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In this chapter will discuss further details regarding the suitable research approach and the appropriate methodology. This research approach is focused on four key areas and questions related as below:
What is the perception of parent's on knowledge sharing and management?
How to measure the level of awareness among parents?
How to make sure the information gain by parents are valuable?
What are the best ways to prevent and solve problems in knowledge management among parents?
The approach must be able to give better solution for the problem statement. Objective and scope of the research will be the guideline to determine which approach and methodology techniques is the best. At the end, this research will significant to others especially for parent's knowledge management in common childhood infectious illnesses in near future.
There are challenges to make sure parents are capture and sharing quality knowledge. They are faced with the challenges of improving quality of care and reducing the risk of adverse events. Sharing knowledge among others are the most common things applied either it's via tacit or explicit, (Irma Becerra & Sabherwal, 2010). The only key differentiates between knowledge and information is the content and the value of knowledge being shared. Knowledge sharing will direct to increase lot of understanding, enhanced the level of cooperation, more effective use of best practices and better health outcomes, (Leah, Anna, & Mwaikambo, 2011).
There are two main problems determined .The first problem is, with the technology parents are now can directly capture the data or information regarding common childhood infectious illnesses via online. It can facilitate the process of interaction, collaboration and sharing of knowledge among parents to improve the awareness level of common childhood infectious illnesses in a fastest way. However, not all parents having skills and the ability to validate the knowledge as there were some contributions factors which differ each of parent's knowledge such as education level, salary level, jobs level, culture and many more. This will produce the gap between parents to deal with common childhood infectious illnesses efficiently. Health beliefs and parent's knowledge influenced their expectation for treatment (Shlomo, Ron, & Kitai, 2003).
Secondly, young parents have been determined as to have lack of experience in handling childhood infectious illnesses. It could be difficult for them to verify the symptoms without a proper guide from the health expert. It has being determined mostly parents in Malaysia were having insufficient knowledge. They also did misinterpret about proper treatment for childhood infectious illnesses (Dawood, Ibrahim, & Palain, 2010).
Early recognition of the illness and prompt treatment can significantly reduce the spread. Thus, parents are able to get a proper treatment for their sick child. Apart from referring to the health expert's directly, parents obtain another alternative to gain their knowledge by reading blogs, parenting books, websites and forums. Some of them will refer to experience parents via direct communication such as face to face conversation. Unfortunately, this could not unsure the level of knowledge that they have and the quality of the information either it is correct, trustworthy or good knowledge which is safe to apply.
By using proper research approach, it could help to solve both of the problems listed. The first thing that should be considered is to look for the most potential contribution factors and evaluating the current practice apply by parents. This will help to answer the first question of
"What is the perception of parent's on knowledge sharing and management?" . It can be done by conducting the survey randomly among parent. Another appropriate technique can be use to support the finding such as case study and interviewing selected parents in order to dig for more details and specific information which cannot be answered in the questionnaires.
Second step is to produce or build a knowledge management model which can ensemble into this environment .Thus , it will help to answer the question of "How to make sure the information gain by parents are valuable? " and "What are the best ways to prevent and solve problems in knowledge management among parents?". Throughout the model creation, it will show the most appropriate way of handling common childhood infectious illnesses such as parent will gone through the knowledge validation and verification process before they applied the knowledge. Moreover, the most important function in the model creation is to make sure those knowledge are always trustworthy and accurate.
Third step is to test the model by apply it in the prototype of web base knowledge management system. This system will integrate with knowledge management model. By the creation of the prototype system, it will be the tool to measure the level of parent's awareness regarding common childhood infectious illnesses and answer the question of "How to measure the level of awareness among parents?" .
Objective of the Research
As for this research purpose is to identify the main problems and explore the possible factors towards parent's awareness in common childhood infectious illnesses, therefore three main objectives have been determined. Those objectives are:
To evaluate the current practice used among parents in determining childhood infectious illness.
To investigate the possible factors that might influence parent's awareness.
To develop knowledge management model and system prototype for childhood infectious illness symptoms.
Scope of the Research
The scope of this research will focusing on the contribution factor to increase the awareness level of common childhood infectious illnesses among parents. Thus, a survey based questionnaires is going to distribute randomly among parents as to get the accurate result.
