The resources you have will play a role in deciding which research methods and tools you'll use.
Make sure you allow enough time for collecting and analysing data. Automated surveys may be able to give you summarised information immediately. But you'll need to allow follow-up time to combine and make sense of all the evidence you’ve gathered.
You may be able to use tools and materials, such as office supplies, that you already have or can get at little to no cost. Many online survey tools offer free accounts, but phone- or paper-based methods may incur a cost.
If you’ve asked people to take part in focus groups or interviews, they might expect a gift or to have food provided.
When you’re deciding who will take part in your research, you'll need to consider:
- whose responses would be essential (or valuable) to include
- the sort of information you’ll collect
- who you may be able to collaborate with (e.g. teachers who can have their class participate).
When you’re involving people in your research — especially young people — you must ensure it's carried out ethically.
In most formal projects, researchers get written, informed consent from their participants. But implied consent may be enough as long as your research has no potential to cause harm to any of the participants. In particular, any data you've gathered about students should be anonymous or confidential. It's important that students can’t be identified by their responses, or through reports or presentations based on the data.
Using data collected already for another purpose, such as student achievement data, also requires ethical considerations. You might need to get consent to use the data if it will be made public. If the data is only collected and used within your school, use your judgement about whether you need consent.
The right to withdraw and the right to be free from deception are also important concepts in human research ethics.
Psychology research ethics — provides information on research using human participants.