Any research in any scientific field needs first an appropriate method to be followed as well as an accurate way in collecting data and undertaking the investigations. From that fact, the research methodology chapter is as important as any section in our doctoral dissertation. It is a worthwhile work that we devote to this research. To make our work useful, profitable, and simple for readers let us shed light on some main points that have been being analysed and given by many researchers, those who devoted their time to the research method/ methodology such as Hitchcock , Leedy, Ormrod, Manion, Creswell etc. Hence, the following section is devoted to present a quick look at what has been said about research method/ methodology according to some researchers, and it is given on purpose to make our students well-read and conscious when doing researches.
1.2 What is Research Methodology?
It is the individuals' motives to define their objectives when doing investigations to establish their hypothetical descriptions of a complex entity or process (framework) in accordance with working conditions as well as it helps researchers and students in how to present their data collected. To understand much better what is the research methodology, let us have a look at what they wrote in the following:
Research is the systematic and exact process of enquiry, which aims to illustrate phenomena and to extend and examine explanatory concepts as well as theories. At the end of the day, it aims to connect toward a methodical body of knowledge. Research is the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data in order to comprehend a phenomenon. The research process is systematic in that defining the objective, managing the data, and communicating the findings occur within established frameworks and in accordance with existing guidelines. The frameworks and guidelines provide researchers with an indication of what to comprise in the research, how to carry out the research, and what types of inferences are probable based on the data collected.(1)
The quotation above reveals the importance of doing researches, and makes our readers believable in the process of research as well as this quotation refers to the types of the research process.
According to many researchers the research process or method is made up of three kinds of approaches that might facilitate the way of doing researches or investigations to collecting data qualitatively and quantitatively. These kinds of approaches are quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. They are used to simplify and explain the main steps of the techniques the individuals (researchers) used. This chapter is about a relevant introduction to quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods for readers, in particular LMD students because they must know and understand all the three approaches to develop their conceptions, assumptions and knowledge as well as understanding these approaches enable students to make their competence or knowledge outer form pragmatically.
Figure 1(see page 3) reveals what we come to say about the LMD students' needs and gives a simple explanation to how the researcher's knowledge, conception and assumption come into practice through quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods. If the researcher masters and knows well enough how to deal with the three approaches and which approach he or she is going to follow when doing researches, he/ she becomes self-confident and capable of knowing his/her needs to consider his/ her research methods.
The researcher's knowledge
The researcher's conceptions
The three elements
Knowledge, conception and assumption
transformed and come to the process of research to be developed
The researcher's assumptions
The Approaches Methods Used ( to know which method does the researcher prefer.? Input
*Selecting the topic of the research scope
*Specify which method the researcher undertakes in his research.
* Data Collection
Analyses/ Results and discussion
Production (translating the research into practice (validation)
Figure (1) The Process of doing Researches
1.3 Quantitative Approach
The quantitative approach is the method that has been defined by Fraenkel & Wallen as "empirical research in which the researcher explores relationships using numeric data" (Fraenkel & Wallen, 1993, p. 5). It is used to develop knowledge got from observations and much effort made when collecting as much as data needed. (Creswell, 2003; Crotty, 1998) state that "Quantitative methods are an approach to research in which the investigator primarily uses post-positivist claims for developing knowledge"
1.4 Qualitative Approach
The qualitative approach is the method that searches for responses to one or more questions, it is systematically used to collect and choose logical, not randomly, and responses to the question as well as it helps to bring together evidence. Qualitative
Approach is effective in obtaining the valuable information about the topic we are studying. There are different types of research designs that use qualitative research techniques to frame the research approach. As a result, the different techniques have a dramatic effect on the research strategies explored. What constitutes qualitative research involves purposeful use for describing, explaining, and interpreting collected data.
1.5A Mixed Methods Approach
The mixed methods approach to research is an extension of rather than a replacement for the quantitative and qualitative approaches to research, as the latter two research approaches will continue to be useful and important (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). There are three broad classifications of quantitative research: descriptive experimental and causal comparative (Leedy and Ormrod, 2001). The descriptive research approach is a basic research method that examines the situation, as it exists in its current state. Descriptive research involves identification of attributes of a particular phenomenon based on an observational basis, or the exploration of correlation between two or more phenomena.
