Research Problems

What are they and how do you develop one

What is a Research Problem

Research problems are the educational issues, controversies, or concerns that guide the need for conducting a study.

The Research problem differs from the topic and research question.

Research topic: is the broad subject matter addressed by the study

Research Problem: an issue, concern, or controversy that narrows the topic

Purpose: major intent or objective of the study

Research Question: narrow the purpose into specific questions that the researcher would like answered

Research Problems in Quantitative Research: the issues need to be explained --- Research Problems in Qualitative Research: the issues that need to be explored

Statement of problem section includes:

1. The topic

2. The research problem

3. A justification of the importance of the problem

4. The deficiencies in existing knowledge 5. The Audience(s)

A study must always contribute to knowledge by doing at least one of the following:


  • Fills a void or extends research
  • Replicates a study with new participants or new sites
  • Studies a problem that has not been studied or is understudied
  • Gives voice to people not heard
  • Informs practice

Problems of Practice and Instructional Rounds

Open the following document to learn about Problems of Practice in Education using Rounds.


http://www.sai-iowa.org/library/Ohio%20Identifying%20a%20POP/