Help with final part of project due in 24 hours

Get perfect grades by consistently using www.assignmentgeeks.org. Place your order and get a quality paper today. Take advantage of our current 20% discount by using the coupon code GET20


Order a Similar Paper Order a Different Paper

due in 24 hours

attached

Final Action Research Project

THE FINAL DRAFT

It is time to put the Research Project into final form. (Please read the material on formatting again.)

Do not forget to insert your certification page and Appendix A & B.

Please refer to the sample paper

Next, write the final Table of Contents. This is done after collating all the parts of the report, including the Appendices. Be sure you have the necessary title pages and that all pages are numbered correctly.

Please complete chapters 5,6, & 7.

Chapter 5- Summary of results

Chapter 6- Conclusion & recommendations

Chapter 7- Reflections.

THE UNPREPARED AND UNEMPLOYED COLLEGE GRADUATE

A Senior Project Presented to the Organizational Management Program

In partial fulfillment of the requirements

for the Organizational Management Program

Name

Dr. Shirley Johnson



Certification Page

This is to certify that the Business Application Project prepared

By

Entitled: The Unprepared and Unemployed College Graduate

Has been accepted by the Degree Completion Program Name.

Signed:

Business Application Project Facilitator Date

This Business Application Project (
is
/is not) to be regarded as confidential and its use as a sample in future classes is
(restricted
/not restricted).

Site Contact

ABSTRACT

Career preparation and development is one of the most important developmental processes in a student’s college experience. When students matriculate through college they are seeking to receive a college education and ultimately a college degree in a specific field of study. Deciding on a career is a developmental process, marked by significant events and experiences. Employers want well-rounded students that enhance their in classroom education with key career-related experiences. While students are matriculating through college, it is the institution’s responsibility to ensure that they are producing a well-rounded student ready to be successful in their field of study. Students at ________ College are not engaged in professional development programs while matriculating through college because the one area that is not focused on is career awareness and job placement. As they prepare for graduation and attempt to face the uncertainty of the avenue of their career, the second primary function of the _______ College is to build a bridge of opportunity by equipping and preparing students with a solid career plan.

The problem at ________ College is students aren’t learning what they need to compete for the jobs that exist in their field of study. As the students are preparing to graduate, they are not employed in their field of study and not prepared to enter workforce. Students spend four to five years at the institution and during that time receive little to no professional training that will prepare them to enter the workforce. Today’s college graduates are entering a highly competitive job market, so it is essential and imperative that they receive adequate training to compete effectively with other college graduates. Some of the graduates will indeed find a job despite worse macroeconomic conditions, others might choose to pursue post-graduate education, and but the majority will join the pool of the unemployed. During high unemployment rates, the number of job candidates in the market is higher than the number of available jobs. _________ College should strive to empower a diverse student population that will actively be prepared to seek their career choices in the global marketplace. There needs to be a professional development program in place to develop the best-prepared job seekers, and to maximize students’ chances for success by providing highly personalized services.

In this research, it is the plan to survey sixty- seven out of one hundred and fifteen traditional graduating students. After the surveys are conducted, the results will be inconclusive and it will demonstrate whether or not the institution has provided adequate services to the students and prepared them for the workforce while matriculating at the institution.

In conducting this research, the data and experiment proved the hypothesis to be conclusive. Traditional graduating students at ________ are not prepared to work in their field of study because there are no professional training development programs in place for traditional college students to mandatory attend. ______ College is students aren’t learning what they need to compete for the jobs that exist in their field of study.

The main purpose of this research was to provide proof that students who graduate from _________ College are not receiving any professional development training to prepare them for their field of study. In the end, the recommendation is to implement a professional development curriculum so that students will receive the training that is needed to be successful in their field of study. Once the institution corrects this problem students will be prepared to be successful in their field of study.

TABLE CONTENTS

Chapter One

Statement of Purpose………………………………………………………………………..1

Setting of the Problem………………………..………………………………………..1

History and Background………………………………………………………………..2 -3

Scope of Project………………………………………………………………………..3-4

Importance/Significance of the Project…………………………………………………4

Chapter Two

Literature Review……………………………………………………………………….5-10

Chapter Three

Methodology……………………………………………………………………………11-12

Demonstration of Intervention – Statement of Objective……………………………..13

Statement of Objective…………………………………………………………………13

Demonstration of Intervention- The Professional Development Academy……………13-15

Chapter Four

Evaluation Plan…………………………………………………………………………16

Data Analysis……………………………………………………………………………16

Limitation of the Data Collection Plan………………………………………………………………..17-18

Chapter Five

Summary of Results…………………………………………………………………….19

Chapter Six

Conclusion and Recommendation……………………………………………………..20

Chapter Seven

Reflections……………………………………………………………………………..21

Reference List…………………………………………………………………………..22 – 23

Appendix of Appendices

Appendix A……………………………………………………………………………..24-25

Appendix B……………………………………………………………………………..26

Appendix C……………………………………………………………………………..27

Appendix D……………………………………………………………………………..28

Appendix E……………………………………………………………………………..29

Appendix F……………………………………………………………………………..30

Appendix G……………………………………………………………………………..31

Appendix H……………………………………………………………………………..32

Running head: THE UNPREPARED AND UNEMPLOYED COLLEGE GRADUATE

– 4 –

Running head: THE UNPREPARED AND UNEMPLOYED COLLEGE GRADUATE

Appendix I……………………………………………………………………………….33

4

CHAPTER 1

Statement of Purpose

Traditional graduating students at __________ College are not prepared to work in their field of study because there are no professional training development programs in place for traditional college students to mandatory attend.

The Setting of the Problem

___________ College is distinctively, (state) oldest independent institution of higher learning. It is a small, private, Christian, Historically Black, urban, co-educational Liberal Arts College offering nine quality baccalaureate degree programs in the disciplines of Business Administration, Biology, Criminal Justice, Department of Humanities Music and Fine Arts and Religion, Mass Communication, Mathematics and Science, Psychology, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Teacher’s Education. _____ is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Since its inception, the College has attracted students from throughout the country, and abroad, by offering a rare trio of rich academic, cultural and spiritual experiences to shape its scholars into independent thinkers and impactful citizens of the world. The College is governed by a Board of Trustees and each member serves a three-year term. The current composition of the board consists of one student, one faculty representative, and six lay persons. The remainder of the board is comprised of representatives from the Eleventh Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. ________ College exists to strive to prepare students holistically to advance globally through the provision of intellectually stimulating programs. _________ College seeks to develop excellence in scholarship, research and service for a betterment of humanity.

The Division of Academic Affairs is an urban higher education model that is recognized nationally for excellent academic programs and effective, innovative teaching and learning strategies for diverse, urban student populations. Embracing Christian principles and a spirit of servant leadership, the Division of Academic Affairs will be a leader in promoting excellence and ethics, student engagement, community service and service learning, relevant and contemporary teaching methodologies, and community-oriented research. The Division of Academic Affairs is the nucleus of the academic enterprise at ______ College and offers high-quality baccalaureate degree programs. In an academically challenging, student-centered environment, the Division of Academic Affairs provides rigorous and relevant undergraduate programs that incorporate intellectually stimulating curricula, problem-based and active learning, effective teaching strategies, academic technology, experiential learning opportunities, and diverse instructional delivery systems.

Through ongoing faculty development, the Division of Academic Affairs promotes a culture that nourishes and supports research activities, excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The Division of Academic Affairs endeavors to produce graduates who are well-prepared academically committed to the principles of excellence and ethics.

History and Background of the Problem

Traditional graduating students at ______ College are not prepared to work in their field of study is because there are no professional training development programs in place for them to mandatory attend. Traditional students matriculate for four to five years at the institution, but receive no professional training development courses or workshops to prepare them to work in their field of study. Students in the traditional program are graduating with a degree in their field of study, but no experience as well as no professional development to train them for what Corporate America is seeking in college graduates. Students are expecting to go into their careers as a “manager” or an executive just because they have obtained a degree in their field of study. As more students have struggled to find a place in a depressed job market and questions about the employment value of a college degree have intensified, so too has concern that new graduates are not equipped to function in the work place and are not meeting employers’ expectations. When students are faced with this kind of opposition, this prevents them from working effectively because they are not meeting the employers’ expectations.

Scope of the Project

As students fail to obtain jobs in their field of study because of not having professional development training, students are faced with seeking jobs that are not in their field of study or unemployment. Traditional students at ________ College have faced this scenario for years. During their senior year, traditional students are asked to present a professional resume and to complete a survey for statistical research purposes so that the institution can track and survey who is working in their field of study and who is not working in their field of study or not working at all. When the traditional students submit the survey and the resume, it usually has volunteer information that has been conformed into work experience or summer jobs that does not match their field of study. This is the scope of the problem for traditional students at Edward Waters College. It is at this point that the traditional students realize that they are not prepared to face corporate America because they have not been properly trained for their career while they were in college. In the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at _______ College, the surveys that were done by the graduates show that out of sixty-seven graduates, only two graduates had jobs that were in their field of study at the time of the survey, the rest of them were unemployed. The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for engaging and making sure that students acquire a degree in higher education, but, no one is responsible for making sure that the students find quality work in their field of study once they graduate from ____ College. This is another perspective of the problem that the researcher is addressing. Since there are no professional development programs in place for the traditional students to mandatory attend before they graduate and equip traditional students to be prepared to work in their field of study, the researcher is recommending that the Office of Academic Affairs implement professional development programs into the academia of the students curriculum so that they can grow professionally as they go through the college academically.

Importance/Significance of the Project

The importance of traditional students having professional development programs during their matriculation at ________ College is extremely beneficial to the students. Traditional college students can prepare for a competitive job market by choosing their discipline wisely, selecting the most effective courses, and seeking effective internships that will guarantee them a job opportunity once the college student graduates. As stated in the aforementioned, during the students’ senior year, traditional students are asked to present a professional resume and to complete a survey for statistical research purposes so that the institution can track and survey who is working in their field of study and who is not working in their field of study or not working at all. If a majority of the traditional students are not working in their field of study or not working at all, the significance and the importance of having professional development programs during their matriculation at ________ College is extremely detrimental to the traditional students who desires to be successful in their career.

