LESSON 1: DEFINITION OF RESEARCH, CHARACTERISTICS, AND PURPOSE

 To research means to re-search, this clearly shows that there is repetition of search. What are we searching? We are searching for knowledge. 

LESSON 2 - SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE: EXPERIENCE, REASONING & SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY

In this lesson, we shall discuss sources of  knowledge that we need to find solutions to research problems. There are three sources of knowledge: Experience, Reasoning and Scientific Inquiry. Welcome

LESSON 3 - ELEMENTS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH: CONCEPTS, CONSTRUCTS AND VARIABLES

Elements of scientific research are the building blocks of research. This lesson discusses three elements of scientific research. These are Concepts, Constructs and Variables. 

REVISION LESSON ON CONCEPTS, VARIABLES & CONSTRUCTS

This revision lesson will address the relationship between concepts, constructs and variables. Concepts describe the empirical world; concepts that can be measured and they vary are called variables while concepts that are not observable and not measurable (or are less observable and measurable) are called constructs.

LESSON 4 - TYPES OF VARIABLES: INDEPENDENT, DEPENDENT CONFOUNDING & MODERATING VARIABLES

Variables are measurable characteristic that assumes different values within a class of objects or events. There are three main types of variables: Independent (IV) and dependent variables (DV) where IV affects DV, confounding variables that confuses the primary relationship between IV and DV and moderating variables that mediates the relationship between IV and DV. 

REVISION LESSON ON TYPES OF VARIABLES

This lesson describes 5 types of variables that a social researcher measures in their study. These are independent and dependent variable, intervening or mediating variable, extraneous variables and moderating variables. The lesson will use practical examples to differentiate the variables.

LESSON 5 - CLASSIFICATION OF VARIABLES AND SCALES OF MEASUREMENT (NOMINAL, ORDINAL, INTERVAL, RATIO)

This lesson discusses mathematical classification where variables are either classified as discrete or continuous. These two categories leads us to scales of measurement. Discrete variables are measured at nominal and ordinal scale or level. In this scale, numbers carry qualitative value meaning they are non-numeric. Continuous variables are measured at interval and ratio scale where numbers carry a quantitative value. 

REVISION LESSON ON SCALES OF MEASUREMENT: NOMINAL || ORDINAL || INTERVAL || RATIO.

Scales of measurements are one key area that the researcher should have at their finger tips. In our previous lessons, we have said that variables are measurable. The measurability of variables is not done blindly, it is determined by the scale of measurement. There are four scales/levels. These are nominal which is the lowest, followed by ordinal then interval and the highest is ratio.

LESSON 6: RESEARCH PROBLEM & STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

 This lesson will introduce you to research problem. What is a good research problem? What are the sources of a research problem? Is there a difference between research problem and statement of the problem? The answer is yes. Check this lesson for more details

REVISION LESSON ON HOW TO IDENTIFY RESEARCH PROBLEM & WRITE THE STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Is there a difference between a research problem and statement of the problem? In Lesson, we discussed the research problem. This lesson will remind us on why we call a problem a gap and how you state the problem in a thesis or a dissertation.

LESSON 7 - OBJECTIVES, RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES

 Objectives are the focus of the study and should be stated in a SMART manner. Research questions are the questions that the research seeks to answer.  Finally, hypotheses show the relationship between variables; its an educated guess that is tested mainly at 95% to determine whether there is empirical evidence to support (fail to reject) or not support (reject) the hypothesis. Welcome as we explore these elements of scientific research

LESSON 8 - RELATIONS, DEFINITION OF TERMS, THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK & CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

 In this lesson, we are going to discuss Relations, Definition of Terms, Theoretical and Conceptual Framework. Variables are said to be related if a change in the value of one brings a change in the value of the other. Concepts are defined by conceptual definition while variables are defined by operational definition. A theory is an explanation of a phenomena after observing it for a long time. A conceptual framework is a mental picture that shows the relationship between variables.

REVISION LESSON ON CORRELATION: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CORRELATION & CAUSALITY || DOES CORRELATION DETERMINE CAUSALITY?

