The QPA of the respondent for the previous term is the closest most accurate measure possible for the respondent’ s academic standing. This measure was meant to be used to correlate the effect of the respondent’ s level of participation in social networking sites to that respondent’ s studies. Qualitative variables (Quantitative data analysis, n.d. ) covered by the study are the respondent’ s gender, course and year level, as well as social networking sites participated in by the respondent and open-ended questions on why the respondent participates in social networking sites and the respondent’ s perceived effect of participation in social networking sites on his or her personal life, social life, studies, emotional state, physical state, and finances.
The open-ended questions were also given the categories of positive, negative and neutral, which could be quantified by category. Description of Data Sources Primary data sources were the respondents of the study. Their responses to the survey questionnaire comprised the main bulk of data to be analyzed. Secondary sources were social networking sites on the Web. These were surveyed and used in designing the research instrument. The most popular social networking sites were listed by the researcher on the questionnaire. Another secondary source was the University of Chester where the researcher gathered data on the grading system of the students for use in the questionnaire. Data Collection Methods The survey was the data collection method chosen in order to be able to infer the characteristics, attitudes, and behavior of students in general from the sample (Creswell, 2003).
In this case, the inquiry was on the use of social networking and its effect on students. With the mixed method approach used by the study, data were collected simultaneously in one phase through the survey, once again ensuring the economy in time, effort and other resources (Creswell, 2003).
InstrumentThe questionnaire was chosen as the survey instrument in order to identify, report and interpret the characteristics, attitudes, and behavior of the respondents from the sample (Method and Research Design, n.d. ).
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