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BSW-129: Research Methods in Social Work

BSW-129: Research Methods in Social Work

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BSW-129 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Research Methods in Social Work, you have come to the right place. BSW-129 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BSWG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BSW-129/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BSW-129

Assignment Name: Research Methods in Social Work

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer any five of the following questions in about 300 words each. 20x5


Q1) Discuss the scope and uses of social work research.

Ans) Since social work is a practice-based profession, social work research aims to solve social issues and improve the efficacy of social work practise.


The following domains can be used to understand the breadth of social work research:

  1. Studying Social Problems: The majority of the time, social work research comes before any intervention done by social workers in the field. Research is conducted to identify the contributing causes to social problems prior to the implementation of any service or programme.

  2. Practice Settings: In all areas of social work practise, including rural and urban communities, families and children, youth development, health and mental health settings, disaster management, disability, the elderly and infirm, education, conflict resolution, Dalits and tribal groups, communal violence, gender issues, crime, abuse, exploitation, labour bondage, livelihood issues, poverty, and other areas, social work research is conducted.

  3. Improving Competence of Social Workers: Enhancing and updating the knowledge and skills of social workers who act as change agents is a significant topic of social work study.

  4. Types of Research: Various study strategies, methodologies, methods, and tools have been used in social work research. While qualitative approaches are used to comprehend the nature and characteristics of the current problem, quantitative methods are used to acquire information on the problem's size.

  5. Research Agencies: Various institutions and groups conduct social work research. Research projects are also undertaken by civil society organisations and other government authorities, usually to examine the viability of suggested social welfare programmes or to evaluate the impact of ongoing or completed projects and schemes.

  6. Social Work Approaches: The focus of social work research has also altered to meet the needs as social work techniques have transitioned from welfare and charity to empowerment and development.


Uses of Social Work Research

In both social work education and practise, social work research is important. Let's mention a few of the most important applications of social work research.

  1. Research in social work aids in knowledge creation. This information creates the scientific foundation for the social work profession and offers a unique body of knowledge, abilities, and values.

  2. Social work research provides information for planning social welfare and development programmes through formative research and baseline surveys.

  3. Evaluation of programmes and policies is another area where social work research has a significant impact. Use research to better understand social issues and evaluate social welfare and development plans and initiatives, from tiny grass-roots organisations to national and international institutions.

  4. By revealing which approaches and models produce fruitful outcomes, social work research aids in improving the competence and expertise of service providers.

  5. Research in social work aids in a deeper comprehension of the target populations and communities, which makes it easier to execute programmes.


Q2) Explain the major research designs.

Ans) Essentially, a research study's plan is its research design. Research topics, hypotheses, dependent and independent variables, data collection techniques, etc. are all defined by the study's design. The structure developed to find solutions to research issues is known as research design.


According to the research design, research can be categorised as follows:


Exploratory Research Design

As the name implies, this study strategy investigates a subject that has not received much attention and is poorly covered in our field's literature. It entails researching an issue about which little to nothing is known. When there are few or no relevant studies available, an exploratory research design is utilised to tackle research issues or areas/topics. The goal of this research design is to increase knowledge and understanding of the research problem or topic. Researchers in sociology and social work have started exploratory investigations to learn more about some remote tribal communities about which we knew very little.


Descriptive Research Design

The goal of descriptive research designs is to gather data and provide a thorough description of a social phenomenon, social group, community, or system. It "describes" what is there in a situation in terms of variables or conditions. It is concerned with current circumstances or interactions among various factors, prevalent customs and worldviews, attitudes, and procedures of the social context or issue under study. While descriptive research methods can help answer the who, what, when, where, and how questions related to a specific study problem, even with strong conclusive data, researchers may not be able to respond to the question "why."


Experimental Research Design

The goal of experimental research designs is to identify the causal connections between variables. Experimental studies are the most rigid of the three types of research designs, strictly following the study methods and adhering to statistical parameters for analysis. As a result, the research studies in question have high levels of validity and reliability. The purpose of this study design is to establish hypotheses, and the process is to gather data to support or refute those assumptions. Experimental research designs, which have their roots in positivism, frequently resemble work in the natural sciences. It indicates that scientists that employ experimental approaches try to understand the connection between two or more variables.


Q3) Describe the salient features of qualitative research.

Ans) The type of data needed for these research investigations is very different from the typical information that is numerical and statistical in character. Let's examine some key aspects of qualitative research.


The salient features of qualitative research are as follows:

  1. The goal of qualitative research is to examine situations in the real world as they naturally develop. The "life experiences" and "personal viewpoints" of the people are captured.

  2. In qualitative research, there are no pre-established hypotheses or presumptions. The unpredictable nature of the responses is one of the distinctive features of qualitative research.

  3. In contrast to quantitative research, which focuses on how many participants or respondents choose particular categories or alternatives, qualitative research examines people's actions and behaviours without using manipulation or control.

