Research Instruments: Definition, Functions, Types, and Examples

Research Instruments – When writing scientific papers, research instruments are a part that cannot be missed. You will not be able to do research without determining the instrument first. For this reason, understanding research instruments is very important in the process of writing scientific papers such as theses, theses, dissertations, or research reports.

Given the importance of research instruments, you should study them too. The reason is, as a student or researcher you will often write scientific papers. Automatically, you will also do research. Well, when researching something, you have to make instruments. In order for the process of writing scientific papers and determining instruments to run well, you should first pay attention to the following reviews.

Definition of Research Instruments

In general, research instruments are tools used to obtain research data. Without instruments, you will not be able to collect the data needed in research. If the data is not available, the research will not be carried out.

It should not be arbitrary, there is a separate way when determining the research instrument. As is known, research is scientific in nature, so the instrument must be measured and tested scientifically. If not, the research can be questioned and simply broken.

Basically, qualitative and quantitative research instruments are different. However, before discussing the differences between the two, it is better to look at the meaning of the instrument according to the experts below. The definitions below will give you an idea of ​​the research instrument.

1. Suharsimi Arikunto

Research instruments are tools used by researchers when collecting data. The goal is to make research more systematic and easy.

2. Ibn Hajar

The research instrument is a measuring tool used to obtain quantitative information that contains objective and character variables. The data or information in question includes:

  • Quantitative data, namely the type of data related to the amount or quantity in the form of numbers, so that the data is counted and symbolized in the form of certain measurements.
  • Qualitative data, namely the type of data related to quality values, for example very good, good, moderate, good, sufficient, lacking, and so on.
  • Nominal data, ordinal data, and interval or ratio data.
  • Primary data or secondary data.

3. Suryabrata

The research instrument is a tool used to record the state or activity of psychological attributes. The term psychological attribute is indeed less familiar to the layman. These attributes are divided into two, namely cognitive attributes and non-cognitive attributes. Cognitive attributes are associated with questions, while non-cognitive attributes are associated with statements.

4. Notoatmodjo

Research instruments are the tools used to obtain or collect data. This can be done by using questionnaires, observation forms, other forms related to data recording, and others.

5. Sugiono

Instruments in research are tools used by researchers to measure social and natural phenomena as they exist in research variables.

6. Sukmadinata

The instrument in the research is a test that has the characteristics of being able to measure informants through a number of questions in the research.

7. Sanjaya

Instruments in research are tools used in data collection activities and research information. According to him, research activities are measurement activities, so they must use valid and good measuring instruments.

Some of the experts above do have different views. However, from the various definitions according to these experts you can find similarities. The various meanings and definitions are expected to make you able to better understand the meaning and function.

Well, how about you guys? After seeing some of these definitions, you can take the general definition right? In simple terms, instruments in research can be interpreted as tools or methods used in data collection.

As previously mentioned, quantitative research instruments and qualitative research instruments are not the same. In qualitative research, the data collection instrument is the researcher himself. That is, researchers who observe, ask, hear, and retrieve research data.

Researchers are required to obtain valid data, so that the data obtained is not arbitrary or can be accounted for. For this reason, the condition of the information must be clear and in accordance with the needs. This needs to be done so that the data collected can be recognized as true.

Meanwhile, the data obtained in quantitative research is usually by using a questionnaire or questionnaire. The data is quantified so that it can be processed statistically. If the data obtained deviates from statistical provisions, it can be ignored. Broadly speaking, the difference between the two lies in the type of data obtained. Qualitative data is in the nature of statements, while quantitative data is in the form of numbers or symbols that can be processed statistically.

Functions of Research Instruments

Research instruments have a very important function in the research process, which is used as a tool in collecting data needed in a study. With the existence of research instruments, it will know the data resources to be examined and the types of data, data collection techniques, data collection instruments, the steps for preparing the research instruments and knowing the validity, reliability, level of difficulty of differentiating power, and distractors of data in research. .

