Introduction Established in 1973, the Department of Psychology now offers UG and PG courses. Its objective is to endow societywith trained and competent professionals and develop a research attitude in the students.
A five day National Workshop in Research Methodology and Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences was conducted in association with ICSSR in commemoration of the Ruby Jubilee of the Department.
Day 1 The Inaugural program began with the lighting of the lamp which was followed by Ms. HarshikaGudi‘s rendition of VaishnaveJanatho.Yojana, a 2nd year PG student led us in prayer, invoking God’s blessings and guidance. This was followed by a graceful lamp dance by the PG 1st year students. The Principal Dr. Sr. AlphonsaVattolly extended a warm welcome to the dignitaries, the participants and all those who were present for the Inaugural programme.The dignitaries were then felicitated and Prof. C. Beena, Head of the Department of Psychology, Osmania University and Chairperson, ICSSR-SRC, delivered the inaugural address.
The chief guest, Dr. Jaya PrakashRao then addressed the gathering. In what was a highly informative and engaging talk, he addressed the issue of research in India and outlined ways and means to improve the quantity and more importantly, the quality of Indian research.
The first session began with Prof.Beena who discussed sources of ideas for research, qualities a researcher should possess, what the foundations of social science research were and the need and purpose of research in the social sciences.
The afternoon’s session was conducted by Assistant Prof. SuashishaRana, from the Centre for Health Psychology, University of Hyderabad. He delivered a robust session on what research is and what its goals are. He briefly touched upon the steps of research and then went on to give a succinct description of the 3 major approaches to research where he enumerated the characteristics and method of data collection for each approach.
He then discussed research type on the basis of Basic and Applied research and after a short tea break, concluded the session with a focus on action research.
Day 2 The first session of the day was conducted by Prof. S V Satyanarayana, Dean Faculty of commerce, Osmania University.The professor used the analogy of building a house to explain the research process. Just as a house needs building plans to ensure a sturdy construction, research also employs a step by step process that ensures a robust study.He explained the research process using the 8 step model and went on to expand on the factors one needs to consider while selecting a research problem. He then explained the types of research problems, methods of stating research problems, justifying them and listing out what their components were. He also explained what hypotheses were, what hypothesis testing was and type I and type II errors and ended the session by taking questions.
After a short tea-break, Prof. K VenuGopal Reddy, Head of the Department of Physics, Osmania University and Director of the Central Facilities for Research and Development, conducted a session on plagiarism. Prof. Reddy commented on the credibility (or lack thereof) of research activity in India with regards to plagiarism. He defined plagiarism and described the different types. To avoid this, delegates were instructed to quote, paraphrase and summarise and then cite and refer meticulously. Prof. Reddy listed out anti-plagiarism software and explained how they worked and ended the session by answering the delegates’ questions.
The post lunch session was conducted by Prof. MeenaHariharan, Director, Centre for Health Psychology, University of Hyderabad. She delivered a lecture on Sampling Procedures and the importance of sampling in research. One of the biggest problems with research studies in the social sciences, she observed, was improper sampling. Further, she advised that being specific about the population being studied would help researchers identify the appropriate sampling method. Results, she reminded, were dependent on how the sample was drawn and what the sample size was. Choosing an inappropriate sample or sampling method would result in sampling errors and compromise the generalizability of the study. One of the major learning outcomes was that while we can’t study the whole population, we can certainly take steps to ensure that our samples are apt representations of the population.
Day 3 Day 3 began with a session on Survey Research that was conducted by Dr. D.K. Lal Das, a research consultant. Dr. Das began by talking about the significance of non-experimental research in India, particularly that of the survey method. He defined Survey Research and explained the concept of Property Disposition Research Paradigm on which Survey research is based. He drew attention to the fact that Survey Research focuses on the investigation of causal relationships and not just correlation. He emphasized the difference between the two and cautioned against inferring spurious relationships. He enumerated survey research designs, sampling design and data collection methods.
After a tea-break, Dr.Das conducted a session on Questionnaires which he said were one of the most common tools used in social science research. He went on to describe the steps of construction and then discussed levels of measurements and briefly mentioned the statistical tests that could be used for each level. He moved on to explaining question formats and ended with a short introduction to Likert and Thurston Scales.