CHAPTER 2

Literature Review

Every year, recent graduates of _______ College enter the job market with newly crisp degrees and high hopes about their employment prospects. Today’s college graduates are entering a highly competitive job market, so it is essential and imperative that these traditional college students receive adequate training to compete effectively with other college graduates. According to Toland (2011), “When businesses work with education to create opportunities for students to advance academically and in their careers, employers, colleges, and individuals can all succeed.” Traditional students at ________ College have an inadequate understanding of how to properly conduct a successful job search and also lack some of the tools and skills necessary to locate and acquire a job. Students graduating from college in a bad economy have to adjust to a tighter labor market. As stated in Grasgreen (2013), “As more students have struggled to find a place in a depressed job market and questions about the employment value of a college degree have intensified, so too has the concern that new graduates are not equipped to function in the work place and are not meeting employers’ expectations.” Some of these recent graduates will indeed find a job despite worse macroeconomic conditions, others might choose to pursue post-graduate education, but the majority will join the pool of the unemployed. During high unemployment rates, the number of job candidates in the market is higher than the number of available jobs.

An earned degree doesn’t get the job. Traditional students at ________ College are constantly competing with students globally who have had more experience and training than they had while they were in school. As stated in Singletary (2012) “Not all college majors are created equal.” In other words, as the students are preparing to graduate, they are not employed in their field of study and not prepared to enter the workforce. Students spend four to five years at the institution and during that time receive little to no professional development training that will prepare them to enter the workforce. As stated in Barkin (1999) “Too many students aren’t sure what job they could get after four, five or even six years of studying a certain major”(p. 35).

The following section will scholarly support the hypothesis that _____________- College traditional students are not prepared for the workforce because there are no proper professional development programs implemented into their curriculum.

I. Reasons why College Graduates Can’t Get Hired – Lack of Skills

In comparing ________ College traditional students to students at the _________ College, they have similar challenges. When the _________ College conducted a similar survey, according to White (2013), “more than 60% of employers say applicants’ lack ‘communication’ and interpersonal skills.” Students tend to speak how they text or converse with their peers which is unprofessional. Without professional development programs implemented into the curriculum the college is setting the students up for an unsuccessful career. Supervisors are looking for college graduates to have organizational and interpersonal skills as well as a professional look. As stated in White (2013) “As it turns out, they can’t even show up on time in a button-down shirt and organize a team project.” Employers desire college graduates that can excel in their job and are successful. When the college graduate is not successful, this hurts the employer and the company. On the other hand, over ninety percent of the students at _______ College lack communication and interpersonal skills. Students have not been properly trained how to conduct interviews or how to construct a professional resume. As stated in Planin (2014), “Many managers also said that today’s applicants can’t think critically and creatively, solve problems or write well.” Students will have a challenging time being marketable if professional development training is not provided.

II. Ineffective Internships

Students need to be able to have soft skill sets and organizational skills in order to be successful in a career. Traditional students at _______ College are not given effective internships to empower them the skills that they need for their field of study.

According to Sanburn (2012), “And all internships are not created equal. Overall, only about half of college grads say they’re prepared for the workplace — and the number of bosses who think they’re prepared is lower than 40%.” Students at ______ College spend a great deal of time on unrelated jobs that are substituted as internships such as on campus work study and working in retail or in the food industry. Ineffective internships for traditional students at _________ College need to stand out as far as experienced graduates in their field of study. When students do unpaid internships they can find it extremely unfulfilling regarding no compensation and work experience. The worst part of it all, the students are not offered a permanent job once they graduate. According to Sanburn (2012), “As it turned out, Wang’s internship was just like many of the thousands of others: unrewarding in terms of both pay and marketable experience — not to mention the lack of a job offer.” College students who transition from the classroom to summer internships are not benefitting from them. Employers view an internship as the single most important credential for recent graduates more than where the graduate went to school or what they majored in. By having a well-structured internship, students learn soft skills like boosting their ability to communicate with management and colleagues, which can enhance their interview performance later on. Unfortunately, good interview performance is lacking in many interviewees, and this may mean that at least two internships should be implemented as a requirement for the students to increase the students’ workplace skills.

III. No Professional Development Training

Professional Development is a critical necessity in today’s educational environment. Students at _________ College are not receiving professional development training to ensure that they are prepared for a career in their field of study. As they prepare for graduation and attempt to face the uncertainty of the avenue of their career, the institution should make sure that they educate, empower and employ students while matriculating through college. When students matriculate through the institution, the one area that is not focused on is professional development and career awareness. It is unfortunate because students feel that they ‘know it all’ and do not need professional training but eventually fail to get the job. According to Johnson (2011), “More than half of employers said finding qualified applicants is difficult, and just fewer than half thought students should receive specific workplace training rather than a more broad-based education.” Throughout the students’ matriculation, there should be training in place at all levels. Companies are not hiring college graduates because they lack career readiness such as professional dress, interpersonal skills and punctuality. According to Planin (2014), “Companies say candidates are lacking in motivation, interpersonal skills, appearance, punctuality and flexibility.” Students’ do not desire to dress in a suit and tie or a dress, pantyhose and closed in 2 inch heels. When students take it upon themselves to prepare for a job interview, they feel that a polo shirt, a pair of wrinkled khakis or a short skirt ( above the knee) and a tight fitting blouse and 4 inch strapped shoe is professional dressed. This is a critical issue for college students. According to Johnson (2011), “Many employers believe colleges aren’t adequately preparing students for jobs.” Employers need students to obtain a degree of higher learning. At the same time, the employer request that during the students’ matriculation they acquire professional development training so that they can be an asset to the company. According to Johnson (2011), “Colleges and universities are pandering to the students and giving them what they want, instead of what the employers want,” she said. “I don’t think you have to make a distinction between getting skills and getting an education. We need to do both.”

Professional development training should be implemented as early as freshmen year. The professional development training, a career development academy of classes, would be implemented into their academic curriculum within four phases for the students to “grow as the go.” As freshmen, instead just taking the normal college success, all freshmen would be required take a “Career Awareness” class. This would be the foundation of the four phases to learn about the culture of career awareness, the importance of professional behavior in the workplace, explore basis office and professional etiquette and identify the student’s career potential. By the time the student completes this course they will ascertain and complete the goals needed to move to the next level. By the students’ sophomore year, the second phase that would be purposed to be implemented as part of their degree plan would be a class in Career Exploration. This phase would offer lessons in how to draft a resume and identify students work experiences and skills. Also, the students would be required to attend professional development workshops with college-partnered companies to further enhance their knowledge. At the junior level, traditional students of ______ College would be required to take “Career Experience” class. At this level, students will be required to start exploring their two mandatory internship and future employment opportunities. Students will be required to identify prospective employment opportunities and two internships within their major. By the second semester as a junior, the students should be well versed in obtaining an internship to be completed by the end of the first semester in their senior year. As the students advance to a senior year status, students would be required to complete the “Transition from College to Career” class. At this crossroad, students will have perfected all of the aforementioned skills needed to compete in their career globally. Students would have attained a wealth of career awareness and planning knowledge. At this level of successful planning, students would have completed their required internships in their major field of study. This would give them the edge that they need to receive job offers before graduation. As stated in Grasgreen (2013), “Colleges need to make sure their curriculums align with the way companies work today, with fast-paced technology and social media changing data collection and communication. Employers should articulate to colleges what they’re looking for in employees, and help make sure that what they’re teaching is useful.” Students need this professional development training throughout their matriculation so that they can communicate effectively, be adaptable, marketable and professionally equip to be successful in their career. According to Boisjolie (2012) “Recent graduates too often don’t know how to communicate effectively. And they have trouble adapting, problem solving and making decisions – things employers say they should have learned in college.” It is ________ College responsibility to provide an academy of professional development training classes as part of their education curriculum to the students so that they can ultimately be prepared to transition successfully into their career once they graduate from the institution.

CHAPTER 3

Methodology

In finding out whether or not the researcher’s hypothesis is true, a research survey questionnaire must be developed and implemented. The key to developing a good survey questionnaire is to keep it short while ensuring that all of the information that is needed will be captured. Surveys can help decide what needs changing, what problems there might be, or lots of other questions that may arise at any time. Gathering information is an important way to help people make decisions about topics of interest. The reason why a survey will be used during this research is because it will give the answer any question about the hypothesis or topic. As stated in Applegate (2002), “The best part about surveys is that they can be used to answer any question about any topic,” (p. 25).

A survey is a way to collect information directly from people in a systematic and standardized way. The survey that was developed will be used to provide factual evidence to support the hypothesis. The researcher plans to take the data received from the survey and utilize it to support her hypothesis. When the survey questionnaire is distributed, the data received will capture the information needed for the research paper. The survey will be the documentations provided from the students that will prove that the career planning and placement department has not provided the resources and professional development programs to prepare the students for the workforce.

When using a survey to receive information, it is important to be concise about the information needed. Surveys are essential to seeking factual evidence and revealing any issues or problem. The reason why a survey is an essential part of the statistical process is because it shows what is actually happening in reality. By implementing a survey questionnaire in the research paper, the learner will be able to add credibility to the research. There are three major benefits in using a survey within the specified organization. The first major benefit is that surveys places emphasis on authentic data. Surveys are an excellent way to receive information first hand and not heresy. The second advantage is that surveys are a strong quantitative methodology when used correctly. The last advantage is that surveys are inexpensive and is not time consuming. The challenges in using a survey are that the students may not feel comfortable providing answers that present themselves in an unfavorable manor. The second challenge in using a survey is that students may not feel encouraged to provide accurate, honest answers because of perception of the way they were treated. The last challenge in using a survey is that surveys with closed-ended questions may have a lower validity rate than other question types.

