Note: Yes, these instructions are long. Read them c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y before starting! Ask me about any questions before you start! But skim at your own risk- you could lose significant points for missing some part of this assignment.
For this assignment, we are going to look at one of the most common types of research methods: the survey/questionnaire. We are going to loosely model the research process as described in your book so far using this type of study. There are a few components to this assignment, so please make sure each is under its own distinct subheading within the body of your paper (i.e. Step 1, Step 2, etc.). As usual, make sure your entire paper is in APA format and is a minimum of 2 pages (that means two full pages), but no longer than 3 pages.
Step 1: Identify a topic in the healthcare field that interests you (this can be broad at this point, like “Medicare,” “mental disorders,” “elderly care,” etc.)
Step 2: Find 4 peer-reviewed journal articles published between 2007 and 2017 that are closely related to your topic. It will help you with the rest of the assignment if these studies are also based on surveys- play with different keywords in the journal databases to focus on these types of studies (If you are having trouble with this, you can get one-on-one help from a UCF Librarian- click here for info). Briefly summarize (in your own words) what these articles tell you about your topic in a few paragraphs (I don’t need every detail of the papers. Just convey what is relevant). Make sure they are cited in APA format on the References page at the end of your paper.
Step 3: Based on what you learned from the articles above and what you still want to know about your topic, brainstorm 3-4 potential specific research questions (these are not the same as survey questions) about your topic- include each of your brainstorms in the paper (i.e. if you pick elderly care, one potential question could be, “Does regular family visitation decrease risk of depression in elderly individuals aged 70-90 who are living in long-term care facilities?” but not something too vague or subjective, like “Is elderly care in Florida good or bad?”). Remember, study questions should be specific, measurable, and realistic.
Step 4: Pick one of your brainstormed questions that would be best suited for a survey/questionnaire methodology. If your question requires you to collect biomedical data or use secondary data, or in any other way does not depend on participant attitudes/behaviors, it is not suited for a survey- your book has a lot of good information about this. For example, a question like “Does daily intake of a fish oil supplement increase HDL levels in post-menopausal women?” would not be appropriate. To answer this type of question, you would need to measure HDL levels, which obviously cannot be done as a survey.
Step 5: Develop a 5-10 question survey that could be a part of a study that addresses the research question. To make this easier, we are going to standardize the question responses to fit a Likert scale. Click here to see examples of Likert scale type responses. Identify ONE type of scale from the link that you will use in your survey (i.e. each question would have the same potential answers- clearly identify which of the scales on the linked page you would use for your survey- you are picking only one that will work for all of your questions, so make sure you write your questions in such a way that each could be answered be one single scale). You only need to write out the scale ONCE so I know what you picked- not once for each question.
This assignment is about the development of the research process. I want you to think through what it takes to take an idea from inception to development, even if it isn’t perfect. Just do your best to fulfill the assignment criteria- we aren’t aiming for the Nobel Prize here, we are just trying to apply what we’ve learned in the book to a real-world problem.
Please do not hesitate to ask me questions about any part of this assignment if you are having trouble. However, I cannot find references for you (although a librarian can help with this!), pick your study question, or write/edit your survey questions. This is the skill set we are working to develop in this assignment, so there are no short cuts. There are TONS of examples of surveys online, so feel free to browse them for inspiration, but do not copy and paste questions. Remember, this assignment will be run through turnitin.com to check for plagiarism.
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