Select appropriate data-collection methods for a given research question.
This Assignment is part of the Research Proposal that will be turned in at the end of Unit 9. This Assignment represents the Method section of your Research Proposal. It should have a title page and references page but should be formatted per the APA Publication Manual’s outline of a Method section. When it is revised for inclusion in the Research Proposal, some changes will need to be made, but if you have done well here, those changes will be minor.
The Method section of a Research Proposal is like the instructions portion of a recipe. It outlines, in very specific terms, everything that is necessary to cook the dish (to perform the research and collect the data). This includes describing the ingredients in very specific detail (describing the participants and how they are recruited, describing any apparatus or other materials necessary for the research to move forward) and then giving very detailed instructions on how make the dish (the procedure…how one will do the actual research). As with any other recipe, if anything is vague or left out of the description, the result will NOT be what was intended.
The Method section for the Research Proposal in this course will have five subsections: Participants, Apparatus/Materials, Procedure, Measures, and Ethical Considerations. Apart from these subsections, there should be no other material in the Method section.
Under “Participants,” the population to be sampled should be clearly described and the method of sampling (random, stratified, etc.) described along with the rationale for why that method will be used. How the actual recruitment will be performed to achieve that sampling method should also be described.
“Apparatus/Materials” will describe any equipment or other materials that will be needed for the research. If you intend to use a questionnaire or inventory, it should be clearly identified and discussed here.
The “Procedure” subsection must be completed in enough detail to ensure that someone else reading the Method section could replicate the experiment exactly as proposed. Referring back to the recipe metaphor: if the recipe does not clearly and exactly describe every step, each person using the recipe is likely to wind up with a very different product at the end (overcooked, undercooked, with the wrong ingredients or the right ingredients but the wrong amounts, etc.). The procedure section should also clearly indicate what type of experimental design is being used (for example: “quantitative, between-subjects design”).
The “Measures” subsection describes the variables being assessed in the study. Describe the independent (predictor) and dependent (criterion) variables, how they will be analyzed, and how you will assess the reliability and validity of these measures.
The final subsection, “Ethical Considerations” will discuss appropriate ethical issues that might arise from performing the research being proposed: informed consent, privacy issues, etc. Do not simply give a laundry list of the APA standards or a vague statement that they will be followed: discuss them in terms of your proposal and how you will ensure that you are in accord with the guidelines. If there are BACB guidelines that might also come into play here, they should also be discussed.
There is a template for this Assignment available in Course Documents. It includes additional advice and suggestions and is formatted properly. While use of the template is not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged.
This assignment should be between 5–8 pages in length.
To recap in an outline format:
- Formal title page (this title page will not be included in the Final Project)
- Method section
- Participants subsection (describing population to be tested, describing sampling plan)
- Materials subsection (describing all equipment and materials needed)
- Procedure subsection (detailed description of how the research is to be done, sufficient to permit replication. Clearly label research design)
- Measures subsection (describing variables to be controlled/measured as well as a discussion of reliability and validity)
- Ethical considerations subsection (discuss APA ethical guidelines with respect to how they must be implemented for the research. ABA students should also discuss anything relevant from BACB guidelines.)
- References (materials from this page and the Unit 4 Assignment’s references page will be concatenated in the Final Project)
The Assignment should:
- Follow Assignment directions (review grading rubric for best results).
- Use correct APA formatting per the APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition.
- Demonstrate college-level communication through the composition of original materials in Standard American English.
- Be written in Standard American English and be clear, specific, and error-free. If needed, be sure to use the Writing Center for help.