Once the researcher agreed on a research question, the next decision that had to be made was what would be the best way to conduct the survey. Due to time constraints, the researcher had to personally hand out surveys instead of sending them to people through the Internet or mail. By handing out the surveys, it would guarantee immediate responses. It was also convenient to hand out the surveys personally because the researcher was able give discuss it with other classmates. The next thing was to compose the research survey questionnaire and implement it. The procedure that was used to develop the research survey questionnaire was extremely detailed and precise. The main idea of the survey was to capture the opinion of the students regarding how they viewed how much guidance and training they received to be prepared for the workforce once they graduate. Students are procrastinators and think that everything should be given to them. Students also do not realize that they are not prepared for something until they are actually faced with it. As stated in Savage (2003), “Landing a job is a skill that students need for a lifetime of employment, and a critical part of a complete college education comes from learning to develop great skills” (p. 273).

Demonstration of Intervention – Statement of Objective

The transition from collegiate life to working professional is a large one. As stated in the aforementioned, it is _________ College responsibility to educate, empower and employ the traditional students while they matriculate through the institution. When college students graduate with no professional development training for the workforce and are unemployed in their field of study, it demonstrates that there needs to be an intervention in place to support the future success of these students.

Statement of Objective

The objective is recommend starting in the Fall of 2014, the Department of Academic Affairs should provide mandatory professional development training to all traditional students at ________ College during the four to five years of their college career so that once they graduate from the institution, they can be well prepared to succeed in their field of study.

Demonstration of Intervention- The Professional Development Academy

The intervention plan of action is to implement a career planning and placement curriculum into the _______ College traditional students’ academic degree plan for them to receive professional career training and graduate prepared for a successful career. The purposed career development part of the academic curriculum would be called “The Professional Development Academy.” These credited career-development focused classes will enhance, educate and empower traditional students about professional development while preparing them to be successful in their field of study while they are taking educational courses. The students will have the opportunity to be advised and trained in the area of professional career-development through several courses: online soft skills training, developing a resume, mock interviewing, elevator pitch, etiquette at work and other professional development training in classification phases as they matriculate through college. As stated in chapter 2, as freshmen, instead just taking the normal college success, all traditional freshmen would be required take two three-credited “Career Awareness” classes. This would be the foundation of the four phases to learn about the culture of career awareness, the importance of professional behavior in the workplace, explore basis office and professional etiquette and identify the student’s career potential. By the time the student completes this course they will ascertain and complete the goals needed to move to the next level. By the students’ sophomore year, the second phase that would be purposed to be implemented as part of their degree plan would be a class in Career Exploration. This phase would offer lessons in how to draft a resume and identify students work experiences and skills. Also, the students would be required to attend professional development workshops with college-partnered companies to further enhance their knowledge. At the junior level, traditional students of _________ College would be required to take “Career Experience” class. At this level, students will be required to start exploring their two mandatory internship and future employment opportunities. Students will be required to identify prospective employment opportunities and two internships within their major. By the second semester as a junior, the students should be well versed in obtaining one of the two internships to be completed by the end of the first semester in their senior year. As the students advance to a senior year status, students would be required to complete the “Transition from College to Career” class. At this crossroad, the students will have perfected all of the aforementioned skills needed to compete in their career globally. Students would have attained a wealth of career awareness and planning knowledge. At this level of successful planning, students would have completed their required internships in their major field of study. This would give them the edge that they need to receive job offers before graduation. See Appendix “D” for the Pyramid diagram for a visual description of the career development part of the academic curriculum.

CHAPTER 4

Evaluation Plan

In order to develop a detailed plan of evaluation for this research, a research survey questionnaire assessment of sixty-seven traditional seniors who graduated in May 2013 need to first be conducted to determine whether or not the hypothesis theory is true. Once the survey is assessed, the data will need to be scrubbed and analyzed. The results and findings from the data will prove the hypothesis theory or reject the hypothesis theory.

Data Analysis

In the research plan, it is the plan to survey sixty-seven traditional graduating seniors out of one hundred and eighteen graduating senior students at ________ College. The reason why this group was selected is because this group of seniors was affected by administration changes within the institution and received no career awareness training. The researcher will find out whether or not _________ College has provided adequate services to the students and prepared them for the workforce in their field of study while matriculating at the institution. The theory that is going to be used would be the hypothesis theory. The hypothesis theory provides the researcher with a structural analytical method for making decisions of this type. To formulate the hypothesis the researcher used the null and alternative hypotheses. The null hypothesis is a statement about the sample values that was tested. The null hypothesis will be rejected only if the data provided has contradictory evidence. The alternative hypothesis includes all the values not covered by the null hypothesis. The alternative hypothesis is to be true if the null hypothesis is rejected.

Limitation of the Data Collection Plan

The essentials of the research survey questionnaire was to implement a systematic way of asking people to volunteer information about their opinions and beliefs regarding how prepared are they for the workforce. Identifying and writing survey questions is an important aspect of any survey process. Special precautions were made to remove bias in the data. The researcher did not include the students that were in the BEEP, CSX or JEA professional development program. The researcher preferred to receive direct answers from the participants to ensure concrete and concise results at the end of the survey. The way the survey questions perform, the adequacy with which they obtain the desired information, has a greater influence on the results of the survey than any other single part of the process. Therefore, careful consideration was taken when constructing the survey questionnaire. The type of questions that was chosen for this particular research survey was closed end questions. Closed-ended, or multiple choice, questions ask the group of participants to choose an answer from list of alternatives. In the opinion of the researcher, closed-ended or multiple-choice questions are easier for the participants to answer. They are also easier to analyze and tabular than open-ended questions. Closed-ended questions reduce changes of participants’ bias opinion on a particular subject. In a closed-ended or multiple-choice survey, questions are well administered and structural towards goal of survey compare to open-ended survey questions. As stated in Hightower and Scott (2012), “Some researchers prefer closed-ended or multiple-choice questions to gather quantitative data.” Another reason why the researcher chose to use closed-ended questions for this research is because it limits the participants’ input into the wording of answers, but ensures that the researcher or other people are not influencing the answer by randomly encouraging elaboration or making suggestions for answers. The survey tool that was created consisted of five questions focusing on the opinion of sixty-seven out of one hundred and eighteen traditional senior students at ________ College. Before the students were given the survey questionnaire a pilot-test was done. The pilot-test is useful for demonstrating the survey’s reliability. As stated in Kelley. K, Clark, B., Brown, V. and Sitzia, J. (2003) “the pilot test is a good way to determine the necessary sample size needed for experimental designs.” When a survey questionnaire is pilot tested it ensures that each question is valid, all the words are understood, whether or not the questions are answered correctly and whether or not the questions apply to each of the students. The sample for the pilot test were the same questions as the actual survey just given to a different selection of students. The pilot test was done on five students where graduates of the Class of 2012. This was extremely motivating as well as intriguing. Those students were extremely cooperative and were concise in their opinion. The results were different than the actual survey that was conducted because four out of five of the students that were selected ended graduated with jobs that they were already working but not in their field of study. The sampling technique that was used was based on convenience sampling. The researcher decided to have a sample size of sixty-seven participants because the researcher felt that it would be feasible, considering the time constraints. To further expedite the surveying process, each the survey was done during a meet and greet so that each person did the survey immediately. After each person had their surveys filled out, the results were placed into Microsoft Excel. This made the process easy and less time consuming. Formulizing the results after receiving the surveys back made it easy to begin analyzing.

CHAPTER 5

Summary of Results

The researcher proceeded to formulate the results from the survey. The raw data was scrubbed into a histogram, pie chart and bar graph to demonstrate the results. Out of sixty seven traditional students that were about to graduate with college degrees, only three students were working in their field of study. Out of sixty seven students that were about to graduate with college degrees, only two students were in management trainee programs in their field of study at the time of graduation. Students indicated that they did not feel that they were prepared for their career in their field of study. The students realized that they lack professional development skills that should have been taught while they were matriculating and is an issue for them now that they are facing their career in their field of study.

They hypothesis was proven to be correct. Traditional graduating students at _______ College are not prepared to work in their field of study because there are no professional training development programs in place for traditional college students to mandatory attend.

In other words, as the students are preparing to graduate, they are not employed in their field of study and not prepared to enter workforce. Students spend four to five years at the institution and during that time receive little to no professional training that will prepare them to enter the workforce. The results in the research also confirmed that the institution did not deliver a well-rounded college graduate because they are not professionally qualified to work efficiently and effectively in corporate America. If the students were asked to do a task regarding professional development they would not have an understanding how to apply those skills to the workplace.

CHAPTER 6

Conclusion and Recommendation

As stated in the aforementioned, professional development is a critical necessity in today’s educational environment. Students at ______ College are not receiving professional development training to ensure that they are prepared for a career in their field of study. Traditional graduating students at _______ College are not prepared to work in their field of study because there are no professional training development programs in place for traditional college students to mandatory attend. The study demonstrated that out of sixty seven traditional students that were about to graduate with college degrees, only three students were working in their field of study. The study also proved that out of sixty seven students that were about to graduate with college degrees, only two students were in management trainee programs in their field of study at the time of graduation.

The purposed recommendation is starting in the Fall of 2014, the Department of Academic Affairs should provide mandatory professional development training to all traditional students at _______ College during the four to five years of their college career so that once they graduate from the institution, they can be well prepared to succeed in their field of study. The purposed career development part of the academic curriculum would be called “The Professional Development Academy.” These credited career-development focused classes will enhance, educate and empower traditional students about professional development while preparing them to be successful in their field of study while they are taking educational courses. The students will have the opportunity to be advised and trained in the area of professional career-development and other professional development training in classification phases as they matriculate through college.

