Methods in Capstone Webinar by zn4qok8

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									Writing about Methods in
Dissertations and Doctoral
Studies



Walden University Writing Center
Session objectives

• Learn how methods concern your research
• Identify components of qualitative, quantitative,
  and mixed-methods studies
• Connect components to present in your proposal
• Learn writing tips and university resources to use
  in researching and writing your proposal
 Methods in the capstone
EdD
 • Research option: Section 3; see EdD research study rubric
 • Project option: Section 2; see EdD project study rubric

DBA
Section 2; see DBA doctoral study rubric

PhD
 • Chapter 3; see PhD dissertation checklist and rubric
 • New PhD rubric webinar (Center for Research Quality)
 Methods and the proposal
Conduct preliminary research and research between drafts
A. Literature first
   1.   Draft literature review
   2.   Draft methods section       Your research problem
   3.   Draft introduction          dictates your method,
                                        so you need to
B. Introduction first             identify your problem first.
   1.   Draft introduction
                                  Research problem webinar
   2.   Draft literature review
   3.   Draft methods section

C. Do not begin with the method
Research methods

Qualitative
Quantitative
Mixed methods
Grounded theory (brief note)
Qualitative studies

Purpose
To explore a phenomenon in great detail
Approach
Inductive (specific to general; phenomenon to
  patterns/themes to interpretation to conclusion)
Language
Open-ended (e.g., “explore the lived experiences…”
  or “examine the narratives…”); typically two or
  three research questions.
Qualitative studies: Components

Topics in methods section
   Introduction                 Data collection
   Justification of             Data analysis
      method/design             Data quality
   Role of the researcher       Ethical considerations
   Questions and subquestions   Conclusion
   Researcher-participant
      relationship
   Criteria for selecting
      participants
Qualitative studies: Connecting components

Describe and justify design (derives from problem)
Include research questions (no hypotheses)
Explain
   • Context of study
   • Criteria for selecting participants.
   • Data collection procedures.
      – How and when the data will be analyzed
Address your potential bias (the researcher’s role)
Describe measures for ethical protection of participants
Quantitative studies

Purpose
To examine the relationship between two or more quantifiable variables
Approach
Deductive (general to specific; theory to hypothesis to observation to
  conclusion)
Language
   • Open-ended (“what is the relationship between X and Y”?)
   • Variables should be identified. The independent variable should be
     conceptualized as a variable that affects the dependent variable.
   • Number of research questions can depend on number of
     variables.
Quantitative studies: Components

Topics in methods section
   Introduction                Data collection
   Justification of            Data analysis
      method/design            Ethical considerations
   Research questions and      Conclusion
      hypotheses
   Setting and sample
   Treatment (if applicable)
   Instrumentation and
      materials
Quantitative studies: Connecting components

Describe and justify design (derives from problem)
Include research questions (hypotheses)
Explain
   • Setting, population, and sample.
   • Treatment, instrumentation, and materials.
     – Name and type; concepts measured; reliability/validity
   • Data collection and analysis procedures.
      – Explanation of descriptive and/or inferential analyses
      – Pilot study results, if applicable
Describe measures for ethical protection of participants
Mixed-method studies
Purpose
To explore a multifaceted phenomenon. Some components of the
phenomenon should be quantified, and others should be in narrative form.
Approach
Both inductive and deductive
Language
  • Research questions presented in two sections
     – One section includes qualitative, open-ended questions
     – One section includes quantitative questions with variables and
       null and alternative hypotheses
Components (subheadings)
Relevant qualitative and quantitative components
Mixed-method studies: Connecting components

Describe and justify design (derives from problem).

Address relevant qualitative and quantitative content (see
 preceding slides).

Explain measures for ethical protection of participants.
Grounded theory

• Grounded theories are typically based on qualitative
  methods but may use quantitative approaches, too.

• Any grounded theory study results in a theory. This
  important outcome is often missing in student work.

• Grounded theories use an abductive approach
  (beginning with incomplete data & proceeding to
  likeliest possible explanation).
Questions


   Use the Q&A box on your screen
     Type a question, and I will answer it.
Introduction to the Study and methods

Parts of Chapter/Section 1 concerning methods include
 • Problem Statement: guides the choice of method
 • Nature of the Study: provides overview of
   method/design
 • Limitations: determines generalizability of final
   results
 • Delimitations: clarifies the focus of the study.
Problem statement and methods

Identifies a gap in literature or in education/business practice
   • Quantitative: Gap is best addressed by examining the
     relationship between two or more variables
   • Qualitative: Gap is best addressed by increasing
     understanding about an issue (the “issue” cannot or
     should not be quantified)
   • Mixed method: Gap is best addressed through multiple
     methodological approaches. Employing only one
     method will not adequately address the gap.
Nature of the study and methods

Provides a brief introduction to your methods
   • Include details (e.g., number of participants, names
     of instruments)

   • Direct readers to methods section for more
     information (e.g., “See Chapter 3 for an extended
     discussion of the proposed study’s methods.”)
Limitations and methods

Characteristics of the design or method that set parameters
  on application or interpretation of the study’s results
   • Sample size: Small samples lessen the ability to draw
     conclusions from sample data about a larger group.
   • Instruments used for data collection: Instruments may
     limit the validity of participant responses.
   • Time frame for data collection: A short time frame
     may prohibit causal claims between the variables.
Delimitations

• The boundaries of the inquiry, usually
  determined in the development of the proposal.

• Delimitations should explain what a study does
  not intend to cover, with justification for not
  doing so. These decisions should be based on
  criteria as “not directly relevant” or “not feasible"
  and the like.
Writing tips
For the proposal, write in the future tense.
   – “I will run a regression analysis…”

After the proposal has been approved and data have been
  collected and analyzed, write in the past tense.
   – “I ran a regression analysis…”

Be specific
   – Recipe card analogy (how many participants, which
     instruments, etc.)
Take-home points
Writing is a process.
• Allow yourself multiple revisions of each section and
  take advantage of the Writing Center’s services.

The research problem dictates the method.
• Do not impose a “pet” method to address an ill-
  fitting research problem.

The method components should be clear.
• The description of the method should be detailed
  enough so that others could replicate the study.
Resources

Center for Research Quality
• Research resources
   – See Research Planning and Writing
   – See Research Design and Analysis
• Forms (arranged by program: DBA, EdD, PhD)

Writing Center
• Webinars
   – See Scholarly Writing Webinars
   – See Graduate Level Webinars
   – See Capstone Webinars
Questions

Email research questions to the Center for
  Research Quality (see Contact Us page)

Email writing questions to the Writing Center
 • Course papers/KAMs:
  writingsupport@waldenu.edu

 • Capstone proposals/studies:
   editor@waldenu.edu

								
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