Chapter 3: Research Plans
After reading chapter 3, you should be able to:
1.Briefly describe three ethical considerations involved in conducting and reporting
2.Describe two major pieces of legislation affecting educational research.
3.Briefly describe each of the components of a research plan.
4.Briefly describe two major ways in which a research plan can
A research plan describes
1. the nature of the sample,
2. the nature of the variables you will study,
3. the kind of data to be collected
4. the instruments you will use to collect data
5. the conditions under which the data will be collected, and,
6. The techniques to be used to analyze data (looking for themes and issues-if it is
7. The plan gives the estimated time for each component.
Research plan includes:
(b) Data Analysis
(c) Time Schedule
(d) Assumptions, limitations and definitions (where appropriate).
The plan serves the following purposes
(a) It forces the research to think through every aspect of the study
(b) It facilitates evaluation of the proposed study. Problems become apparent and
sometimes great ideas do not look so great anymore
(c) It provides detailed procedures to guide contact the study
General considerations in A research plan
(a) Ethics-the ends do not justify the means (example-the Tuskegee Syphilis
Experiment) See Table 3.1 (Ethical principles of Psychologist & Human Subject
Review form-Table 3.2
Deception is unethical
(i) The informed Consent and Protection from Harm- Ensures that the participants
enter the research of their free will and with understanding of the nature of the study
and any possible obligations or damages that may arise. It is intended to limit the
likelihood of participant exploitation by the researcher.
(b) Legal restrictions-The National Research ACT and the Family Rights and Privacy
Acts of 1974; The written Consent provision
(c) Confidentiality or anonymity maintained to avoid privacy invasion
(d) Strategies for achieving and maintaining cooperation (keeping rapport).
Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research
Closeness to the subjects that can be problematic
Gaining entry to the research site
Some administrators are suspicious of researchers' agenda
Achieving full cooperation requires time investment to discuss issues with the teachers,
principal and parents
Principals might ask to verify the contents of your draft report; s/he might want you to
brief the teachers about your findings etc.
(See parental consent form pg. 104)
Components of the Research Plan
(i) Statement of the Topic
(ii) Review of related literature
(iii) Statement of hypothesis (if appropriate)
(c) Data Analysis
(d) Time Schedule
(e) Budget (if appropriate)
TASK # 3: Constructing A Brief Research Plan