ICT APPLICATION IN RESEARCH METHOD.
ICT (information, communication, and technology) is now the power drive of the world as everything is becoming technologically inclined. The application of ICT is so vast that it extends its importance to a variety of fields like cloud mining, software, hardware, transactions, communication technology, internet access, data, and so on.
Basically, ICT can be seen as the scientific, technological, and engineering discipline and the management technique used in information handling and processing, involving the application of computers and their interaction with men and machines and associated with social, economic, and cultural matters.
ICT can also be defined as any device, networking component, application, or system that enables people and organizations to interact in a digital world. Furthermore, ICT is the infrastructure and components that enable modern computing.
Here, we look at some of the advantages of ICT before proceeding to its application in research methods.
The Benefits of ICT
ICT has numerous advantages and benefits, which makes its importance indispensable. Also, the best use of ICT tools would be to improve cognitive and psychomotor skills.
- The use of ICT reduces costs.
- It aids in performing responsibility in an efficient manner.
- One of the most important aspects of ICT is its ability to perform tasks quickly.
- It carries out complex tasks.
- It aids in identifying appropriate information sources.
- Applied to a research related task, it helps in quicker analysis of data.
- The management of research information has become easier with ICT.
- It makes extension and communication across the world pretty easy.
- It is used in research to facilitate data analysis.
- It aids publication of results from a study.
The uses or advantages of ICT go on and on. However, this paper will be focused on the application of ICT in three core areas of research.
This will be handled under three major themes.
- Application of ICT in pre-data analysis
- Application of ICT in data analysis
- Application of ICT in post data analysis
Application of ICT in Pre-Data Analysis
Having looked at the advantages of ICT above, in the research world this wonderful tool has proven to be a do-without when it boils down to data analysis. Its importance and application in pre-data analysis in research methods cannot be overemphasized. This will be discussed under the following headlines;
- Literature search
- Search for content
- Tracking literature
- Data collection
Literature Search: This deals with location or giving access to materials. Here, we look at Google Scholar, a social science research network giving rise to documents. A document is any material that can provide information. Among the sources used in the literature search are:
- Shedh Ganga: which is an Indian thesis repository
- Google Scholar is a search engine for scholarly literature across disciplines and sources.
- Microsoft Academic Search: find information about academic papers, authors, conferences, and journals from a variety of sources.
- Mendeleev: a unique platform comprising a social network, reference manager, article and visualization tool.
- SSRN: which is a multiple disciplinary online repository of scholarly research and related material in social science,
Search for content: These relate to individual key words, concepts, or variables that will make your work more effective and productive because they give an overview of the subject under investigation. Materials can be gotten from interview transcripts such as abstracts. An abstract is just a survey of a research project. This enables a researcher to quickly get an insight into whether a particular article or thesis is worth reviewing.
It helps a qualitative researcher count the frequency of certain keywords that appear in an interview transcript more effectively.
Literature Tracking: it deals with trying to have control of what you want to use in research. Researchers sort, classify, and store all the materials that they have used in the process of executing the study. This marks the 3 things researchers do in literature tracking.
Spreadsheets are also used to track and manage reviewed literature so that they can be reused or referred to in the future. In contemporary time, the software called mendeley is used in tracking the source of literature and also helps in managing a researcher’s literature.
Data Collection: This is the process of planning and executing the use of a research tool to collect and collate data for analysis. For example, interviews, questionnaires, focus group discussions, etc. ICT’s important data collection applications include;
- Google forms
- Survey Monkey:
Application of ICT in Data Analysis
ICT comes in during the stage of data analysis, and one may observe it from these two perspectives;
- quantitative data analysis
- qualitative data analysis.
Quantitative Data Analysis
Some of the techniques used include
- exploratory factor analysis
- t-test and ANOVA
- Multiple regression
- ANCOVA . etc
There are also advanced, popular data analysis techniques like,
- Path analysis
- Covariance-based structural equation modeling (SEM)
- Variance–based SEM (partial least square)
- Hierarchical regression analysis
- Hierarchical linear modeling
The following software is used in data analysis:
- SPSS(statistical package for social science)
- R(R foundation for statistical computing)
- MATLAB( the mathworks)
- Microsoft excel
- SAS( statistical analysis software)
- Graphpad prism
Analyzing qualitative data
The following are statistical packages for qualitative data analysis.
- SPSS Text Analytics
- Transana can be employed for video transcribing in certain qualitative research.
Application of ICT in Post Data Analysis
This will be taken care of under the following;
- Reference and bibliography compilation: reference is the listing of all sources that were actually cited in the research work. Bibliogragy consists of a listing of all sources that proved relevant in the research study, whether or not they were actually cited in the research work. Software that generates this automatically includes; Endnote, Zetero, and Mendeley.
- Article and Thesis/ Dissertation Discussion
- Plagiarism detection
- Journal manuscript submission
ICT APPLICATION IN RESEARCH METHOD.