Module 2 SLP: Cost analysis of VA medical care vs. Private care
Using your work from the previous weeks, prepare and submit Chapter Three. You must insert your material into the DSP template (found in MyTLC). Work will not be accepted if it is not in the template.
CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS (IMPORTANT ELEMENTS *DRAFT*)
The methods are the procedures used to acquire empirical evidence and analyze it for purposes of answering research questions, testing hypotheses, and examining foreshadowed problems, following up on conjectures, and going forward from exploratory questions. The choice of methodology should be made in light of the literature review and with careful deliberation. Small oversights can sometimes undermine a long and difficult study. Your committee will help you think through the appropriateness of proposed methods and will probably suggest some refinements.
Your approved proposal is considered a blueprint for research. You are expected to do everything indicated in that blueprint. In experimental research, it is usually expected that no changes will be made unless you encounter unanticipated problems that require modifications. In other quantitative research, such as quasi-experimental, longitudinal and secondary data analysis, additions over and beyond the blueprint may be appropriate to deal with unanticipated opportunities. In qualitative research, the proposal outlines the broad parameters of the study, but usually several details are expected to be decided during the actual data collection and analysis. Changes in the planned research should be made only after consultation with your full dissertation committee. Changes in the collection and handling of data from humans will generally require re-submission for IRB approval.
A few important aspects of the methods cannot be known until after the study has been conducted, such as the response rates from samples, errors or accidents in carrying out the planned methods, and whether the collected data meets the assumptions of the planned statistical analyses. Consequently, whatever is written in the research proposal about methodology may have to be updated some when preparing Chapter 3 of the dissertation.
The subsections indicated below are the components of the methodology and not necessarily subheadings of Chapter 3. Mixed-methods studies may benefit from the guidelines below for both quantitative research and qualitative research.
Briefly re-introduce the problem and provide an overview of the methodological approach.
3-B. Conjectures, or Exploratory Questions:
State the conjectures, or exploratory questions that guided the inquiry. The conjectures or exploratory questions can be descriptive, associational, and causal. Qualitative research answers questions in a holistic manner based on all or most of the available information, cross-verifying among several sources of information. The process often involves continual drawing of tentative inferences throughout the ongoing data collection and verifying those inferences with the subsequently-collected data.
3-C. Research Procedures:
Describe in detail how the inquiry was undertaken.
Generally, the description should be thorough enough that other skilled researchers could approximately replicate your study from the description.
Introduce the epistemology that will guide the inquiry.
Explain the theoretical perspective that will drive the research, and why it was selected.
Indicate the methodology used and why it was selected.
Indicate the specific methods used and the justification for them. How were sites, cases, and informants selected? Why? What access did you unsuccessfully seek? Which people perhaps tried to minimize contact with you and which repeatedly sought it out? How did you collect your data? Why?
What verification procedures were used in the field? How did you protect against imposing your biases on the data? Describe and append any interview guides, protocols, rubrics used to assist in the data collection.
Indicate how you managed your qualitative data. Did you take notes or make audio/video recordings? Was any data not analyzed? Why?
Indicate how you analyzed and interpreted your data, making sure the analysis was consistent with the selected methodology. If you inferred themes, explain how. If you coded the transcripts, explain the coding system and checks for coding reliability and validity. How did you analyze the data from the coding? How did you triangulate or otherwise verify findings? How did you interpret the full set of data?
3-D. Human Participants and Ethics Precautions:
Summarize potential risks to humans from whom data is collected in your research, and summarize precautions taken to ensure informed consent (when needed) and to minimize the risks to participants in your research. This information can be drawn from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs – Institutional Review Board (IRB) Submission Form that must accompany your proposal when it is submitted for review and approval. (Reminder: You must have approval from the Institutional Review Board before beginning data collection from or about humans!) Also address other ethical issues, such as your possible conflicts of interest and personal biases that could have influenced the research, and how you minimized their effects. After receiving IRB approval, participant recruitment and data collection will begin.
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