The post lunch sessions were conducted by Prof SudarshanRao, ICSSR Senior Fellow, Department of Library Sciences, Osmania University. In what was a highly interesting and interactive session, Prof.Rao took the delegates though the process of writing a literature review,that includedmethods of searching and retrieving information, methods of searching databases, locating sources of information, guidelines for writing a review of literature and planning a review of literature.He emphasized on the fact that the review of literature plays a crucial role in the selection of a topic and in the identification of a research problem. He was of the view that the APA format was the best format for social science reports.
After the evening’s tea-break, Prof Rao demonstrated the E Resources/ INFLIBNET e-journal feature on Osmaina University’s website that gives registered users access to full text journals and articles. A veritable source of information, Prof Rao also gave participants a list of links and websites they could go to in order to access relevant literature.
The final session began with the delegates introducing themselves and mentioning their academic background. The speaker, Mrs.BrinelleD’Souzafrom Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai described the 7 components of a research paper, ending with an emphasis on the importance of avoiding plagiarism.
Day 4 The focus of day 4’s sessions was on statistics and statistical analysis using SPSS. The morning’s session was conducted by Dr.SuashishaRana, Assistant Professor, Centre for Health Psychology, University of Hyderabad. Dr. Rana covered Data Analysis, Descriptive Statistics, Normal probability curve and inferential statistics. This session formed the theoretical base for the afternoon’s session on SPSS which was conducted by Dr.RavindranathK.Murthy.
Dr. Murthy began the session with a recap of statistical methods and introduced the delegates to IBM SPSS, research organisation, data cleansing and data validation. In what was a very hands on session, he demonstrated that even beginners could use SPSS confidently and interpret data with ease. He ended his 7 hour marathon session by taking questions with all the enthusiasm he had started with. It was truly an information packed and engaging day.
Day 5 The morning’s session on ethical and legal considerations in research was conducted by Dr. KalpanaKannabiran, Director, Centre for Social Development, Hyderabad. Her session covered the vast topic of ethical codes and how it is different for the social sciences. She started off by telling about the on-going debate on the need for ethics in social sciences as not all social science research is data based. She informed the delegates that while there were ethical boards for social science research in many places abroad; in India there is no clear ethical board. She went on to talk about the basic principles that are followed: the first one being the principle of ‘No harm’; second being the’ line of treatment or intervention.’ She stressed on problems like whether or not treatment will be stopped once research is over as the subject may have been benefiting from the intervention and also asked researchers to consider whether the client would benefit from the research study.
Dr. Kalpana ended the session by talking about one of the most important ethical concerns which arise with research involving vulnerable people; the ethical issues here being the ways in which one would present their findings without increasing their vulnerability and how one would protect them from becoming even more vulnerable. Before concluding, the speaker answered questions from participants on the role of ethics in Indian society.
After a tea-break, Prof. Jyotsna, Chairperson, Board of Studies, Political Science, Osmania University and Dr.Swaswati, HOD, Political Science, St. Francis College for women took the session on abstract writing and evaluation. The session began with Prof.Jyotsna explaining the core idea behind writing an abstract which is to summarise a research paper. She then distinguished between the introduction and the abstract and listed out the characteristics of an abstract. She went onto explain the various sections of an abstract and spoke about the differences between the abstract of a research paper and that of a thesis. She briefly commented on the MLA format. Dr.Swaswati gave pointers on the practical aspects of writing an abstract and ended the session by giving hands on assignment on abstract writing.
Valedictory Function The valedictory function began with a prayer. Mrs. Tina FernandesHOD, Psychology, St. Francis College then gave the welcome address.She welcomed the chief guest, Dr. G Srinivas, joint secretary of the UGC-SERO and congratulated the participants for their initiative and commitment to better themselves and make a difference in research. She ended by urging students to set goals for themselves and to strongly stand for something that can give their life a direction and purpose.
