There are several problems at my school that can be addressed in a research project. The one problem that seems to be the biggest burden is parental involvement. Doing a research project on parental involvement includes various methods of data collection. Data collection means gathering information to address those critical evaluation questions that have been identified earlier in the evaluation process. There are many methods available to gather information, and a wide variety of information sources. The most important issue related to data collection is selecting the most appropriate information or evidence to answer questions. To plan data collection, one must think about the questions to be answered and the information sources available. Also, one must begin to think ahead about how the information could be organized, analyzed, interpreted and then reported to various audiences. The information that is collected is the evidence that will have available to answer the evaluation questions. Poor evidence is information which cannot be trusted, is scant, or simply is not relevant to the questions asked. Good evidence is information that comes from reliable sources and through trustworthy methods that address important questions.
There are multiple ways to collect information to answer most questions.
The ideal situation would be to collect from more than one source and/ or to collect more than one type of information. The selection of a method for collecting information must balance several concerns including: resources available, credibility, analysis and reporting resources, and the skill of the evaluator.
When dealing with data collection, reliability and validity must be considered. With reliability the questions have to be asked. Will the evaluation process be designed consistently to measure what it supposes to measure? If multiple interviews, settings, or observers are used, will they consistently measure