Day 2 (Tuesday, Jan.7, 2014) The second day of the workshop started with a lecture by Dr. Venkatesh Kumar, Reader, Department of Management Studies, Pondicherry University appraising the participants about the basic concepts in research. He imparted a thorough understanding about different types of variables, scales of measurement used, hypothesis formulation and testing citing practical examples with which participants could easily identify and relate to. The second lecture, after tea break, by Dr. Venkatesh Kumar, was about Experimental Research designs. He explained the process and implementation of this type of design in practical settings thus giving an effective insight into the utilization of these research designs for a particular research.
Dr. Joseph Alexander, from Department of Psychology, Annamalai University, handled the afternoon session on Universe and sampling methods. He started the session with citing the importance of research in Social Sciences and the importance of logical thinking in research. Connecting statistics, parameters, population and sample, he drew on the understanding of randomization and highlighted the different types of sampling throwing light on various methods.
Dr. Joseph Alexander also discussed about field study in the last session of the day. He pointed out the importance and scope of field study. Prof. Alexander highlighted how to use field experiments and ways to conduct the same. In total he brought out the major concepts and issues in field study for social scientists.
Day 3 (Wednesday, Jan.8, 2014) The third day of the workshop primarily guided the participants in the context of the different type of statistics used for interpreting data. Dr. B. Rangaiah, Associate Professor in the first session, explained the concept of descriptive statistics and the different methods that come under this type of statistics. Taking simple examples, he was able to bring in the clarity to understand the application of descriptive statistics to make the data organized and take it to a better level of understanding. The next session was taken up by Dr. Tirupathi Rao, Department of Statistics, Pondicherry University on the importance of inferential statistics in social sciences and imparted the information about the common mistakes that a researcher may commit while interpreting the data. He also gave a brief introduction about the different parametric and non parametric tests used to analyze the data that one obtains.
The first session of the afternoon was handled by Prof. A. Chelluperumal, Department of Anthropology, Pondicherry University on the ethnographic, phenomelogical and qualitative methods used in the process of data collection. He elucidated on the methodical way ethnographies are made and how it is different from novels and other story narration. He was of the view that current ethnographies include an artistic element which make these documents more comprehensible and increase their practical utility. He also explained the importance of phenomenological and other qualitative methods in determining the essence of an individual. The last session of the day was held at the Ananda Rangapillai Library, Pondicherry University, where Dr. R. Samyuktha, University Librarian, gave a lecture on how to use e-resources appropriately and to the maximum benefit. The lecture provided an insight on where to access e-theses related to one’s research interest as well as other documents like journal articles and their abstracts. It also gave information about deciding upon which journal to use for publications and how to manage references.
Day 4 (Thrusday, Jan.9, 2014) The fourth day of the workshop commenced with a lecture by Dr. Shaheen Sultana, Reader, Department of Social Work, Pondicherry University on tools of data collection. This included observation method and its various types with its limitations, Interview method as well questionnaire development and administration. She briefly touched upon schedules, projective techniques, Depth interviews and content analysis giving a holistic view of the different methods used in the endeavor of research. The next session was taken by Dr. S.K. Sia, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Psychology, who enlightened the participants on Rating scales and levels of measurement. He briefed them on different forms of scales, steps involved in the development of scales along with illustrations. He also explained in detail on generation and preparation of statements for scales as well as nuances involved in tools of research and measurement.
The afternoon session was taken up Dr. R Murthy, Faculty Member, Dept. of Psychology, Osmania University who commenced the session on SPSS. He illuminated the participants with the basic objectives of the upcoming SPSS sessions and gave a thorough understanding about the basic concepts in Data analysis and the origins of the software and how it is different from other computer programme or Microsoft Excel. He also explained about the nomenclature that is used in this software. Explaining the basics of measurement, the session ended with him setting a home-task for the participants for identifying some variables with their nature, role in statistics and their level of measurement.
Day 5 (Friday, Jan.10, 2014) The fifth day of the workshop was devoted to thorough understanding of the working of SPSS software. Dr. R. Murthy meticulously explained the process involved in creating file on SPSS and was patiently guiding all the participants to understand all the steps. The participants were given dummy data and then working of the software was understood through practical exercises set up by Dr. R Murthy.
Day 6 (Saturday, Jan.11, 2014) The first two sessions of the sixth day of the workshop was on hands-on training on SPSS. Dr. R.Murthy had given dummy data to the participants and explained them as to how to analysis data using appropriate statistical test based on nature of the data and sample background. Participants of the workshop did the analysis and clarified their queries as and when they found any problem and Dr. Murthy very clearly clarified the queries of the participants. Overall, SPSS sessions conducted by Dr.Murthy were very beneficial for all the participants and they also greatly enjoyed the sessions.
