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2,

Summary: Survey research methods are appropriate for learning about knowledge, attitudes, and values. Survey research is a very common approach for social science research.

Questions to Consider

  1. Draft three to five survey questions that will collect data on the respondent’s knowledge, attitudes, or values relevant to a public policy issue. Each question should use a unique format such as a forced-choice option, multiple-select option, open-ended narrative response, or rank order. Share drafted questions with a peer or group members and critique each question. Identify the strengths and problems with each question. Suggest revisions to the drafted questions.
  2. Draft two questions designed to obtain the same kind of information gathered in response to Question 1. One question should be a forced-choice or a multiple-response question and the other should be an open-ended narrative response question. Ask one peer to answer the closed-ended question and ask another peer to answer the open-ended question. Compare the responses and note their similarity and differences. Discuss the strengths and challenges of each approach.
  3. Using the survey questions identified in response to Question 1, identify a population for whom you would like to survey to learn about their knowledge, attitudes, or values. Describe the recruitment strategies that you would use to engage this population in responding to your survey.
  4. Identify two key informants who could provide feedback on your survey. What specific expertise do these key informants contribute to your survey?
  5. Identify any potential ethical concerns related to your survey questions, or the subject matter of your survey (public policy knowledge, attitudes, or values). Explain the rationale for the ethical concerns. Could a survey participant be harmed in some way by the survey questions? If so, in what way? Discuss with peers the ethical considerations for survey purpose and participant demographics relevant to public policy knowledge, attitudes, and values.

Chapter 15: Grounded Theory

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Article 1: Camargo, B. A. (2019). Immersing in a World of Justice in Tourism: A Grounded Theory Approach. SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2,

Summary: Grounded theory is not a journey to embark upon lightly. One has to be prepared to challenge a number of one’s own assumptions and beliefs and be prepared to be changed from experience, in the field and in the writing.

Questions to Consider

  1. What interview questions can be developed to examine issues related to justice and equity in your discipline?
  2. What is the role of secondary data in grounded theory studies?
  3. What would be key dynamics to observe in relation to justice and equity when engaged in participant observation?
  4. What are some methods that can help you deal with the emotions and frustrations during the research process?
  5. What are some of the ethical issues found in this case? How would you approach them?