Setting With a Focus Research Proposal

Pages: 13 (3574 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Military

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
One EMS group had already completed the program, the other was preparing to do so.

The group that was preparing to do so, was more than willing to be part of a study, especially since the results of the study would help to determine how effective the training was perceived to be. This proved to be a useful coincidence.

After having discussed why certain methods were chosen, it is also to note why others were considered then passed on. Neither phenomenology nor ethnography would be appropriate for this type of research, given that phenomenology takes a relatively descriptive mode, merely describing a phenomenon, and there are undeniable political implications of the decision to embark upon a specific training program, in terms of the opportunity cost of time and resources. A case study method does not have to be judgmental, but it can compare perceived benefits and detriments of using a specific program, versus how the unit was functioning previously. Also, although unlike a research design, there is no control group to compare effectiveness, a case study method can still engage in some speculative and projected planning of how the EMS responders might respond to such an event using its new knowledge. This is the nature of field research.

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An ethnography would not be appropriate, given that an ethnography approaches the event from the perspective of an outsider to the culture. As someone with a medical background, I am an 'insider' to a hospital and the perspective of medical professionals. Additionally, the individuals involved in the creation of the training program do not come from a culture outside my own. Although some ethnographers now write about their own cultures, this is not the standard sense of what ethnographic work is.

Data Collection

Research Proposal on Setting With a Focus on Assignment

The mixed research design of this study allows for qualitative data to be gathered and analyzed with quantitative measurements. A case study such as this one, is an excellent candidate for qualitative measurements. The CPD training program attempts to provide information that can be life-saving during a natural, or unnatural (such as an attack with weapons of mass destruction) disasters.

Collecting qualitative data will take a number of different forms throughout this study, and will include a number of different data gathering tools. The different data gathering tools will be overseen by a prepared program. As one study recently discovered, "the focus of assessment of clinical performance has moved from over-reliance on individual tools to constructing a coherent assessment program" (Wilkinson, 2007, p. 631). The proposed study seeks to develop a 'coherent assessment program' not just use tools with no purpose. The Wilkinson study also determined that "the purpose of such an assessment program is to gather high-quality evidence to make well-informed decisions" (p. 631).

It is the objective of this study to also gather high quality evidence in order to make well-informed decisions and to do that will require a variety of tools. A key tool will be the researcher's notes and observations of the participants as they start, participate and complete the CPD training. The researcher will attempt to listen to the participants and write down their responses, thoughts, perceptions and ideas as they go through the course requirements.

The researcher's observations will be recorded both digitally and through the use of a writing instrument.

The data capture method will be what the researcher observes through the actions of the participants as well. Such actions can be facial movements, speech, reactions to course instructors, body language and emotions, among others. Studies show that "pure data such as gate counts, computer uses, and more aren't as satisfying to those who hold the purse strings as are measurements that articulate impact" (Miller, Fialkoff, Kelley, 2012, p. 35). Tools such as observations and interviews allow for the measurements of impact, not just statistics.

Because the researcher is looking to evaluate feelings and perceptions the third tool implemented through the study will be formative and structured interviews conducted by the researcher. Interviews allow the participant a more structured arena for expressing his/her thoughts and ideals. The researcher will record participant responses to open-ended prompts that allow the participant to expand upon their feelings and thoughts.

A key tool implemented will be an informed consent tool. This form is created to inform the participant(s) of the purpose and circumstances of the study. The informed consent tool spells out objectives, what the study is attempting to discern, how long the study will last, any compensation that will be available, who the study will benefit and who is conducting the study. The informed consent form also provides a line for the participant's signature signifying dissemination and consent to participating in the study.

Data Collection Procedures

The proposed study will include a setting with a focus on one specific EMS unit that will participate in the CDP training program. This setting was selected because it offered a snapshot collection of data that could be valuable based on the outcome of the training provided by the CDP program. The researcher will conduct pre and post-interviews with the members of the EMS unit as they start and complete the program.

One of the benefits of this style of approach is that it allows for the gathering of qualitative and quantitative data. A mixed research study design provides the researcher with hard, numerical data on feelings, thoughts, beliefs and perceptions. The organization benefits from this type of study because the organization can analyze through numerical data how its members actually perceive the training they receive. The data can help discover whether the training is effective or needs to be improved upon.

Data Analysis Plan

The case study data analysis will be facilitated by the use of data analysis software. The software employed for qualitative data analysis (QDA) in this study will function as a data-reduction mechanism. The researcher's part in the study remains interpretive regardless of the fact that the coding is generated by the computer program and some data is highlighted with respect to thematic relationships that emerge. The researcher will generate personally important, rich, and salient accounts from the data provided by the study respondents.

The data analysis will proceed in a bottom-up fashion, such that the codes are derived from the data rather than from any pre-existing theory. The researcher will work intensively with the data, creating annotations as the process unfolds. These annotations are intended to focus on insights about the perspective and insights of the participants in the study with regard to their experiences in the CDP training. Patterns that emerge from data inspection and analysis are called themes. The researcher will explore the recurring themes in order to identify what is meaningful to the participants.

Qualitative data analysis (QDA) will be accomplished through the use of a computer software application designed for analysis of qualitative information. The computer software application will be used for the researcher's narrative accounts and observational data, and it will be used for recording and analyzing the transcripts of participant interviews.

In addition, by using the software program, a researcher can evaluate the importance of the various data sets, and create a visual representation of relationships between complex data sets. With the ATLAS.ti program, it is possible to consolidate large documents and simultaneously track notes and memos that are part of qualitative research conventions -- and which are particularly valuable to an ethnographic researcher. All primary and secondary data, as well as the coding frame, applied codes, and researcher annotations in the documents are readily accessed through the software program.

In this manner, closer review and deeper analysis of the primary material is facilitated, regardless of the form of the data. That is, narrative unstructured text, structured text, image files, audio files, video files, and geo data are all easily accessed for analysis and visualization. The visualization tools are quite sophisticated and open a number of interpretive views of the primary research information

The philosophical background of the qualitative research methods used in this study warrant the use of data collection and data analysis techniques that facilitate a deep, rich narrative text. The research is descriptive in nature and is grounded in phenomenology. Rather than having the study participants develop their own accounts during the study, the researcher will function as a participant observer in a traditional ethnographic fashion. Data capture, which includes observation of study participants and individual interviews with study participants, will enable the categorization of data and associated coding strategies. That is, since the observation of the study participants in the CDP training activities will occur prior to the interview sessions, the narrative data from the observation will inform the structure and the development of question items in the subsequent interviews.

This type of iterative frame for developing deeper lines of inquiry and capturing emerging themes as a basis for extending the inquiry is an established practice in ethnographic research.

In addition, the researcher may employ a snowballing… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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