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MDCE-006: Research Methods in Development Communication

MDCE-006: Research Methods in Development Communication

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for MDCE-006 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Research Methods in Development Communication, you have come to the right place. MDCE-006 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in PGDDC, MADJ courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MDCE-006/2021-22

Course Code: MDCE-006

Assignment Name: Research Methods in Development Communication

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Maximum Marks: 100

Note: Answer all the questions; they carry equal marks. (Answer in 500 Words)

Q1. With the help of, trace the recent research trends in the field of development communication.

Ans) Two research papers have been attached at the end of this document. Please review them to form the answer.

Q2. Identify ten research articles from the peer-reviewed journal on "Media and Gender". As per the explanation given in Unit 5. Write reviews for this literature.


Q3. Explain the merits and demerits of quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Ans) The merits and demerits of quantitative and qualitative research methods are:

Quantitative Merits

  1. Controlled, objective testing and experimentation ultimately supports or rejects your hypotheses. Each step is standardized to reduce bias when collecting and analysing data.

  2. A big advantage of this approach is that the results are valid, reliable and generalizable to a larger population.

  3. Quantitative research is advantageous for studies that involve numbers, such as measuring achievement gaps between different groups of students or assessing the effectiveness of a new blood pressure medication.

  4. Larger sample sizes allowing for robust analysis of the results, so you are able to make more generalisations of your target audience.

  5. Impartiality and accuracy of the data as it based on the survey questions for screening, grouping and other hard number facts.

  6. Faster and easier to run particularly online and mobile surveys, where you can see the results in real time.

  7. Data is anonymous especially with sensitive topics through self-completion exercises like online surveys.

Quantitative Demerits

  1. While quantitative research methods work well in the laboratory under tightly controlled conditions, measuring phenomena like human behavior in natural settings is trickier.

  2. Survey instruments are vulnerable to errors such as mistakes in measurement and flawed sampling techniques.

  3. Another disadvantage is that quantitative research involves numbers, but some topics are too difficult to quantify in numbers.

  4. Limited by the set answers on a survey, so you are unable to go beyond that in delving in more detail the behaviours, attitudes and reasons as you do with qualitative research. This is particularly true with self-completion surveys (online), where there is no interviewer probing you even if you include a couple of open-ended questions.

  5. Research is not carried out in their normal environment, so can seem artificial and controlled. Answers given by participants are claimed and may not be their actual behaviour in real life.

  6. Unable to follow-up any answers given after they have completed the survey due to the anonymity of the participants. This is especially true for validity of the findings if the results are inconclusive. Although you can ask at the end of the survey if they would like to do a follow-up survey but not all participants may agree to do so.

Qualitative Merits

  1. Qualitative research is often used to conduct social and behavioural studies because human interactions are more complex than molecular reactions in a beaker.

  2. Subjectivity, non-random sampling and small sample size distinguishes qualitative research from quantitative research.

  3. A big advantage of qualitative research is the ability to deeply probe and obtain rich descriptive data about social phenomena through structured interviews, cultural immersion, case studies and observation.

  4. Explores attitudes and behaviour in-depth as it’s more on a personal level and can delve in detail to gain a better understanding of their views and actions to generate or examine a hypothesis in more detail.

  5. Encourages discussion as it’s more in an open manner instead of strictly following a fixed set of questions. In this way, it gives the research some context rather than just numbers.

  6. Flexibility, where the interviewer can probe and is able to ask any questions around the subject matter, they feel is relevant or had not thought of before during the discussions and can even change the setting.

Qualitative Demerits

  1. Qualitative studies often take more time to complete due to the pain staking nature of gathering and analysing field notes, transcribing interviews, identifying themes and studying photographs, for instance.

  2. The sample size can be an issue if you are taking the opinion of 5 people out of 300 of your customers or subscribers as a generalisation.

  3. Bias in the sample selection, meaning the people you are selecting to take part in the qualitative research may all have a certain opinion of the subject matter rather than a group of people with mixed views, which is more valuable particularly if they are debating with opposing views during focus groups.

  4. Lack of privacy, if you are covering sensitive topics then people taking part may not be comfortable in sharing their thoughts and opinions of the subject with others.

  5. Whether you are using a skilled moderator or not. It is of vital importance; the moderator is skilled and experienced in managing the conversations of groups as well as being knowledgeable enough of the subject matter to ask relevant questions that may have not been thought of.

Q4. With the help of any online journal database, identify the popular research methods in development communication. Give a suitable example.

Ans) One of the most common research strategies used by communication scholars is the case study. It is also a qualitative research method. There are three basic approaches to social science research: positivism (objectivism), interpretivism, and critical thinking. Each has its own paradigm, which aids in the selection of the most suited research approach. The goal and methods employed for study are used to categorise research.