Two variables are said to be related if they systematically change when one of them is manipulated. The relationship between the variables is determined by calculating correlation coefficient. Correlation coefficient determines the strength and magnitude of the relationship but does not determine causality.

LESSON 9 - PHILOSOPHICAL ASSUMPTIONS (EPISTEMOLOGY, ONTOLOGY & AXIOLOGY) & RESEARCH PARADIGMS

This lesson anchors research on philosophy.  This is because development of knowledge by researchers is influenced by the beliefs and the assumptions they hold. These assumptions leads us to research paradigms. 

LESSON 10 - RESEARCH APPROACHES: Basic Vs. Applied & Quantitative Vs. Qualitative Research Approach

This lesson discusses the approaches to social science research that emanates from the paradigms. We are discussing two main approaches that are applicable in social science research. These are Basic Vs. Applied approach based on the utility of research findings and Quantitative and Qualitative approach based on the types of data collected. 

LESSON 11 - DIFFERENCES BETWEEN QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACHES

Welcome to this lecture that enumerates the differences between quantitative and qualitative research. 

LESSON 12 - QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS: SURVEY, EX POST FACTO & EXPERIMENTAL

Quantitative research is the type of research that collects numerical data. There are 3 main quantitative designs: Survey (Correlational, Cross-sectional & Longitudinal), Ex Post  Facto (or causal-comparative) and Experimental (True and Quasi). 

LESSON 13 - EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: TRUE EXPERIMENTAL AND QUASI EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS

Experimental design is a quantitative design that is unique because it determines causality. Causality determines cause and effect i.e. manipulation of X (independent variable) causes a change in the Y (Dependent or outcome variable).

LESSON 14 - THREATS TO INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL VALIDITY OF EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS

Experimental procedures establishes causality, i.e. it allows the researcher to conclude that variable X causes variable Y. For a researcher to make this conclusion, s/he must ensure that there are no spurious relationships and all extraneous variables are concerned Threats are factors that threatens the confidence of a researcher to conclude that X causes Y. There are two types of threats: a) Threats to internal validity of the experimental design b) Threats to external validity of the experimental design. 

LESSON 15 - QUALITATIVE RESEARCH:CHARACTERISTICS, DETERMINING TRUSTWORTHINESS, TRIANGULATION & STEPS

Qualitative research is different from quantitative because it collects data that is narrative, that is data that is in form of words, pictures and videos. Qualitative research relies on different methods of data collection. This is referred to as triangulation. The four types of triangulation are discussed and finally the steps of conducting qualitative research. 

LESSON 16 - QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS / APPROACHES (THE 5 GIANTS OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH)

This lesson will discuss the five qualitative designs. These are Case Study, Ethnography, Phenomenology, Grounded Theory and Biography / Narrative Research. These designs help researchers to collect narrative data. In qualitative researcher, the researcher is the main research instrument and must become an insider in the natural setting of the phenomena. 

LESSON 17 - MIXED METHOD RESEARCH: METHODOLOGICAL APROACHES, DEFINITIONS, STRENGTHS & LIMITATIONS

Mixed Method research is an approach that emanates from pragmatism paradigm. It does not subscribe to one approach but mixes quantitative and qualitative research methods. 

LESSON 18- MIXED METHOD RESEARCH DESIGNS/STRATEGIES: CONCURRENT/SEQUENTIAL VS. PRIORITY/SEQUENCE

 MMR designs or strategies are the designs that a research may employ to collect both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study or a series of studies. 

LESSON 19- QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH - THE PROCESS OR THE STEPS OF CONDUCTING QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH

This lesson discusses the steps that are followed when conducting quantitative research.

LESSON 20 - MEASUREMENT ERRORS IN SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH: RANDOM & CONSISTENT ERRORS

Measurement refers to assigning numbers to observations. When we are collecting data, we are using research instruments or tools to measure variables. Therefore, when measuring something, error is any deviation from the “true” value.

LESSON 21 - CONTENT VALIDITY - TYPES OF CONTENT VALIDITY & METHODS OF DETERMINING CONTENT VALIDITY

Validity refers to accuracy in measuring the intended construct. There are three common types of validity: content, construct and criterion-empirical. 

