This assignment is divided into 3, but I need you can finish 2 of them tonight
IDST 395: Investigative Methods in Interdisciplinary Studies
ESSAY #2: Direct Observation Study (200 points)
By 11:59pm on Sunday, March 17: Propose Observation Phenomenon and Annotated Source List. Identify some human behavior to be observed. Upload a list of at least two scholarly studies which are similar and/or related which will guide the hypothesis and observational work. Essentially, this is a brief, preliminary literature review.Include a three or four sentence description of the findings of each study. This portion is worth 25 points.
By 11:59pm on Sunday, March 24: Observation Plan: Set Hypothesis, Methods, and Perimeters. Upload a plan for instructor feedback, refinement, and finalization. This piece should include 1) the goal of the research; 2) observation location(s) and time frames; 3) a working hypothesis (based upon initial thinking and literature review); and 4) any other relevant information specific to the chosen study. This portion is worth 25 points.
By 11:59pm on Sunday, April 7: ESSAY 2: DIRECT OBSERVATIONFinal Draft due. 150 points.
This will likely be in the five-page range (double-spaced). Font style should be straightforward, 12-point font. Double-space the paper, and the margins should not exceed one inch. Follow APA (or preferred) style, include a cover page (which does NOT count as a “text” page), and cite sources accurately and as needed.
In this project, conduct a sequence (at least two sessions) of observational research studies. This will take some planning and execution on a relatively short timetable. DO NOT WAIT TO BEGIN! There are several steps involved in order to successfully complete this project. Find at least three relevant studies which relate to the phenomena of interest. These will serve as sources for the Annotated Resource List.
Decide on a PLACE to conduct the observational research. What human behaviors are of intmic interests lie in communication and marketing, think about all of the places in which public advertisements, store displays, or point of purchase signs are used to influence people’s opinions and actions. If a student’s areas of study include sociology and psychology, s/he might think about key places where people make decisions related to their well-being.
Do not make this unnecessarily difficult! Think about easy access to large, observable groups that can be easily revisited a couple of times. Think about school/work schedules and how to access the location. Consider the following for inspiration: Commercial business with a “relaxed” atmosphere. Think local coffee house or library, or perhaps even a restaurant at lunch or dinner. In this type of place, anyone can be very inconspicuous and easily “blend in” while doing the research. And, coffee and food are fun, too! Major public place of commerce. The mall, Wal-Mart, Kroger, DSU, etc. Be aware that some major stores do not allow the taking of images with phones or cameras. Other location determined by personal access. Topper Café, local church, place of employment, a sports venue…the possibilities are endless depending on day-to-day existence.
The rule of the road here is to MAKE THIS WORKABLE. Do not “add” activity into one’s daily life, but recognize what pieces of existing life lend itself to this project. Clearly determine WHAT will be observed. This is the FOCUS of the research problem and hypothesis. No paper can “do it all.” Focus on specific behavior(s) and stick to those in the observations.
Decide how to narrow the focus of the observational research, which includes both choosing the research question and stating the hypothesis. Each student’s areas of interest and knowledge inform their choices. When choosing a place, think about why it is interesting. What connects? Why?
Sometimes, setting a specific age range or type of consumer or product can be helpful. In other words, who or what will be observed? People? Trends? Marketability of products? Signage?
The hypothesis should be proposed in the form of a question:
What are the ________of consumers who drink _______?
How many cars fail to properly stop at the intersection of _______?
Determine HOW the observation will be done. What DATA is needed? Formulate the research design and methods of gathering data.
The structure of the research must be clearly determined in advance. Decide on data-gathering methods and how to record relevant observations. These may include categorizations of particular non-verbal human behaviors or environmental concerns to be recorded in the form of data or field notes. Whatever the methods, keep the thesis question at the front of the research at all times. What information will be needed to address the hypothesis? Creating a list or graph to assist in data collection often proves quite helpful.
(EG: See page 3: http://www.radford.edu/~jaspelme/201/Cell_Phone_experiment_protocol.pdf)
Do the OBSERVATIONS. This is the actual gathering of data or field notes. Plan on several days, place, or approaches towards test, observing, etc.
Carefully construct the data collection sheet with clear, complete, concise, and efficient coding.
For field notes or personal observation, a minimum of two sessions is required. Three would be even better. The more information gathered, the better. One session of observation or one method of data collection is not enough. The more relevant information gathered, the better the study will be. If a student is unable to work over several days, s/he can combine methods and/or approaches to bolster the research. Write the ESSAY, which describes the observational study as a response to the research question/hypothesis. At least TWO different methods/times are needed for analysis/interpretation. Look at the hand-washing studies linked below for help on how to write about the study.
The end product is a five-page essay that addresses seven parts. Introduction. 10 points. Establish the importance and relevance of this observable phenomenon. Brief literature review. 20 points. Establish similar past work by citing a few past, similar studies. Cite and discuss at least three other relevant studies. These do not have to match perfectly, but should help set the context for the study conducted for this assignment. Methods. 30 points. Describe all of the details and perimeters of the observations including, but not limited to: location, times, vantage point, methods of recording data, weather (if applicable), etc. Be exact, precise, and thorough with this section. Do not assume the reader knows anything and give as many details as possible about the observation field. Results. 30 points. Report the data recorded during the observations. Here, give the numbers and the observational data, but do not analyze them yet. In short, what was observed? Discussion. 30 points. Explain what happened based on the data (limited as it is). Did it match the hypothesis? Did it address the research question? What was interesting about the work? Did the findings match previous studies? What limitations were revealed in the study? Conclusion. 20 points. Can any conclusions be drawn from the data? What might similar, future studies ask in order to further this type of work? References. 10 points. List any referenced material following an approved format.
Kinnison, et al. “Handwashing study on signage, gender, and race.” American Journal of Health Education Vol. 35 No. 2 (March/April 2004): 86-89.
Anderson, et al. “Gender and ethnic difference in hand hygiene practices among college students. American Journal of Infection Control Vol. 36 No. 5 (June 2008): 361-368.