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Research Methodology Workshop 2017

ICSSR Sponsored Seven Days’ National Workshop on Methodology of Social Science Research

19-25 June 2017

 Report on the workshop

Seven days’ research methodology workshop sponsored by ICSSR was conducted at on 19 to 25 July 2017 to give the social work educators as well as the student social workers ample space to learn the subject in depth. Altogether 18 research scholars registered and attended the workshop. Prof. Ravindra Jaybhay, Officer on Special Duty, Research, Savitribai Phule Pune University and Prof. Praveen Saptarshi, Professor Emiritus, Department of Environmental Science, SPPU attended the inaugural session of the workshop on 19th June 2017.

Day 1:          19th June 2017      Monday: What is social science research?                           

At 09.00 all the participants were registered. After the break fast, inaugural session was held at 10.00 to 11.30. The inaugural session began with institute song followed by garlanding of the bust of Dr. Bhaskar Pandurang Hiwale, the founder of the Institute. Prof. Suresh Pathare, director, BPHES’ CSRD Institute of Social Work and Research gave the welcome and introduction of the workshop.

Dr. Ravindra G Jaybhaye, Professor, Department of Geography, and officer on special duty, Research, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune was the chief guest. He spoke on the importance of research for realising sustainable development goals in India. Research is required on each of the 17 sustainable development goals, to understand the real situation, to understand the impediments in the realisation of these goals, and to experiment with innovative strategies to achieve them. There is a need to document the indigenous knowledge such as the success code of Hiware Bazar and Ralegaon Sidhi. Research is required to clearly define the type of development model required for our villages. Research will sketch out the development aspirations of villages. There is active and passive peace. Active peace is preventive while passive peace is the peace building strategies after the peace is destroyed. Research is an effective means for active peace building process in the nation.

Dr. Praveen Saptarshi, Professor Emirites, Department of Environmental Science, Savitribai Phule Pune University was the Guest of honour of the inaugural session and he chaired the session. He expressed his concern over the crunching resource base of the country. How green is green revolution? Research helps to compare various strategies for sustainable development of the nation. Dr. Jaimon Varghese gave the vote of thinks

The first technical session of the workshop was held at 11.45 to 01.30 on the topic of conceptualising social research, delivered by Dr. Praveen Saptarshi, Professor Emirites, Department of Environmental Science, Savitribai Phule Pune University. While conceptualising the social research what is important is the micro analysis. The resource person explained the importance of anthropology for social work research (inter disciplinary research), importance of self direction in Ph D research and importance of exploring various dimensions of sustainable development by means of social work research.

In the post lunch session at 02.30 to 03.30 Dr. Suresh Pathare & Dr. Jaimon Varghese explained the objectives of the research methodology workshop. They explored from the participants their expectations from the workshop. Based on their expectations, goals were set for the research methodology workshop. Some of the expectations expressed by the participants included clarity and knowledge for developing research proposal, guidelines for enrolling for Ph D/ M Phil, guidelines to proceed on ongoing Ph D, refreshing knowledge and skills for data analysis with the help of SPSS and Excel and gaining knowledge about qualitative research tools. Other expectations included improving skills of review of literature, knowing about ethical concerns like plagiarism and gain insights in publishing research articles. Expectations also included improving academic profile and gaining API score. After listening to all the expectations of the participants, Dr. Suresh Pathare set the goals for the research methodology workshop. He assured that the workshop would definitely bring conceptual clarity on various issues concerning social research and social work research. There are several sessions planned to explain the various research processes, statistical analysis and writing the final report.

After the tea break, at 03.45 to 05.30 Dr. GD Londhe conducted the session on Problem formulation & identifying research problem. He explained the definition of social research, research problem and various stages in conducting social research. He discussed various factors to be taken in to consideration when a topic is selected for study.

