Ch03 research plan

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Ch03 research plan

  1. 1. Educational Research Chapter 3 Preparing and Evaluating a Research Plan Gay, Mills, and Airasian
  2. 2. Topics Discussed in this Chapter  Characteristics of a research plan  General considerations in developing a research plan  Components of a quantitative research plan  Components of a qualitative research plan  Evaluation of a research plan
  3. 3. Characteristics of a Research Plan A research plan is a detailed description of the procedures that will be used to investigate your topic or problem. Obj. A.1
  4. 4. Characteristics of a Research Plan  General components of a research plan  A justification for the hypotheses or exploration of the research problem  A detailed presentation of the steps to be followed in conducting the study Obj. A.1
  5. 5. Characteristics of a Research Plan  Purposes of a written research plan  Forces the researcher to think through every aspect of the study  Facilitates the evaluation of the proposed study  Provides detailed procedures to guide the conduct of the study Obj. A.2
  6. 6. Characteristics of a Research Plan  Benefits of a written research plan  A well thought out research plan…  saves time,  provides structure to the study,  reduces the probability of costly mistakes, and  generally results in a higher quality research study. Obj. A.3
  7. 7. General Considerations  Three general issues to consider when developing a research plan  Ethics of research  Legal restrictions  Cooperation from participants
  8. 8. General Considerations  Ethics of research  Five ethical principles  Beneficence and non-malfeasance  Fidelity and responsibility  Integrity  Justice  Respect for people’s rights and dignity Obj. 1.1
  9. 9. General Considerations  Legal restrictions  National Research Act of 1974  Protects participants  Protection from harm – not exposing subjects to risks  Informed consent – subjects participate of their own free will with an understanding of the nature of the study and possible risks  Stipulates that proposed research activities involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by an authorized group  Internal Review Boards and Committees on Human Subjects Obj. 1.2 & 2.1
  10. 10. General Considerations  Legal restrictions  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974  Protects students’ privacy  Access to students’ records  Need for written permission to use data identifying students  Known as the Buckley Amendment Obj. 2.1
  11. 11. General Considerations  Two additional issues related to ethical and legal responsibilities  Deception  Cooperation of participants
  12. 12. General Considerations  Deception  Situations in which complete information related to the study is not given to participants  Such information would influence or change participants’ responses  Studies can be negatively affected by informing participants of certain details  Use of deceptive practices must be undertaken very, very carefully Obj. 1.2
  13. 13. General Considerations  Cooperation of participants  Gaining entry to the research site  Approval needed at several levels  Site  Administrators  Teachers  Students  Approval is not cooperation Obj. 1.6
  14. 14. General Considerations  Cooperation from participants (continued)  Strategies to enhance cooperation  Clearly explain the benefits of the study  Afford stakeholders the opportunity to review drafts of the report for their approval  Brief stakeholders on the findings  Provide professional development sessions for stakeholders Obj. 1.7
  15. 15. Quantitative Research Plans  Four major components  Introduction  Method  Data analysis  Timeline and budget Obj. 3.1
  16. 16. Quantitative Research Plans  Introduction  Three sections  Statement of the topic  Review of the literature  Statement of the hypotheses  Statement of the topic  The topic is identified with a discussion of the background and rationale  Stated at the beginning of the plan Obj. 3.2
  17. 17. Quantitative Research Plans  Introduction (continued)  Review of the literature  Provides an overview of the topic and positions the study in the context of what is known, and, more importantly, what is not known about the topic  Completed at the beginning of the study and placed in the beginning of the plan Obj. 3.2
  18. 18. Quantitative Research Plans  Introduction (continued)  Statement of the hypotheses  A formal statement specifying the hypothesis, support for expected relationships between variables, and operational definitions of all variables  Hypotheses in quantitative studies are usually deductively reasoned Obj. 3.2
  19. 19. Quantitative Research Plans  Method  Five major sections  Participants  Instruments  Design  Procedures  Data analyses  Participants  Identifies the characteristics of the population and sample as well as the sampling technique used  Quantitative studies typically use large samples and probability sampling techniques Obj. 3.3
  20. 20. Quantitative Research Plans  Method (continued)  Instruments  Descriptions of the specific measures of each variable, the technical characteristics of the instruments, and the administration and scoring techniques  Quantitative studies typically use non-interactive instruments  Tests  Questionnaires  Surveys Obj. 3.3
  21. 21. Quantitative Research Plans  Method (continued)  Design  Descriptions of the basic structure of the study and the specific research design chosen  Quantitative studies typically use highly structured, static designs Obj. 3.3
  22. 22. Quantitative Research Plans  Method (continued)  Procedures  Detailed descriptions of all the steps that will be followed in conducting the study, assumptions, and limitations  Gaining entry to the site  How subjects will be selected  The ways data will be collected and analyzed  Assumptions – any important “fact” presumed to be true but not verified  Limitations – some aspect of the study that could have a negative effect upon the results  Size of the sample  Length of the study Obj. 3.3
  23. 23. Quantitative Research Plans  Method (continued)  Data analysis  Descriptions of the techniques used to analyze the data  Descriptive statistics – statistics that summarize data in terms of central tendency (e.g., means), variation (e.g., standard deviations), relative position (e.g., standard scores), or relationships (e.g., correlations)  Inferential statistics – procedures used to infer the likelihood of the results happening in the population rather than just the sample Obj. 3.3 & 3.4
  24. 24. Quantitative Research Plans  Method (continued)  Data analysis (continued)  The hypotheses usually determine the specific research design which in turn influences the specific analyses used  Quantitative studies usually focus on the appropriate statistical procedures to analyze numerical data Obj. 3.3 & 3.4