Through our reading in Creswell's Book entitled Research Design and from our question given to Professor Creswell via email, the question is: which kind of method approach do you prefer, to base/ work on, in your own researches or experiences? Why? His answer as follows:
"I appreciate your question. Â These days I prefer mixed methods because I am teaching it and it can be used by many people. Â Then qualitative and then quantitative. John Creswell"
From Creswell' point of view, as an expert in research methodology, we inform our readers that the suitable approach method used currently is the mixed method approach. The latter combine between both methods qualitative and quantitative in analyzing and interpreting the results as well as report writing in different ways qualitatively.
Because our research is about a new experience we are undergoing in our country in particular at Mostaganem University and Sidi Bel Abbes University and the documents (bibliography) are not many as well our informants are not really well familiar with the experience they are undertaking in the LMD system, we need more accuracy and much effort to following and probing to make accurate questions to obtain the answers needed concerning this experience. The question to be raised here is how to make this experience successful and which technique we should follow.
The answer is very simple to that. We have based our research on mixed method using the suitable interviewing technique called In-depth interviewing. Thus, the present study is a cross-sectional survey under qualitative paradigm. In survey research, according to Fraenkel and Wallen, "Researchers are often interested in the opinions of a large group of people about a particular topic or issue. They ask a number of questions, all related to the issue, to find answers" (2010, p. 390). Considering the purpose of the study, in order to collect necessary data, an in-depth interviewing technique is adopted.
1.6 In-depth Interviewing
It was decided to use in-depth interviewing as the main method to collect data for this study since an interpretative approach (qualitative in nature) was adopted for the investigation. The central concern of the interpretative research is to understand human experiences at a holistic level. Because of the nature of this type of research, investigations are often connected with methods such as in-depth interviewing, participant observation and the collection of relevant documents. Maykut and Morehouse (1994, p. 46) state that:
The data of qualitative inquiry is most often people's words and actions, and thus requires methods that allow the researcher to capture language and behaviour. The most useful ways of gathering these forms of data are participant observation, in-depth interviews, group interviews, and the collection of relevant documents. Observation and interview data is collected by the researcher in the form of field notes and audio-taped interviews, which are later transcribed for use in data analysis. There is also some qualitative research being done with photographs and video-taped observations as primary sources of data. (See Erikson and Wilson 1982, Wagner 1979)
Because our research required formal questions given to our students in order to elicit as much data as possible from them about their opinions on learning and teaching foreign languages in the Algerian universities under the various system implementation, it was necessary to make a good questionnaire including formal and not informal interviews so that the informants would think carefully of their answers. To make our questionnaire successful the next point is devoted to provide us with more information about the questionnaire.
The questionnaire is a very interesting tool we deal with in doing our investigations. It serves to give a straightforward explanation to the readers and researchers. The questionnaire must include the main issues to be addressed in the research topic to make readers well read. For that reason, we need to know how we design, simplify and clarify the questionnaire we intend to give to our informants (interviewers).
According to Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007) the good design and order made for the questionnaire must be followed are as follows:
Ethical issues: Interviews have an ethical dimension; they concern interpersonal interaction and produce information about the human condition. Although one can identify three main areas of ethical issues here - informed consent, confidentiality, and the consequences of the interviews - these need to be unpacked a little, as each is not unproblematic (Kvale 1996: 111-20).
2-approaching the planning of a questionnaire: At this preliminary stage of design, it can sometimes be helpful to use a flow chart technique to plan the sequencing of questions. In this way, researchers are able to anticipate the type and range of responses that their questions are likely to elicit.
3-operationalizing the questionnaire: The process of operationalizing a questionnaire is to take a general purpose or set of purposes and turn these into concrete, researchable fields about which actual data can be gathered. First, a questionnaire's general purposes must be clarified and then translated into a specific, concrete aim or set of aims. Thus, 'to explore teachers' views about in-service work' is somewhat nebulous, whereas 'to obtain a detailed description of primary and secondary teachers' priorities in the provision of in-service education courses' is reasonably specific. Having decided upon and specified the primary objective of the questionnaire, the second phase of the planning involves the identification and itemizing of subsidiary topics that relate to its central purpose.
4 - structured semi-structured and unstructured questionnaires: The researcher can select several types of questionnaire, from highly structured to unstructured.