Throughout the finding, a new knowledge management model will be produce in order to enhance the current knowledge management process practice by parents. A prototype of system is going to develop as a tool to measure the level of awareness.
A web based system is more practical to use as Internet are the major medium of sharing and transferring the knowledge. As for the beginning, only 10 common childhood illnesses such as Chicken pox, hand foot and mouth (HFM), Kawasaki disease, measles, meningitis, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, parvovirus and Roseola Infantum will be presented in this research.
Significance of the Research
This research is going to be the platform for parent to increase the level of understanding towards common childhood infectious illnesses. Thus, it will help to improve parent's care seeking behavior and their ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of childhood infectious illnesses.
By determining the contribution factors, this research is available to organize the knowledge wherever and whenever it is needed by parents. Generally this benefits may accelerates and improving the current knowledge management process and decision making among parents.
It will help to increase and enhance care seeking behavior and educate those parents with the appropriate knowledge needed. It will help to improve the knowledge sharing among parents by getting wider understanding and better health outcomes in the future.
Overview of Research Methodology
At least there are three research methodologies type listed. They are known as qualitative method, quantitative method and mixed method. The qualitative research methods is focusing more on discovering and understanding the experience, thought , opinion perspectives of the parents.
Differ from quantitative research method, it is constructed from the conceptual and details from the participant. A questionnaire is part of quantitative research method as it will collect amount of data and will be analyze into the statistical information.
In this research project, both techniques are chosen as we need both of experiences and survey from parents. This is more likely suitable to use mixed method research as it is the combination of both qualitative and quantitative, thus it can help to cover each of strength and weaknesses. (Michael, 2011)
Data Collection Techniques
There are few methods used to investigate the factors and help to minimalist the knowledge gap among parents. Data collection techniques used in this research such as face to face interview, questionnaires and case study. The choice of data collection techniques will depend on the variables to be measured, the source and resources availability. In this case, a set of questionnaires, a case study and interviewing health expert will be used as data collection techniques. Those techniques were chosen because it can guarantee the level of accuracy of data and information which need to be gathered. (Natasha, Cynthia, & Kathleen, 2005).
As part of quantitative method, a set of survey questions were distributed randomly among parents .The target is minimum of 100 responses. Through the questionnaires we will study the behavior, current practices and the level of awareness among parents regarding common childhood illnesses. The questionnaires target respondent were parents ages 20 until 60 years old. This technique can be accepted as it was a best way to collect information. Questionnaires will be distributed via emails, posted on social networking pages, or hand out manually to target respondent. They are requires to fill out the form themselves. These questionnaires will be prepared using the major languages of the target group. In order to maximize return rates, questionnaires need to be simple and clear with the targeted sections and questions.
The questionnaires will contain both structured questions with multiple choice questions, and open-ended questions. Respondent is encouraged to answer all the questions and as the prevention step, all questions will be marked as compulsory. The set of questionnaires were available in Appendix section.
Another method used is the interview .It is part of qualitative approach. It can help to interpret and to get a better understanding of knowledge management among parents. From the interview session, it will give a better picture and clear answer of parent's level of awareness, contribution factors and what area they think can improve to help other parents. In difference to questionnaires, qualitative interviewing aims to explore deep beneath the surface of domain subject to obtain more details of any thought , attitudes, behaviors and experiences which not covered in the questionnaires.
There are two types of interviews which is unstructured and semi-structured. Unstructured interviewing allows the respondent to share their own stories in their own terminology. In unstructured interview, the researcher has a list of topics that they want the respondent to share during the session. The questions posed during the interview will be as open-ended in order to avoid any rehearsed and planned answers by parents. Further, the questioning techniques should encourage parents to communicate and share their attitudes, beliefs and values. (Barbara & Benjamin, 2006).
Interview method can be very limited if those parents were having lack of information and experience in the subject domain. Another barrier is , they might feel unsecure by the particular question which is discuss on sensitive topics such as political attitudes, sexual orientation, borderline or illegal behavior. However there was situation where parent might feel that they need to present themselves in a specific way in order to give the better perception of the researcher's requirements, or to convey their own agenda which is not suitable for the interview. As for these reasons, it is important to build a relationship between the parents before starting the interview so that both sides can feel more comfortable. Another way to get a smooth interview session is the question should be probe and prompt with more guide from the interviewer themselves as they need to control the session, (Paul, Stewart, Treasure, & Chadwick, 2008).The interview questions were in Appendix section.
