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
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
- Formulate hypothesis
- 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
- Formulate objectives
- 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.