NURS 8200 Week 3 Discussion: Sampling

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The temptation to form premature theories upon insufficient data is the bane of our profession.

—Sherlock Holmes (from The Valley of Fear, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Sherlock Holmes, the great fictional logician, may have made this reprimand in reference to the science of criminal investigation, but the underlying principle holds true for all branches of research. Now that you have identified a research problem and developed hypotheses, the next step is to identify your sample and begin gathering data that will answer your research questions. The process of sampling to gather data is a crucial step in the research process in that you must be sure that the instruments and sample population mesh well with the study’s goals and objectives so that they will produce valid and reliable results.

For this Discussion, you identify a target population and sample appropriate for addressing the research problem you formulated in the Week 2 Discussion.

To prepare:

  • Review this week’s media presentation and consider Dr. Pothoff’s comments on sampling.
  • Recall the research problem, question, and hypothesis you developed in Week 2’s Discussion. With this in mind, ask yourself: What population is most relevant, and accessible, for exploring my research problem?
  • Consider how you could reach this target population to gather data. What are some challenges you might encounter?
  • Determine a data collection approach for your target population. Develop an informed rationale for selecting that approach.

By Day 3

Post a cohesive response that addresses the following questions:

  • What are the researchable populations in your area of practice? Which would be most appropriate for use in your research study?
  • What are the challenges of obtaining a sample from this population? How could you address those challenges?
  • What approach would you use to collect data from the sample? Provide a rationale for the approach you choose based on this week’s Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleague’s postings.

By Day 6

Respond to two of your colleagues in one of the following ways:

  • Provide additional strategies for addressing challenges to obtaining a sample from the identified population
  • Suggest a different population that may be appropriate for addressing the research problem
  • Summarize the strengths of the data collection method identified in the post
  • Share any problems or concerns over the identified data collection method
  • Suggest an alternative data collection method and provide your rationale

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you learned and/or any insights you gained as a result of the comments made by your colleagues.

Be sure to support your work with specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and any additional sources.

Post your responses to the Discussion based on the course requirements.

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