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ED504 Research Project Outline
There are three parts to Stage 1 of the Research Proposal, which is the final product generated in the ED504 course. The purpose of the outline is to help candidates solidify a topic and approach to a research project for addressing an existing problem in the environment of their field of study. The problem must be identified and supported by existing data and should be applicable to the candidate’s field of study (i.e., library media, counseling, teaching).
Remember, this is an outline. You need to provide sufficient detail to inform your instructor, but responses are not fully fleshed out. The complete details are provided in the Research Proposal and not here in the outline. To provide better guidance, responses to questions in the outline should not exceed one paragraph.
Part 1 Data Gathering/Analysis
Gather data previously collected at the classroom, school, or district level to justify the identification of a topic for study.
OBJECTIVE: Identifying and analyzing a problem or weakness currently found in candidate’s field of study for the purpose of completing the Research Proposal assignment. Remember, the Research Proposal is a proposal for an experimental research design.
RESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING PROMPTS:
Identify the problem that you wish to research and write a problem statement. (i.e., The problem this study will address is poor student academic achievement.) (Chapter 1)
Identify your hypothesis. (Chapter 1)
Elaborate on how you determined this was a problem and write a purpose statement based on your problem statement. (i.e., The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of socioeconomic status on student academic achievement.)
Construct a graphical representation that allows for easy analysis of your compiled data that highlights your problem. Identify the source of the data and discuss its credibility. Examples of existing data might include school district test scores, absenteeism reports, graduation rates, cost, ranks, divorce rates, living habits, etc.
Discuss the data in your graphical representation to confirm that a problem or weakness can be addressed that is appropriate to the scope of the required program.
Connect the problem or weakness to trends or patterns represented in your data.

Part 2 Literature Review
You will conduct a literature review following APA format (most recent published edition) and become familiar with the scholarly debate surrounding your topic and what scholars and practitioners say about the best way to address the particular need or problem identified through the data analysis.
OBJECTIVE: Reviewing and writing a Review of Literature on your chosen topic for the purpose of completing UWA’s Research Proposal assignment.
RESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING PROMPTS:
Provide a developed statement of the research problem that demonstrates a sound and focused understanding of the identified problem.
Identify best practice(s) that will be used to address the problem or weakness. This should be a theorist or theory that is known and documented in the research literature.
Describe and justify a trend/theory that will be used to validate the use of the identified best practice(s) and clearly highlight the connection with the identified trend/theory to address the problem.
Provide reference listings (in APA format) for a minimum of 10 sources (largely representative of the most recent five years) you will use to describe/justify the best practice and/or theory identified. Be sure to include only sources that show clear connections with the best practice(s) and/or theory/trend identified as viable responses to the problem/weakness presented.
Provide a summary of the literature and how it justifies the need for the study. You are synthesizing your collection of sources into a brief 12 paragraph summary. Do NOT describe the specific studies included in your sources.

Part 3 Methodology/Action Plan
You will write a measurable and executable action plan on your chosen topic for the purpose of completing UWA’s Research Proposal assignment. The action plan must be APA formatted (most recently published edition). Collaborative resources must be included, and each category in the grading rubric must be addressed. Evidence of collaboration with appropriate stakeholders is required.
OBJECTIVE: Writing a measurable and executable action plan on an identified topic for the purpose of completing UWA’s Research Proposal assignment.
RESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING PROMPTS:
Identify the population and provide a description of the participant sample and the sampling technique.
Justify the sampling technique and the sample chosen.
Describe the role of all participants and the plan to prevent harm to them, including the plan for protecting student confidentiality and data.
Provide a description of steps and sequence of steps required to complete a successful study.
Justify the plan of action with respect to the identified problem and purpose. Be sure to justify the connection between the plan and the expected impact on student achievement.
Define constitutive and operational definitions of key terms.
Identify the variables in the study and define how each will be measured.
Describe the data that is needed for the study and how it will be collected. Include a description of the timeline for the data collection.
Identify any instrument that will be used in the study and its validity and reliability measures.
Describe any threats to the internal validity of the study and measures for control.
Describe the limitations or outside interferences that might interfere with improved student achievement.