  4. Qualitative research offers a comprehensive view of the complicated social system being studied.

  5. Given that information in qualitative research is derived from a small sample, it is challenging to generalise the findings to a wider environment.

  6. 'Being objective' is not a rigid requirement in qualitative studies.

  7. It includes methodological details and customizable research strategies. A qualitative researcher can examine a social phenomenon holistically using an unstructured technique.

  8. Small sample sizes make it easier to thoroughly and in-depth study research concerns.

  9. In contrast to experimental research, which follows a linear and unidirectional sequence of design phases, a qualitative research study's organisational structure varies widely.

  10. The primary source of information used by qualitative researchers to describe and analyse human behaviour is a small group of people they refer to as "informants" or "respondents." Every phase of a qualitative study is underpinned by a reflexive approach to make sure that the researcher's biases, assumptions, and interpretations are readily apparent.


Q4) Explain the advantages and disadvantages of mixed method research.

Ans) The advantages and disadvantages of mixed method research are as follows:


Advantages of Mixed Method Research

  1. An approach using a mixture of methods aids in balancing the inherent flaws in both quantitative and qualitative research. We are aware that qualitative research can be used to make up for the limitations of quantitative research in understanding the context or environment in which individuals behave. The advantages of each strategy can balance out the drawbacks of the other by combining the two types of research.

  2. A holistic viewpoint emerges when flaws of any specific strategy are countered by triangulating with other techniques. Compared to either quantitative or qualitative methodologies alone, it offers a fuller and more thorough grasp of the study problem.

  3. It offers a method for creating instruments that are better and more context sensitive.

  4. Studies using a combination of approaches can be helpful when a previous study yields unexpected results.

  5. One can somewhat generalise the qualitative data using an integrated strategy.

  6. As it gives greater evidence than examining a research problem either quantitatively or qualitatively, it aids in the creation of stronger theoretical frameworks.

  7. By acquiring more freedom in the use of approaches, viewpoints, methods, and tools, it fosters creative and divergent thinking.

  8. It promotes interaction between qualitative and quantitative researchers, fostering a more robust research community.


Disadvantages of Mixed Method Research 

  1. Mixed-methods research can be challenging and time-consuming. Because so much data is produced, gathering, and analysing both quantitative and qualitative data can be challenging.

  2. The research design using mixed methodologies can be highly complicated. It may be necessary for researchers to reconcile disagreements that develop in the interpretation of various types of data.

  3. Compared to a uni-method approach, this form of research typically requires a lot more planning and funding.

  4. Researchers who plan and carry out one method while drawing from the results of another, as required in sequential mixed-method designs, are rare. Researchers who adopt a mix-method approach must be familiar with both types of data collection.

  5. Additionally, certain mixed-method designs may produce inconsistent or even unfair evidence. Analyzing these results becomes a challenging task.

  6. There isn't much information accessible on adhering to rules and norms because integrated method is a more recent phenomena in the field of research. It could become challenging for researchers to choose when to move forward using sequential designs.


Q5) Discuss the methods and tools of data collection.


Methods of Data Collection



As the name implies, this is original, first-hand data collected by the data researchers. This process is the initial information gathering step, performed before anyone carries out any further or related research. Primary data results are highly accurate provided the researcher collects the information. However, there’s a downside, as first-hand research is potentially time-consuming and expensive.



Secondary data is second-hand data collected by other parties and already having undergone statistical analysis. This data is either information that the researcher has tasked other people to collect or information the researcher has looked up. Simply put, it’s second-hand information. Although it’s easier and cheaper to obtain than primary information, secondary information raises concerns regarding accuracy and authenticity. Quantitative data makes up a majority of secondary data.


Tools of Data Collection


Primary Data Collection

  1. Interviews: The researcher asks questions of a large sampling of people, either by direct interviews or means of mass communication such as by phone or mail. This method is by far the most common means of data gathering.

  2. Projective Technique: Projective data gathering is an indirect interview, used when potential respondents know why they're being asked questions and hesitate to answer.

  3. Delphi Technique: In the realm of data collection, researchers use the Delphi technique by gathering information from a panel of experts. Each expert answers questions in their field of specialty, and the replies are consolidated into a single opinion.

  4. Focus Groups: Focus groups, like interviews, are a commonly used technique. The group consists of anywhere from a half-dozen to a dozen people, led by a moderator, brought together to discuss the issue.

  5. Questionnaires: Questionnaires are a simple, straightforward data collection method. Respondents get a series of questions, either open or close-ended, related to the matter at hand.


Secondary Data Collection

Unlike primary data collection, there are no specific collection methods. Instead, since the information has already been collected, the researcher consults various data sources, such as:

  1. Financial Statements

  2. Sales Reports

  3. Retailer/Distributor/Deal Feedback

  4. Customer Personal Information (e.g., name, address, age, contact info)

  5. Business Journals

  6. Government Records (e.g., census, tax records, Social Security info)

  7. Trade/Business Magazines

  8. The internet

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