Data Collection and Analysis
Earlier in the course, you converted your research topic into an overarching or primary research question. Even the most focused research question may contain within it a series of more fundamental and related questions. Once these are determined, the researcher must then determine the kinds of information necessary to answer them.
By successfully completing this assignment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following EPAs and practice behaviors:
C4: Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
C4.GP.B Apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings.
In this assignment, you will identify a series of subquestions that must be answered in order to find the answer or answers to the primary question. You will also begin to identify the kinds of data you will need, from whom you will gather it, and which methods you will apply to your proposed study. The approach you use “may depend on your topic, purpose, and intended use of the study results, as well as the orientation toward social science that you adopt” (Neuman, 2013, p. 110).
The subquestions you have identified will help you determine the kinds of data you would need to collect in order to address your research question. Who will be answering these questions:
Who will your participants be?
Is the data quantitative or qualitative in nature—should it be in the form of numbers or words?
What methods might you apply to glean the information that you seek?
What instruments, measures, or tools would you use in your study?
Also, identify how you would analyze the data that you collect. Will you be conducting statistical analyses of any kind? Or, will you be using coding and categorizing? Will you be using any computer software to assist with the analysis?
Finally, consider the results of the study. Who should know about these results? How will you present them?
For this assignment:
Restate your overarching research question.
Identify critical subquestions related to a primary research question. In other words, what questions require answers in order to address the primary question?
Identify a relevant pool of participants.
Describe data sources (artifacts, literature, et cetera) relevant to a given research problem. Are you seeking information represented by numbers or words? Stated differently, are you interested in quantitative or qualitative data, or both? Describe these.
Identify contextually appropriate data-collection tools.
Explain the approach to relevant data interpretation. Be sure to explain why you have selected this approach. Consider whether you will use any computer software or programs to assist with the data analysis.
Explain the appropriate audience and medium for final data analysis. Include how you propose to present them and what format would be most appropriate to communicate your results to your audience.
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