LESSON 22 - CONSTRUCT & CRITERION- RELATED VALIDITY :TYPES & METHODS OF DETERMINING THE TWO VALIDITY

Construct and criterion-related validity are types of validity that are determined in quantitative research.

LESSON 23: RELIABILITY - METHODS OF DETERMINING RELIABILITY USING REPEATED MEASUREMENTS METHODS

Reliability is the degree to which a measuring instrument or tool is consistent or demonstrates consistency on repeat trials. There are two main methods of estimating reliability; Repeated measurements and Internal consistency. In this lesson, we shall discuss repeated measurements method.

LESSON 24 - SPLIT-HALF RELIABILITY: DETERMING SPLIT-HALF RELIABILITY USING SPSS

Split-half mans a measure is split into two before analysis to create two sets of tests. Each section is scored separately from the other section. Then a correlation coefficient is determined by correlating the two sets of scores. This lesson will also demonstrate how to use SPSS to determine split-half reliability. SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science) is a software that analyses quantitative data.

LESSON 25 - ALPHA COEFFICIENT RELIABILITY: DETERMINING ALPHA COEFFICIENT RELIABILITY USING SPSS

There are two types of Alpha coefficient: Cronbach Alpha and Kuder-Richardson. Cronbach Alpha is mainly used for Likert kind of scale questions while KR 20 is used for knowledge questions.

LESSON 26 - VALIDITY: METHODS OF DETERMINING VALIDITY / CREDIBILITY IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

Qualitative researchers are shy of using the term validity. They therefore  talk of credibility and trustworthiness to refer to validity.

LESSON 27 - RELIABILITY: METHODS OF DETERMINING RELIABILITY / DEPENDABILITY IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

Qualitative researchers are shy of using the term reliability. They have therefore come up with other terms to explain the two concepts. This lesson is going to discuss reliability which qualitative researchers refer to as dependability.

LESSON 28 - SAMPLING: DEFINITION OF TERMS USED IN SAMPLING, PURPOSE & LIMITATIONS OF SAMPLING

Sampling focuses on some, rather than all, of a population of interest. This lesson will first explain 12 terms that are used in sampling. These terms are population, sample, sample size, sampling, sampling frame, subject, element, statistic, parameter, response rate, randomization & precision. The second part of this lesson will discuss the 6 purposes of research. Finally, we shall explain the limitations of sampling.

LESSON 29 - SAMPLING: METHODS OF DETERMINING THE SAMPLE SIZE IN QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH

Contrary to popular opinion, determination of sample size is a scientific process that requires the researcher to think through it carefully based on the research problem. This lecture will take you through the five main strategies that a quantitative researcher may use to determine the sample size. Before the strategies, the lesson will also discuss the factors to consider when determining the sample size.

LESSON 30 - SAMPLING: RANDOM/ PROBABILITY SAMPLING TECHNIQUE & GENERATION OF RANDOM NUMBERS

This lesson is going to discuss random or probability sampling technique. This type of sampling allows each and every member of the population the chance to be selected as a sample. That is why it is called probability. In addition, the selection of the sample is random meaning that the selection is dependent on randomness. For you to select the sample randomly, a researcher must generate random numbers.

LESSON 31 - SIMPLE RANDOM SAMPLING: DEFINITION & STEPS OF CONDUCTING SIMPLE RANDOM SAMPLING DESIGN

Simple random sampling is the simplest design to use under random sampling which we have introduced in lesson 30. When we talk about random sampling, we mean that each and every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected to be part of the sample. The selection is random hence the use of random sampling.

LESSON 32 - STRATIFIED RANDOM SAMPLING: DEFINITION & STEPS OF CONDUCTING STRATIFIED RANDOM SAMPLING

To stratify is to group a heterogenous population into homogenous sub-groups that have common characteristics. Therefore, Stratified sampling techniques are generally used when the population is heterogeneous, or dissimilar or where certain homogeneous, or similar, sub-populations can be isolated. Stratified sampling does not operate on its own. Once you stratify, you then need to simple random within the strata.

