Methodsof Data Collection
Focus group discussions
Personal and unstructured interviews
Thequestionnaires will have some questions covering the differentaspects related to the learning programs and their effects. They willbe both open-ended and closed. In a bid to ascertain theeffectiveness and applicability of the questionnaires, a pilot testwill be carried out as it will play a crucial role in alleviating thechallenges that participants may face when responding to thequestions.
Focusgroup discussions will be done to give an in-depth awareness of thequantitative findings. Groups will be formed each consisting of aparticular number of participants theoretically sampled. Each groupwill observe gender equality. In other words, there will be an equalnumber of males and females in each of the groups created and willrespond to a set of questions regarding the topic. The focus group’squestions will be aimed at giving a clear understanding of how: 1)the 21stCCLC program impacted the learning experiences and academic outcomesof students who attended the program 2) how the education outcomesof students in the YMCA program compare with the results of learnerswho are not in the program. The aim of the focus group will be toassist in the comprehension of the dynamic relationship between theprograms and academic output. The timing of the discussions willdepend on the number of questions and participants, where severalpages of transcripts will be generated. Interpretation of the focusgroup contributions by participants will give various major themesconcerning the impact of the programs on students. In addition,confidentiality will be observed such that every participant will vownot to disclose to non-members or participants from another focusgroup.
Otherthan focus group discussions, in-depth interviews will be used. Theywill be personal and unstructured and will look to expose therespondent’s feelings, emotions, as well as opinions concerning theresearch questions. Personal interviews will prevent issues ofnon-response rates. Presumably, most of those to be interviewed havethe required skills to conduct an interview effectively. Moreover,the unstructured interviews will allow flexibility, thus leaving roomto create inferences concerning the research topic.
Inferentialstatistics will be useful in the program outcome evaluation. Itinvolves reaching conclusions that go past the existing data only.That is, it is used to make decisions of the probability that anobserved variance between groups is independent or dependent. Underinferential statistics, several tests will be administered. Theyinclude t-tests, Pearson correlation, analysis of variance (ANOVA),and Chi-square test. To determine if the program group will bedifferent from a control group, the t-tests will be employed. Pearsoncorrelation will help locate a correlation between the variousvariables identified for the study. On the other hand, ANOVA willplay an important function of describing and comparing therelationship between groups. Finally, the Chi-square test will helpthe researcher to conduct a comparison of the frequency count of theexpected and the observed. The above tests may seem quite complex ina quantitative research. However, there are various tools/softwaresuch as Excel and Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS),which may help in the same. For accuracy and reliability, thecomputer package (SPSS) is preferred to Excel since it can performany statistical test on command. Thereafter, the researcher willinterpret the output based on the research variables.