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Welcome to Quality Research

Social Work Research Evaluation - Conceptual framework

This refers to the manner, in which the researcher thinks about a particular topic, and enables the researcher to find out the steps which people took when they had problems so that research in the area would enable them to perform better and find out the kinds of services required by them (Neuman, 2006).
Qualitative research practices were also incorporated through the use of literature to include “key themes” in the interview questions. The range of questions covered most of the areas including agency demographics, student activities, outcomes of the practicum, economic and personal costs to the concerned organizations and how the practicum has benefitted the organization itself.

Design and Methodology 

Methodology refers to the theoretical orientation of the research and whether the research is qualitative or quantitative in nature. Research is qualitative when the main concepts of the research are examined through the data collected, primarily through interviews and observations (Neuman, 2006).

Information is collected by the researcher to answer the specific questions (Wendt) and in this case the participants were interviewed by telephone to accumulate data and information, which serve as tools or instruments in the research study (Wendt). The authors used a “structured survey” or interview method in addition to interview the focus group of 43 supervisors to record their experiences on the advantages and disadvantages of student placement. Interviews were administered using the “computer-assisted” telephone interview system and were conducted by professional and experienced staff members. The interviews were not simple “yes-no’ questions rather a variety of closed, open ended and scaled questions to seek answers to the proposed hypothesis. The study is “exploratory” with supervisors and the primary focus group. Interviews were conducted using open-ended qualitative questions and the data analysis was primarily descriptive with variables being measured at insignificant levels. The population and sample primarily includes field teachers with prior experience with training and placements of social work students. Consent forms were sent to participants mainly from Australia. Out of the forty-seven consent forms sent to participants, forty-three were interviewed. However, the population is not broad based and the sample selected was only restricted to the Australian scenario.

Demographic findings indicate that of the 43 supervisors interviewed, 12 were from NGO agencies while 31 were from government agencies. Of 43, 42 agencies had an “established” background by virtue of more than 3 years of experience. Practicum experience of the respondents was such that about 44 % of them had been full time supervisors and about 37% had been part time supervisors. Location demographics indicate that more than 20% of the respondents were from rural locations, about 37% were regional based and about 25% of the respondents were from metropolitan areas. Length of practicum of respondents varied between 2 to 3 months with majority of them having supervised for a period of seventy days. It was also found that about 35% of the practicum focused on course work and about 36 % focused on projects. The remaining focused had a mixed focus.

(This is only a random excerpt and should strictly be used as a sample only. To view the complete paper, click here)