As a school counselor, you will regularly use the professional literature to inform your work. Many of the important questions that you will have as your career evolves will be answered by researchers conducting quantitative studies. The quantitative designs help generate the knowledge base that becomes the evidence behind our best practices.
For this assignment, you will create a mini research proposal. As you review the media piece, think through a possible quantitative study. Your work on this assignment will demonstrate that you understand the importance of the alignment of the elements of a study and how they work together.
In preparation for this assignment, you viewed the Blooming Park: Quantitative and Qualitative Research Questions media piece, which provided an example for first steps in creating a research proposal. Think about a problem in counseling practice that could be researched using a quantitative approach. Create a mini research proposal that addresses the problem that you identified. Your proposal must include these elements:
- Mini-literature review. Include a review of three recent empirical sources (required) and one non-empirical source (optional).
Link to RELATED Empirical articles: https://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/Careers-Roles/Effectiveness.pdf
Link to RELATED nonempirical articles: http://tpcjournal.nbcc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Pages303-317-Goodman-Scott-SchoolCounselingFaculty.pdf
OR any other school cousneling nonempirical article.
- Research question. This specific question should be written in a way that it could be answered through quantitative data; this is the question that will be answered by the proposed study.
- Research design. Identify the research design for the proposed study. Choose from correlational, experimental, quasi-experimental, time-series, and survey.
- Sampling plan. Describe your proposed sampling strategy, including the population from which the sample would come and how many participants you would include.
- Data collection plan. Identify data that you would collect in your study and describe any instruments that you would use. Explain how you would collect the quantitative data that would answer your research question.
- Data analysis plan. Explain how you would analyze the data that you collected.
- Ethical and cultural concerns. Identify ethical and cultural concerns that may be present in the proposed study.
- Alternative considerations. Describe how the problem that you investigated might be addressed by using a mixed methods approach. Explain whether you believe that would be a stronger approach or not, in this particular situation.
- Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
- Length: 4–6 pages, not counting cover page and reference page
- Number of references: Minimum of three peer-reviewed empirical journal articles that are no more than seven years old.
- APA Style: Include a reference page in the current APA style at the end of your paper.
- Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
- Blooming park media piece transcript:
School Counseling Student Interviews
Georgina Baylor is a school counselor at Ruby Lake High School. She has noticed a disturbing social media trend at her school. To learn more about this trend, listen to some of the students who have been meeting with Georgina.
Marisol Nunez High School Sophomore:
I used to love Instagram. It was a fun way of socializing with my friends, and getting to know other kids too. But now I don’t even post anymore, because a bunch of kids made racist comments. They posted all this stuff about how I should go back to Mexico, and they said people like me were in gangs and taking away jobs and destroying America. They posted this all over my page. My mom complained to the school, but they said they couldn’t really do anything about it. The kids who did it all graduated last year, so they’re not students anymore. It makes me feel angry and scared. My parents are here legally, but I have family members who aren’t, so it makes me worried when people say stuff like that to me.
Jason Vang High School Junior:
I got suspended for three days because I got into a fight with this kid. This guy made a Tumblr with all these racist Asian memes. Like, really gross and offensive memes. A lot of them are sexual. Other people have been posting memes on the Tumblr too, and they’ve been passing the memes around Snapchat. So I confronted the guy who started it, and we wound up getting into a huge fight in the cafeteria. My parents were very upset and I got grounded for two weeks. Look, I don’t like to fight. But someone had to stand up to this guy. Other Asian kids in the school are afraid to do anything. And I don’t think the school can do anything to stop it.
Aniyah Collins High School Freshman:
Some kids took one of my pictures from Instagram and modified it. They made me look like a monkey, with monkey ears and big monkey teeth and stuff. And then they passed it around Snapchat. I don’t know for sure who started it. The original picture was me all dressed up to go a party, and I looked really pretty. When they posted the monkey picture, it made me feel ugly and gross. And it also made me feel kind of scared. People aren’t racist to your face around here, but obviously there’s racism underneath if they’re passing around pictures like that. And my picture wasn’t the only one. They’ve taken a bunch of pictures of black kids and turned them into monkeys, or into stereotypical old-time images of Sambos eating watermelon and stuff like that. And then they pass them around Snapchat. I don’t know for sure who started it or who’s making the pictures.