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A good instrument has certain criteria in research, so as to produce good quality research data as well. Vice versa, instruments that do not have good criteria in research will produce poor research data quality as well.

It is often found that research data do not match the expected results. This is caused by a discrepancy between the theory used as a basis and the instruments used to measure variable characteristics. In order for the research instrument to carry out its functions properly, the instrument must be prepared according to the theory used in the research.

The research instrument is derived from the theories raised in the research. Therefore, the selection of the theoretical basis is to really consider the characteristics of the research variable data to be studied. Instruments derived from the theory used will produce data in accordance with the basic concepts outlined in the theory.

Types of Research Instruments

There are several types of research instruments that are usually used by researchers. This instrument can be used for research and writing scientific papers such as theses, theses, dissertations, reports, and so on. Research instruments are also used for qualitative research and quantitative research.

The following are some of the research instruments:

1. Questionnaire

What is a questionnaire? Questionnaire is an instrument that contains a list of questions. Usually used to collect research data from respondents. The questionnaire contains a series of questions that are structured and not. If the questionnaire is wrong, the research results will also be wrong. For this reason, the questionnaire must be formed and designed in a valid, reliable, and not fake. This is done so that the data obtained can be validated.

According to Popoola, a good questionnaire has criteria, namely:

  • Questions should not be ambiguous and should have one interpretation.
  • Questions should be easy to understand.
  • Questions must be able to have a precise answer.
  • Questions should not contain words that are not clear in meaning.
  • Questions should not require strict calculations.
  • The questions do not require the respondent to decide on a classification.
  • Questions should not trigger biased answers.
  • Questionnaires should not be too long.
  • Questions are not too wordy.
  • The questionnaire must include the right object.

When compared with other types of instruments, the questionnaire has the advantage of hiding the personal data of the respondent; so the respondent can be anonymous. The data collected can be large in a relatively short time.

It’s just that, kueseiner was not free from weaknesses. Sometimes some of the questions in the questionnaire are confusing and cannot be classified. This is because the researcher is not in place to explain questions that are difficult for the respondent.

2. Interview

Interviews are one of the research instruments that are often used for qualitative research. In interviews, researchers collect information from respondents through verbal interaction. Previously the researcher prepared a list of structured questions related to research. The researcher then met with the resource persons and asked questions.

Tools and equipment that can be used during the interview period are tape recorders, paper, pens, laptops, and others. Interviews can be conducted in person or by telephone or electronic mail system (e-mail).

The main advantage of the interview method is that it produces a high response rate. In addition, the interviews were more representative of the entire study population. In addition, the personal contact between the researcher and the respondent allows the researcher to explain confusing and ambiguous questions in detail.

Just like the questionnaire, the interview was not without its weaknesses. This instrument has a weakness, namely the number of sources reached is not large due to limited time and research staff.

3. Observation

The next type of instrument is observation. This method is used by a researcher to observe individual behavior or situation. So far, there are two types of observation, namely participant observation and non-participant observation. In participant observation, the researcher is a member of the group to be observed.

Accurate and timely results will be obtained by researchers, but sometimes have problems with bias. Whereas in non-participant observation, the researcher is not a member of the group to be observed. So the results are more feasible because they are free from bias but have problems with imprecision and delayed results.

The advantages of the observation method are that it is more flexible and cheaper to run. This method requires less active cooperation than observed and the results can be relied upon for research activities. However, Akinade & Owolabi emphasized that the observation method is a popular tool in research, especially in the behavioral and social sciences.

This method requires specific skills to make and evaluate behavioral observations in research. When observing behavior, the first thing you should do is develop a category of behavior (coding scheme). This method involves identifying specific attributes that will provide clues to the problem at hand.

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4. Focus Group Discussion (Focus Group Discussion)

Have you ever had an FGD? Yes, the research instrument in the form of this discussion can also be used to obtain data. This data collection instrument allows the researcher to obtain data from a large group of people at the same time. This method is different from the interview method.