5 types of questionnaire items: There are several kinds of question and response modes in questionnaires, including, for example, dichotomous questions, multiple choice questions, rating scales, constant sum questions, ratio data and open-ended questions. (See also Wilson 1996)
6- closed and open questions compared: They enable respondents to answer as much as they wish, and are particularly suitable for investigating complex issues, to which simple answers cannot be provided.
7- Scales of data: The questionnaire designer will need to choose the metric - the scale of data - to be adopted. This concerns numerical data, and we advise readers to turn to Part Five for an analysis of the different scales of data that can be gathered (nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio) and the different statistics that can be used for analysis. Nominal data indicate categories; ordinal data indicate order ('high' to 'low', 'first' to 'last', 'smallest' to 'largest', 'strongly disagree' to 'strongly agree', 'not at all' to 'a very great deal'); ratio data indicate continuous values and a true zero (e.g. marks in a test, number of attendances per year) .(2)
See Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 322).
http://www.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415368780 - Chapter 15, file 15.3. ppt).
8- the dangers of assuming knowledge or viewpoints : There is often an assumption that respondents will have the information or have an opinion about the matters in which researchers are interested. This is a dangerous assumption. It is particularly a problem when administering questionnaires to children, who may write anything rather than nothing. This means that the opportunity should be provided for respondents to indicate that they have no
opinion, or that they don't know the answer to a particular question, or to state that they feel the question does not apply to them.
9- dichotomous questions: A highly structured questionnaire will ask closed questions. These can take several forms. Dichotomous questions require a 'yes'/'no' response, e.g. 'Have you ever had to appear in court?', 'Do you prefer didactic methods to child-centred methods?'
(see http://www.routledge.com/textbooks/ 9780415368780 - Chapter 15, file 15.4. ppt).
The layout of a dichotomous question can be thus:
Sex (please tick) : Male Female
The dichotomous question is useful, for it compels respondents to come off the fence on an issue. It provides a clear, unequivocal response. Further, it is possible to code responses quickly, there being only two categories of response. See Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 322).
10-multiple choice questions:
To try to gain some purchase on complexity, the researcher can move towards multiple choice questions, where the range of choices is designed to capture the likely range of responses to given statements. (2)
(2)http://www.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415368780 - Chapter 15, file 15.3. ppt).
For example, the researcher might ask a series of questions about a new chemistry
scheme in the school; a statement precedes a set of responses thus:
The New Intermediate Chemistry Education (NICE) is:
(a) a waste of time
(b) an extra burden on teachers
(c) not appropriate to our school
(d) a useful complementary scheme
(e) a useful core scheme throughout the school
(f) Well-presented and practicable.
The categories would have to be discrete (i.e. having no overlap and being mutually exclusive) and would have to exhaust the possible range of responses. Guidance would have to be given on the completion of the multiple-choice, clarifying, for example, whether respondents are able to tick only one response (a single answer mode) or several responses (multiple answer mode) from the list. See Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 323).
11- rank ordering : The rank order question is akin to the multiple choice question in that it identifies options from which respondents can choose, yet it moves beyond multiple choice items in that it asks respondents to identify priorities. This enables a relative degree of preference, priority, intensity etc. to be charted. (2)
In the rank ordering exercise a list of factors is set out and the respondent is required to place them in a rank order, for example:
Please indicate your priorities by placing numbers in the boxes to indicate the ordering of your views, 1 = the highest priority, 2 = the second highest, and so on. See Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 325).
(2) http://www.routledge. com/textbooks/9780415368780 - Chapter 15, file 15.6. ppt).
12- rating scales: These are very useful devices for the researcher, as they build in a degree of sensitivity and differentiation of response while still generating numbers. This chapter will focus on the first two of these, though readers will find the the scale should be measuring only one thing at a time (Oppenheim 1992: 187-8). Indeed this is a cornerstone of Likert's (1932) own thinking. It is a very straightforward matter to convert a dichotomous question into a multiple choice question. For example, instead of asking the 'do you?', 'have you?', 'are you?', 'can you?' type questions in a dichotomous format, a simple addition to wording will convert it into a much more subtle rating scale, by substituting the words 'to what extent?', 'how far?', 'how much?', 'how often?' etc. See Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 325).