Day 2:         20th June 2017      Tuesday: Components of research                                        

The day began with a short feed back session on the workshop of the first day (19/06/2017). Two of the participants expressed summarised the proceedings of the first day’s sessions. Thereafter at 09.30 to 11.15 Dr. Suresh Pathare conducted the session on scope of research, framing objectives, and hypothesis and research questions. Why research is conducted? It is mainly due to quest for knowledge. For some people, it is an interesting engagement or a style of life. It is also a means to improve academic qualification. It can definitely be a means for self improvement, ego boost and finally for career advancement. Research is applied in various walks of life. Everyday research refers to the market research (the best of several brands to purchase), daily searching for a better job or an educational course to pursue. Professional research is economic and management research. Applied research is industrial research conducted in Research and Development (R & D) departments. Academic research is often blue sky research. Blue skies research (also called blue sky science) is scientific research in domains where “real-world” applications are not immediately apparent. It has been defined as “research without a clear goal” and “curiosity-driven science.” Development research is to improve infrastructure. Scientific research enhances to the knowledge base. Technological and engineering research intends to improve technology. Academic research brings out truth. Social research is a scientific method whose characteristics are objectivity, verifiability, replication and prediction. The types of research include pure and applied, descriptive, co-relational, explorative and explanatory and qualitative and quantitative. There is a storyline for every research. The objectives of research is not just to study, but to assess, analyse, find out, determine, document and investigate. Research questions emerge from objectives. They are often substitutes for hypothesis. They are what we seek to answer through collection and analysis of empirical data. PICO questions are relevant in the context of formulation of a viable research design. PICO is evidence-based models using a process for framing a question, locating, assessing, evaluating, and repeating as needed. PICO (T) elements include: Problem/Patient/Population, Intervention/Indicator, Comparison, Outcome, and (optional) Time element or Type of Study.

At 11.30 to 01.30 Dr. Jaimon Varghese conducted the session on basic elements of research such as concepts, constructs, variables and hypotheses. These are the basic ideas which need clear understanding before undertaking any research. Concepts are simple ideas, while constructs are complex ideas. Variables are the concepts and constructs used in research. There are independent, dependent and intervening variables in research. Research questions are pertinent questions or leading questions of a research. Hypotheses are tentative answers to the research questions or speculated relationships between different sets of independent and dependent variables.

At 02.30 to 04.00 Dr. Jaimon Varghese held the session on participatory & action research. They are emerging models of qualitative research which are really problem-solving research methodologies. In participatory and action research the community with whom the research is conducted play an active role in the analysis and utilization of research data. Data is explored, processed, interpreted and conclusions are derived by the entire community for their own use. Action plans are drawn based on the findings of the participatory researches.

At 04.15 to 05.30 a practical session on the formulation of research design was conducted by Dr. Jaimon Varghese. A model research design was shown and all the participants were encouraged to formulate a suitable research design for their personal research and present in the groups on the following day.

Day 3:          21st June 2017     Wednesday: Research process                                                

After the regular feed back session the session began at 09.30 with a video (skype) conference by Dr. Venkat Pulla from Australia on the topic of ‘qualitative research design, methods and tools’. The session was facilitated by Dr. Suresh Pathare. He lectured on grounded theory. He shared with the participants a pdf book on ‘Qualitative research – methods and techniques. He enlightened the participants with this experience in conducting qualitative researches.

At 11.30 to 01.30 Dr. Maya Unde from the Department of Geography, Ahmednagar College, took a session on ‘How to write research proposal’. There are broadly five types of research – descriptive, analytical, applied, fundamental research and laboratory research. Research proposals are prepared for M Phil / Ph D researches at the academic level and for major and minor research at the applied level. The key elements of a research design are topic, background of the study, relevant literature and researches, problem and key terms, objectives, questions and hypotheses of the study, research design, population and sample, research tools, procedures for data collection and analysis, statistical techniques for data analysis, time schedule for research, cost estimate and budgeting and finally references. She also gave a group assignment to develop a research proposal.

At 02.30 to 04.00 Dr. Pritam Bedarkar conducted the session on ‘Quantitative research: design, methods and tools’. There are different types of studies such as co-relational studies, case studies, longitudinal studies, survey and opinion polls. Quantitative research is essentially quantification of variables by defining variables and developing indicators to measure the variables. Questionnaire is prepared to measure the variables. Measurements are at four levels – nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio. Experimental research is a type of quantitative research. It is essentially to explore cause effect relationships between variables. Causes are independent variables and effects are dependent variables. Experimental research can be laboratory based, field based and ex post facto research. Developing a suitable research design and operational definition of the variables are essential for quantitative research.

At 04.15 to 05.30 Dr. GD Londhe conducted the session on ‘Literature review’. Literature review is the means for collecting secondary and supplementary data. Literature review is guided by objectives, hypothesis and classification. Literature review should have international, national to local level coverage. There are different styles of literature review. Now there are digital libraries and online and website resources. Literature review needs a proper mapping of resources and reviewing systematically part by part.

Day 4:          22nd June 2017    Thursday: Emerging areas                                                     

After the regular feedback, at 09.30 to 11.15 Dr. Bedarkar Pritamkumar Chandrakant continued his session on ‘Experimental research design’. Research should be objective and bias free. Bias may creep in the topic formulation, questionnaire and options of the questions. There are different types of research design – exploratory or formulative, descriptive, diagnostic and experimental. Experimental research can be true or quasi. Experimental design deals with experimental group and measurement of variables before and after the experiment. Experimental design can be within group design (complete or incomplete) and between group design which can further be grouped into randomised group (two randomised groups design and more than two randomised group design), matched group and factorial design. Alternate research designs are field based, such as, survey, co-relational design, biography, case study, sociometry, ex post facto and archival or multi analysis of variance or multi variance analysis (MANOVA). It is essentially compiling the findings of various studies. All field based research designs are based on representative sampling procedures.

