This work deals with both qualitative and quantitative approaches to research methodology. The steps followed in the research process; data collection (sampling, measuring, questioning and observing), as well as the procedures followed when applying a research design and interpreting research data. Various research techniques and methods are applied to conducting research of advertising, mass-media audiences and efficiency; and to conducting research in organizational and development contexts. The publication ends with a framework of scientific criteria and guidelines that can be used when planning and writing a research report, as well as when analyzing and evaluating published research reports. The research techniques, methods and applications dealt with in this publication find pertinence in diverse communication fields, such as political and government communication, media studies, intercultural development and health communication, information communications technology; and/or organizational and marketing communication. Against the background of outcomes-based education, the aim of this publication is to enable learners to develop and acquire the following learning outcomes: research skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, environmental literacy, developing a macrovision, self-responsibility skills and developing individual, moral and ethical values as part of lifelong learning. Towards achieving these outcomes, and to accommodate different learning styles, the publication follows an interactive approach and contains several learning aids, such as marginal notes; executive summaries; self-evaluation and portfolio tasks; as well as guides with criteria that can be used by learners, teachers or examiners to assess the achievement of learning outcomes and the evidence of performance.
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P. J. Fourie is head of the department of communication at the University of South Africa and is a senior scholar in communication science in South Africa.
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