Brief Summary of Methodologies
Then the research methods must(a) outline the design and present a timeline, (b) describe participant selection and recruitment, (c) explain the procedures for assignment to condition and methods for experimental control, (d) describe the independent variable, the intervention, (e) present the dependent variables or measures, (f) discuss data collection and management procedures, (g) provide the data analysis strategy, including a power analysis, if appropriate, and (h) address attrition and missing data. > DESIGN AND TIMELINE
The research design should include a general overview of the project. Consider this section as an abstract of the methods portion of the proposal, with a few additionsThese events may include recruitment, assignment to condition, intervention activities, assessments, and any other key features of the design that will help reviewers understand the research plan. Because all these factors influence the overall design of the project, the decision process will benefit from experts in (a) the theory of the intervention and processes under study, (b) the pragmatic details of recruitment, intervention, and assessments, and (c) research methods, including design and statistics. >PARTICIPANT SELECTION AND RECRUITMENT
Participant selection often begins with the identification of the population of interest.The sample selection methods depend on the overall goal of the research project.This section must also include a clear description of the recruitment procedures. This includes information about how contacts are made, the type of consent process, if any, and related information that allows reviewers to judge the value of the final set of participants. >ASSIGNMENT TO CONDITION For studies with more than one condition, assignment becomes an important feature of the research methods. In a randomized trial, research staff must place students into conditions randomly, and this section must state exactly how that will happen. There are many acceptable options, such as assignment via coin flip, a random number table, the use of a statistical program, the roll of dice, and so on. Non randomized comparison studies, such as the quasi-experimental nonequivalent groups design, also require assignment. Some researchers will order participants on a key variable of interest, and then randomly assign pairs, assuming two conditions, to treatment or control, working their way down the list. >EXPERIMENTAL CONTROL Any experimental trial should attempt to control all influences on outcome measures. In a two-condition study, researchers should attempt to control for all differences between members of each condition other than those specified by the independent variable, the intervention. Randomization, for example, controls for the preexisting differences among participants in each condition. It allows for the theoretical assumption that participants in each condition do not differ at the onset of the study.This includes demand characteristics of each condition, the format and structure of materials, the handling of participants by project staff, and so on. Methods for experimental control will differ substantially by the type of research design. >Independent Variable
The independent variable (IV) defines the intervention conditions. A condition represents a set of participants who receive one type of treatment. In a typical randomized controlled trial with two conditions, one condition, the treatment group, will receive an intervention or treatment. The other condition, the control group, would receive usual care or possibly a placebo to control for demand expectancy. The description of the intervention should be thorough. >Dependent Variables and Other Measures
Proposals often include dependent variables , or outcome measures, as well as all other assessments in a single “measures” section. Measures may be standardized measures, custom tests, study-specific measures,...
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