Assignment Three Site and Participant Selection Memo

The goal of this memo is to clearly define the criteria you will use to determine a specific setting and select the participants for a study. Also, in this memo, you should explain how the methods chosen in these realms align with the study’s research questions and goals.

Potential topics to discuss include the following:

  • How the proposed methods map onto your research questions
  • Site selection criteria (identify and challenge them, present a rationale for each criterion)
  • Participant selection criteria (identify and challenge them, present a rationale for each criterion)
  • Identification, justification, and limitations of/for all methodological choices
  • Issues of/concerns about representation for site, participants, and researcher(s) in relation to the study topic, goals, and setting
  • Your positionality/social location and its role in informing biases and assumptions for all or some of the above choices

Research Design Memo

The goal of this memo is to systematically reflect on your emerging research topic and research questions (and the goals and concepts that shape them) and to relate these to the plan for your data collection methods and processes. An important aspect of this memo is to pay attention to how your research engages criticality in its approach to understanding context, including the impact of macro sociopolitics on the setting and participants, as well as to set up a research design that seeks this and other kinds of complexity and contextualization through a rigorous process of reflexive engagement and methods consideration. (Example 3.4 demonstrates how a research design memo can be structured.)

Here are topics to consider exploring in a research design memo:

  • Iterated research questions
  • How/if the questions have changed and why
  • Description of the goals of refined research questions (and, if helpful, how they differ from the earlier questions)
  • Site selection criteria and rationale questions/concerns/ideas
  • Participant selection criteria and rationale questions/concerns/ideas
  • Synopsis of intended methods
  • How/if these have changed and why
  • Goals of each method and rationale for each method

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