A research problem can be simply defined as a statement that identifies the problem or situation to be studied.
Components of research problem
An individual or a group with some difficulty or problem
Objectives of research that are to be attained
The environment in which the problem exists
Two or more course of action or Alternative means for obtaining the objective
Two or more possible Outcomes
Objective of the study
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Characteristics of a good topic ?
♦ Interest – The topic must be able to keep the researcher interested in it throughout the research process
♦ Data Availability– It must be ensured that the topic can be investigated through the collection and analysis of data
♦ Significant – The topic must contribute towards improvement and understanding of an educational theory or practice
♦ Adequate – The topic must be according to the skills of the researcher, available resources and time restrictions
♦ Ethical – The topic must not embarrass or harm the society
Selecting a Problem
Guidelines for selecting a research problem:-
Subject which is overdone should not be chosen
An average researcher must not choose Controversial topics
Too narrow or too vague problems should be avoided
The chosen subject should be familiar and feasible
Significance and Importance of subject must be given attention
Cost and time factor must be kept in mind
Experience, Qualification and Training of the researcher must be according to the problem in hand
Formulating a Research Problem
The steps involved in formulating a research problem are as follows:-
Develop a Suitable Title
Build a conceptual model of the problem
Define the objectives of the study
Set up investigative questions
State the operational definition of concepts
Determine the scope of the study
Necessity of defining a problem
The problem to be investigated must be clearly defined in order to –
Discriminate relevant data from the irrelevant one
To keep a track and make a strategy
Choose an appropriate Research Design
Lay down boundaries or limits
Technique involved in defining a research problem
A researcher may define a research problem by:-
Defining the statement of the problem in a general way.
Understanding the nature of the problem.
Surveying the available literature.
Developing ideas through discussions an brain storming
Rephrasing the research problems
There are few rules that must be kept in mind while defining a research problem. They are –
Technical terms should be clearly defined.
Basic assumptions should be stated.
The criteria for the selection should be provided.
Suitability of the time period and sources of data available must be considered.
The scope of the investigation or the limits must be mentioned.
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