Chapter 7

Reflections

In everyday life I am constantly researching various things and researching how to perfect my craft. I have learned that not everyone is equal to being determined to get the job done. Among my peers, there was frustration because of the number of pages that needed to be prepared for the topic. In all of my classes, I have always written and produced more than what was required of me. The Literature Review was a little challenging for me. The reason it was challenging for me was because I had to intensify and specify my research to get the support needed for my problem. I knew what I wanted to write about because I have written several papers on the same problem throughout my career as a college student. The only difference this time was I needed to narrow in on the nucleus of the problem specifically. This is the learning outcome that I received. Stop looking at the broader picture and just look the specific problem so that I can figure out how to solve that problem. Then once the problem is solved, this will help the broader picture.

The entire program as well as the business application project has affected me and changed my life tremendously. It has made me more aware on how valuable a college degree is needed to be successful in my career. My education is extremely important to me. I will try to apply the learning outcome to my personal life because I tend to become overwhelmed when I look at the broader picture instead of the problem at hand. Being an advocate of the adult learner I’m grateful for the opportunity of being able to earn a college degree. The CLIMB program at Edward Waters College is the best kept secret for adults who couldn’t earn a degree and now would like to complete what they started in the past.


































REFRENCE LIST

Applegate, J., (2002), 201 Great Ideas for your Small Business, Bloomberg Press,

Princeton

Barkin, C., (1999), When Your Kid Goes to College: A Parent’s Survival Guide, Avon

Books, New York

Boisjolie, M., (2012), Preparing for the Real World, nacacnet.org, Retrieved March 20,

2014, http://www.nacacnet.org/studentinfo/articles/Pages/Preparing-for-the-Real-World.aspx

Grasgreen, A., (2013), More Data to Show Students Unprepared, insidehighered.com,

Retrieved March 20, 2014 from: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/10/29/more-data-show-students-unprepared-work-what-do-about-it#ixzz2wVxcCjF4

Hightower, C. and Scott, K. (2012), Infer More, Describe Less: More Powerful Survey

Conclusions through Easy Inferential Tests, istl.com, Retrieved March 23, 2014 from: http://www.istl.org/12-spring/article1.html

Johnson, L., (2011), Employers Say College Graduates Lack Job SkillsThe Chronicle of

Higher Education, chronicle.com, Retrieved March 20, 2014 from: http://chronicle.com/article/Employers-Say-College/130013/

Kelley. K, Clark, B., Brown, V. And Sitzia, J. (2003), Good Practice in the Conduct and

Reporting of Survey Research, Oxfordjournals.org, Retrieved March 1, 2014 from: http://intqhc.oxfordjournals.org/content/15/3/261

Planin, E., (2014), The Surprising Reason College Grads Can’t Get A Job,

thefiscaltimes.com, Retrieved March 20, 2014 from:

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2014/01/29/Surprising-Reason-College-GradsCan-t-Get-Job#sthash.6DRKJ5Gp.dpuf

Sanburn, J., (2012) The Beginning of the End of the Unpaid Internship, business.time.com,

Retrieved March 20, 2014 from: Internships: The Beginning of the End of Interns Without Wages http://business.time.com/2012/05/02/the-beginning-of-the-end-of-the-unpaid-internship-as-we-know-it/#ixzz2wKIDDMHz

Savage, M. (2003), You’re on Your Own: Mentoring Your Child during the College Years

Fireside, New York

Singletary, M., (2012), Not all College Majors are Created Equal, Washingtonpost.com,

Retrieved March 20, 2014 from:http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/not-all-college-majors-are-created-equal/2012/01/12/gIQAfz4XzP_story.html

Toland, S., (2011), The Ill-Prepared Workforce: Corporatevoices.wordpress.com

Retrieved March 20, 2014 from: http://corporatevoices.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/the-ill-prepared-workforce-new-report-argues-that-lack-of-academic-rigor-undercuts-educational-attainment-and-skills-of-u-s-college-students/

White, M.W., (2013), The Real Reason New College Grads Can’t Get Hired:

business.time.com Retrieved March 20, 2014 from: http://business.time.com/2013/11/10/the-real-reason-new-college-grads-cant-get-hired/#ixzz2wKF1XBV

APPENDIX OF APPENDICES

APPENDIX A

Problem Analysis Worksheet (session 1)

1. State the problem in as clear and concise a manner as possible:

Traditional students at _____ College are not prepared to work in their field of study because there are no professional development programs in place for them to mandatory attend.

2. Why is this problem?

This is a problem because traditional students spend four to five years matriculating at __________ College and during that time, receive no professional development training that will prepare them for work in their field of study.

a. Where is the problem located or centered?

The problem is located within the curriculum at ___________ College.

b. Who is affected by the problem?
Traditional students, especially the senior classification of students are affected by this problem.

3. Observations of the problem –

DESCRIPTION OF CURRENT STATUS

DESCRIPTION OF DESIRED STATUS

a. Students lack communication and interpersonal skills

a. Training as a freshmen about career awareness

b. Students lack professional development and soft skills.

b. Implementation of professional development and soft skills workshops

c. Students lack workplace ethics

c. Training in sophomore year on work place ethics and

d. Student lack job etiquette and professionalism

d. Training in Junior Year excellent interpersonal skills and etiquette workshops

e. Student lack interviewing skills

e. Required Mock Interview Workshops

f. Students lack experience

f. Required two internships in junior and senior year

4. Analyze the above for symptoms vs. possible causes. Ask yourself what causes the condition that makes you think there is a real problem. Is this really the problem or only the manifestation of a symptom?

SYMPTOMS (LIST)

POSSIBLE CAUSE (LIST)

no mandatory training in field of study

Not implemented in curriculum

senior traditional students graduating with no skill sets

No mandatory training in field of study

5. List all possible explanations (hypotheses) for the problem. Use complete sentences, such as: The problem is a result of ineffective communication between departments.

The problem is a result of the traditional students’ curriculum and instruction planning from academic affairs.

6. Explain why the above explanations (hypotheses) appear to be relevant or applicable

to your project.

The explanation appears to be relevant to my project because when traditional students graduate from _______ College, they are not prepared to work in their field of study because there are no professional development programs in place for them to mandatory attend.

7. Indicate any relationship among the most relevant explanations (hypotheses) identified in #6. (i.e., are they getting at the same thing – does one have implication for another?)

Mandatory professional development workshops should be implemented for

all traditional students as a requirement. Two internships should be required for

each traditional student as a graduation requirement. This will be an asset to the

traditional students to be able to effectively prepared for jobs in their field of

study.

APPENDIX B
























Senior Project Topic Proposal (Session 1)

Name: Group: Date:

Using your completed Problem Analysis Worksheet as a guide, type your responses to the following questions. Strive for complete, yet concise, statements.

1. Problem statement (This can take the form of a statement or question and should include where the problem is found, major elements or variables involved, and the population affected.)

Traditional graduating students at _______ College are not prepared to work in their field of study is because there are no professional development programs in place for them to mandatory attend.

2. What is your personal involvement with the problem, and to what degree do you have control over the situation?

My personal involvement is that the school does a poor job preparing them to work in their field of study and I would like to implement into the curriculum a program to help the traditional students be successful in their career.

3. On the basis of your problem analysis, what are your explanations and assumptions about the cause(s) of this problem?

Traditional graduating students at ______ College are not prepared to work in their field of study is because there are no professional development programs in place for them to mandatory attend.

4. Specifically, in what practical ways will the situation improve if the problem is

solved? How will your organization benefit?

The situation will be a win-win for everyone involve. The traditional students will have a solid experience in their field of study and will be able to secure a job in their field. _________ College will produce successful students working in their careers as well as securing a variety of partnerships for the institution.

5. What are the first two or three steps you need to take?

Interview graduating traditional students, address the issue, research the problem, and find a solution to the problem.

6. How do you plan to go about gathering your information?

I plan on interviewing the graduating traditional students, doing surveys and research about college graduates being unprepared for the workforce.

APPROVAL:

Senior Project Facilitator: -_______________
Date: ______________

APPENDIX C

Professional Development Academy

Proposed Curriculum for Traditional Students

Student Name: _________________________________ ID# ____________________


Course Code Course Name Credit Hours Semester Grade

Freshmen and Transfer Students: Career Awareness (8 hours)

CPA 101A

Career Planning and Assessment

2

MLTS 1001B

Marketing Leadership

2

JST 1001C

Job Search Tips and Networking Strategies

2

RODJ 1001D

Researching Organizations for Your Career/Dream Job

2

Sophomore Students: Career Exploration (6 hours)

EPPS 2001

Elevator Pitch and Public Speaking

3

DSDE 2002

Dress for Success and Dining Etiquette

3

Junior Students: Career Experience (6 hours)

PRIS 3001

How to write the perfect Resume and Interview Like a Pro

3

CARF 3002

How to Work a Career

3

Senior Students: Career Transition (6 hours)

EDLD 4001

Embracing Diversity in Leadership

3

MLTS 1001B

The 4 –Year Transfer and Beyond

3

Total 26 Credit hours

APPENDIX D

APPENDIX E

SENIOR SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE

Senior’s Name

Date:

Major:

Please answer the following questionnaire as part of your department exit packet.

Yes

No

1. As a senior with three months to graduate, do you feel adequately prepared to pursue your career in your field of study?

2. During your matriculation here at Edward Waters College, have

you been provided with resources that you need to pursue

employment in your field of study?

3. Has the college provided workshops, forums or seminars

regarding Professional Development for workplace etiquette training?

1. As senior, are your presently employed in your field of study, if not, is there a job opportunity available for you once you obtain your college degree?

Please rate on a scale of 1 – 5 with 5 being fully prepared and one being not prepared.

