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Archive for June, 2010

Justify Research Design

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

I am working on assignment #6 in RSH9104B and will turn it in this morning. I have still not resolved the issue regarding how #5 and #6 “fit” into the Concept Paper (CP) template. I asked Dr. T and his advice was to continue on and we will resolve any issues, and view the assignments holistically when we get to assignment #8, which is the first submission of the finished CP to Dr. T.

I have these sections in #6:

Restatement of the Problem, Purpose, Research Questions, and Definition of Variables
Research Method Justification
Instrumentation
Sample
Data Collection and Analysis
Ethical Assurances
Summary

I am doing some clean up and augmentation on the final draft and will turn it in within the hour. I like to “sleep on” a paper when I work all day or late in the evening on it. What is clear to me at 10PM is not necessarily clear thinking/verbiage the following morning. It’s kind of like being research/writing-drunk because it makes perfect sense at the time but not after my mind gets some rest!

The next assignment is Revise Annotated Bibliography. For you readers keeping up with my schedule, you will see that I am WAY BEHIND my proposed schedule because of issues with the problem and purpose statement. I turned in assignment #2 EIGHT times before Dr. T approved it!! Every revision was a shot in the dark because I had no idea what he wanted to see.

Measurements/Assessment Paper

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

I am working today on the Measurements/Assessment Paper (RSH9104B activity 5); I have to break now and return to it later because we have commencement for the University of Phoenix, Richmond, where I am an instructor.

I find that the syllabus is a bit confusing on #5 and #6, here is the wording:

#5 Measurements/Assessment
Scan your annotated bibliography for information about how others have identified and operationally defined the variables/constructs that are similar to the ones you have identified for your dissertation topic. Write your Measurements/Assessments paper summarizing this literature and include sections that define your dissertation’s variables or constructs. For quantitative research, you will need to address issues relative to measurement validity and reliability. Specifically, you will need to report on and document established psychometric properties for pre-existing measures and how you will assess validity and reliability for measures you create. For qualitative research, you will need to focus on the way in which constructs/themes, etc., are to be assessed in a manner that establishes credibility, dependability, and integrity.

#6 Justify Research Design
Prepare a paper reflecting on the appropriateness of the research design proposed for your dissertation research – including a restatement of the problem, purpose, proposed research design and appropriateness of an proposed research method, research questions, and definition of variables/constructs. For quantitative research, this will include discussion of the operationalization and measurement of variables, precise statements of hypotheses, etc. For qualitative research, this will include discussion of the definition of constructs, criteria for assessment, etc. The proposed mode of data collection and analysis must be discussed for all proposed designs.

When these are compared to the Concept Paper template (all activities build up to the CP), it is not clear which of these fit in the section “Research Method” exactly. I plan to take both what it states in the syllabus and the text comments in the CP template and build the two papers at the same time. I wish the syllabus stated which papers go in which sections in the CP but it does not. In other words, the CP is not an exact match to what the syllabus activities are. It would be great if we had some direction on that. I am also discovering that others are getting different instructions from their mentor/chairs about how to manage these assignments.

I wish I had a quantitative approved CP to look at to see how it all fits into the CP template. I will just continue to work on this and pray that my CP will be accepted.

The next assignment, #7, is to revise the annotated bibliography, and then #8 to pull the concept paper together. Then after revisions I turn it in for committee and University review.

So as I baby-step through this course I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Books recommended for NCU RSH courses

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Here is the list of recommended titles for the RSH courses:

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN: 9781412965576

Zikmund, W. (2003). Business research methods. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western ISBN: 9780030350849

Cozby, P. C. (2009) Methods in behavioral research. Boston: McGraw Hill Higher Education ISBN: 9780073370224

Trochim, W., & Donnelly, J. (2007) The research methods knowledge base. Mason, OH: Thomson Custom Publishing. ISBN: 9781592602919

Shank, G. D. (2006) Qualitative research: A personal skills approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall. ISBN: 0131719491

Schram, T. H. (2006) Conceptualizing and proposing qualitative research. Upper Saddle River, N.J. Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall 0131702866

Patton, M. Q. (2002) Qualitative research & evaluations methods Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. ISBN: 978-0761919711

Creswell, J. W. & Plano Clark, V. L. (2007) Designing and conducting mixed methods research + The mixed methods reader (bundle). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN: 9781412960229

Note: This is a bundle that includes a Mixed Method Reader. Be sure to use the ISBN number that gives you both the text and the reader.
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Here are some titles that I recommend:
Babbie, E. (1990). Survey research methods. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. ISBN: 0-534-12672-3

Vogt, W. P. (2007). Quantitative research methods for professionals. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 0-205-35913-2

Vogt, W.P. (2005). Dictionary of statistics & methodology: A nontechnical guide for the social sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA. ISBN: 978-0-7619-8855-7.

Black, T. R. (2009). Doing quantitative research in the social sciences: An integrated approach to research design, measurement and statistics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN: 978-0-7619-5353-1

A fellow student recommends:

Simon, M. (2005). Dissertation and scholarly research: A practical guide to start and complete your dissertation, thesis, or formal research project. ISBN: 0757525016

Do you have others to add to the list? Post them!