At 11.30 to 01.30 Dr. GD Londhe conducted a practical session on ‘Proposal writing’ in groups. Two groups made their presentations. One group presented a design on SHG and women empowerment by name ‘A critical analysis of SHG in women empowerment’. The second group presented the research design on ‘A action research on enhancing educational status of Pardi community for better social life in the state of Maharashtra’. The resource person made remarks on the research design presented and other members also made suggestions to improve the designs.

At 02.30 to 04.00 Dr. Pritam Bedarkar conducted the first session of the ‘Introduction to statistics & SPSS’. A series of sessions on SPSS and statistical applications have been scheduled during the workshop. In this session, the resource person explained different sampling procedures. Sampling is the first statistical question in research. Probability is the fundamental question of statistics. The application of entire statistics is based on the quality of probability of the data collected. It is probability statistics that are applied in social researches. Probability sampling methods are simple and stratified. Random methods are the probability methods that give equal opportunity for each member for being selected for study. Non probability sampling methods are incidental, purposive, quota, multi stages and snow ball sampling. Data collection can be stopped at the point of saturation of data. Generally in qualitative research, when responses are exhausted or repeated a saturation point reaches and the data collection may be stopped.

At 04.15 to 05.30 Dr. Pritam Bedarkar continued his ‘session on SPSS and statistics’. He explained the scope of various computer softwares for data analysis. MS Excel and Statistical Package for Social Sciences are commonly used softwares for research. Statistical techniques used include correlation analysis, regression analysis and factor analysis.

Day 5:          23rd June 2017          Friday: Statistics & computer application                       

After the feed back on the previous day’s sessions, at 09.30 to 11.15 Dr. SB Iyyer, the academic research coordinator, Ahmednagar College, conducted the session on ‘sponsored research programs and research funding’. Savitribai Phule Pune University has several sponsored research programmes like major and minor research programmes for faculty members and Avishkar for students and young faculty members. Interdisciplinary researches are more innovative and welcome. Research should be focussed on local issues like garbage management, road maintenance, and drainage and traffic problems in Ahmednagar city. Research should find the viable solutions of the problems of the city. It should be cost effective solutions. All such solutions discovered should properly be communicated to the local bodies like Panchayats and Municipal Corporation. Social science projects are knowledge projects that create useful knowledge for the society to use. Applied research is science and technology related. Research projects are welcome by BCUD, UGC, ICSSR, CSIR, Government Ministries and Departments and industries. The beginners in research projects should start with poster presentation. Patience is important for researchers. Any beginner in research has to spend initial 6 months time in silent mode – just observe, read and discuss with peers. After three years, they should not lose patience. After gaining confidence in poster presentation, researchers can venture for oral presentations and finally write journal articles. The format of UGC sponsored project is very simple. Firstly the project title should be maximum two lines. Secondly the introduction should include origin of the problem, interdisciplinary aspects, and review of research and recent development. There should be mentioning about international studies, national studies and significance of the study. Thirdly the objectives of the study are to be presented in SMART form. Fourthly the methodology of the research has to be explained. Fifth is the year wise plan of work and targets to achieve in half yearly durations. Sixth is the detail of collaboration. The project proposal should include the details about the institutional and departmental facilities like equipment and other infrastructural facilities. Any other information should include previous research experiences. In the research proposal tabular information may be avoided or rather replace with pictorial and graphical information. Audio recorder and camera may be required for research. The short listed projects of ICSSR are invited for 10 minutes’ presentation (6 minutes for paper presentation and 4 minutes for discussion). The presentation should have a title, methodology, graphs and outcome. Fifty per cent of budget shall be dedicated to field work. There should be proper justification of the budget. If rejected, the project may be re-submitted with modifications.

At 11.30 to 01.30 Dr. Pritam Bedarkar continued his session on ‘Introduction to statistics and SPSS’. He demonstrated the use of SPSS 20 for testing hypothesis. Hypotheses are different types, such as, null hypothesis, research hypothesis, working hypothesis, alternate hypothesis, comparative hypothesis, co-relational hypothesis, and predictive hypothesis, directional and non directional hypothesis. There are separate statistical procedures for testing each type of hypothesis. The resource person explained the basic steps of hypothesis testing by using SPSS.

At 02.30 to 05.30 Dr. Pritam Bedarkar continued his session on ‘Introduction to statistics and SPSS’. He demonstrated the use of SPSS 20 for testing hypothesis by presenting the findings of a psychological study on ‘study skills of the students’. Each type of hypothesis was formulated on the sample data and tested by using the software.