5. How prepared are you to transition from a College Student to a

Corporate Executive in your field of study? (circle one)

5

4

3

2

1

APPENDIX F

As a result of the students that took the survey:

64 of the students surveyed are unemployed graduates;

3 of the students surveyed are presently employed in their field of study;

64 shared that they were not prepared for their career;

2 shared that they are in management trainee programs at the time of graduation

APPENDIX G

Appendix G is the results of the last question on the survey on a scale of 1 -5

As the result of the students that took the survey the findings were as follows:

1. 75% of the students surveyed shared that were not are not prepared for their career;

2. 16% of the students surveyed shared that they were fully prepared for their career;

3. 9% of the students surveyed shared that they are somewhat prepared for their career.

APPENDIX H

Appendix H shows the Histogram Results of all the questions on the survey

As the result of the students that took the survey the findings were as follows:

1. Sixty-four students said “No” to all four questions to the survey

2. Three students said “Yes” to all four questions to the survey

3. Sixty –four students said that they were not prepared

4. Two students circled five and said they were prepared

APPENDIX I

To further support the hypothesis the researcher did a z-test. The results of the z-test are shown in Appendix I. The hypothesis is proven to be correct as shown in the test.

z-Test: Two Sample for Means

 

Results

Student

Mean

28.5

2

Known Variance

1

1

Observations

4

4

Hypothesized Mean Difference

65

 

z

-36.7696

 

P(Z<=z) one-tail

0

 

z Critical one-tail

1.644854

 

P(Z<=z) two-tail

0

 

z Critical two-tail

1.959964

 

results from senior class questionnaire

Distance to work (Miles)

Fully Prepared for Career Somewhat Prepared for Career Not Prepared for Career 8 15 68

33

College-Level Writing RUBRIC

C
ri

te
ri

a
Performance

Indicators
Target/

High Proficiency
15

Proficiency
12

Acceptable
9

Needs Improvement
6

Unacceptable
3

C

o
v

e
ra

g
e

&

O

rg
a

n
iz

a
ti

o
n

Content‐Specific
Assignment Criteriai

∙Writing meets all
assignment content

∙Writing meets most
assignment content

∙Writing meets minimum
assignment content

∙Writing meets
some/few assignment

∙Writing does not
meet assignment

as per Instructor
Guidelines

requirements. requirements. requirements. content requirements. content
requirements.

∙Writing is clear and ∙Writing is generally clear and ∙Writing is adequate in ∙Writing may be unclear ∙Writing is
appropriate for the appropriate for the purpose of terms of clarity and and/or inappropriate unclear and

Purpose purpose of the the assignment—with some appropriateness for the for the purpose of the inappropriate for
& assignment. exceptions. purpose of the assignment. the purpose of

Support ∙All evidence and ∙Evidence and examples are assignment. ∙Evidence and examples the assignment.
examples are generally effective, specific ∙Evidence and examples may require further ∙Evidence and

effective, specific and and relevant—with some meet basic requirements development to be examples are not
relevant. exceptions. for being effective, adequately effective, effective, specific
specific and relevant. specific and relevant. and/or relevant.
∙Ideas are coherently ∙Organization of ideas is ∙Organization of ideas ∙Organization of ideas ∙Ideas are
and logically generally coherent and logical. meets the minimum does not meet the incoherent and

Structure & organized with well‐ ∙In addition, most paragraphs requirement for being minimum requirement illogically
Development developed paragraphs are well‐developed and use coherent and logical. for coherent and logical. organized.

and effective effective transitions. ∙Some paragraphs may ∙Paragraphs lack ∙Paragraphs are
transitions. be well‐developed and development and/or fail undeveloped

use effective transitions to employ transitions and need
while others do not. effectively. transitions.
∙All sources are

critically reviewediii,
∙Most sources are critically
reviewed and documented

∙Sources meet the
minimum requirements

∙Sources do not meet
the minimum

∙Insufficient
sources and/or

Documentation of documented and following standard practices of for being critically requirements for being insufficient
Sources formatted following the field (APA, MLA, Turabian, reviewed and critically reviewed and quality, critical

standard practices of CMS, etc.). documented following documented following review and
the field (APA, MLA, standard practices of the standard practices of documentation.

Turabian, CMS, etc.). field (APA, MLA, the field (APA, MLA, Standard
Turabian, CMS, etc.). Turabian, CMS, etc.). practices of the
field are not
followed.

College-Level Writing RUBRIC

C

la
ri

ty

Language &
Mechanics

∙All sentences are
well‐written with
varied sentence
structure and virtually
free of errors in
grammar, punctuation
and spelling.

∙Most sentences are well‐
written with varied sentence
structure and virtually free of
errors in grammar,
punctuation and spelling.

∙Language is accessible to
readers; however, many
sentences may lack
variation in structure.
∙Minimally acceptable

number of errors in
grammar, punctuation
and/or spelling.

∙Some/few sentences
are well‐written with
little variance in
structure and/or
numerous errors in
grammar, punctuation
and/or spelling.

∙Language may
be inaccessible
to readers.
∙Sentences are
incomplete
and/or contain
errors in
grammar,
punctuation
and/or spelling.

Target Audience/
Point of View/

Originality

∙Maintains
appropriate tone,
diction and
vocabulary for various
modes of writing.

∙Work demonstrates
clear understanding of
the target audience.

∙In situations where
originality is expected,
writing is clearly
creative & innovative.

∙Tone, diction, and vocabulary
are mostly appropriate for
various modes of writing.

∙Work mostly demonstrates
understanding of target
audience.

∙ In situations where originality
is expected, writing is
generally creative and
innovative.

∙Tone, diction, and
vocabulary are adequate
for various modes of
writing.

∙Work minimally

demonstrates
understanding of target
audience.

∙ In situations where
originality is expected,
writing is minimally
creative and innovative.

∙Lacks some important
qualities for having the
appropriate tone,
diction, and vocabulary
for various modes of
writing—but does meet
others.

∙Work demonstrates
some understanding of
the target audience, but
lacks the level of
understanding required.

∙ In situations where
originality is expected,
little creativity and
innovation are evident.

∙Does not
maintain
appropriate
tone, diction
and/or
vocabulary.

∙Does not
demonstrate
understanding of
target audience.

∙ In situations
where originality
is expected,
creativity and
innovation are
not present.

At instructors’ discretion and as appropriate to the specific assignment, instructors may refer students to specifically designated, content‐related assignment criteria not

otherwise delineated in this rubric.

In this rubric, “critically reviewed” refers to evidence in the writing/text itself that demonstrates that the writer has carefully analyzed, evaluated, and assessed (i.e.,

reviewed critically) sources for their relevance to the topic and their appropriateness for the assignment; sources that are critically reviewed are considered high in

quality as well as relevant and appropriate within the discursive (i.e., oral & written) communications of a particular discipline and its characteristic modes of

communication.

Action Research Project Module Plan

ACTION RESEARCH APPLICATION PROJECT

LEARNERS PACKET


WILEY COLLEGE

WEEK ONE

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The adult learner will:

1. Think of a problem in the workplace to solve.

2. Complete a problem analysis.

3. Create a topic proposal.

PROBLEM ANALYSIS AND TOPIC PROPOSAL

You are now ready to choose the problem topic for the Reserch Project. Begin by generating a series of possible topics. Once the obvious problems are down on paper, the new, often better ideas start to flow. Do not worry about feasibility at this point. Include at least a few topics that will stretch the mind a bit. Keep in mind though, the biggest mistake is to select the easiest problem just to complete the requirements. Little learning takes place when this is done.

Once you have generated a large number of topics, group them in categories such as job, community, or environment. Develop a few of these ideas beyond the single word or phrase stage.

Discuss several of the topic areas with the site contact as well as the Business Application Project Facilitator. Submit the Problem Analysis Worksheet when it is due.

Let us take a closer look at what is involved in conducting a problem analysis. Remember, you are not looking for solutions yet; but are interested in zeroing in on the problem area so that a clearer and more accurate picture may emerge.

1. Write down the initial question — for example:

· “Why are other departments producing better results than this one?”

· “Why are sales not higher in this department?”

· “Why is absenteeism higher in this department than in any other department of the office complex?”

2. Roughly delineate the problem area, including:

· What is being discussed about it and why is it a problem?

· Where is the problem located and who is involved?

Answers to these questions often require no more than a word or a short phrase.

3. Accumulate observations that appear to be related to the problem question. Separate these observations into two lists—one that describes the current situation and one that describes the desired status. These lists will include symptoms of outward manifestations of the problem as well as possible underlying causes.

Obtain these initial observations from the organization in which you will be implementing the Business Application Project. To add to these possible causes, brainstorm (with fellow adult learners, site contact and others in the organization) other possible causes. Some of these additional possible causes will suggest other symptoms that should be observed. Further observations and discussions with others in the organization will verify whether these symptoms exist. Finally, there should be a complete list of the symptoms and possible causes.

4. Consolidate the list of symptoms and causes and translate them into a set of explanations of the problem. It is important at this stage to be aware of personal biases, so do not ignore other equally possible explanations. Start to think objectively.

5. Based on all the observations, select the explanations that appear to be most relevant to the problem under study.

6. Analyze the relationships between the various explanations that may provide additional insight into the problem. Are they getting at the same thing? If so, you may be able to consolidate them into a more general statement. Does your explanation have implications for another one?

All of the above information is placed on the Problem Analysis Worksheet and discussed with the Business Application Project Facilitator. Record each step of the analysis. You may wish to make copies of the form and complete one for each general topic being considered as a Business Application Project.

You may find it helpful to view the Problem Analysis Worksheet in terms of a “funnel” analogy. The top of the funnel represents the broad or vague area of interest. As observations are made, facts accumulated, descriptions clarified, and relationships discerned, the problem becomes progressively focused, defined, and manageable.

You are now ready to write the Research Project topic proposal. The problem statement, which will become the topic proposal, should be a brief and clear statement. Keep in mind that this proposal needs to be written in such a way that someone who knows nothing about the area of study will understand it. Define all specialized terms clearly and concisely.

A copy of the Research Project topic proposal form appears in the Appendix.

