Kinds and Classification of Research

There are many kinds of research which are classified according to their distinctive features. Some of the classifications are as follows:

1.According to purpose - There are three broadly different kinds of research, namely, predictive, directive and illuminative.

  • Predictive or prognostic research has the purpose of determining the future operation of the variables under investigation with the aim of controlling or redirecting such for the better. “Predictive research proposes to give the result from one specific educational practice or pattern and seeks to establish a close statistical connection between characteristics of students and a prediction of educational outcome.”
  • Directive research determines what should be done based on the findings. This is to remedy an unsatisfactory condition if there is any.
  • Illuminative research is concerned with the components of the variable being investigated, as for example, “interaction of the components of educational systems and aims to show the connections among, for example, student characteristics, organizational patterns and policies, and educational consequences.”

2.According to goal - According to goal, research may be classified as basic or pure research and applied research.

  • Basic or pure research is done for the development of theories or principles. It is conducted for the intellectual pleasure of learning. Much of this kind of research has been done in psychology and sociology.
  • Applied research is the application of the results of pure research. This is testing the efficacy of theories and principles. For instance, a principle says that praise reinforces learning. To determine if this is true, one conducts an experiment in which there are two classes. In one class, he uses praise but in the other class there is no praise at all. All other things are kept equal. At the end of the experimental period, he gives the same test to the two classes. If the scores of the pupils in the class with praise are significantly higher than those in the class without praise, then the principle is true.

3.According to the levels of investigation - French categorizes research according to the levels of investigation into exploratory research, descriptive research and experimental research.

  • In exploratory research, the researcher studies the variables pertinent to a specific situation.
  • In descriptive research, the researcher studies the relationships of the variables.
  • In experimental research, the experimenter studies the effects of the variables on each other.

4.According to the type of analysis -According to the type of analysis, research is classified into analytic and holistic research.

  • In the analytic approach, the researcher attempts to identify and isolate the components of the research situation.
  • The holistic approach begins with the total situation, focusing attention on the system first and then on its internal relationships.

5.According to scope - Under this category is action research. This type of research is done on a very limited scope to solve a particular problem which is not so big. It is almost problem solving.

In education, it is a firing-line or on the job type of problem solving or research used by teachers, supervisors, and administrators to improve the quality of their decisions and actions; it seeks more dependable and appropriate means of promoting and evaluating pupil growth in line with the specific and general objectives and attempts to improve educational practices without references to whether findings would be applicable beyond the group studied.

6.According to choice of answers to problems - Research that is concerned with finding answers to problems into evaluation and development research.

  • In evaluation research, all possible courses of action are specified and identified and the researcher tries to find the most advantageous.
  • In development research, the focus is on finding or developing a more suitable instrument or process than has been available.

7.According to statistical content - Under this type may be mentioned quantitative research and non-quantitative research.

  • Quantitative or statistical research is one in which inferential statistics are utilized to determine the results if the study. Inferential statistics such as correlation, chi-square, analysis of variance, etc. are used to test the hypothesis. This type of research usually includes comparison studies, cause-and-effect relationships, etc.
  • Non-quantitative research. This is the research in which the use of quantity or statistics is practically nil. This is especially true in anthropological studies where description is usually used. Descriptive data are gathered rather than quantitative data.

8.According to time element - According to time element, best classifies research as historical, descriptive and experimental.

  • Historical research describes what was.
  • Descriptive research describes what is.
  • Experimental research describes what will be.

Historical, descriptive and experimental are the major research methods. All other methods, kinds and types of research whatever they are called fall under these three major methods.

Other types and kinds of research are named according to the area or field of activity. Hence, we have sociological research, social research, psychological research, anthropological research, physical research. Chemical research industrial research, economics research, health research, nursing research, curriculum research, educational research and countless others.