2. Professional mode - to be found in professional journals, magazines and newspapers. Its purpose is to 'add to practical knowledge' and its audience is mainly practising professionals, teachers and others engaged in the educational service.
3. Pedagogic mode- to be found in research assignments, dissertations and theses. Its purpose is to 'demonstrate to a tutor, and possibly and external examiner, that the student is learning to conduct systematic, critical and self-critical enquiry.' - found in professional journals.
Whatever type of research an individual is carrying out, there are different sources which can be used, all of which have both positive and negative aspects. Source materials include books, journals, internet, CD Rom's, video / DVD's, audiotapes, magazines and newspapers. All of these sources are secondary forms of information. Dependant on the nature and purpose of research being carried out it may be deemed both viable and valuable to carry out primary research. Such methods may include focus groups, one to one interviews or questionnaires / surveys. The success of which will to a large extent depend upon the professional nature, skill and ability of the interviewer / conductor or question setter. Research in this instance could be quantitative for numerical statistical analysis or qualitative for descriptive evaluation.
Regardless of the research source material Ary et al (2004) reports that:
Research must be appropriate for its audience.
Research should have a clear aim e.g. to describe a situation, to inform action, report to specific audience etc
Research should have a purpose - to impart knowledge, for accountability, accreditation etc
Research should be written appropriate to its audience e.g. academics, fellow professionals
Research form may take various paths, entirely text based, multimodal maybe containing video or audio recordings, links to websites, etc
A research paper should consider its relevance to its audience in terms of length, style and genre and be written appropriately
Research should take into account the role of the respondents - make them feel valued
Research from whatever means will also share the following limitations;
Legal and ethical considerations - relating to confidentiality, ownership and management of data, copyright and intellectual rights. These must be considered before data collection and agreed with all the relevant parties. The new Data Protection Act (1998) came into effect in UK in 2000 and researchers must be considerate of exactly what their data collection involves and what is to be done with the data before they seek the relevant authority.
Methods of research need to be practically considered before being undertaken wholesale for practicality. (i.e. interview = more personal v questionnaire = anonymity)
Research needs to be objective and devoid of bias. Ary et al (2002) states that 'bias may result from selective observations, hearing only what one wants to hear, or allowing persona attitudes, preferences and feelings to affect interpretation of data'.