Data Gathering/Analysis
CATEGORY Unacceptable Revisions Required Target
Problem and problem statement Problem/weakness is not identified, or the problem statement is missing Problem/weakness is identified; problem statement is provided but is overly vague or wordy Problem/weakness is identified; clear and concise problem statement is provided
Hypothesis Hypothesis statement is missing Hypothesis statement is included; but alignment with the problem statement is weak Clear hypothesis statement is included and aligns with the problem statement
Elaboration and purpose statement Description of how the problem was determined is missing or purpose statement based on problem statement is missing Description of how the problem was determined is provided but lacks sufficient detail; purpose statement based on problem statement is provided Clear description of how the problem was determined; purpose statement based on problem statement is provided
Graphical representation Graphical format does not present the data in a clear manner; data is only partially presented; data source(s) is not identified Graphical format(s) is appropriate and clearly presents all the collected data; data source(s) is identified Graphical format(s) is appropriate; clearly presents all the collected data; highlights visible patterns or trends; data source(s) is identified, and credibility is properly established
Data discussion No details are provided to support the problem/weakness identified or does not align with the type of data collected Details provided weakly support the problem/weakness identified; aligns with the type of data collected Details provided support the problem/weakness identified; is appropriate to the required project scope; aligns with the type of data collected
Connection between data and problem No connection with the trends and patterns identified in the data are drawn Connections between the trends/patterns in the data are noted, but not clearly supported in the narrative Clear connections between the trends/patterns in data are drawn in the narrative and supported in detail in the narrative
Literature Review
CATEGORY Unacceptable Revisions Required Target
Developed problem statement Problem statement is missing or if one is provided it fails to demonstrate an understanding of the identified problem Problem statement is provided but could be further fleshed out; evidence of an emerging understanding of the identified problem is demonstrated Problem statement is fully developed and demonstrates a clear and accurate understanding of the identified problem
Best practice(s)
Best practice(s) are not clearly identified or the practice identified is inappropriate; connection to theorist or theory documented in literature is missing Best practice(s) are clearly identified; connection to theorist or theory documented in literature is weak or missing Best practice(s) are clearly identified; connection to theorist or theory documented in literature is established
Theory/trend Theory or trend is not adequately described and does not validate the selected best practice(s); appropraiteness of theory/trend for addressing the problem or weakness is not addressed Theory or trend is described but descriotion fails to validate the slected best practice(s); appropraiteness of theory/trend for addressing the problem or weakness is noted but the connection is weak Theory or trend is clearly described and validates the slected best practice(s); appropraiteness of theory/trend for addressing the problem or weakness is clearly highlighted and accurate
Reference listing Source requirement was not met; multiple (more than 6) APA formatting errors in the reference list; sources included are not representative of recent research; sources connection to the identified best practice(s) and/or theory/trend is not clear Meets minimum requirements for degree level: Masters – A minimum of 10 sources were utilized; fewer than 6 APA format errors are present in the reference list; sources included are representative of recent research; sources appear to be connected to the identified best practice(s) and/or theory/trend Five (5) sources beyond minimum requires were utilized; there are virtually no APA format errors present in the reference list; sources included are representative of recent research; sources appear to be clearly connected to the identified best practice(s) and/or theory/trend
Literature summary Summaries of content of individual sources included in the collection is presented rather than a synthesis of source content; exceeds 2 paragraphs Summary of content presented in the collection of sources is provided but includes some details of specific studies; exceeds 2 paragraphs Synthesis of content presented in the collection of sources is provided; does not exceed 2 paragraphs
Methodology/Action Plan
CATEGORY Unacceptable Revisions Required Target
Population and sampling technique Descriptions of the participant sample and/or sampling technique are missing Descriptions of the participant sample and sampling technique are included, but details are limited Full descriptions of the participant sample and sampling technique are included
Sampling technique justification
Justifications for the sample chosen and/or the sampling technique are missing Justifications for both the sample chosen and the sampling technique are provided, but details are limited Justifications for both the sample chosen and the sampling technique are provided
Role of participants and plan to prevent harm Role of participants is not clearly described; plans for protecting the data and/or student confidentiality are missing Role of participants is described; plans for protecting the data and/or student confidentiality are not provided or are inadequate Role of participants is thoroughly described; adequate plans for protecting student confidentiality and/or data are provided
Action plans steps and sequence

Action plan is not described; description is not clear; steps in plan are not in a logical order Action plan description is provided, but additional detail may be warranted; steps in plan are outlined, but additional steps may be needed, or the order could be altered for better efficiency Action plan description is provided, and sufficient detail is included; steps in plan are outlined; exhaustive list of steps and sequence of steps allows for optimal efficiency and outcome
Key terms Definitions of key terms are missing Definitions of key terms are provided, but are inaccurate or incomplete Constitutive and operational definitions of key terms are provided
Variables are identified and defined
Variables are misidentified Variables are identified correctly, but with no clear definitions or explanations as to how they will be measured Variables are identified correctly, with clear definitions and explanations as to how they will be measured
Required data needs
Data needs are not identified or do not align with the problem; data retrieval plans are missing or inappropriate Data needs are identified; data retrieval plans are included, but not timeline for collection is provided Data needs are identified; data retrieval plans are described and a timeline for collection is included
Instrument
Instrument is not described Instrument is described, but information about instrument validity and reliability limited or missing Instrument is described in detail and information about instrument validity and reliability are included
Internal validity threats
Threats to internal validity are not identified or described Threats to internal validity are described, including measure(s) for control, but there are inaccuracies in the details Threats to internal validity are thoroughly and accurately described, including measure(s) for control
Limitation
Limitations and/or outside interferences with improved student achievement are not identified Limitations and/or outside interferences with improved student achievement are identified, but limited details are provided Limitations and/or outside interferences with improved student achievement are identified and thoroughly described

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