November 19, 2012
1. To determine if CARING, Inc. is effectively providing services to the community, I would use a quasi-experimental evaluation. This will allow me to assess the differences that result from CARING’s supported medication safety activity and the result that would have occurred without the intervention. For example, for a 2 hour medication safety program, the comparison may be between an intervention group that receives the benefits of a program and a comparison group that does not. The control group will not be randomly assigned. Instead, it will be formed based on my judgment as to how to minimize any differences between the two groups.
Before any surveys can be administered, I would need to get IRB approval. This is not very difficult. I would need to provide a project description, assess the risks, and create a consent form for participants. I would run pre-test and post-test surveys. The respondents from the two groups will be asked a set of structured questions and their responses/scores are tabulated with an ID number and their test scores, ranging from 0 to 10. The test scores would be considered interval data; the ID numbers are nominal. Since a big sample of data will be collected, I would input the data into SPSS. This way, I can easily compare the post test scores with the two groups, the ones who went through the program and the ones who did not by means of charts, cross-tables, etc. This study will require minimal funding. The agency will need to print the surveys and consent forms, provide pens or pencils to use to write, and pay the presenter for the two hours or provide them a gift.
2. Research should go beyond a person’s personal experience, thoughts, feelings and opinions that do not refer to other sources of information. The methodology used in this example would be historical research. This involves systematic and objective location, evaluation and synthesis evidence in order to establish facts and draw conclusions about past events. Historical research should ask where the event occurred, what people were involved, when it happened and what activity was involved between or by which people.
The method used to find out what went wrong at the child abuse center was ok, but I believe saying that weighting some people’s accounts as more accurate that others is vague. How was the data reduced? How was it coded or synthesized? When doing qualitative research one must try to ensure trustworthiness, credibility or plausibility, dependability and conformability. There is excessive reliance on the secondary sources of information and uncertainty about the accuracy. Also, asking what caused the project not to work is a leading question. Rather, the participants should have been asked whether they thought it was successful or not. This way, they would not be lead to think that there was a problem if they did not beforehand. It is also a problem that the interviewer might assume facts not necessarily in evidence.
Triangulation can also be an effective way to enhance the validity and reliability in qualitative research. The example study did use multiple sources of data, but I would improve upon this by asking multiple questions about the event, looking at case notes (if any), audio or video tapes, and narrative descriptions. I would also use different strategies to collect the data, such as surveying and personal interviewing. 3. I should begin by being clear about my reasons for applying for a grant. I would also need to establish long term goals. Also, I would need to establish how the money will be used, possibly other ways of funding the project/program, figure chances of success and determine whether or not I am prepared to put in the work on the proposal. After all of that, I would search the field for grant sources. There are three main areas to look in: the government, private business and corporations, and foundations. I should then try to...