13 constant sum questions: In this type of question respondents are asked to distribute a given number of marks (points) between a range of items. (2)
For example: Please distribute a total of 10 points among the sentences that you think most closely describe your behaviour. You may distribute these freely: they may be spread out, or awarded to only a few statements or all allocated to a single sentence if you wish. Constant sum data are ordinal, and this means that non-parametric analysis can be performed on the data. (See Part Five) in the book of Research Methods in Education by Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 328).
14- ratio data questions : We discuss ratio data in Part Five and we refer the reader to the discussion and definition there (2). For our purposes here we suggest that ratio data questions deal with continuous variables where there is a true zero, for example:
How much money do you have in the bank? --
How many times have you been late for school? --
How many marks did you score in the mathematics test? --
How old are you (in years)? --
Here no fixed answer or category is provided, and the respondent puts in the numerical answer that fits his/her exact figure, i.e. the accuracy is higher, much higher than in categories of data. This enables averages (means), standard deviations, range, and high-level statistics to be calculated, e.g. regression, factor analysis, structural equation modelling (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 329) (Part Five)
15- open-ended questions: The open-ended question is a very attractive device for smaller scale research or for those sections of a questionnaire that invite an honest, personal comment from respondents in addition to ticking numbers and boxes (2). The questionnaire simply puts the open-ended questions and leaves a space (or draws lines) for a free response. It is the open-ended responses that might contain the 'gems' of information that otherwise might not be caught in the questionnaire. Further, it puts the responsibility for and ownership of the data much more firmly into respondents' hands. It is useful for the researcher to provide some support for respondents, so that they know the kind of reply being sought. (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 329-330)
16- matrix questions: Matrix questions are not types of questions but concern the layout of questions. Matrix questions enable the same kind of response to be given to several questions, for example 'strongly disagree' to 'strongly agree'. The matrix layout helps to save space, for example:
Please complete the following by placing a tick in
one space only, as follows:
1 = not at all; 2 = very little; 3 = a moderate
amount; 4 = quite a lot; 5 = a very great deal
How much do you use the following for assessment purposes?
To know more about matrix question (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 329-330)
17- contingency questions, filters and branches: Contingency questions depend on responses to earlier questions, for example: 'if your answer to question (1) was ''yes'' please go to question (4)'. The earlier question acts as a filter for the later question, and the later question is contingent on the earlier, and is a branch of the earlier question. Some questionnaires will write in words the number of the question to which to go (e.g. 'please go to question 6'); others will place an arrow to indicate the next question to be answered if your answer to the first question was such-and-such. Contingency and filter questions may be useful for the researcher, but they can be confusing for the respondent as it is not always clear how to proceed through the sequence of questions and where to go once a particular branch has been completed.
Redline et al. (2002) found that respondents tend to ignore, misread and incorrectly follow branching instructions, such that item non-response occurs for follow-up questions that are applicable only to certain subsamples, and respondents skip over, and therefore fail to follow-up on those questions that they should have completed. (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 332)
18- asking sensitive questions: Sudman and Bradburn (1982: ch. 3) draw attention to the important issue of including sensitive items in a questionnaire. While the anonymity of a questionnaire and, frequently, the lack of face-to-face contact between the researcher and the respondents in a questionnaire might facilitate responses to sensitive material, the issues of sensitivity and threat cannot be avoided, as they might lead to under-reporting (nondisclosure and withholding data) or over-reporting (exaggeration) by participants. Some respondents may be unwilling to disclose sensitive information, particularly if it could harm themselves or others. (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 333)
19- avoiding pitfalls in question writing: this help the researcher to do his or her research perfectly as well teaches the researcher honesty and rigor. To avoid this kind of questions in writing we must understand the following statements
Avoid leading questions, that is, questions that are worded (or their response categories
presented) in such a way as to suggest to respondents that there is only one acceptable
answer, and that other responses might or might not gain approval or disapproval respectively.
Avoid highbrow questions even with sophisticated respondents. For example:
What particular aspects of the current positivistic/interpretive debate would you like to see reflected in a course of developmental psychology aimed at a teacher audience? Where the sample being surveyed is representative of the whole adult population, misunderstandings of what researchers take to be clear, unambiguous language are commonplace. Therefore it is important to use clear and simple language.
Avoid complex questions.
Avoid questions that use negatives and double negatives (Oppenheim 1992: 128).
