HDEV 302: Research Methods in Human Development
Dr. Rachael Stryker
METHODS/RESEARCH DESIGN SECTION GUIDELINES
The second draft section of your Research Proposal to complete this semester is the Methods/Research Design section. It is due on Sunday, November 13th by 11:55 pm. Please be sure to completely read the Course Skills Notes for Weeks 11 and 12 before you begin this assignment. The Methods/Research Design section for a Research Proposal should be about three to five pages, typed and double-spaced. Please use a 12- point font and provide the assignment with the heading titled, Methods/Research Design.
The assignment must include the following four subsections (and content within each subsection) to be considered for full credit:
1. Variables and Data [suggested length: approx. one to one-and-a-half pages] In this subsection, please be sure that you do the following: Clearly state once more, your proposed research question, and, if you have one, your hypothesis for the proposed study. And please restate what each of your variables are in the study. Then provide details about how you might propose to operationalize [define in a way that is measurable] each of your variables. Again, what this usually means is, how do you propose to measure each variable (for example, stress can be measured by taking someone’s blood pressure, and so one can thus define “stress” as blood pressure; or one can ask participants to self-report about stress or rank their stress level, and so one can simply define stress as self-report measurements). Please also provide details about the kind(s) of data [N, O, I, and/or R] that each operationalization will produce. You can name and briefly discuss more than one type of data in this paragraph. Also, please remember, if you are going to propose to try to examine or prove a relationship between variables for your proposed study, then you will, in fact, have both independent variables (factors that you think influence the other factors in the study] and dependent variables [factors that you think may be influenced by the independent variable(s)] in the project]. If this is the case for you, then please state which variables in your proposed project are independent [the one that is influential] and dependent [the one that is likely to be influenced] and why. If you will not propose to have independent/dependent variables in your study, then please clearly state the reasons why you do not have these types of variables in the study and what outcomes you hope to achieve instead in terms of intellectual pursuit.
2. Subjects/Sampling: [suggested length: approx. one to one-and-a-half-pages] In this subsection, please be sure that you answer the following questions: What are you proposing your subject criteria be (in other words, who, exactly, is allowed in your study [are you soliciting by gender, age, religion, student status, etc)? From what specific sampling frame do you propose to try to draw all of your subjects from, and why? What sample size (sample size is represented by N, as in, N=10 if you will have ten participants) will you propose, and why? And are you proposing to conduct probability or non-probability sampling for the study, and why?
3. Instruments and Procedures: [suggested length: approx. half to one page] In this subsection, please be sure that you answer the following questions: Are you conducting an experiment? If not, what type of the other common types of research designs that we’ve covered this term are you proposing to conduct – qualitative and/or descriptive (quantitative), and why? How do you propose to administer it? Where would you administer it? If yes, why do you feel this is the best type of research design to propose? What is your test group? What is your control group? What is your intervention (the independent variable)? How will you administer it? Where will you administer it? Then please provide details about whether you will be collecting your data using any of the following common instruments and why: via a pre-existing data set; via survey or questionnaire; via interviews; via observation. If you are not using any of these instruments, what others (for example, participant journals, social media content, or something else) are you proposing to use and why? And if you are using surveys/questionnaires, will you use any scales? Why or why not? Finally, please explain what the term “least harm” means [this is from the Week 13 course materials]. What is an example of “harm”, if any, that could come to your participants during your particular proposed research, and what are two ways that you might attempt to do “least harm” to your participants while administering this instrument? Even if you are not working directly with human subjects in your proposed research, you do need to discuss any ethical issues that can come up in your proposed research project.
4. Validity [suggested length: approx. half to one page] In this subsection, please be sure that you answer the following questions: What is the validity of a study? What is internal validity? Please list two types, and briefly discuss at least two ways that you would propose to attempt to achieve it in your research project. What is external validity? Please introduce two types and briefly discuss two ways that you would attempt to achieve it in your research project. Finally, please be sure to define what a confound is, and name and define two kinds of confounds that may be associated with your specific proposed project. Then speculate how you, as a researcher, might be able to plan your research in such a way as to prevent them from influencing the outcomes of your proposed research.
Please remember: You can always post questions about this assignment to the “Questions for the Professor” thread on our Blackboard course Discussion Board or email the professor at: firstname.lastname@example.org Also, please be sure to be reading the professor’s feedback on your RCR for Weeks 10 through 12 assignments, as there will be helpful feedback and clarifications there that will help you draft this section of your Research Proposal.