You have to build a scaffold, or frame, to support your research. The scaffold can be one of a variety of shapes and sizes and it will be built to guide the way your research develops. Another term for these scaffolds that shape your research is design frames. Let’s have a look at the ones most frequently used in small-scale and undergraduate research: ◗◗ action research ◗◗ case study ◗◗ ethnography ◗◗ experiment ◗◗ survey. These are all governed by different assumptions about the world and so you have to follow particular ground rules when you adopt them. I won’t go into a lot of detail about these now, since there are bigger books that can explain them more fully (e.g. Thomas 2017). However, I’ll begin by saying a little about approaches to research, about ways of judging its trustworthiness, and about sampling. I think you will find it helpful to know something about these general issues so that you can understand the different starting (and ending) points to different design frames.
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