Last session on abstract writing, writing research papers and thesis was conducted by Prof. Sibnath Deb, Co-director of the Workshop. Prof. Deb clearly explained as to how to write an abstract of an article. Prof. Deb also asked the participants to follow guidelines of each journal and conference for writing an abstract. Thereafter, Prof. Deb briefed all the participants about writing styles of article and thesis and its length which varies from journal to journal and across the universities. Prof. Deb also shared some of the articles published in different impact factor journals published by Elsevere, Sage and Willy publication companies with the participants.
6. Brief Summary of the Valedictory Function Valedictory function of the Six-day Regional Workshop on Research Methodology (Jan.6 – 11, 2014) started at 3.00 p.m. in the Cultural-cum- Convention Centre, Pondicherry University. Dignitaries like Mr. Raajiv Yaduvanshi (Registrar, Pondicherry University), Prof C. Beena (Director, ICCSR Southern Region, Hyderabad), Prof. Nalini Kant Jha (Dean, School of Social Sciences and International Studies, Pondicherry University), Prof. Sibnath Deb (Co-Director of the workshop and Head of the Department of Applied Psychology, Pondicherry University), and Dr. S.K Sia (Associate Professor of the Dept. of Applied Psychology) were present during the function.
Prof. Sibnath Deb presented the evaluation report of the workshop. He briefly explained about the themes covered in the workshop by different resource persons. He also presented the evaluation of the 31 participants about the workshop based on the feedback provided by them. He expressed his gratitude towards ICSSR for their immense support to conduct the program, and he also extended his gratitude towards all the resource persons and dignitaries of dais to make the program successful.
Mr. Raajiv Yaduvanshi, Registrar of Pondicherry University delivered presidential address. He expressed his happiness to be a part of the program which is meant to improve the researches in the area of social sciences. He pointed out the need of research in the social sciences for the development of the country; he also appreciated ICSSR to conduct such training programs for marginalized sections. Prof Beena talked about the need for providing workshops and special training programs for marginalized sections. She also explained how ICSSR is helping students by various ways in their pursuit of doing good quality research works. She requested all the scholars to make use of the resources available to them and to produce high quality research papers.
Prof. Nalini Kanta Jha, Dean, School of Social Sciences and International Studies, Pondicherry University motivated all the scholars to become sincere researchers. He pointed out the mistakes which research scholars often make while doing their research, he thanked ICSSR and Prof. Sibnath Deb for conducting a training program in research methodology to sensitize the young research scholars. Dr. S.K Sia, Associate Professor, Dept of Applied Psychology, Pondicherry expressed his gratitude towards ICSSR on the behalf of Department of Applied Psychology Pondicherry University for the support received while conducting the workshop. He said that such programs will be highly beneficial for the blooming social scientists.
During the valedictory function the participants have given a chance to come up with their feedback about the workshop. Three of them came forward and gave their feedback about the workshop. All the three participants stated that they have been immensely benefitted by attending the workshop. Ph.D. Scholar from the IIT-Madras stated that she did not receive such a good training before on research methodology particularly on statistics even in her own institute. They promised that they will make use of the knowledge they received from the workshop in their research works. They thanked the ICSSR and the coordinator for their effort to conduct a highly beneficial workshop on research methodology. After the feedback session, vote of thanks was given by Anjali Gireesan, Research Scholar of the Department of Applied Psychology and after the vote of thanks the dignitaries distributed the certificates to the participants.
The workshop was highly beneficial as stated by 75% of the participants. Some of the verbatim responses of the participants are as follows:
‘The workshop has provided lots of opportunities to learn new thing, and to share our ideas’
‘ It was an excellent workshop the way the resource persons presented the lecture because all resource persons taught us with examples’
‘ I did not know research methodology and statistics. I learned a lot from this workshop so it is highly beneficial’
‘Most of the topics are presented in a simple manner. The resource persons focused on concepts rather than going too technical’
‘Even though we have been discussing the topics that we have discussed already, this workshop helped us to understand the concepts more clearly. SPSS classes were extra ordinary’
‘This type of workshops must be conducted every year. I benefitted a lot from this workshop’
‘I know research methodology what it is but this program given very minute and exact information about the research method and analysis of data’ The workshop was moderatelybeneficial as remarked by 25% of the participants. According to some of them:
‘There were some sessions, where resource persons did not talk anything about the content mentioned in the theme’
‘Some of the sessions were not beneficial for me because some of the experts were not well prepared. But some of the sessions like SPSS were highly beneficial. I think SPSS was the best session of the workshop’
‘I expected some more basic things but the sessions were some more advanced’.
Every participant told that that hospitality and logistic arrangements like venue and seating arrangements, accommodation etc. was “very good. Some of the responses given by the participants are as follows:
‘Accommodation arranged in such a way that, participants can easily reaches the venue without any drawbacks. Venue and seating arrangements were also good’