Avoid too many open-ended questions on self-completion questionnaires. Because self-completion questionnaires cannot probe respondents to find out just what they mean by particular responses, open-ended questions are a less satisfactory way of eliciting information. (This caution does not hold in the interview situation, however.) Open-ended questions, moreover, are too demanding of most respondents' time.
Avoid extremes in rating scales, e.g. 'never', 'always', 'totally', 'not at all' unless there is a good reason to include them. Most respondents are reluctant to use such extreme categories (Anderson and Arsenault 2001: 174).
Avoid ambiguous questions or questions that could be interpreted differently from
20- sequencing the questions: The ordering of the questionnaire is important, for early questions may set the tone or the mindset of the respondent to later questions. For example, a questionnaire that makes a respondent irritated or angry early on is unlikely to have managed to enable that respondent's irritation or anger to subside by the end of the questionnaire. (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 336)
24- piloting the questionnaireÂ : It bears repeating that the wording of questionnaires
is of paramount importance and that pretesting is crucial to their success.(2) A pilot has several functions, principally to increase the reliability, validity and practicability of the questionnaire (Oppenheim 1992; Morrison 1993: Wilson and McLean 1994: 47):
to check the clarity of the questionnaire items, instructions and layout
to gain feedback on the validity of the questionnaire items, the operationalization of the constructs and the purposes of the research.
25- practical considerations in questionnaire design: here are some instructions given in ( Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 342-343)
Ensure that the data acquired will answer the research questions.
Ask more closed than open questions for ease of analysis (particularly in a large sample).
Balance comprehensiveness and exhaustive coverage of issues with the demotivating factor of having respondents complete several pages of a questionnaire.
-Ask only one thing at a time in a question. Use single sentences per item wherever possible.
Keep response categories simple.
Keep statements in the present tense wherever possible.
Be simple, clear and brief wherever possible.
Clarify the kinds of responses required in open questions.
Consider the readability levels of the questionnaire and the reading and writing abilities of the respondents (which may lead the researcher to conduct the questionnaire as a structured interview).
These are the main instruction we prefer to deal with in my researches, and we advise all those who come to read this doctoral dissertation to follow them to succeed in their researches. It seems to us that throughout the entire extent of the design questions suggested by many researchers and specialists in the field the research study can be easy if everyone understands what type of questionnaire he or she is going to follow during his investigations. He/ she is not obliged to follow all the issues suggested in the various questionnaires we have mentioned , but just being aware when selecting the issues to be able to collect information as regards .
Furthermore, the questionnaire is a widely used and useful instrument for collecting survey information, providing structured, often numerical data, being able to be administered without the presence of the researcher, and often being comparatively straightforward to analyse. (Wilson and McLean1994) for them the researcher will have to judge the appropriateness of using a questionnaire for data collection, and, if so, what kind of questionnaire it should be. (See Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 317)
There are many types of questionnaire for doing interview. Some of them were selected by researchers such as unstructured/structured questionnaire. The latter are used during selection, observation and comparison so as to assign full a range of possible responses as can be expected. These types of questionnaires are not alike; the unstructured questionnaire requires open questions to make interviewees feeling free in their responses unlike the structured questionnaire which requires closed question to be limited to the research questions.
From that fact, we can detect that items must be presented in a simple series for informants those who are asked to respond to the questions given to them. To understand more what is closed and open question let us see Research Methods in Education book Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007)
1.7.1 Closed questions
Closed questions prescribe the range of responses from which the respondent may choose. Highly structured, closed questions are useful in that they can generate frequencies of response amenable to statistical treatment and analysis. They also enable comparisons to be made across groups in the sample (Oppenheim 1992: 115) and, often, they are directly to the point and deliberately more focused than open-ended questions. Indeed it would be almost impossible, as well as unnecessary, to try to process vast quantities of word-based data in a short time frame.( see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison 2007)
1.7.2 Open-ended questions
Open - ended questions are useful if the possible answers are unknown or the questionnaire is exploratory (Bailey 1994: 120), or if there are so many possible categories of response that a closed question would contain an extremely long list of options. They also enable respondents to answer as much as they wish, and are particularly suitable for investigating complex issues, to which simple answers cannot be provided. Open questions may be useful for generating items that will subsequently become the stuff of closed questions in a subsequent questionnaire (i.e. a pre-pilot). Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007).