This was followed by a feedback session where the delegates, Mr.D. SrinivasRao, Lecturer in Commerce,Bhavans Vivekananda College, said that he found the session on SPSS most interesting . Ms.Afshan, Dyslexia Therapist, Research Scholar and Director, Ripples, Center for Advanced Learning said that the workshop changed her perspective of research and researchers and has inspired her to do her PhD.Mr. Anil Kumar, Social Worker & Secretary – OISCA said that he enjoyed the workshop and would have been happier if it lasted 2 more days. He also appreciated the staff of the Dept. of Psychology who he felt participated wholeheartedly in the sessions.Ms.Arthi R, Research Scholar, Center for Health Psychology, University of Hyderabad was highly appreciative of all the staff and students of the dept. for the hard work put in for the big success of the workshop and finally Ms.Jyothsna, Principal, Lotus National School, Attapur,prepared a meaningful presentation where she said it was a vast learning experience and she felt privileged to attend the workshop. All the delegates agreed that the workshop was well organised and that they benefitted greatly from the knowledge and experience of the resource persons.
Next, Ms. Margaret invited the chief guest to address the gathering. He began his address by appreciating the management, staff, students and resource persons for organising the 5 day workshop. He went on to comment on the state of research in India saying that it is in the peculiar position where the studies are driven primarily by the guide, irrespective of students’ interests or ability. He also said that research is often undertaken casually by researchers as they are compelled to acquire a PhD in order to fulfil the requirements of an academic position.
Therefore, he said, a workshop that imparts research skills is of immense importance in improving the quality of research irrespective of what discipline a researcher is. Besides developing good quantitative research skills, communication and computer skills along with strong ethics will go a long way in improving research in India.
After the chief guest’s address Dr.Sr. Christine Fernandes the Coordinator of the workshop and Vice principal of the college proposed the vote of thanks. This was followed by the distribution of the certificates and the day was ended with rendering of the national anthem.
Three day National Workshop on “Research Methodology in Social Sciences” from 7th – 10th October, 2013 organized by the Department of Commerce, Little Flower Degree College, Uppal, Hyderabad.
ICSSR sponsored three days National Workshop on Research Methodology in Social Sciences organized by the department of commerce, Little Flower Degree College, Uppal, Hyderabad from 07-10-13 to 09-10-13.The workshop was meticulously planned to benefit the pursuant of research. As a part, invitation has been extended to many undergraduate colleges and to the research scholars of various disciplines, requested the experts to deliver their expertise on the topics set and all other arrangements of workshop were made ready well in advance under the guidance of the principal and the vice – principal. As a result the total enrollment was 51 consists both teaching faculty from various under graduating colleges and the research scholars registered under various disciplines. The three day workshop has been designed to cover total 10 sessions including inaugural and valedictory sessions. Three sessions have run each day consisting two pre-lunch sessions and one post lunch session. The detailed report of the workshop is presented here.
Day-I (October7, 2013) The first day (07-10-13, Mon) commenced with a brief inaugural session by lighting lamp by the principal of the college Rev. Bro. Jaico Gervasis and Vice – principal Ms. Jayanthi Reddy and accompanied by key note speaker of the day Rev. Ambrose pinto, principal, Aloysius college, Bangalore. Principal Rev. Bro. Jaico Geravasis has delivered the introductory note of the workshop. In his note, he has stressed the importance of research and the purpose of research which has invited all to get ready for the meaningful learning of the sessions.
Session I: Introduction to Research & Challenges to Social Sciences Research Resource Person: Dr. Ambrose Pinto, Principal, St. Aloysius College, Bangalore.
In his Key note address Dr. Ambrose Pinto has enlighten the gathering on the importance of research in social sciences to address the burning issues of present societal conditions. In his keynote address, Dr. Pinto has highlighted the issues of ‘Narmada Bachavo-Rehabilitation’ and the problems of the native tribes and the various other social problems on which little research carried out before offering remedy to the problems. The talk was thought provoking to the participants to relate their topics in research and many queries were answered and clarified.