LESSON 33 - SYSTEMATIC RANDOM SAMPLING: DEFINITION & STEPS OF CONDUCTING SYSTEMATIC RANDOM SAMPLING

Systematic sampling design is another random sampling design where the selection of subjects is dependent on a system. The system is to select every nth or kth number and then selecting at equal intervals until an adequate sample is achieved

LESSON 34 - CLUSTER RANDOM SAMPLING DESIGN: DEFINITION & STEPS OF CONDUCTING CLUSTER RANDOM SAMPLING

Cluster sampling is a form of random sampling where the entire population is divided into groups or clusters and random sampling is used to select specific clusters; Cluster sampling is similar to simple random technique. The difference is that in simple random design, the individual is the subject while in cluster sampling, the cluster is the subject i.e. in the selected clusters, all the persons or items are included in the sample to ensure representativeness.

LESSON 35 - MULTI-STAGE SAMPLING DESIGN: DEFINITION & STEPS OF CONDUCTING MULTI-STAGE SAMPLING

Multi-stage sampling is a form of random sampling where samples are selected in a sequence of stages where each sample is drawn from within the previously selected sample. It is similar to cluster sampling only that while cluster sampling conducts a complete enumeration of all the people in the cluster, multi-stage samples within the cluster. Sampling in multi-stage occurs in stages.

LESSON 36 - NON-PROBABILITY SAMPLING DESIGNS: CONVENIENCE, PURPOSIVE, QUOTA & SNOW-BALL DESIGNS

Non-probability sampling designs also called qualitative or non-random are the designs where the probability of each and every person being selected to be part of the sample is unknown. This technique deals with information rich sample based on the problem of the study.

LESSON 37 - THE SAMPLING PROCESS || THE SIX STEPS FOLLOWED WHEN SAMPLING

Sampling is a systematic process. There are six steps that are followed when conducting sampling. This lesson will take you through the the sampling process and discuss in details each and every step and what it entails. Before going through this lesson, make sure you have gone through lesson 28-36

LESSON 38 - METHODS OF DATA COLLECTION: TYPES OF DATA || SOURCES OF DATA || WHAT TO CONSIDER IN METHODS

Data collection is an extremely important process in research because without it you cannot answer the research questions, test hypotheses, make recommendations and conclusions. The decision on which methods of data collection will be used to answer the research problem should be made at the development of the problem. At this point the researcher needs to ask him/herself which method and which instrument will answer the research questions.

LESSON 39 - QUESTIONNAIRES: TYPES OF INFORMATION & DESIGNS OF CONSTRUCTING A QUESTIONNAIRE

Questionnaires are very common instruments that are used in social science research. Why is it common? What is a questionnaire? What are the type of information that a questionnaire should seek from the respondents? These questionnaires including designs of constructing questionnaires, rules followed when constructing a questionnaire and the factors that determine the success of a questionnaire as an instrument will be discussed in this lesson.

LESSON 40 - THE PROCESS OF DEVELOPING A QUESTIONNAIRE ||THE STEPS FOLLOWED & THE DESIGN OF QUESTIONS

In Lecture 39, we have said that a questionnaire is the most common instrument that is used in data collection. In this lesson, we are going to discuss the four main steps that are followed when designing a questionnaire. We shall also discuss the design of closed-ended and open-ended questions in a questionnaire.

LESSON 41 - LIKERT SCALE || WHAT IS LIKERT? || DOES IT COLLECT CONTINUOUS OR CATEGORICAL DATA

Likert Scale is a scale that determines the liking or not liking towards an objective. It collects quantitative data. In a Likert scale each statement is weighted from 1 to 5. However, the issue of whether Likert collects continuous or categorical data should be made at the construction state. This is because, the score of 1 -5 for categorical data does not carry any quantitative value. However, if Likert is collecting continuous data, then the weight carry quantitative value. This lesson will introduce to: a) Meaning of a Likert Scale; b) Type of data collected using a Likert scale; c) Guidelines that should be followed when constructing Likert Scale; d) Myths about Likert Scales