The Topic Proposal must be approved by all individuals indicated at the bottom of the form. When the proposal is shared with the site contact, have the site contact sign the proposal after the n Project Facilitator has given verbal consent to the topic. After the site contact has signed the proposal, give the proposal to the Facilitator, who will then sign it.

Beginning steps toACTION RESEARCH Project

Sample Research Project Problems

Now that you have digested the “whole” of the Research Project procedures, it is time to introduce some possible problems and titles for the Research Project. The reoccurring theme is that an actual “real live” problem exists that will be researched for a possible solution.

Problem:
Why are the part-time National Guard soldiers getting such low

scores on their field tests?

Title: COMBINED ARMS TRAINING: MICHIGAN NATIONAL


GUARD

Problem:
Are employees feeling “short-changed” with only a bi-yearly evaluation?

Title:
EVALUATION OF EMPLOYEES USING THE PERFORMANCE

APPRAISAL FORM

Problem:
Automation has caused low morale among employees, much dissension, and general fear of job loss.

Title:
IMPACT AND EFFECT OF AUTOMATION ON THE

TECHNOLOGIES AND RELATED TRADE INSTRUCTION

DEPARTMENTS

Problem:
Many employees of the Engineering Department are feeling that their efforts and progress are not being evaluated fairly.

Title:
MEASURING INDICATIONS OF SUCCESS IN THE

ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT

Problem:
Is there a better and cheaper way to package material into storage containers at the Distribution Center?

Title: FEASIBILITY OF UTILIZING MATERIAL-HANDLING

ROBOTS

Problem:
Procedures for quoting prices at the C.J.B. Corporation are slow and burdensome. Is there a better way?

Title:
COMPUTER-ASSISTED QUOTING PROCEDURES OF

THE C.J.B. CORPORATION

Problem:
Customers at the Ella Mott Museum are complaining that too

many volunteer guides are uninformed and giving wrong

information.

Title:
THE EFFECT OF A TRAINING PROGRAM ON HISTORIC


INTERPRETERS AT THE ELLA MOTT MUSEUM

Problem:
Employees complain that fringe benefits do not fit their needs

because their spouses get much the same ones.

Title:
DEVELOPING A PROGRAM TO ALLOW EMPLOYEES


GREATER CHOICE IN FRINGE BENEFITS PROVIDED

BY THEIR EMPLOYER

Problem:
Many small townships do a lot of their work with “pencil and

paper.” Is there a better and more economical way of record-keeping?

Title:
DATA PROCESSING–COOPERATIVE ACQUISITIONS BY


SMALL TOWNSHIPS

Problem:
The preschool teacher and aides noticed that many of their

students were coming to them without the basic motor skills

such as hopping, skipping, and jumping.

Title:
MOTOR SKILLS PROGRAM FOR PRESCHOOL CHILDREN

Problem:
When the telephone system was broken up by law, there were

numerous problems with work orders and billing.

Title:
REDUCTION IN ERROR RATE ON CUSTOMER WORK


INVOICES

Problem:
A small, local fire department felt that information about

location of fire, type of fire, and needed equipment was

sometimes inaccurate, too costly, and too slow.

Title:
COMPUTERIZED INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR THE


WATERGRANT AREA FIRE DEPARTMENT

Problem:
A historical society needs money. Local tax dollars were shut off

by a millage defeat.

Title:
DEVELOPING ALTERNATIVE FUNDING SOURCES FOR

THE JOHNSON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Problem:
Sales were decreasing. Equipment was not fixed properly. There

was an “air of discontent” throughout the company.

Title:
MOTIVATING EMPLOYEES TO INCREASE SALES AND REDUCE
EQUIPMENT-RELATED COMPLAINTS

Problem:
The company was getting negative evaluations every time the

government examined the waste water coming from its plant.

Title:
UPGRADING THE INDUSTRIAL WASTE WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM

TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH REVISED ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY REGULATIONS

Outline for section 1

INTRODUCTION

To assist in writing Chapter 1, a number of examples have been included. Several worksheets—such as the Problem Analysis Worksheet—are included to guide the thinking and planning process.

Please read this entire section before starting Chapter 1. This will provide ideas of what is expected. Then, as each chapter is developed, use these guidelines as a reference and guide. Always check the format and style section of these guidelines while writing the paper.

Purposes of Chapter 1

* Chapter One – to demonstrate that there is a firm grasp on the problem you have chosen. The entire project is based on this problem.

ORGANIZATIONAL FORMAT FOR INTRODUCTORY CHAPTERS

Organizational formatting is required to finish the first two chapters correctly. A more complete description of the format, style, and mechanics for writing the report is contained in the format and style chapter of these Guidelines. Below is an outline for the suggested organization for Chapter 1. Each chapter starts on a new page and is centered and in capital letters with a Roman numeral indicating the chapter number.

A suggested format for Chapter One might be as follows:

5-7 pages total

· Description of the Problem

· Purpose of the Project

· Setting of the Problem

· History and Background of the Problem

· Scope of the Project

· Importance of the Project

· Definition of Terms

CHECKLIST FOR CHAPTER 1

Statement of Purpose

Has the overall purpose of the project been stated?

Yes

No

Does the statement serve to give the reader an

adequate overview of the project?

Yes

No

Is the statement concise, clear, and appealing?

Yes

No

Setting of the Problem



Is there a general but current description of the

organization or community in which the project will be implemented?

Yes

No

Are the number of people involved indicated?

Yes

No

Are all the unique characteristics of

the organization described?

Yes

No





History and Background of the Problem



Is there a full picture of the problem as it

currently exists, indicating all the symptoms,

possible causes, and their interrelationships?

Yes

No

Is there a historical context of

the problem; i.e., how long it has existed and

major possible causes that had an influence on it?

Yes

No

Are there any interrelationships between

parts of the problem and parts of the setting described?

Yes

No

Scope of the Business Application Project



Is there a description of the aspects of the setting

included in the study and of those not included?

Yes

No

Is there a description of exactly which parts of

the problem will be included in the study?

Yes

No

Importance of the Action Research Project








Is it clearly indicated why the project is needed?


Yes

No


Writing Chapter 1 – Description of the Problem

5-7 pages

Chapter 1 of the Research Project states the purpose and provides a full description of the problem. You will be required to review the history and background of the problem and detail the scope and limits of the project. Chapter 1 will identify the importance (significance) of the problem, demonstrate the full knowledge of the setting (organization or community) in which the problem is researched, and define all key terms.

After reading this chapter, the reader should have a clear picture, not only of the specific problem being explored, but also of its background and history, its setting, and its limits. Basically, this chapter is an expansion and more refined discussion of many of the items included in the Topic Proposal.

The following are the sections that should be included in Chapter 1. Generally, all six topics constitute separate sections and will be written in the indicated sequence; however, the sequence is not mandatory. In some cases, it may be more logical to combine two or more of them into a single section. In other cases, a change in the sequence may improve the flow of the presentation. Check with your facilitator for guidance.

Statement of Purpose

In two or three sentences, state as clearly as possible the purpose of the project.

1. Example

The purpose of this project was to create, implement, and evaluate a communication/feedback manual for the Welding Metallurgical Department of Factory SKS. The manual will be used to develop, improve and maintain the metallurgists’ communication skills.

The Setting of the Problem

In this section, you should describe the organization or community in which the problem exists and will be implemented.

The following examples indicate how the description of the setting might be organized.

Note: You may wish to combine this section with the next one, especially if the problem is intricately tied to several components of the system. If the sections are combined, make sure the heading in the report reflects the combination.

A. Example One

Elmwood Counseling Center is a non-profit organization located in a southern suburb of Chicago. It exists to provide a variety of counseling services, foster home placement, and outdoor educational activities to residents within the county.

Staff members of the center and representatives from the community elect a twelve-person board of trustees, which hires a director who is responsible for running the agency. Four coordinators report to the director: The Drop-in Center Coordinator, the Agency Outreach Coordinator, the Outdoor Education Coordinator, and the Drug Counseling Coordinator. (See organizational chart at the end of description.) The director and coordinators are the only paid staff members with the exception of the consultants who are called in periodically for the purpose of staff development.

Much of the agency’s work is conducted by its seventy-five volunteers who donate their time each week. The volunteers are dedicated community members who are willing to donate their time because they find the work personally rewarding. One difficulty is that there is constant turnover of volunteers, making it necessary for staff to devote a considerable amount of time to recruiting and training new volunteers. There is often inadequate or poor communication between paid staff members and volunteers.

The structure of the organization is functional. There is overlapping of services in the four functions when clients are cross-referred, making cooperation of the coordinators necessary for the agency to function smoothly. Weekly staff meetings are held to facilitate cooperation and communication among coordinators.

The organization maintains close ties with law enforcement agencies, hospitals, courts, and state agencies such as the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Although members of the community serve on the Board of Trustees and as volunteers, the Center has been accused of not being responsive enough to the needs of the community.

Elmwood Counseling Center is supported by state, federal, and village funds, which provide an operating budget. Special projects are paid for by community contributions or through writing grant proposals and submitting them to the appropriate funding sources. Different paid staff members take turns writing grant proposals as needed. While this is a necessary part of the agency’s activities for its economic survival, staff members neither enjoy nor feel competent writing grant proposals.

B. Example Two

Training and Staff Development is a section of Personnel Services at the Medical Center Campus of the University of Illinois. There are three other sections of the Personnel Services Office: Employment, Classification, and Records. These sections work closely together to carry out the personnel function. Organization of the department is according to functions performed. Training and Staff Development is located in a separate building, which results in this section having more autonomy than the other three.

The Director of Personnel Services is in charge of the Personnel Department. He reports to the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services, who reports to the Chancellor of the Medical Center. There are three campuses of the University of Illinois—Medical Center, Chicago Circle, and Champagne-Urbana. Each has a chancellor who reports to the President of the University of Illinois. The president reports to the Board of Trustees elected by Illinois voters.

