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Application: Quantitative Designs
As you learned about various types of counseling approaches, you may have wondered what makes one more effective than another. This type of question lends itself to quantitative research. Questions like, “What are the differences in scores on a depression inventory for individuals who participate in cognitive behavioral counseling versus those who participate in solution-focused counseling?” or “What student characteristics predict success in an online counseling degree program?” require some form of quantitative inquiry. However, the type of quantitative method used to explore these questions could vary widely from researcher to researcher. Each of the methods of quantitative inquiry has both strengths and weaknesses, and it is important to understand the elements of each approach. As you explore the Learning Resources this week, you will find that some designs are used more often than others in the counseling profession.
In this Application Assignment you review various types of quantitative designs and explore their utility for investigating counseling-related phenomena.
The assignment: (2–3 pages)
• Select two types of quantitative research designs to compare.
• Briefly describe each of the designs that you selected. Include the types of samples used to conduct these research methods and the process for selecting a sample.
• Explain two similarities and two differences between the designs you selected.
• Describe at least one strength and one limitation of each design.
• Describe an insight or conclusion you can draw from the comparison.
• Explain any ethical, legal, and socio-cultural considerations that may be relevant for the designs you selected.
Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are required to provide a reference list and to appropriately cite, in APA style, all references used within your assignment.
Week 4: Quantitative Research – Experimental
More than likely, over the course of your academic life, you learned about scientific methods in more than one course. Applying scientific methods may be more common than you thought; for example, each year elementary, middle, and high school students compete in science fairs throughout the United States. As part of these competitions, students develop a hypothesis, establish a methodology for their project, conduct data analysis, and interpret the meaning of their findings. These basic elements of the scientific method also apply to quantitative research in the counseling profession. Counseling researchers use quantitative methodology to study phenomena related to human dynamics across large groups of people.
As a counseling scholar practitioner, it is important for you to develop skills to deconstruct quantitative research and determine the implications of research results for practice. In order to develop these skills, you need to be familiar with the various types of quantitative research that are commonly used in the counseling profession.
This week you examine quantitative research design and elements of quantitative analysis as they relate to counseling research. You also develop a basic understanding of how to deconstruct quantitative research and relate quantitative results to the world of practice.
By the end of this week, you should be able to:
• Analyze the implications of power and effect size on the interpretation and application of research findings
• Analyze similarities and differences in methodology among experimental designs
• Course Text: Counseling Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods
o Chapter 5, “Experimental Designs”
• Course Text: Pyrczak, F. (2013). Evaluating research in academic journals: A practical guide to realistic evaluation (5th ed.). Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.
• Article: Sink, C., & Stroh, H. (2006). Practical significance: The use of effect sizes in school counseling research. Professional School Counseling, 9(5,Special Issue), 401–411.
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