Study and experiment are two interconnected concepts that hold great importance in higher education. Some courses are purely theory-based, while others require numerous experiments to prove a hypothesis. Both study and experiment may have similar objectives, but their methodologies are significantly different. Students pursuing higher education often face the dilemma of choosing between a study-based or experiment-based course. This article aims to highlight the features of both to help students decide between these two types of courses depending on their aptitude.
- Study may be theoretical, observational, or experimental.
- Observational study does not require human intervention, or if it does, it is at a minimal level.
- Experiment requires a lot of human intervention.
Experiment is an essential part of studies, and many courses make it compulsory for students to participate in experiments to complete the course. There are observational studies that require recording events as they happen and drawing conclusions by analyzing these observations. These studies need minimal human intervention, in sharp contrast to experimental studies, where a more methodical approach is necessary to test an established hypothesis. Experimental methods also require researchers to make observations, but these observations are like readings that can be compared with previous studies conducted in the field to draw comparisons.
Observational study must be undertaken when the nature of the study is such that it does not fit into set parameters. When the study is such that laboratory settings cannot do justice to the objectives of the study, it is better to avoid experiment and carry out the study through observation.