The purpose of Training and Staff Development is to train nonacademic staff, so that they can best perform their jobs. Nonacademic staff, approximately 5,000, do not have academic appointments at the Medical Center. This training is part of the Personnel Department whose function is to provide the Medical Center with qualified nonacademic personnel. Academic personnel are hired by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.

A unique aspect of the Medical Center campus is that in addition to its being a major university, it has hospitals requiring twenty-four hour staffing. The purpose of the Medical Center is two-fold—to provide quality health care and quality education. The Vice Chancellor for Health Services is responsible for the first purpose and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the second. All of their activities, such as business affairs and personnel selection, which are necessary for the Medical Center to function, are the responsibility of the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services.

The University of Illinois is part of the State University Civil Service System, not to be confused with state and federal civil service systems, which were established with the intent of taking state universities out of the political arena. All state universities belong to the system. This means that major decisions in employment procedures, position classification, salary schedules, and labor and employment relations must be reviewed by the University Civil Service System.

Thus, Training and Staff Development, a section of Personnel Services, is part of a vast system. It is most directly affected by the Director of Personnel and the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services. It is part of the University System and thus subject to its requirements and ultimate decisions. Part of the funding for the Center is obtained through allocations made by the Illinois Legislature. Other funding is generated from the educational and medical services it provides.

C. Example Three

The Harris Company is a prosperous manufacturer of metal products designed for industrial use. Its manufacturing plant, located in central Massachusetts, employs nearly 600 workers who produce a large variety of clamps, inserts, knobs, and similar items. Orders for these products are large and on a recurrent basis. Order volume fluctuates according to business conditions in the primary industries that the company services. The goal of the Harris Company is to supply prompt delivery of quality metal products to its customers at a competitive price.

The dye making and setup operations require the greatest degree of skill and are supplied by highly paid, long-service craftsman. The Finishing Department, divided geographically between plating and painting, attracts less trained but relatively skilled workers, some of whom have been employed by the company for many years. The remaining operations are largely unskilled in nature and characterized by low pay and a high rate of personnel turnover.

Examples adapted from: Paul R. Lawrence and John A. Seiler, Organizational Behavior and Administration Cases, Concepts and Research Findings, Homewood, Illinois: The Dorsey Press, 1965.

History and Background of the Problem

This section should be an expansion of the basic description you gave in the Topic Proposal. Describe, in some detail, all the ramifications of the problem: the symptoms, the possible and most probable underlying causes, and how these causes may be interrelated. Also, describe the history of the problem: how long it has existed; how it has existed; how it has changed over time; and what major events have had an influence on it. To the extent possible, show how various parts of the problem are related to the various parts of the setting. Describe the group(s) involved or affected by the problem. Who are they? How many are involved and in which organizational unit or geographical location? In most cases, the source of the information for this section will come from the setting itself. It will come from the personal knowledge of and experience in the organization, from organizational records or documents, from your observations, and from discussions with people in the setting. In some cases, the description may include information obtained from the published literature, but the history should be real and not theoretical. In this case, you may write an initial draft of this section based on your knowledge of the setting, and then rewrite if after you have completed the literature review.

Scope of the Project

Here one should very clearly and specifically describe the limits or scope of the problem to be dealt with in the project. In the history and background section, you should completely describe the problem as it exists in its setting. However, since you may choose to work on only parts of the problem, indicate which parts will be included in the project. Only some of the underlying causes, organizational units involved, or parts of the population affected may be addressed. You might need to modify this section after completing the literature review, since the review may cause you to change the scope of the study.

Importance/Significance of the Project

In this section, indicate why the project is important. Explain what special or unique benefits will be derived from developing it. Is there anything unique about it in comparison to what other research has been done on the problem? Be specific in the analysis, so the reader can immediately grasp why this project is considered important.

This is another section you might wish to rewrite after completing the literature review. In that way, there will be a better understanding of how the project relates to the work of others.

Definition of Terms

In the final section of Chapter 1, define all important and unique terms used to this point, and any anticipated to be used later in the Action Research Project. You might also have to add to this list in the final draft of the report. Include all terms that are unusual or technical, and not likely to be familiar to the readers.

Have someone who is not a member of the profession read the rough drafts and circle any term not understood. This is a good way to identify terms that need defining for the casual reader. Be sure that the list is alphabetized for greater ease in finding the terms.

PROBLEM ANALYSIS AND TOPIC PROPOSAL

You are now ready to choose the problem topic for the Research Project. Begin by generating a series of possible topics. Once the obvious problems are down on paper, the new, often better ideas start to flow. Do not worry about feasibility at this point. Include at least a few topics that will stretch the mind a bit. Keep in mind though, the biggest mistake is to select the easiest problem just to complete the requirements. Little learning takes place when this is done.

Once you have generated a large number of topics, group them in categories such as job, community, or environment. Develop a few of these ideas beyond the single word or phrase stage.

Let us take a closer look at what is involved in conducting a problem analysis. Remember, you are not looking for solutions yet; but are interested in zeroing in on the problem area so that a clearer and more accurate picture may emerge.

7. Write down the initial question — for example:

· “Why are other departments producing better results than this one?”

· “Why are sales not higher in this department?”

· “Why is absenteeism higher in this department than in any other department of the office complex?”

8. Roughly delineate the problem area, including:

· What is being discussed about it and why is it a problem?

· Where is the problem located and who is involved?

Answers to these questions often require no more than a word or a short phrase.

9. Accumulate observations that appear to be related to the problem question. Separate these observations into two lists—one that describes the current situation and one that describes the desired status. These lists will include symptoms of outward manifestations of the problem as well as possible underlying causes.

Obtain these initial observations from the organization in which you will be implementing the Business Application Project. To add to these possible causes, brainstorm (with fellow adult learners, site contact and others in the organization) other possible causes. Some of these additional possible causes will suggest other symptoms that should be observed. Further observations and discussions with others in the organization will verify whether these symptoms exist. Finally, there should be a complete list of the symptoms and possible causes.

10. Consolidate the list of symptoms and causes and translate them into a set of explanations of the problem. It is important at this stage to be aware of personal biases, so do not ignore other equally possible explanations. Start to think objectively.

11. Based on all the observations, select the explanations that appear to be most relevant to the problem under study.

12. Analyze the relationships between the various explanations that may provide additional insight into the problem. Are they getting at the same thing? If so, you may be able to consolidate them into a more general statement. Does your explanation have implications for another one?

All of the above information is placed on the Problem Analysis Worksheet and discussed with the Research Project Facilitator. Record each step of the analysis. You may wish to make copies of the form and complete one for each general topic being considered as a Research Project.

You may find it helpful to view the Problem Analysis Worksheet in terms of a “funnel” analogy. The top of the funnel represents the broad or vague area of interest. As observations are made, facts accumulated, descriptions clarified, and relationships discerned, the problem becomes progressively focused, defined, and manageable.

You are now ready to write the Research Project topic proposal. The problem statement, which will become the topic proposal, should be a brief and clear statement. Keep in mind that this proposal needs to be written in such a way that someone who knows nothing about the area of study will understand it. Define all specialized terms clearly and concisely.

A copy of the Research Project topic proposal form appears in the Appendix.

The Topic Proposal must be approved by all individuals indicated at the bottom of the form. When the proposal is shared with the site contact, have the site contact sign the proposal after the Research Project Facilitator has given verbal consent to the topic. After the site contact has signed the proposal, give the proposal to the Facilitator, who will then sign it.

Week Two

OVERVIEW

Learners will be working independently to complete a draft of Chapters 1 and 2 of their Research Project.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The adult learner will:

1. Complete Chapter 1 of their Research Project.

2. Complete Chapter 2 of their Research Project.

Purposes of Chapter 2

Chapter Two – to demonstrate that you are familiar with the literature (expert research in the field) relevant to the problem.

writing Chapter 2 – Literature Review

6-8 pages

This chapter of the project reviews the published literature related to the stated problem. In Chapter 1, you describe the problem as it exists in the specific setting being studied. In Chapter 2, you should help the reader understand the problem as it exists in other settings.

There are several purposes for conducting a literature review. The literature review:

· Places the problem and project in a broader context and shows how they relate to earlier and perhaps less effective approaches to the same problem.

· Reveals difficulties others have had in attacking the problem or weaknesses in their approach or conclusions that will give ideas on how to avoid the problem.

· Provides new ideas and approaches one may not have thought of, ideas that may be alternative solutions, ways of ensuring or evaluating outcomes, and ways of operationally defining objectives and variables.

A well-developed literature review should contain the following features:

1. Articles should be grouped from a general overview to a specific subject perspective dealing with the particular problem. This is called the “funnel” approach—moving from general material to specific material on the topic.

2. Section headings should be provided to organize the review, so the reader can easily spot the direction of the review.

· Example:

Section One: History of the Work Problem

Section Two: Case Studies in Other Industries

Section Three: Case Studies in Automotive Industry

Section Four: Participation Management and Union Involvement

· Example:

Section One: Overall Job Performance and Satisfaction

Section Two: Time Management at the Job Site

Section Three: Employee/Management Relations and Job Description

· Example:

Section One: Vandalism in America

Section Two: Vandalism in Public Places

Section Three: Vandalism in America’s Schools

By organizing the review to proceed from the general to the specific, the literature review becomes more than a collection of what others have said.

3. Relevance. The review is a discussion of the relevance of the literature to the Action Research Project. Every article must contribute to an understanding of some aspect of the problem selected. There may be disagreements among authors; they may have different points of view on the causes or solutions to the problem. You should indicate how each of these views relates to the project.

At times, adult learners indicate that they cannot find any literature dealing with their papers’ problems. This generally results from taking too narrow a view of both their problem and how the literature review should relate to it. You may find that there is little information specifically dealing with the approach or narrow problem definition. However, generally you will find literature dealing with a broader problem area that is important to the study of the project. As you review the literature on related or similar problems, it will shed light on the area of study. These insights often have much to offer in guiding the thinking and approach to the project.