Research Paradigms

Although some of these topics have been briefly discussed in previous courses, it is worthwhile to look more into the research traditions and paradigms in the social sciences and mass communication. Because the case study might be viewed as a research method, a methodology, or a tool to be used, this is required. As a result, as explained in this course, a background for case study is required. Several academics, including Blaikie and Neuman, have recognised three distinct methods to social science research. The three paradigms are positivism, interpretivism, and critical thinking. The foundations of paradigms are assertions that are universally recognised as true. The selection of an acceptable research approach is aided by paradigms.

Following that, social scientists began to employ a modified version of positivism. Quantitative procedures, assumptions, and objective measurement are used in this paradigm. The interpretative research tradition was championed by sociologists Max Weber and Wilhelm Dil. The major goal was to learn and comprehend how people make meaning and interpret issues and occurrences in their natural surroundings on a daily basis. Since the 1970s, the interpretive approach has grown in favour. In the humanities, the critical approach is commonly used. Freedom, justice, power in society, and political ideologies are all notions that have values linked with them, and critical research focuses on them.

In three respects, the positivist approach varies from the interpretive school. For starters, the two schools disagree on what constitutes reality. Reality is objective for a positivist, and 'it is out there.' There is no single reality for interpretive scholars. As part of his or her research, each researcher has the ability to construct reality. To put it another way, reality is subjective. Positivists believe that reality can be broken down into numerous components, and that by studying each one, one can gain a better knowledge of the whole. Because reality is complicated, interconnected, and complete for him/her, the interpretive scholar examines the entire process. Second, the positivist believes that all humans are similar and therefore general categories are better for summarising their actions. Each human being, according to the interpretive researcher, is unique and cannot be lumped into broad groups. Finally, positivists want to come up with universal rules of behaviour, whereas interpretive researchers want to come up with a unique explanation for a specific scenario or person.

Different sorts of research in mass communication have been conducted depending on the approach taken. The goal and methods utilised for study are used to classify such research. We can categorise research as pure, applied, exploratory, descriptive, evaluative, and action based on the purpose. It might be qualitative or quantitative in nature. Qualitative research emphasises the aspects of subjective interpretation, whereas quantitative research focuses on data and their meaning when analysed.

Most researchers today use a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to assess a phenomenon. Researchers compile data from both qualitative and quantitative sources to create a comprehensive or holistic appraisal of the topic under investigation. The use of both procedures is referred to as 'triangulation.' Small samples are used by qualitative researchers. Increasing the sample size solves the problem of generalisability. In qualitative research, variable questioning modalities are used, whereas in quantitative research, static or standardised questions are used. The same set of questions must be answered by all respondents. We cross-check or verify one piece of data against the other when both procedures are applied, resulting in triangulation. As a result, a more full and complete image of a problem or occurrence emerges.

Q5. Enumerate four levels of measurements. Give a suitable example from the development sectors.

Ans) The four levels of measurement are: nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio.

  1. The coding or actual counting is done after the content categories have been selected as well as what is to be counted. This can happen at any of the four data measurement levels. We simply count the frequency of occurrence of the units in each category at the nominal level. For example, we can simply count the amount of news items, features, special articles, and editorials that appear in a newspaper's sample issues. Alternatively, we might tally the number of times certain sales appeals are utilised in the advertising that make up the sample. When we want to rate or rank content attributes, we use ordinal and interval level measurements.

  2. Unlike at the nominal level, the numbers we assign here have numerical significance. For example, we can establish what sort of content appears in the most significant position on the page and what kind of content is relegated to the least important position on the page by identifying and ranking different spots on the newspaper page in order of significance. We can utilise scales like the Semantic Differential Scale at the Interval level, which uses anchoring opposites spaced by seven equidistant locations. When it comes to the portrayal of women in soap operas, for example, we can categorise them as subservient - aggressive, traditional - cosmopolitan, weak - strong, and so on. A rating on a 7-point scale is given based on the strength of the attribute held; a rating of one to three is more negative, while a rating of four or more is more positive.

  3. We normally analyse content at the ratio level in terms of space and time. We can calculate the verbal-visual ratio in a magazine by comparing the square column inches devoted to text to the space devoted to photographs and other illustrative content. We can also evaluate how much time is spent on social concerns in a news bulletin against political topics, or how much time is spent on negative stories like crime and corruption versus positive stories like scientific discoveries, economic progress, and administrative efficiency.

  4. Coding can be done by hand or with the aid of computer software. When the classification system is clear, the latter is more dependable. Text Smart, NUDIST, Profiler Plus, and other text document applications are popular, while audio-visual content can be coded with programmes like Camera and Executive Producer. The information can also be tabulated in coding sheets like Excel spreadsheets.

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