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ITECH 5500: Professional Research And Communication - Quantitative Data In Class - Assessment Answer

December 08, 2018
Author : Ashley Simons

Solution Code: 1AJII

Question: Professional Research And Communication

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Professional Research And Communication Assignment

Assignment Task

1 . Consider a survey in which customers’ perceptions of the service at a local store are gathered using a Likert Scale. Using this survey the customer gives a score of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 in response to a statement about the service. The scores represent

1 – Strongly Disagree

2 – Disagree

3 – Unsure

4 – Agree

5 – Strongly agree

For example, one of the statements might be

“The staff member appears knowledgeable regarding the store’s products”

and the customer would give a score based upon how much they agree with the statement. Now consider a situation in which 100 customers provide a response to this statement and they are distributed as follows

1 – Strongly Disagree 10 (10%)

2 – Disagree 25 (25%)

3 – Unsure 17 (17%)

4 – Agree 32 (32%)

5 – Strongly agree 16 (16%)

Now let’s assume that the store wants to summarise this data into a single score. They calculate this score by multiplying the number of responses by the number assigned, adding the five together and dividing by the number of respondents. In this case,

(10 + 50 + 51 + 128 + 80) / 100 = 319/100 = 3.19

Explain why this value is not a valid summary of the data collected. Suggest a more valid way of representing the data. Justify your response.

2 . This question continues from question 1. Let’s assume that the survey is not necessarily answered by every customer. If a customer wishes to fill out the survey they need to go to the relevant web page on the store’s web site. This way the store can automate the collection and analysis of data. Does the data collected provide a true reflection of the perceptions of all of the store’s customers? Why or why not? Justify your answer. (Note: this is not a simple yes/no answer. There may be times at which the data is more reliable than others)

3 . We discussed four types of quantitative data in class – nominal, ordinal, ratio and interval. Whattypes of data are collected from each of the following questions? Justify your answer.

  1. Gender
  2. Requires one of two responses – male or female
  3. Fahrenheit thermometers
  4. Collects values representing temperatures in Fahrenheit
  5. Kelvin thermometers
  6. Collects values representing temperatures in Kelvin
  7. The number of items a customer buys
  8. In whole numbers
  9. Bank account balances (careful with this one)

4 . Assume you are the coach of a local sports team. You believe it is possible that drinking orange juice three times per day, for four days each week, might make the players perform better in the game at the weekend. Explain how you could test this hypothesis in each of the following ways:

  1. As a descriptive non-experimental study
  2. A quasi experimental study
  3. An experimental study

Which of the studies would give you the firmest evidence of whether your theory is correct? Justify your answers.

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Solution:

Introduction

Question 1:

In this question, we have collected customer’s perceptions of the service at the local store with the use of likert scale of 1 to 5 where 1 represents strongly disagree, 2 represents disagree, 3 represents unsure, 4 indicates agree and 5 indicates strongly agree. We can see from the likert scales that the data collected using the likert scale question is of ordinal scale where the order of the values is more important and significant. The differences between each of the values 1 to 5 or the difference between 1 and 2, 2 and 3, and so on is not known or cannot be quantified. We cannot say that the difference between strongly disagree and disagree is the same as the difference between agree and strongly agree. Ordinal scales generally measure the level of satisfaction, perception and other non-numeric concepts like happiness, etc. For ordinal scale variables, it is the order that is important and such variables display data that are in an order. (Allen and Seaman, 2007)

And from the above description it is also evident that the mean value calculated is not an efficient measure or valid summary of the data; since it will reflect the true picture of the data variable. It would be very useful to measure mode or median as it would reflect the true picture as we can see that most of the participants have agreed (mode is 4) as 32% of the participants have given a response as 4(highest response for ordinal variable is the mode).

Question 2:

When the store has automated the survey such that only those willing to fill out the survey can go to the relevant page on the store’s website and answer the questions, it gives the choice for the customers whether they would want to give their perceptions about the store. This would ensure that only those customers who are willing to participate would go to the relevant page of the website and participate. As the respondents (customers) are willingly participating in the survey, they would give their true opinions (rather than when it is made compulsory). The true opinions of the respondents who are willingly participating in the survey would reflect the perceptions of store’s customers and it makes the data more reliable as the responses given by the customers are given as a true reflection of what they actually think about the store.

Question 3:

Gender i. Requires one of two responses – male or female

This is a nominal variable as it is used for labelling variable for male and female and does not have any quantitative value.

Fahrenheit thermometers i. Collects values representing temperatures in Fahrenheit

This is an Interval data since it represents the values in an order and we also know the differences between the values. And each interval scale in Fahrenheit thermometer is known, measureable and consistent(Calkins, 2005).

Kelvin thermometers i. Collects values representing temperatures in Kelvin Since Kelvin thermometers have true zeroes, the values representing temperatures in Kelvin are ratios.

The number of items a customer buys i. In whole numbers

Ratio data as both the difference and ratio between two values are meaningful. A customer buying more items say 10 items and customer buying 5 items represent a ratio of 2:1

Bank account balances (careful with this one)

It can be represented as both intervals and ratio. As bank balances of customers can be categorised into various intervals and it can also have a zero value. And hence it can be represented by both interval and ratio. (Zikmund, 2003)

Question 4:

The research hypothesis here is that players who drink orange juice three times a day and for four days each week perform well than other players in the game at the week end. Testing this hypothesis would require some of the players to drink orange juice three times a day for four days a week and other players who don’t do that.

In the case of descriptive non-experimental study, it is not possible to have a control group as the researcher has to observe the phenomenon when it is happening naturally and cannot control for the independent variables. In other words, for testing this hypothesis an descriptive non experimental study would be the most unsuitable method as it does not allow to make changes or to introduce treatments to control groups (to make some players drink orange juice for three times a day for four days a week).

The other two methods of a quasi-experimental study and experimental study allows for treatment to the control group and hence the hypothesis can be effectively testes by comparing the control group and the uncontrolled group. However in the case of quasi experimental design the participants are not randomly assigned to a control or treatment group and might involve bias by the researcher. It might also be that the treatment and control group differ not only in the treatment or experiment they receive, but might also have other differences which have to be statistically controlled for by the researcher. For example in this case if the treatment group is much taller than the control group, there might be differences in their play too, which has to be controlled for by the researcher. Hence though the quasi experimental design is much better than the descriptive non-experimental design, it also has its limitations(Greener, 2008).

The experimental research design is much suitable for testing the research hypothesis that the coach has in mind. Here the researcher tests whether the research outcome (better play) is the effect of the treatment given (giving orange juice for three times a day for four days a week). In this case the players have to selected randomly for the treatment such that there is no researcher bias, and the treatment have to be given controlling for any external factors. This would ensure proper testing of the research hypothesis using the experimental research design.(Cooper and Schindler, 2012)

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