LESSON 42 - INTERVIEWS || TYPES, STRUCTURE & SKILLS REQUIRED TO CONDUCT AN INTERVIEW

Is there a difference between an interview and a conversation? What are the instruments that are used to conduct an interview? What are the types and structure of an interview? Are there skills that an interviewer needs to possess? These and much more will be answered in this lesson. Interview is the second method of data collection that we are discussing. So far we have discussed Administration of Questionnaires as the first method (not that this is not in any order) and the instruments used in this method as questionnaires and interview schedule. Under interviews, we are going to learn the types of interviews, the instruments used to conduct an interview, structure of an interview and skills that an interviewer needs to possess.

LESSON 43 - FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION || FEATURES OF FOCUS GROUPS || RULES TO BE FOLLOWED

A focus group is a carefully planned discussion designed to obtain peoples’ perceptions, feelings and ideas on a specific topic in a permissive & non-threatening environment. These people are moderated by the researcher In this lesson, you will learn: a) The meaning of Focus Group Discussion; b) Three features of Focus Groups; c) Rules to be followed when conducting Focus Group Discussions.

LESSON 44 - OBSERVATION: MEANING, TYPES, CHARACTERISTICS, STRENGTHS & LIMITATIONS OF OBSERVATION

Unlike questionnaires and interviews that relies on other people (respondent) to give the researcher the information s/he requires, observation requires the researcher to collect data himself through recording. S/he does not require another person to give him/her the information but s/he collects it through the use of his/her eyes. Observation is a qualitative method of data collection. It uses an observation guide as an instrument for data collection. However, this guide should be structured so that all researchers can observe and record the phenomena in the same manner.

LESSON 45 - DOCUMENT ANALYSIS: MEANING, TYPES, SOURCES & METHODS OF DETERMINING CREDIBITLITY OF DOC

Document analysis relies on the use of documents to collect data. These documents may be written by the author or written on behalf of another person. This method is purely qualitative method and the instrument used to collect data from documents is called a document analysis guide. This lesson will conclude our lessons on methods of data collection.

LESSON 46 - DATA ANALYSIS: BASIC CONCEPTS IN DATA ANALYSIS || TYPES OF STATISTICS & STATISTICAL TEST

Data Analysis is such an important element in research because without analyzing data then you cannot answer the research questions. There are two forms of data: Numerical data is analyzed using statistics whereas narrative data is analyzed using thematic induction. In this lesson and the coming lessons, our concentration will be on numerical data analysis. In this lesson, we are going to discuss terms that are relevant to remind ourselves as we discuss data analysis.

LESSON 47- DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS: THE THREE METHODS OF ANALYSING DATA DESCRIPTIVELY

ata collected from the field needs to be analyzed, interpreted and presented to the audience of research. There are two ways in which numerical data can be analyzed: using descriptive statistics or inferential statistics. This lesson will discuss descriptive statistics. This means the kind of analysis that limits generalizations to the sample data. There are three ways of summarizing data descriptively: 1. Tabular 2. Graphical; 3. Numerical These three methods are described in details in this lesson.

LESSON 48 - INFERENTIAL STATISTICS: MEANING & USE OF HYPOTHESES IN INFERENTIAL STATISTICS

Inferential statistics makes inferences and predictions about a population based on a sample of data taken from the population in question. It is based on probability (to infer). It is a measure of the confidence we have in our descriptive statistics. This lesson will introduce us to inferential statistics. We shall discuss the meaning of inferential statistics, types of hypotheses and use of hypotheses in inferential statistics.

LESSON 49 - STATISTICAL TESTS: TYPES & FORMS OF STATISTICAL TESTS

Statistical tests provides a mechanism for rejecting or failing to reject a hypotheses. There are two types of statistical tests. These are parametric and non-parametric tests. Parametric is mainly for data that is measured at the scale level while non-parametric is for data that is ranked, There are three forms of statistical tests: Correlation, Regression and Comparison test. This lecture will take you through: a) Meaning of statistical tests; b) Types of statistical tests; c) The three forms of statistical tests.