Session II: “Accessing Information, Review & APA” Resource Person: Prof. Sudharshan Rao, Senior Fellow, ICSSR & dept of library & information sciences
In session II Prof. Sudarshan Rao, has delivered talk on “Accessing information, Review & APA”. The session was helpful to have clarity on the importance of review of literature and APA format writing. The vast experience of the speaker in the area of research has been helpful to the participants in clarifying their queries. His modesty in clarifying the queries has left a positive mark on the minds of the researchers. The detailed explanation of contents on accessing information and review of literature has enabled everyone present very interesting and to undertake their research with deep understanding by detailed review of the literature.
Session III: “Types of Research Data & Research Design” Resource Person: Dr. Jayasree, Asst.Prof, IPE, Hyderabad.
The post lunch session of the day I addressed by Dr. Jayasree, Asst.Prof, IPE, Hyd on “Types of research data and research design”. The session was an interactive one based on discussions on designing the research to avoid the loss of time, resources and energies of a researcher. She has elaborated the discussion on exploratory research, experimental research, descriptive research and empirical research which has given clarity about the types of research they are pursuing. The second part of the session discussion has helped in the understanding of research design. She has underlined the importance of research design before embarking on the work of research.
Day II: (October 8, 2013, Tuesday) Session I: “Introduction to software packages in statistical analysis” Resource Person: Dr. Ravindranath .K .Murthy, Dept. of Psychology, O.U, Hyderabad. The day II of the workshop was totally allocated to the learning of SPSS package in all the three sessions. Dr. Ravindranath K. Murthy, Dept of Psychology, o.u, Hyd has handled the three sessions. In session I “Introduction to software packages in statistical analysis”, he has provided the theoretical inputs on understanding of statistical terminology and conceptual understanding of the software packages. The detailed explanation of fundamental terminology has helped to understand the application of SPSS, scales of measurement and inferential statistical tools
Session II & III “Practical sessions on application of SPSS in research” In Session II & III Dr. Ravindranath has enabled every participant of workshop to execute the various exercises using SPSS package in the well equipped computer lab of the college. The sessions have run up to 6.00p.m. in order to facilitate the practice of the given exercises on the learning of SPSS package on the request and the interest of the participants. Though the day was a long one, the feedback was excellent as every participant has experienced the enriched learning in SPSS package which has given them immense satisfaction. Later the sufficient practice was assigned by providing the relevant exercises to participants. Though the session was purely technical, the participants have learned effectively. Sessions went on the practice of exercises on the calculation of statistical measures such as mean, median, mode, standard deviation, co- variance, correlation and tests of significance.
Day III (October9, 2013, Wednesday) The last day three sessions were designed to cover the topics of ‘Sampling in research processes, ‘Methods of data collection’ and ‘Report writing, findings & observations’
Session I: “Sampling in research process Resource Person: Prof.S.V.Satyanarayana, dean, dept. of commerce, O.U, Hyd
The session I of the day dealt on the topic “Sampling in research process by Prof.S.V.Satyanarayana dean, dept of commerce, O.U, Hyd. In his session, Prof. S.V. Satyanarayana has elaborated the discussion on sample design. His rich experience was very much helpful to participants to have clarity on the sample selection of their study. Many have been clarified their queries relating to sample design and the methods of data collection. The elaborate session went on the discussion of sampling techniques, selection of sample, sample size and the relevance of sample to the population.
Session II: Methods of data collection Resource Person: Dr. Madhavi Latha, faculty, HCU
Session II was dealt by Dr. Madhavi Latha, faculty, HCU on “Methods of data collection”. She has explained the methods of data collection through sharing her study experience and also enlighten on the innovative methods of data collection. Her discussion went on the methods of collection of primary data as well secondary data, the various sources of data availability and the techniques to obtain the information required.
Session III: “Report writing and findings & observations” Resource Person: Dr.C. Padmaja Shaw, Dept of journalism, O.U, Hyd.
The session III of the last day was on the topic of “Report writing of the Thesis and findings & observations” was handled by Dr. Padmaja Shaw.C , Dept of journalism. O.U, Hyd. Dr. Shaw has explained the various precautions to be followed in reporting the research work. The session was participative and many have been clarified of their queries. Her session was on the discussion of the various important notes which should be recorded regarding the observations and findings of the study and updating the review of literature etc.