School Counselor Interview
After meeting with her students, Georgina is inspired to conduct research based on some of their experiences.
Georgina Baylor School Counselor:
I’m surprised at how many kids at my school have experienced cyberbullying—and, in particular, cyberbullying related to race. This makes me want to know more. Does this kind of cyberbullying have an impact on students’ academic performance? I know that cyberbullying in general can have an impact on academic performance. Does cyberbullying related to race have more of an impact, or is does all cyberbullying impact kids in the same sort of way? One thing I’m especially curious about: Does race-related cyberbullying affect kids the same way that gender-related cyberbullying, like sexual harassment, affects them?
Here are some criteria for writing a strong research question:
- Clarity- If the reader can’t tell specifically what the topic is about, the research question lacks clarity.
- Focus- If the topic is too broad to address in a single research study, the question lacks focus.
- Complexity- If the question can be answered with “yes” or “no”—or with a simple Google search or trip to the library—then it lacks complexity.
- Brevity- If the research question contains unnecessary language, it lacks brevity.
- Uniqueness- If the research question does not address a gap in the literature of your field, then it is not unique.
- Arguable- If the research question is one that is impossible to answer, or is impossible to answer within the available time frame and resources, then it is not arguable.
Characteristics of quantitative research questions:
- Typically start with “how much,” “what,” or “why.”
- Examine relationships, connections, or comparisons between two or more variables.
- Use language that indicates relationships and/or causation, including terms like “relate,” “compare,” and “effect.”
Characteristics of qualitative research questions:
- Typically start with “what” or “how.”
- Avoid the use of quantitative terms like “effect,” “cause,” or “influence.”
- Use language that indicates open-ended exploration of a phenomenon, including terms like “generate,” “identify,” or “examine.”
School Counselor Quantitative Research Question
Georgina is not sure if she wants to conduct a quantitative or a qualitative study about this topic. To get started, she jots down some potential quantitative research questions. Read through Georgina’s questions, and choose the research question that you think is best for a quantitative study.
Does race-related cyberbullying impact student academic performance?
Feedback: This question is brief and easy to understand, and it does indicate a correlation between two variables (cyberbullying related to race and academic performance). However, the statement is too simple in that the answer could just be “yes.”
To what degree does race-related cyberbullying in middle school correlate to a decrease in student grade point average?
Feedback: This is the best answer. This question is clear and brief, but not overly simple; it cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no.” The question describes a relationship between two measurable variables—race-related cyberbullying and grade point average.
In the middle school population, how does the effect of race-related cyberbullying on academic performance compare to the effect of gender-related cyberbullying on academic performance?
Feedback: This question lacks focus in that it addresses multiple issues—the impact of race-related cyberbullying, the impact of gender-related cyberbullying, and how these compare. This question could be turned into multiple questions, and it may not be realistic to address all of this in one study.
In what ways do the effects of race-related cyberbullying in middle school impact high school graduation rates and college retention, and how does this compare to the effects of gender-related cyberbullying in middle school on high school graduation rates and college retention?
Feedback: This is a great question, if the researcher has a significant grant and years to conduct the study. If not, this question lacks arguability in that this question cannot be answered within a realistic time frame or budget. It also lacks focus, in that this question cannot be answered in one study.
School Counselor Qualitative Research Question
Georgina is also considering conducting a qualitative study. Read through Georgina’s questions, and choose the research question that you think is best for a qualitative study.
Does race-related cyberbullying impact the academic performance of middle school students?
Feedback: This question is brief and easy to understand. However, qualitative studies do not address questions of impact or effect.
To what degree does a decrease in student motivation correlate to race-related cyberbulling?
Feedback: This is a good research question—for a quantitative study. However, the question is not open-ended enough to allow for the open-ended exploration needed in a qualitative study.
How do middle school students describe their experiences of being cyberbullied in relation to race?
Feedback: This is the best answer. The question is simple and brief, but not overly simple. It lends itself to the open-ended exploration that is appropriate for a qualitative study.
How do adolescents describe their experience of being cyberbullied in relation to race, and how can school counselors help them?
Feedback: This question lacks focus in that it addresses multiple issues. This question could be turned into multiple questions, and it may not be realistic to address all of this in one study.