Day 6:          24th June 2017          Statistics and computer application                                  

After the usual feedback session, at 09.30 to 11.15 Dr. Pritam Bedarkar and Dr. Ramesh Pathare (Head of the Department, Department of Psycology, SNDT university, Pune) continued their session on ‘Introduction to statistics & SPSS’. Important statistical analyses are determination of degree of freedom and confidence levels or levels of significance. There are two types of statistical distribution – parametric and non parametric distributions. Parametric tests are t-test, ANOVA, t-test, co-relation and meta-analysis. Non parametric tests are Chi-square, Yates’ correction and Sign test.

At 11.30 to 01.30 Dr. Ramesh Pathare conducted the session on ‘Advanced statistics for research’. Research is searching for truth or finding facts. What is required in research is minimising error variance and increasing truth variance. Research design is the blue print of research. There are descriptive and inferential statistics. Theory of probability is a statistical theory which makes possible statistical prediction. Normal probability curve (NPC) is bell shaped curve which represents distribution of most of the social characteristics.

At 02.30 to 04.00 Dr. Ramesh Pathare continued the session on ‘Advanced statistics for research’. Descriptive statistics deals with mean, mode and median. Sometimes there are uni-modal, bi-modal and multi-modal distributions. There are three types of variables – systematic variables, confounding variance and error variance. Systematic variables are independent and dependent variables. Independent variables are variables that are manipulated and dependent variables are variables which are measured. Confounding variance are nuisance and extraneous variables. Error variance is error in measurement. There is max min con principle which means maximising systematic variance, minimising error variance and controlling confounding variance. There are broadly two types of research methods – experimental and non experimental methods. Errors are three types – instrumental or measurement errors, response errors and contextual factors. Correlation does not mean causal relationship. In experimental design, causal relationship is established. One way ANOVA, two-way ANOVA and MANOVA are statistical procedures for establishing causal relationships.

At 04.15 to 05.30 Dr. GD Londhe continued the practical session on ‘Proposal writing’ in groups. Third group presented the proposal on women’s decision making and political participation. Fourth group presented the proposal on online applications and their impacts. The resource person explained the format for individual assignment to be prepared and submitted by the workshop participants. The general format of individual assignment on proposal writing are Title of the study, Introduction (statement / formulation of the problem), Introduction of the area / Profile of the place of study, Literature review, Review of past research studies, Rationale of study, Significance to social work, Objectives, Research questions, Hypothesis, Operational Definitions, Methodology (design), Pilot study conducted, Source of data, Universe and Sampling plan, Tools for data collection, Pre-test plan, Methods and plan of data collection, Methods and plan of data analysis, Chapter plan, Time plan, Assumptions & limitations of the study and References / bibliography.

Day 7:          25thJune 2017          Sunday: Report writing

After the feedback session, at 09.30 to 11.15 Dr. GD Londhe coordinated the Sharing & presentation of students of their individual assignment of research designs. Each students made a presentation within 5 to 10 minutes and the resource person made comments on each.

At 11.30 to 01.30 Valedictory session was held.  Prof. Suresh Pathare gave the welcome and introduction of the concluding session of the seven days’ research workshop. Dr. Jaimon Varghese presented the brief report on workshop. Participants gave feedback on their experience of research workshop. Valedictory address was given by Prof. Khaserao Shitole, Former Principal New Arts Commerce & Science College. He explained the importance of research in all the disciplines and emphasised the need for interdisciplinary research. Thereafter, certificates of participation were distributed. Dr. Jaimon Varghese gave the vote of thanks.

List of participants of the seven days’ research methodology workshop

  1. Akash Dada Kadam, Rahata, Ahmednagar
  2. Chavan Kuldeep, Junnar, Pune
  3. Kasote Bhaskar, Ahmednagar
  4. Pradeep Jare, Kopergaon, Ahmednagar
  5. Rajendra Shankar Kasabe, Navi Mumbai
  6. Rajkumar Rathod, Kalabusagi, Karnataka
  7. Shamuvel Waghmare, Ahmednagar
  8. Vijay Sansare, Rahuri, Ahmednagar
  9. Alka D Dhongde, Delhi
  10. Aasawari Zapake, Ahmednagar
  11. Bhale Madhuri Abaso, Kolhapur
  12. Preeti P Kamble, Ahmednagar
  13. Shital Prabhune, Shrirampur, Ahmednagar
  14. Sushma N Jogan, Kalabusagi, Karnataka
  15. Urmila P Dashwant, Sangli
  16. Vaijayanti G Kamble, Sangli
  17. Suresh Mugutmal, Ahmednagar
  18. Jaimon Varghese, Ahmednagar