A Sample of Convenience: Research Method

Research Problem

In rural settings, does level of parental involvement relate to test participation on all tests grades 4, 6, and 9 and what affects level of involvement?

Why Convenience Sampling Method?

This study will examine the level of parental involvement in relation to student test participation in grades 4, 6, and 9. To select participants (the persons from which data is collected) for the study, I will utilize the convenience non-probability sampling technique, which is the selection of a group of participants because of availability. Since, the study will be focused on one school division in a rural; the convenience sampling technique is chosen because data will be gathered to understand parental involvement in a specific area.

The usage of the convenience sampling method will prove to be less costly, less time consuming, be easier to administer, and will hopefully have a high participation rate because I will not be comparing the information to another rural or urban area, but focusing on a specific area.

To complete the study we will contact a school division located in a rural area with a survey for completion by the teachers, which proposes a problem with participation that we are aware of; ie…teachers not completing and returning the survey. Although, we understand the weaknesses of utilizing this sample such as, low involvement from participants, the choice to use a non-probability sampling procedure is more feasible than utilizing a probability method for a small population of participants.

You may ask why a different sampling method was not chosen to select participants for the study; I will provide in the chart below a break down of each sampling method with its strength and weaknesses and identify why it is not a good method for the study on parental involvement.

Why Not Another Method?

Sampling Method



Probability or the random selection of participants that allows the researcher to guess the chance of selecting each member; researchers know the outcome.
Simple Random Easy to analyze and interpret results


Easy to understand

Requires numbering each participant to complete the selection process


Normally used with a large participant population; This study requires a small sample population.

Systematic Easy to analyze and interpret results

Easy to understand


Easier to draw a sample

If used could only choose teachers who speak positively on parental involvement and is not a clear representation of the population of teachers and parents; may not approve to show a good representation.
Proportional stratified Fewer subjects needed


Easy to analyze and interpret results


Easy to understand


Compares subgroups

Although, this could be used for the study, the weakness is that this method requires subgroup identification of each population element, in which the teachers may identify if asked, only parents to be surveyed or interviewed who display a positive vibe of parental involvement, especially since the researcher has no prior knowledge or way of contacting the parents.
Disproportional stratified Fewer subjects needed


Easy to analyze and interpret results


Easy to understand


Compares subgroups


Ensures adequate number of participants in each subgroup.

The downfall to this method is it requires proper division or examining of subgroups to ensure it represents the population to be studied. In the study on parental involvement, it will be difficult to identify which teachers will choose to participate in the study because a survey will be utilized to gather information.
Cluster Efficient with large populations




Uses a participant list


This method is ruled out of the parental involvement study because the population studied is small and this sampling method is best used on large populations; it would prove to be inadequate for this study.

Non-Probability  or the probability of including or selecting participants is unknown.


Convenience Chosen Technique see explanation located under Why Convenience Sampling Method
Quota Inexpensive


Less time consuming

Easier to administer


High Participation rate


Representative of the population

This sampling technique is not chosen because research shows that it is more time consuming than convenience sampling.
Purposeful Inexpensive


Less time consuming


Easier to administer


High Participation rate


Adds credibility to qualitative research


This technique was not chosen because the study is not qualitative.


2 thoughts on “A Sample of Convenience: Research Method

  1. OK, I’m with you…but now we need details about the method, right? If it’s only a survey, you can send it to all (the entire population of your convenience sample). But if there is an interview, or observation, or a focus group, or any other resource-intensive method, then you need a decision rule of how to purposefully sample the population…right? 😉

  2. Simply, admirable what you have done here. It is pleasing to look you express from the heart and your clarity on this significant content can be easily looked. Remarkable post and will look forward to your future update.

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