Teacher Response to Module #5: Hope We’re Still Friends ;-)

My peer review of your modules is complete and has been posted as individual feedback on Blackboard.

You do NOT have to make all the changes I suggested by the due date of the final project, nor should you try

Please remember that my goal here was to replicate the peer review process as much as possible. I thus responded like I respond to actual articles that come in for academic journals or conferences I am part of, which are the venues that all of you chose.

You might want to focus on 1-2 of my critiques and revise for those by the final due date for the project. DON’T TRY TO DO THEM ALL. It takes time to revise-and-resubmit, which is the response that all of you got.

Remember when I said that the write-up is the hardest part?

You have all conducted sound pilot studies. I would have told you by now if they weren’t sound, but writing about those studies is like a whole different skill set. You have to explain every in-and-out of your study and why you made the choices you did in a genre that you have never written in before.

Research articles and presentations are NOT the same as the papers you write in school, unfortunately. I think they should be, but this extra-curricular genre is so hard to write that I think a lot of faculty balk at trying to teach it. Really, we need a whole class in how to write these things. Not just one module in one class (or a few classes).

No one should even THINK about redoing your study

Don’t get discouraged by my peer reviews. No one gets write-ups right the first time, or probably even the 12th time, to be totally honest. And my reviews did focus on THE WRITING, not the research.

The way you describe your study, honestly, is more important than the way you conduct it. A lot of people would shoot me for saying that, but even if you do the best study in the world, if you never publish on it, no one will ever know about it, thus proving my point.

But you need to do an “actual” study before publishing, anyway

Please also remember that these are pilots, meaning that you CAN’T PUBLISH ON THEM IN ACADEMIC VENUES, YET. Some venues allow for the publication of pilot studies, but most don’t. If you’re not sure, write your venue’s editor and ask if they publish pilot studies.

The big hurdle is IRB: most academic publications require that research be conducted in consultation with an IRB.

That being said, IRB is just a submission away: http://www.ecu.edu/irb/. Well, the¬†first thing you need to do is register for ePirate: http://bit.ly/1iCB7Cw. Here are directions for doing so if you’re unfamiliar with this system: http://myweb.ecu.edu/ohri/registration-ecuusers.mp4. When you do register, be sure you mark “I am a study coordinator or staff member of a research study team” as one of the roles you’re willing to fulfill.

Then you’ll need to complete your IRB training by going to http://www.citiprogram.org, creating an account, logging in, and completing the “Behavioral and social sciences investigators and key personnel basic course.”

Then, after all that, you can submit your study by going to ePirate:¬†http://bit.ly/1s0pDwl. The just three short weeks later, voila! Yeah, it’s a lengthy, bureaucratic process.

Once you get IRB, you should collect new data

I often do pilots before conducting the “real” study, because they teach me a lot about that real study, which is often larger in scope. The real study is also an opportunity to get better data. What information did you need from participants that you failed to get? What are new kinds of participants you might recruit? Do you need to refine your research questions?

About the criteria I used for the peer reviews

The criteria I used are pretty standard for any academic venue. Let me explain a bit more about each criterion.

Significance/purpose: This is an assessment of what kind of contribution the research is for its specific venue. Is it new? Timely? Compelling? Does it build on existing scholarship, but contribute novel findings?

Methodology: This is an assessment of how sound the framework for your study is. Do the research questions match up with the theory, methods, and findings? Is there a clear connection between all these elements?

Findings: Are the findings articulated in sufficient detail that they are understandable, even to a well-educated non-specialist? Are they a direct response to the research questions? Are they significant? Is the “so what” of your findings clear?

Style: What about the language used in the study? Is it clear? Does it make as little use of jargon as possible? Are there concepts or passages that could be better explained?

Leave a Reply