These evaluative exercises from the Introduction to Research course demonstrate my understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as the principles and methods used to assess the actual and potential value of new research.
Operationalization allows abstract concepts to be made concrete and measurable, or quantitative. In the “Operationalizing Neighborliness” assignment, I break down the process of turning the abstract concept of neighborliness into quantitative, measurable characteristics. This process is one of the fundamentals of quantitative research.
The remaining documents demonstrate assessment of the actual and potential value of the research papers they discuss. The “Hypothesis and Testing” assignment and the “Sex Sells Analysis” assignment require that I answer a series of pointed questions intended to teach students to recognize areas of focus for analysis in the associated research. The final of the four included assignments, “Content Analysis: NFL Inclusivity” requires that I complete a research analysis on my own. The final class assignment, which I chose not to include here as I’ve used it in other areas of the portfolio, was a complete literature review.
This course and these assignments have helped me perfect my ability to analyze complex problems and create appropriate solutions, not only in regard to formal, academic research, but also in regard to defining service population groups and determining community needs. Appropriate solutions, then, in the form of programs and services to patrons, evolve from that analysis. I regularly put these skills to use in writing service plans that require statistical analysis of the local community, and expect to continue to do so in the future.