IRB Proposal Research Proposal

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¶ … Institutional Review Board

PROPOSAL FORM

Do not change the text in the shaded areas of the form. Your responses to each question/section should be written where it says <>; please keep your response in the same blue 10 pt Arial font.

Explain the research project in lay language that can be easily understood by someone who is not an expert in your field. The abstract must include: 1) a brief summary of the research question; and 2) a brief description of the procedure.

Social informatics examines the organizational and social aspects of the computerization of a discipline. Applied to social work, informatics may enable the management and analysis of data, and the conversion of that data to information and knowledge that can inform the field. This research explores the importance of technology to the construction of accessible and insightful data which may serve to improve the practices, research, and policies of child welfare. The research design is based on grounded theory and utilizes mixed methods to identify variables that function as benefits and inhibitors of the use of technology by child protection case workers. Subjects responded to surveys that collected quantitative and qualitative data. A hybrid approach to data collection was justified because of the importance of the topic to child safety and well-being, and to case worker job satisfaction which underscores the management of staff recruitment and retention.

6. Brief rationale and objectives

Maximum 500 words for all three responses.

Required Information

Rationale for study grounded in peer reviewed literature in your discipline:

The field of social work does not embrace high levels of technology utilization in praxis (Edwards & Yankey). Increasingly, state and federal requirements for case management, billing systems, and therapeutic methods are imposing the use of digital technology on social workers. In response, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has adopted guidelines for technology by the profession. Little is known about the origins of resistance and barriers to the use of technology by social workers. For social workers to make sophisticated information management part of their daily practice, and to creatively explore and implement relevant applications of digital technology, more must be learned about the "user experience" and the biases and concerns of the discipline (Camilleria & Humphres, 2002; Lucero, 1992; Parker, et al., 1985).

State your research question and hypotheses

Question 1: What are the benefits and inhibitors in the use of technology in social work and are there any factors associated with a lower tolerance or acceptance of using case management systems/technology for workers in the child protection field?

Hypothesis 1: Benefits and inhibitors will differ based on certain factors such as age, education level, and utilization of computers outside of the workplace.

Question 2: Does the new field of social work informatics assist caseworkers in navigating the usage of computers and databases in child protection?

Hypothesis 2: The case worker will report a need and positive regard for the field of social work informatics.

Explain your research design/approach (e.g., quantitative, qualitative, experimental, survey, focus group, etc.). If applicable, respond to the following questions:

a) How many groups are you collecting data from?

b) Is there random assignment to the groups?

c) Is there an experimental manipulation? If yes, explain why. A description of the stimulus or the manipulation can be explained in the summary of procedures.

A non-probabilistic stratified sampling strategy will be employed. Stratification variables are demographic attributes and the current levels of use of relatively advanced applications of technology. Strong correlation of stratification variables and dependent variables is expected. Sample size will be determined by the number of case workers in the relevant area of study who agree to participate in the research (Creswell, 2009). Neither random assignment nor experimental manipulation are employed.

7. Research Methodology

Detailed description of Procedures

Required Information

Provide a brief summary of procedures in lay language (no more than 500 words):


Description of the location where the research will be conducted

Subjects will be contacted on the Internet and will respond to surveys on their own computers at their workstations.

Research Methods and Tools Place an "X" in the first column to indicate which of the following data collection methods or instruments will be used to conduct the proposed research. Research tools for adults must be written at no higher than an eighth grade reading level without justification. Research tools for children must be written at an age appropriate level.

Check all that apply with an "X." Include in your IRBNet package all questionnaire(s), interview guides, and focus group questions.

Data Collection Methods or Instruments

X

QuestionnairesNote: Copies of questionnaires must be included in your IRBNet submission.

InterviewsNote: An interview script or outline must be included in your IRBNet submission.

Observations Note: A description of the nature of the observations and the researchers role in the activity(ies) being observed must be included in your IRBNet submission.

Focus Groups Note: A script, list of questions, outline, or instructions to the group must be included in your IRBNet submission.

Archival Data/Records Review: If your project utilizes academic, medical, or other records, please describe the data, provide documentation of official permission allowing you access to the data in your IRBNet package.

Apparatus/Measuring Equipment or Device

Archival Data/Records Review

Response (if applicable)

If you are utilizing archival or existing data, indicate the dates the data were collected. These data must exist at the time of your IRBNet submission. Note: The IRB will only consider this if you can demonstrate that obtaining informed consent will impact the quality of the research data; a waiver will not be granted for researcher convenience.

N/a

If the data are from a survey or questionnaire, provide a copy of the original instrument and a copy of the consent form in your IRBNet package. If the data records are from an experiment, provide a detailed description of the manipulation and measures and a copy of the consent form.

If the data are records based (e.g., medical records, legal documents), provide a list of the variables being extracted from the data.

N/a

If consent form is not available or if consent was not needed for the original data collection, please provide a brief explanation.

Note: Project documents and assent forms for children must be at an age appropriate level. Documents for general population adults should not exceed an 8th grade reading level. If you are having problems achieving that level, contact the Office of Research Integrity ( -- or x7800) for assistance.

N/a

8. Subject selection and recruitment:

Required Information

Response

a. Maximum number of research participants and a brief rationale for that number

The maximum number of research participants is 200. This number was selected because the open-ended questions on the survey will require textual analysis, and even 200 is an ambitious number of participants unless a text analysis software application is used.

b. Description of participants, rationale for their participation, and inclusion criteria. (Indicate age range, gender, cultural background or if specific populations will be chosen, e.g., prisoners, pregnant women, minorities)

The subjects are all social workers in active practice who have been recruited through local, regional, and national professional organizations. The sample selection variables include demographic attributes and the current levels of use of relatively advanced applications of technology, including their case management systems, by the social workers participants. There are no constraints on variables for selection beyond those required to establish a balanced stratified sample.

c. Description of groups or types of individuals that you are intentionally excluding, rationale for exclusion, and exclusion criteria

Social workers who are not in active professional roles and social work students will not be included in the study.

d. Description of recruitment process and recruitment materials recommendations may be utilized if necessary to the sample stratification process.

e. Explanation of how recruitment is not burdensome or coercive to participants

All study participants are contacted via email so there is no pressure from face-to-face or telephone requests from researchers. The surveys can be completed at times convenient to the participants.

f. Description of plans (if any) to encourage the recruitment of minorities and women

The stratified sampling process will address inclusion of people of color, minorities, and women.

9. Benefits, incentives and compensation, costs, and risks

Note: Consent forms should reflect any risks or compensation described below.

Question

Response

a. Describe potential benefits (e.g., therapeutic or unique self knowledge) that… [END OF PREVIEW]

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