research plan

This Application begins the next multi-week activity in which you will complete three abbreviated research plans—one each for quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods.

You will develop these abbreviated research plans based on a research problem scenario provided by your program. The purpose for this is to allow you to explore a single research problem from three different approaches so that you may better understand differences between the approaches.

Over each successive week, you will focus on a specific approach culminating in a refined document:

  • This week, Week 8, you will develop an abbreviated quantitative research plan and submit the draft for instructor feedback.
  • In Week 9, you will develop an abbreviated qualitative research plan and submit the draft for instructor feedback.
  • In Week 10, you will develop an abbreviated mixed methods research plan and submit the draft for instructor feedback.
  • Finally, in Week 11, you will refine your three abbreviated research plans and submit them to your instructor in a single document. You will include at the end of this document a 2- to 3- page comparison and evaluation of the strengths and limitations of each of the three research methods—quantitative, qualitative, and mixed.

You are encouraged to participate in the Workshop Discussion area under Week 11 throughout this multi-week activity to refine components of your research plans and help your colleagues refine their plans.


This Week: Submit Draft of Abbreviated Quantitative Research Plan

You will apply quantitative research methods when you develop an abbreviated quantitative research plan that seeks to answer your research problem and research questions/hypotheses.

To prepare for this Application, first focus on the following instructions:

  • Review Chapter 8 in the course text, Research Design, the “Threats to Internal Validity” handout, and the “Quantitative Methods: Examples” media segment.
  • Consult Table 8.1 (p. 147) and/or Table 8.4 (p. 156) in the course text, Research Design, to guide you in polishing your abbreviated quantitative research plan.
  • Access the list of research problem scenarios in the Learning Resources. Find the research problem scenario for your discipline. You will work with this same scenario for the next three weeks.
  • Based on your discipline’s research problem scenario, create a problem statement.
  • Draft an introduction for your abbreviated research plan.

Next, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your research questions? To what extent can you test them? How would you justify the viability of your questions?
  • What are your hypotheses? How would you test them?
  • Why would this design be the most appropriate for answering the research questions? Conversely, why would qualitative and mixed methods designs not be appropriate?
  • What quantitative approach would you select for this study? Why is that approach the most appropriate one for answering the research questions?
  • What theoretical framework or perspective would you use?
  • What is your target population? How would you identify and recruit participants? What factors would contribute to determining appropriate sample size? You will not need to calculate sample size for this assignment.
  • What are the independent and dependent variables?
  • If appropriate for your plan, what instruments might you need?
  • What data collection procedures might you use? Why would those be the most appropriate methods to use? How would that data help to answer your research question(s)/hypotheses?
  • What are threats to validity? How might you mitigate them?
  • How might you analyze the data?
  • What are the ethical considerations related to the plan?

The assignment:

  • Craft a 2- to 3-page paper in which you do the following:
    • Provide an introduction.
    • Provide a purpose statement.
    • Provide viable research questions and hypotheses.
    • Generate a written research plan that addresses the above questions
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