Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to develop and justify a method for answering your research question, develop a reasonable sampling method to answer your question, identify resources that would be needed to answer the question, and consider sources of bias.
Skills: You will practice skills in translating your research question into a method proposal, calculate sample size needed, and synthesize course materials into your own topic.
Knowledge: This assignment will give you understanding about what resources are needed in order to conduct a quantitative research study.
Task: For this assignment, you are to hand in a Word document (1000 word minimum) of what quantitative research method(s) you would choose to collect data to answer your research question, and why. Please include the following.
Your name and research question. (1 point)
The quantitative research method and why you think that this method would be the best one for your particular research question, as opposed to the others. (6 points)
Your sampling strategy. The target population of your research, and where/how might you locate participants. Specify how you will identify a source population (e.g., what will be your sampling frame, and what sampling method you intend to use. Specify what would be your source of controls/comparison group, or unexposed participants, or, if your exposure is continuous, how you would assure that you had a sufficient range of exposures.
If your unit of analysis is something other than individuals (e.g., geographic units), describe how you would identify the universe of units available, and which ones will be included. (6 points)
Include an estimate of the sample size based on other studies you have read on this topic. Explain how you arrived at this number, citing sources you used. (2 points)
What types of resources you would need to carry out this particular method. Consider that you will have roughly a year to answer this question, and you have limited resources. You must use resources that actually exist or that you could conceivably acquire. For example: How would you measure your outcomes (e.g., a scale for anxiety?) Do you need someone to administer surveys, review records, take blood samples, etc.? Your resources needed will depend on your study design. (6 points)
What sources of bias exist for your study design, and how they might affect your results. It is not enough to say something like “this is a case-control study, so recall bias is a concern.” You should discuss potential confounders and the effect they would have on your study. Would bias tend to lead you to miss a true effect or overestimate one? (3 points)
What ethical considerations do you need to consider for your study? Consider whether you would need to have direct contact with patients. What would you need to do to assure privacy and confidentiality. What risks and benefits would accrue to the participants? (3 points)
Check for spelling, grammar and punctuation. (3 points)