LESSON 50 - CHOOSING THE RIGHT STATISTICAL TESTS: FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A TEST

One of the most common question that a researcher asks during data analysis is ‘Which statistical tool should should I use to analyze my data’ This lesson will take you through the factors that you need to consider when choosing a statistical test.

 

LESSON 51 - INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH PROPOSAL: MEANING, PURPOSE & STRUCTURE

This lesson introduces you to the research proposal. Research proposal is a statement of intent which the researcher develops after identifying the research problem. It is thus prudent that the researcher develops a workable proposal. This lesson will take you through: 1. The meaning of a research proposal; 2. Importance of writing a research proposal; 3. The structure of a research proposal. Under the structure, we shall discuss the preliminary pages, the main body, references and appendices

LESSON 52 - RESEARCH PROPOSAL: BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY & STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Chapter one of the research proposal is titled Introduction. Under this Introduction, we have 12 sections. The first one is Background to the study while the second one is the statement of the problem. This lesson discusses these first two sections of the first chapter of the research proposal.

LESSON 53 - RESEARCH PROPOSAL: PURPOSE OF THE STUDY, OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY, RESEARCH QUESTIONS

After writing the background to the study and the statement of the problem, the next section is to state the purpose of the study. The purpose of the study is the same as the general objective of the problem. The purpose is followed by specific objectives of the study and the research questions. Some institutions only write one of this. With the purpose, you may not need to write the objectives of the study. In contrast, there are others who will require all the three to be written. Make sure your structure is as per the approved structure in your discipline.

LESSON 54 - RESEARCH PROPOSAL || HYPOTHESES: MEANING & TYPES OF HYPOTHESES

A hypothesis is a prediction about the relationship or the difference between variables. This lesson will explain the meaning of hypotheses and the two commonly stated hypotheses in social science research. These are the Null and the Alternative Hypotheses.

LESSON 55 - RESEARCH PROPOSAL: SIGNIFICANCE, DELIMITATIONS & LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

This lesson discusses 3 sections in the research proposal: 1. Research is done because it is significant and that is why we write significance of the study; 2. Delimitations are the walls the research puts round his/her study; 3. Limitations are the unforeseen factors that may hinder the researcher from achieving his/her objectives

LESSON 56 - RESEARCH PROPOSAL: ASSUMPTIONS, DEFINITIONS OF TERMS & ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This lecture will conclude chapter one of the research proposal by discussing: assumptions of the study, definitions of significant terms which is the same as operational definition of terms and finally organization of the study.

LESSON 57- LITERATURE REVIEW: MEANING, PURPOSE & SCOPE OF LITERATURE REVIEW

From Lesson 51-56, we have discussed chapter one of the research proposal. From now until lesson 60, we shall discuss chapter two of the research proposal which is referred to as Literature Review. Literature review entails extensive review and evaluation of literature that is related to your subject matter. Since research is anchored on literature, then it means that a lot has been written concerning your problem.

LESSON 58 - STEPS OF CONDUCTING LITERATURE REVIEW, SOURCES OF LITERATURE REVIEW & ONLINE DATABASES

Literature review is not a haphazard process. Its a carefully thought out process that is highly systematic following distinct steps. Before beginning the process of literature review, it is important to identify the sources of literature.

LESSON 59- THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: HOW TO IDENTIFY A THEORY FOR YOUR STUDY &STEPS OF STATING A THEORY

A theory is an explanation of phenomena after observing it for a long time. Theoretical framework is that section of the research proposal where the researcher describes the theory in which s/he is anchoring their study on.

LESSON 60 - CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK: MEANING, SOURCES & METHODS OF PRESENTING A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

A conceptual framework is a conception or a model of what you plan to study i.e. it defines the focus and direction of the study by organizing the key concepts and variables.

LESSON 61 - CHAPTER THREE ON RESEARCH METHODOLOGY || DIFFERENCE BETWEEN METHODOLOGY AND METHODS

Why is Chapter Three of the Research Proposal refers to as Research Methodology? Research Methodology refers to an explanation of methods. So then what are research methods? Methods are tools of conducting research.