It seems to us that the use of open-ended questions offers informants the opportunity to respond to any questionnaire given to them using their own words, rather than feeling themselves obliged or forced to give fixed answers. Thus, open-ended questions have the ability to make suitable responses that are:
Significant and ethnically relevant to the participant
Surprising for the researcher
Well to do and conceivable
Because we are limited in our research to a specific, new topic which requires much information, we prefer using the Open - ended questions to do a perfect interview with our students, colleagues, etc. The interview we should have with informants must be protean, flexible and changeable to get initial data of participants as well as we should enable participants to feel selves confident when answering the questions. Therefore, the researcher should make expensive time for the participants when doing probes as well as they must be open-minded and patient in the interview. The latter helps much in evaluation and assessments to collecting various data the researchers need.
As Tuckman (1972) describes it, "By providing access to what is inside a person's head, [it] makes it possible to measure what a person knows (knowledge or information), what a person likes or dislikes (values and preferences), and what a person thinks, his attitudes and beliefs." In other cases, it may be used in conjunction with other methods in a research undertaking. Although in each of these situations the respective roles of the interviewer and interviewee may vary and the motives for taking part may differ, a common denominator is the transaction that takes place between seeking information on the part of one and supplying information on the part of the other.
In this connection, Kerlinger (1970) suggests that it might be used to follow up unexpected results, for example, or to validate other methods, or to go deeper into the motivations of respondents and their reasons for responding as they do. After having presented and discussed further information concerning the research method how can we plan for doing researches and then making interviews, the next section is devoted to the method our research topic focuses on. Thus, the next section presents and explains what is interview.
The research interview has been defined as 'a two person conversation initiated by the interviewer for the specific purposes of obtaining research-relevant information, and focused by him on content specified by research objectives of systematic description, prediction, or explanation' (Cannel and Kahn, 1968 in Cohen and Manion, 1994). Interview is one of the most common and most powerful ways we use toÂ try understand our fellow human beings (Denzin and Lincoln, 1994).Dexter (1970 p.11) in Merriam, (1998) states that interviewing is the preferred tactic of data collection in order to get better data or at least cost than other tactics. Interviewing is an important way for researcher to check the accuracy, to verify the impressionÂ gained from observation (Fraenkel and Wellen, 2007 p.455).
1.8 Types of Interview
There are four types of interview that maybe used specifically as research tools: the structured interview; the unstructured interview; the non-directive interview; and the focused interview (Cohen and Manion, 1994; Fraenkel and Wellen, 2007; Denzin and Lincoln, 1994; Merriam, 1998). The structured interview is one in which the content and procedure are organized in advance (Fraenkel and Wellen, 2007). It also refers to the situation in which an interviewer asks each respondent a series of preestablished questions with limited response categories (Denzin and Lincoln, 1994).
1.8.1 The Structured Interview
The structured interview is one in which the content and procedures are organized in advance. This means that the sequence and wording of the questions are determined by means of a schedule and the interviewer is left little freedom to make modifications. Where some leeway is granted to the interviewer, it too is specified in advance. It is therefore characterized by being a closed situation.
1.8.2 The Unstructured Interview
The unstructured interview is an open situation, having greater flexibility and freedom. As Kerlinger (1970) notes, although the research purposes govern the questions asked, their content, sequence and wording are entirely in the hands of the interviewer. This does not mean, however, that the unstructured interview is a more casual affair, for in its own way it also has to be carefully planned.
1.8.3 The Non-directive Interview
The non-directive interview as a research technique derives from the therapeutic or psychiatric interview. The principal features of it are the minimal direction or control exhibited by the interviewer and the freedom the respondent has to express her subjective feelings as fully and as spontaneously as she chooses or is able. Moser and Kalton (1977: 297) argue that respondents should be encouraged to talk about the subject under investigation (e.g. themselves) and to be free to guide the interview, with few set questions or pre-figured frameworks. The interviewer should prompt and probe, pressing for clarity and elucidation, rephrasing and summarizing where necessary and checking for confirmation of this, particularly if the issues are complex or vague. The need to introduce rather more interviewer control into the non-directive situation led to the development of the focused interview.
1.8.4 The Focused Interview
The focused interview focuses on a respondent's subjective responses to a known situation in which he or she has been involved and which has been analysed by the interviewer prior to the interview. The interviewer is thereby able to use the data from the interview to substantiate or reject previously formulated hypotheses.
