Designing an At-Risk Prevention Study using Supplemental Instruction
Dr. Name is worried about the many students who are at-risk of failing his introductory psychology course at City College, PSY 10200. He knows that almost 60% of students drop out of City College and most never obtain a degree. And even though 1 in 6 CCNY graduates is a psychology major, his course has the highest withdrawal rate (after calculus) on campus. Thus, he wants to implement some intervention that will help at-risk students pass his course. He decides on a system of supplemental instruction, or SI, in which trained graduate students hold special weekly sessions to review course material and focus on problem areas. Dr.Name would like to conduct a research study to evaluate the effectiveness of SI in his course for at-risk students. You have been hired as a consultant to submit a research proposal to Dr. Name, based on his suggestions, which you are free to accept or reject.
He wants to compare students who utilize SI to those who don’t, but he’s worried that if he intentionally withholds SI from some students (say, in the control group) it may cause them to fail the course. Also, he’s not sure how to operationally define at-risk students or course success. He wants to ensure that at-risk students take advantage of SI, but many of them have outside work and so can’t attend the SI sessions. Also, some attend SI sessions less consistently than others. In fact, he’s found in the past that it’s actually the better students, and not the at-risk students, who tend to use SI, perhaps because poor students are reluctant to admit they have a learning problem. Finally, Dr. Namethinks that if SI is made unavailable to some students (control group), they may seek help in other ways, such as paying more visits to their teaching assistants. He wants you to determine how to conduct the study, operationally defining the variables, and control for effects of outside work, TA visits, reluctance of at-risk students, and intentional withholding of SI.
Your job is to write a research proposal with 4 headings: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Within each heading, answer each of the following questions. For the Introduction, you will need some background material found in this newspaper article: “Who Gets to Graduate”, written by Paul Tough, and published in the New York Times on May 15, 2014. It can be found at: http://nyti.ms/1sQVs83
Preferred language style US English