  25. 25. Quantitative Research Plans  Timeline and budget  Timeline  Description of the major activities and corresponding anticipated completion dates  Help assess the feasibility of conducting the study  The resulting structure helps avoid procrastination  A general strategy is to allow more time than you initially think you will need!!! Obj. 3.5 & 3.6
  26. 26. Quantitative Research Plans  Timeline and budget (continued)  Budget  Descriptions of anticipated costs that are likely to be incurred  Salaries  Copying  Telephone  Travel  Optional in many plans Obj. 3.5 & 3.6
  27. 27. Qualitative Research Plans  Qualitative studies are characterized by open-ended, emergent designs  Research plans must be responsive to the context and setting as well as the flexibility of the design  The influence of prior fieldwork  The authors recommend pre-proposal fieldwork to help understand the socio-cultural context of the setting  Alternatives include drawing on one’s own experiences or the literature Obj. 4.1 & 4.2
  28. 28. Qualitative Research Plans  Additional ethical issues in qualitative research  Unique emerging nature of qualitative designs increases the likelihood of unanticipated and un- reviewed ethical issues  Unique personal involvement with participants raises issues  Objective collection and interpretation of data  Possibility of observing potentially illegal or unprofessional behavior  Aligning professional and personal ethical perspectives Obj. 1.5
  29. 29. Qualitative Research Plans  Six general components  Title of the study  Introduction to the study  Research procedures  Potential contributions of the study  Limitations  Appendices Obj. 4.3
  30. 30. Qualitative Research Plans  Title  Conveys key concepts of the study  Provides a framework for continued reflection  Serves as a conceptual point of reference Obj. 4.4
  31. 31. Qualitative Research Plans  Introduction  Four sections  Purpose statement  Framing the study  Initial research question  Related literature  Purpose statement  A clearly written, concise statement that sets the stage for the rest of the plan Obj. 4.5
  32. 32. Qualitative Research Plans  Introduction (continued)  Framing the study  An attempt to demonstrate the relevance of the study using a frame of reference to which the reader can relate  Describes the contribution of the study to existing theory, educational policy, or the solution of a practical problem Obj. 4.5
  33. 33. Qualitative Research Plans  Introduction (continued)  Initial research question  Specifying research questions is difficult at this stage given the ongoing, emergent nature of qualitative research  Linked closely to the theory, policy, or practical problem used to frame the study Obj. 4.5
  34. 34. Qualitative Research Plans  Introduction (continued)  Review of the literature  Links the study to any underlying assumptions and theories related to the initial research question  Accomplishes several things  Assesses the researcher’s preparedness to conduct the study  Identifies potential gaps in the literature  Suggests promising educational practices  Refines the initial research question  Embeds the research questions in “guiding hypotheses” Obj. 4.5
  35. 35. Qualitative Research Plans  Procedures  Eight sections  Description of the overall approach and rationale for the study  Site and sample selection  Researcher’s role  Data collection methods  Data management methods  Data analysis strategies  Trustworthiness features  Ethical considerations Obj. 4.6
  36. 36. Qualitative Research Plans  Procedures (continued)  Overall approach and rationale  Identifies the qualitative approach (e.g., ethnography, historical study, grounded theory, etc.)  Provides the rationale for why the particular approach is appropriate  Provides a link to the appropriate literature on research methods Obj. 4.6
  37. 37. Qualitative Research Plans  Procedures (continued)  Site and sample  Describes the rationale for choosing the particular sample  Describes the process for gaining entry to the site  Describes the site  Discusses the likelihood of building trusting relationships with the participants Obj. 4.6
  38. 38. Qualitative Research Plans  Procedures (continued)  Researcher’s role  Describes any negotiations needed to gain entry to the site  Discusses participants’ expectations in terms of reciprocity  Anticipates any ethical dilemmas  Data collection methods  Describes the fieldwork techniques and tools for collecting data  Identifies multiple data sources Obj. 4.6
  39. 39. Qualitative Research Plans  Procedures (continued)  Data management methods  Provides insights into ways by which the large quantity of data will be manipulated  Data sources  Volume of data  Storage  Information such as times, dates, locations, etc. Obj. 4.6
  40. 40. Qualitative Research Plans  Procedures (continued)  Data analysis strategies  Interpretive nature of the analyses of data from fieldwork, observations, interviews, etc.  Describes procedures for collating data  Discusses the manner by which the data will be categorized in terms of emergent themes  Provides a rationale for the conclusion and interpretations Obj. 4.6
  41. 41. Qualitative Research Plans  Procedures (continued)  Trustworthiness features  The researcher’s efforts to address traditional validity and reliability issues  The use of triangulation – multiple data sources and collection methods  Ethical considerations  Demonstrates sensitivity to the ethical issues related to informed consent  Describes the plan to obtain informed consent  States the researcher’s personal/professional ethical perspectives Obj. 4.6
  42. 42. Qualitative Research Plans  Potential contribution of the research  Describes how the study will contribute to an understanding of the phenomenon being studied  Provides a link from the possible implications of the study to the broader framework under which the study was begun  Limitations  Discusses any limitations related to the researchers’ ability to deal with situations over which they have no control
  43. 43. Qualitative Research Plans  Appendices  Provide information helpful in assessing the value and feasibility of the study  Timeline  Proposed table of contents  Sample consent form  Internal Review Board (IRB) approval  Sample of data collection protocols Obj. 4.7
  44. 44. Evaluation of a Research Plan  Informal assessment  Critiques by the researcher, advisors, peers and colleagues, etc.  Critiques by experienced researchers  Formal assessment  Field tests  Pilot studies  Modifications based on the results of both informal and formal evaluations Obj. 5.1 & 5.2

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