Sampling question #4: Are there non random sampling strategies, too?




There are three nonrandom sampling strategies that graduate students should consider using, especially if you have descriptive or non-experimental designs. These sampling strategies are Convenience, Purposive and Snowball sampling. Many times, random sampling strategies are impossible to undertake at the graduate level. These three strategies are options to consider.

Convenience samples, exactly what the name suggests, are oftentimes what we have to use because of reality. We cannot draw a sample, but we have a group that is accessible, is representative of our target population and just available to us. Instead of becoming purists and throwing out the chance for collecting data for decisions, use what you have with the honest acknowledgement that there are limitations. That is your convenience sample.

Purposive Sampling, another nonrandom sampling technique, is used when the researcher seeks out subjects with specific characteristics to participate in the research study. This might be done if your study involved parents of daycare children. You might seek permission from daycare centers to ask their parents to participate in the research.

Snowball sampling, another nonrandom sampling technique, asks each research participant who volunteers for your study to identify one or more others who might be willing to participate. This might be used if you were studying African American female executives. The sample’s network might produce more volunteers to add to your sample. There might be just a few whom you identify initially but over the course of the research, those few might help to identify like members of hard-to-find populations.

Return from sampling strategies to samples and sample size.