Second qualitative method used was a case study. It is to support and gain in depth contextualized results from the questionnaires and interviewed. It is the best techniques to be used in order to gain detailed understand of a parent awareness regarding common childhood illnesses process in order to gain a personal narrative of the experience of living with a childhood illnesses.
This study will utilize several data collection methods from the observation, interview and documentary analysis. Case study research is probing method, and is typically used to generate models and hypothesis of the process under investigation in a specific context, which can be tested through larger scale quantitative surveys (Crinson & Leontowitsch, 2012).
Explain in detail (Natasha, Cynthia, & Kathleen, 2005) , there are three common qualitative methods that strongly support the outcomes of the research. First is through observation. It is to collect data naturally from the selective group which means parents. Secondly is through in depth interview to gather more personal view, experience from selective parent. It is to allow more exploration regarding behavior, culture and any other contribution factors.
The last method is through focus groups which is parents who lives in Putrajaya, Malaysia. A single case study is possible to generalize about the level of awareness among parents. The result of case study will be in Chapter 4, Results and Findings.
To represent the knowledge, we will need to extract the results from the questionnaires, case study and interview. Those data will be analyzed before it could present into information needed. From the questionnaires, a case study and interview result, a knowledge management model is going to be build to support the findings. This model is to focus more in managing knowledge regarding common childhood infectious illnesses which will be based on existing knowledge management model which have been discussed in Chapter 2. There will be an improvement for this function. It will then being used as a guide of implementation of prototype system as to support the KM model.
A prototype of system is going to implement as a tool to measure the level of parent's awareness and improve their knowledge regarding common childhood infectious illnesses. Both model and prototype system will perform as simple as information to be referred and retrieved by parents.
Prototype of System
As part of helping parents to increase the level of common childhood infectious awareness, a prototype system will be build to support the knowledge management model. The prototype of system will be build to support the findings and as to make sure it will works with the knowledge management model. It will base on online application which parents can retrieve that information anywhere.
The requirement of the prototype system will rely on parent's answer and health expert as to ensure those information provided in the prototype system were met with user requirement, trustworthy and up-to-date. The system need to provide advice, solution and knowledge to non-expert users. Through this process, any activity involves in the design phase is to enable the computer to stored specific knowledge of a problem domain.
The prototype system will be develops using the latest web application tools. Jomla version 1.5 has been chosen as tool to develop the website. This is an open source application which is suitable for online application development. This application is suitable for corporate website portals, Government applications, Non-profit and organizational web sites, community-based portals and many more, (Stephen, 2012). Joomla version 1.5 is based on PHP and MYSql which is easy to be developed and maintain. It is part of Content Management System (CMS) which is enables to build powerful online website and online application system such as knowledge management web site. Thus, it is based on open source software as it is free to download and easy to use and less maintenance cost in the future.
Figure 3.1: Joomla version 1.5
Knowledge Acquisition and Validation Techniques
In order to make sure the prototype system were provides only trusted and correct information to parent , all the information regarding common childhood illnesses will be verify and validate by health expert. Knowledge engineer will need to interact with health experts or collect documented knowledge such as medical books, trusted website from Ministry of Health, private hospitals in the knowledge acquisition stage. The knowledge acquisition is then implied and coded into a representation scheme to create a knowledge base. System testing will be the main approach of this prototype system as to ensure all information in the prototype system were accurate and can be accepted.
However there were some difficulties in knowledge acquisition that should be overcome during the process.
Experts may lack time or may be unwilling to cooperate as health expert might busy with their daily task. To overcome this situation and appointment need to be set up when both are ready to be interview.
Knowledge engineer will gather knowledge from one source to another, but the significant knowledge may be scattered on several sources. Therefore, most of the documented knowledge is collected and being verify with the trusted source.
It is difficult to recognize specific knowledge when it is mixed up with irrelevant data. Knowledge engineer need to verify all those data with health expert as to ensure it is up to date and only correct and trusted information will be stored in knowledge base.
From the identified problem statement, chapter 3 is discusses more about the suitable research approach and methodology to use in order to collect and gathering data .Questionnaires, interview and case study have been select as the research method. Joomla version 1.5 is chosen as development tools for the prototype system. Chapter 4 will discuss more about results from the data collection which is guide by scope of the research.