If in the interview method the researcher focuses on one person at a time, then in the focus group discussion method, the researcher obtains data from a large number of people for his research activities. Usually the focus group discussion method is very popular when conducting research related to behavioral (behaviour), library and information science, archival science, records and information technology.

In the FGD, a researcher must identify key informants who can be contacted. The goal is to obtain proper information about the variables studied in the study. This approach is used to produce qualitative research data in explaining a phenomenon that is being researched or investigated.

Another condition, FDG membership may not be more than 10 people. It is like a mini-conference, where group members can gather in a conducive location. Before carrying out the FGD, the researcher must first obtain consent from the participants. In addition, the researcher must design an FGD guide which usually contains an outline to capture the variables of interest.

The main advantage of this method is that it adds credibility and originality to research activities. Meanwhile, the challenges of the FGD method include too much cost to do, too much time to do, and some respondents may not be free to contribute.

5. Experiment or Trial

The next type of data collection is experimentation. This method takes place in both pure and applied science research. So the researchers conducted several experiments in a laboratory setting to test some of the reactions that might occur in the object of study.

The advantage of the experimental method is that it produces direct data, the results are persistent and error-free if it is carried out properly under normal conditions or circumstances. The downside is that it is quite expensive. When in laboratory studies the chemicals used can cause permanent damage if they are handled carelessly.

6. Test

Tests can be in the form of a series of questions, exercises, worksheets and so on which have the purpose of measuring skills, intelligence, abilities and talents possessed by an individual or group that is the subject of research.

The test can later be in the form of standardized questions that require research subjects to answer them in order to obtain certain results. Examples include personality tests, talent interest tests, academic potential tests, achievement tests, and so on.

7. Multilevel Scale

A multilevel scale is also called a rating, which is an objective measure that is made scalable or multilevel. This instrument makes it easy for researchers to provide an overview of appearance which can then indicate the frequency of appearance of certain traits.

This instrument is also useful for obtaining a quantitative description of certain aspects of an item in the form of an ordinal scale such as very good, good, moderate, not good, and very bad.

8 . Documentation of Research Instruments

Documentation refers to written items. This instrument allows researchers to obtain data through research on written objects, such as books, magazines, diaries, artifacts, videos and so on. This instrument was developed in research with a content analysis approach. Therefore, it is usually used in research such as historical evidence, the legal basis for a regulation, and so on.

Examples of Research Instruments

This example is in the form of an interview method. Before collecting data, researchers must prepare a list of questions as below.

Appendix 1. Interview Draft (Research Instrument)

Researchers have a role as an instrument of data collection. In collecting the data, assistive devices were also used. The tool used is an interview guide (interview guide). In this case, the researcher conducted interviews with Mr. H. Abu Bakar as the manager of the Manba’ul ‘Ulum Islamic Boarding School Cooperative and Nina Zuliani as bookkeeper. The interview draft used is as follows:

Draft Interview for Mr H. Abu Bakar

  • Regarding the financing products available at the Manba’ul ‘Ulum Islamic Boarding School Cooperative, which profit-sharing financing can dominate all existing financing?
  • What is the process of doing mudharabah financing at the Manba’ul ‘Ulum Islamic Boarding School Cooperative?
  • What is the intent and purpose of applying the concept of mudharabah ?
  • What is the target market for mudharabah distribution ?
  • What type of financing (business) is financed by mudharabah financing ?
  • What policies are taken to avoid the risk of mudharabah financing ?
  • What is the profit sharing system for mudharabah financing ? Is it different for each type of business, and will the financing period also affect the profit sharing of the business?
  • When calculating margin distribution, is it in percentage or nominal form?
  • What is the system and procedure for payment and settlement of mudharabah financing ?
  • During the implementation of the mudharabah concept , what obstacles were sufficient to impede the implementation process?

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