The interview is a flexible tool for data collection, enabling multi-sensory channels to be used: verbal, non-verbal, spoken and heard.
The order of the interview may be controlled while still giving space for spontaneity, and the interviewer can press not only for complete answers but also for responses about complex and deep issues. In short, the interview is a constructed rather than naturally occurring situation, and this renders it different from an everyday conversation; therefore the researcher has an obligation to set up, and abide by, the different 'rules of the game' in an interview.
After having introduced and understood some keys concepts in research methodology, we can decide now the suitable method to select our research questions and look for data collect to be analyzed later.
Our research work is a tentative attempt to investigate the attitudes of teachers and students towards the implementation of LMD system and its success or failure. This study focuses mainly on the following questions:
What are the attitudes of the English teachers towards the implementation of the LMD system in Algerian universities, in particular, Mostaganem /Sidi Bel Abbes University?
What are the attitudes of students towards the implementation of the LMD system in Algerian universities, in particular, Mostaganem University?
What are the teachers' and students' opinions about the contribution of the LMD system to teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in Algerian universities particularly Mostaganem /Sidi Bel Abbes University?
What are the difficulties and challenges that Algerian teachers of English face in implementing LMD and the integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their English classrooms?
Accordingly, in this project, only using the unstructured interview, which is an open situation, having greater flexibility and freedom, was preferred for it was not necessary to film or photograph our informants as the focus of the study does not require this necessity. Our informants were given, orally, a series of questionnaires, and then given time to answer them. Their answers were analyzed considering their linguistic level arising from their points of views as well as their observations towards the new reforms and the integration of the ICT too in the classroom such as the Internet use.
What was observed at a linguistic and didactic level in our data analysis is that teaching and learning English as a foreign language in university, in terms of English development came out of not only the new changes and reforms brought to the educational setting but also other means of communication, notably the Internet use and other means of communication widely used among students and teachers too. Hence, our data would be classified according to the number of students (interviewees) selected and their learning level: first year licence LMD, second year licence LMD, first year master and second year master grade.
The research study took place in Mostaganem; it has been followed and supervised since the LMD new reform was implemented in Mostaganem University in 2005. This location, Mostaganem city, was selected because Mostaganem University is among the pioneering universities to adopt LMD, thus it could provide us with a sample of students and teachers whose characteristics are appropriate for the research study, and as a teacher at Mostaganem University who witnessed the implementation of LMD new reform, we could have this opportunity to do this investigation.
For this study, our participants were thirty Mostaganem University English LMD students from L1, L2, M1 and M2 and 10 EFL teachers at Abdelhamid University. To reinforce our work, we have also interviewed 10 English classical or licence students from the second, third and fourth years.
The age range of the informants was between 18 and 22; 70% of these students are acquainted with ICTs but not so familiar with the LMD system because of its newness. The informants, male and female, were chosen purposefully from different levels according to the conditions mentioned before. The reason for their participation in this survey was to check whether the LMD system affects them either positively or negatively and why in both cases. The sampling method used in this study was purposive sampling as considered appropriate in qualitative research. According to Fraenkel and Wallen (2010, p. 431), "Researchers who engage in some form of qualitative research are likely to select a purposive sample, that is, they select a sample they feel will yield the best understanding of what they are studying".
2.3. Data collection instruments
The data collection instruments used in this research study are a semi-structured audio-taped interview guide that contained 10 items and a questionnaire given to the students mentioned before for the purpose of getting some analysis of their experience as the first generation who welcomes this reform. The aim of the audio-taped interview guide was to collect several responses from different informants; the interviewees' responses were noted down by the interviewer. The audio-taped interviews helped us analyze students and teachers' views, i.e., to analyze the depth of the psychological effects the LMD and the integration of ICTs use have on learners.
2.4. Data Collection Procedure
This research study was conducted in two phases that took about one year of observation and analyses to follow the process of learning and teaching advancement. It took a considerable time to get accurate results without any subjective judgment. During the first period, we first selected our sample group of students' level whom we intended to work with, and then started observing them to collect as many views as we could via audio-taped interviews that took the form of questionnaires (See Appendix A, Appendix B, and Appendix C for questionnaires).