According to Gay the basic design of comparative research is very simple and although the free variables are not manipulated, there are control procedures that can be applied. The comparative study also involves a wide variety of statistical techniques. The basic design of comparative research involves selecting two different groups on several independent variables and comparing them to several dependent variables. The two groups may be different, one group having characteristics that no other group or one group has experience that other groups do not have. Or both groups differ in levels; one group has more than one characteristic than the other group or both groups may have different types of experience.
For instance, you can check out the comparative researches conducted by CIES2016, an international organization that conducts comparative studies through the international study of educational ideas, practices, and systems.
Comparative research can be used if:
1. Experimental methods that are considered stronger are not possible to do
2. Research is unlikely to select, control, and manipulate the factors that are important for studying causal relationships directly
3. Control over all variables, except independent variables, is highly unrealistic and over-created and prevents normal interaction with other influencing variables
4. Laboratory control for some research purposes is considered impractical, costly, or ethically questionable
Comparative research, as other studies are conducted in five stages:
1. Determination of research problems, in the formulation of research problems or research questions, we speculate with the causes of phenomena based on previous research, theory, or observation.
2. Determination of groups that have characteristics to be studied.
3. Selection of comparison groups, taking into account the characteristics or experiences that differentiate the group should be clear and operationally defined (each group represents a different population), controlling extra variables to help guarantee the similarity of the two groups.
4. Data collection, conducted by using research instruments that meet the requirements of validity and reliability.
5. Data analysis, starting with the descriptive statistical analysis that calculates the average and standard deviation. Furthermore, a thorough analysis of inferential statistics is performed.