Research Designs

Common Research Designs

Now that you understand more about selecting a survey and the qualities of reliability and validity, the next question is: How do I administer my survey? 

This next section will provide you with information on common research and evaluation designs. The design you select should align with the purpose of your evaluation, the type of information you wish to collect, and your program or organizations’ capacity to implement a certain design. This section will explore the different designs that can best help you evaluate your program.

 

Click on the links below to view information on common research designs 

 

Key Definitions

Intervention

An intervention can be a class, training, workshop, program, policy change, or medical treatment. It generally refers to the action a participant receives that aims to achieve some change in the participant or participant group.

Participant group

The group of individuals that receive an intervention.

Comparison group

A comparison group is a group of individuals who do not receive the intervention (or only parts of an intervention) and mirror the participant groups on selected qualities. Participants are usually not randomly selected for participation in the comparison group.

Control group

A control group is a group of individuals who do not receive the intervention and mirror the participant groups on selected qualities. These participants are usually randomly selected for participation. Since a control group is more rigorously designed than a comparison group, participants likely receive none of an intervention and are matched on very specific qualities/characteristics. Participants may have no knowledge on whether they are receiving the actual intervention or not.

Randomization

(Random Selection)

Randomization or random selection is the process by which one individual or group receives the intervention and one does not. If your study is randomized it means everyone has an equal chance of getting the intervention or not.

Pretest

A survey or assessment to measure the qualities an intervention/program is expected to change in the participants or group. A pretest is given before the participants receive any intervention.

Posttest

A survey or assessment to measure the qualities an intervention/program is expected to change in the participants or group. A posttest is given after the participants receive any intervention.

 

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