(note: this chapter should be 15 – 25 pages)
[Begin with an introduction and restatement of the research problem and purpose.
It is appropriate to repeat the problem and purpose from Chapter 1 verbatim. Conclude the introduction with a brief overview of the chapter.
Restate the research question(s)/hypotheses verbatim. Research questions clearly stated and aligned with problem and purpose statements.
Note: This section should be identical to wording used in Chapter 1.]
[Accurately describe the research method and design(s). Substantiate the appropriateness of the method and design(s); include a statement about why the method/design(s) was/were chosen over others.
1. Elaborate on the chosen research design (e.g., case study, phenomenology, comparative, correlational, quasi-experimental, etc.) appropriateness to respond to the study purpose.
2. Clearly describe the design steps. Ensure the discussion is not simply a listing and description of research designs. Provide appropriate support for the use and application of the chosen design.
3. Demonstrate why the design will accomplish the study goals and why design is the optimum choice for the research.
Describe in sufficient detail so that the study could be replicated.]
[Provide a description of the population (as appropriate), estimated size and relevant characteristics with appropriate support. Depending on the study design, populations may reflect a group of people, a set of organizations, a set of documents, archived data, etc. Describe why the population is appropriate to respond to the study problem and purpose. Clearly distinguish between the population and the sample drawn from the population.]
[Identify the sampling method and explain selection of participants or relevant sample, including known population characteristics and recruitment or selection strategy. Describe and justify the sampling method and minimum sample size:
1. Quantitative studies include probabilistic selection approach and a supporting power analysis for statistical significance of responses. When determining a minimum sample size, consider sampling error, representativeness and the assumptions of the proposed statistical tests.
2. Qualitative studies include references that support the proposed number of participants. Qualitative samples are typically relatively small. Refer to primary qualitative research sources to support the sampling size and method. A minimum of 15 participants is required for qualitative studies.
3. Mixed Method studies include both of the above.
As appropriate: Describe how existing data were originally collected and for what purpose.
Describe how participants will be selected and solicited. Access to potential participants, such as email lists from professional organizations must be described. Sampling procedures (e.g., “random”, “random stratified”, “convenience”) must be described in sufficient detail so that the process could theoretically be replicated. ]
[In this section, include a description of data sources such as (a) archived data and include a description of how the data were originally collected and for what purpose along with information regarding validity and reliability; (b) published instruments (adequately describe constructs measured, coding schemes, and psychometric properties (include both indices of reliability and validity) – include as an appendix, if possible, or include sample items); (c) materials (including survey/instruments) developed for study (adequately describe the development process and final product (include as an appendix)); (d) interview protocol, including a description of how the interview questions were developed with appropriate qualitative research method support (include interview questions in an appendix); (e) apparatus (adequately describe any apparatus including model/make, how it is used, and outcome(s) it provides). A minimum of three data sources is required for the DISSERTATION.
Note: The development process and tests for instrument and construct reliability and validity must be described in detail within Chapter 3 and the resulting validity/reliability measures reported in Chapter 4. Qualitative instruments should implement an expert review or pilot study of two or more experts/participants prior to data collection.]
[Describe the collection, processing and analyses in enough detail so that the study could be replicated. Describe the steps that will be taken to carry out the study. Provide specific details relative to the execution of the design in each appropriate section. Describe the types of data to be collected, and how the data will be coded, and what analysis process and software will be used as appropriate. Each source of data may have a different analysis process. Analysis process(es) should follow a procedure found in the literature and be cited.
1. Quantitative: Describe the analysis strategy used to test each hypothesis. The discussion must be sufficiently detailed so that the appropriateness of the statistical tests chosen is evident (i.e., the statistical tests are appropriate to respond to the research questions).
2. Qualitative: Describe how the data will be processed and analyzed (including any efforts for triangulation). Provide primary qualitative design support for the proposed analytical strategy. Explain the role of the researcher.
3. Mixed Method: include all of the above.]
Note: The process should stay in sequential order based on the expected order of data collection. Detail collection of each source of data individually. Then, detail the analysis process for each source of data individually and collectively (how the individual results form a final result).
[Discuss the assumptions about the population and design along with corresponding rationale and support for the assumptions (e.g., if an adequate response rate or participant honesty are assumed, refer to the steps that will be taken to make these reasonable assumptions).]
Describe the study limitations (potential weaknesses to interpretation and validity) within the context of the study design. Discuss any measures taken to mitigate limitations. Review any potential threats to validity (specific to the study design) and how they will be addressed to the extent possible. The limitations will be revisited within Chapter 5.]
Describe the study delimitations (specific choices made to narrow the scope of the study). Discuss the scope of data used in the study in this section.]
[Discuss compliance with the standards for conducting research as appropriate to the proposed research design. Describe the informed consent procedures and how you will maintain confidentiality of the participants (as appropriate). Describe how raw data and documentation will be protected during and after the study. Describe how you will obtain assurances for formal approval of the study. Indicate appendixes that include additional information as needed.
1. In the proposal, state that IRB approval will be sought prior to any data collected.
2. In the final Doctoral Study Project, state that IRB approval was obtained prior to any data collection conducted].
[Summarize key points presented in Chapter 3 and provide supporting citations for key points.]
Note: When the proposal is approved and after the research is carried out, revise text to past tense to reflect the completed study. Revise and expand as needed to reflect how the study design was applied. For example, if parametric statistics were proposed but, upon data collection, the responses did not meet the assumptions and non-parametric tests were conducted to respond to the hypotheses, the author should describe the circumstances and rationale for the change within the Chapter 3 data analysis section