Research & School Improvement services
Improving performance, engagement and achievement with teaching and learning
NFER offers products & services to support you:
Methods of Research
Planning your research
You can conduct your research at any time, but the important thing is to have planned it carefully (See our how to guides). It is a good idea to draw up a research timetable early on in your planning. The schedule of work may change so you will need to update it as you go along.
The research timetable will need to include time to complete all the different aspects of your research. These may include:
You may want to factor in:
‘thinking time’ at each stage so that you can reflect on your research questions, data and writing
time to discuss your research with others and for them to read and comment on what you have written
contingency time - remember things may not go to plan, for example schools shut due to bad weather, people fall ill.
Finally think about the practical considerations of carrying out your research, for example:
school term dates and examination dates
availability of your key respondents (for example, surveying year 11 students in July is not a good time for them and it will affect your response rates)
whether your research is specific to a particular year group; specific section of the school community or has to be conducted within one academic year
when the intervention you are interested in evaluating is happening
any external deadlines, perhaps a presentation you have to make or a funding decision that your research can inform.