Writing the Literature Review

The literature review is Chapter 2 of Part One. Center the heading, LITERATURE REVIEW, at the top of the page. Section headings for parts of the review are entered as free-standing side headings, as outlined in the format and style section of these guidelines.

When citing references in the text of the review and preparing a reference list, follow the examples in the Format, Style and Organization section.

The reference list is placed at the end of the final report; however, a preliminary reference list should be submitted with Chapter 2. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Latest Edition) is required as the guide for all referencing.

Note: When submitting the literature review to the Research Project Advisor you must also submit the reference list. This reference list must contain only the references cited in the report. The review must include at least a minimum of 8-10 bibliographical references.

CHECKLIST FOR CHAPTER 2

Literature Review



Is the general background of the literature presented to show how

the specific project fits into a broader picture of the whole topic area?

Yes

No

Is the information on the current research most closely related to

the specific problem presented?

Yes

No

Is it indicated how the literature being reviewed relates to the

Project throughout?

Yes

No

Chapters 3 and 4

Purpose of Chapters 3 and 4

In Chapters 3 and 4 of the RESEARCH Project, the following specific requirements will be addressed. They are:

1. To identify measurable objectives that will specify the details of the intervention.

2. To describe the actual intervention that will be implemented at the RESEARCH Project site.

3. To develop a detailed plan of evaluation to be applied to determine the degree of success achieved with the intervention.

Chapters 3 And 4 Requirements

1. Chapter 3 – Description of the Intervention

Statement of Objectives

2. Chapter 4 – The Evaluation Plan

Evaluation Design

Data Collection Plan

Limitations for the Data Collection Plan

If the organization selected in Chapter 3 differs from the above, be sure to label the sections clearly and correctly. This chapter will identify what design was chosen to gather the data and how it was gathered. It will clearly conclude with the limitations of the evaluation process. If other sections are included, be sure to label them correctly.

Use of the Word “Data”

Literally, the word “data” is the plural form of the Latin word “datum.” But in modern usage it can be considered singular. Therefore, both of the following sentences are grammatically correct:

• The data have been analyzed and are ready for review.

• The data has been analyzed and is ready for review.

You need to choose a particular approach and use it consistently throughout your project.

Checklist for Chapters 3 and 4

Summary of the Problem

Are Chapters 3 and 4 introduced with a

2-3 paragraph summary of the problem?

Yes
No

Statement of Objectives

Are at least two evaluation objectives listed?

Yes
No

Does the statement of each objective include:

What change will result?

Yes
No

How much change is expected?

Yes
No

Where the change will occur?

Yes
No

When the change will occur?

Yes
No

Description of the Intervention

Is there a complete, clear and concise description

of the program implemented given?

Yes
No

The Evaluation Plan

Is the evaluation design named or described?

Yes
No

Is the size of the sample(s) stated and how the individuals

were selected?

Yes
No

Is a complete description of the demographic data included

and how these data were used?

Yes
No

Is there a description of the manner in which the data

were analyzed, indicating any statistical test(s) used and the

level of significance chosen?

Yes
No

Is there a copy of all evaluation instruments, whether

self-developed or purchased, included as part of the study?

Yes
No

Is there a description of the manner in which you developed the

instrument, whether it was field tested and the results?

Yes
No

Is there a description of all limitations to the evaluation plan?

Yes
No

Are all the data collected directly relevant to the objectives?

Yes
No

writing Chapter 3:

Description of the Intervention

Begin this chapter by briefly summarizing the nature of the problem to be studied. This summary of the problem should be only two or three paragraphs long. It will serve to refresh the reader’s memory and provide a focus or frame of reference to which the rest of the chapter can be related.

Statement of Objectives

The most important part of the Research Project is writing measurable (result-oriented) objectives. At least two objectives, but preferably four or five objectives, should be part of the study.

In writing the objectives, state each one in a separate paragraph. It would be advisable to identify each objective (Objective One, Objective Two, etc.). Use free-standing side headings for this process.

To assist the reader in understanding what the objective is and why it was selected, a description and explanation should follow each one.

When stating each objective include:

· What change will result? (Stated in observable and measurable terms.)

· How much change is expected?

· Who or what will change?

· Where will the change occur?

· When will the change occur? (time boundaries)

EXAMPLE:

Objective One

By January of next year, there will be a 50 percent reduction in the number of errors committed by the clerical staff in the XYZ Department of the SKS Manufacturing Plant.

What?

Reduction in the amount of errors

How much?
50 percent

Who?

Clerical staff

Where?
XYZ Department

When?
By January of next year

Remember, the explanation clarifying the reason for including the objective must come immediately following each objective.

Description of the Intervention

The intervention is a plan, or program, intended to correct the problem. Describe completely, clearly, and concisely, the intervention to be implemented. If it was a training program, describe the content of the program, the methods and materials used, the length of the program, and when and where the program was held.

If a procedures manual is to be developed, describe its contents, its length, how it was distributed, and when and where it was distributed.

If a computerized inventory control program is developed, describe the input and the output, describe the type of data entered into the program, how the data are manipulated by the program, and what type of data or report are generated from the program. Also, indicate its implementation, complexity, and intended use.

Since this is the core of the entire Research Project, the reader must clearly understand all the characteristics and procedures of the intervention. In short, by reading this section only, the reader will know what was designed and implemented. If you developed a different intervention (or strategy) for each objective, then organize this section by each objective. One word of caution: limit the intervention to one main strategy if at all possible. The more complex the intervention, the more difficult it is to specify what really caused the change.

Writing Chapter 4 – The Evaluation Plan

General Requirements

The methodology used to determine whether the project met its objectives is described in this chapter. Included are questionnaires, collection methods, and complete methodology descriptions.

Some of the descriptions to be included are:

· The evaluation design – name or describe the research design used.

· The size of the population and how it was selected and organized into groups.

· If any demographic data on the population were collected, describe the data and how they were used.

· When and where the data were obtained and the manner in which the data were obtained.

· Special precautions which were taken to remove bias in the data.

· The manner in which the data were analyzed. If a statistical test was used, indicate which one, and what level of significance was chosen in performing the test.

If a questionnaire was developed
, or other data collection instruments used, include complete copies of them in the appendix. However, learners should describe and explain the data collection instruments in the body of the text of this chapter, in order to give validity to the instrumentation and the study. After describing the instruments, write in parentheses where readers can find them. For example:

The data in Sample Questionnaire X indicates… (Please refer to Appendix B to see a copy of the Questionnaire used.)

Finally, discuss any limitations in the evaluation plan. These may be variables that cannot be controlled by the research design or flaws or biases in the instruments.

The following examples are intended to illustrate how to organize this chapter. These are not exclusive. Use any format that organizes the information clearly and completely.

EXAMPLE A:

Objective Analysis Design

In this segment, list each objective with a description of how the evaluation design will determine if the objective is met. Questions, collection of data, pre- and post-analysis, etc. may be used to accomplish the task. Each objective may have a different method of collecting proof to determine if the objective was met. The number of segments in the chapter is dependent upon the number of objectives. Remember, however, results are not included in this chapter.

Data Analysis

This section indicates what data analysis and calculations are important to the research. Each calculation should be noted with an explanation of why it was selected.

Limitations of the Data Collection Plan

The weaknesses of the design is established in this part. It also includes what variables may hinder clear answers and what other factors could not be controlled. Every experiment or test has elements that cannot be controlled, and should be noted.

EXAMPLE B:

Evaluation Design

If there is one design for the entire project, it is best to describe the plan in detail. This provides the reader with a complete overview of the design and how it was administered.

Data Collection Plan

In this section, weave into the discussion of the data collection, the objectives to be reached by such a collection. Mention pretest and post-test collections and how they will be used statistically to gather proof of objectives being met.

Keep the collection plan simple. In its analysis, each objective will be closely monitored to see if it was met. Be as complete as possible. As a consequence, the reader will know the plan in detail and how to apply it to all of the objectives.

Limitations of the Data Collection Plan

This section denotes the weaknesses of the design, what variables may hinder clear answers, and what other factors could not be controlled. Every experiment has elements which cannot be controlled, and they should be noted.

Start each chapter with an opening paragraph that explains what will be found in that chapter. Furthermore, close each chapter with a summary paragraph specifying how this particular chapter is integrated into the entire Business Application Project.

week Three

OVERVIEW

Learners will be working independently to complete Chapters 3 and 4 of the Research Project.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The adult learner will:

1. Complete Chapter 3 of the Research Project.

2. Complete Chapter 4 of the Research Project.

ASSIGNMENTS DUE

1. Complete Chapter 3 of the Research Project.

2. Complete Chapter 4 of the Research Application Project.

WEEK three Session schedule

Learners should email the instructor a draft of Chapters 3 and 4.

Chapters 3 and 4

Purpose of Chapters 3 and 4

In Chapters 3 and 4 of the RESEARCH Project, the following specific requirements will be addressed. They are:

4. To identify measurable objectives that will specify the details of the intervention.

5. To describe the actual intervention that will be implemented at the RESEARCH Project site.

6. To develop a detailed plan of evaluation to be applied to determine the degree of success achieved with the intervention.

Chapters 3 And 4 Requirements

3. Chapter 3 – Description of the Intervention

Statement of Objectives

4. Chapter 4 – The Evaluation Plan

Evaluation Design

Data Collection Plan

Limitations for the Data Collection Plan

If the organization selected in Chapter 3 differs from the above, be sure to label the sections clearly and correctly. This chapter will identify what design was chosen to gather the data and how it was gathered. It will clearly conclude with the limitations of the evaluation process. If other sections are included, be sure to label them correctly.

Use of the Word “Data”

Literally, the word “data” is the plural form of the Latin word “datum.” But in modern usage it can be considered singular. Therefore, both of the following sentences are grammatically correct:

• The data have been analyzed and are ready for review.

• The data has been analyzed and is ready for review.

You need to choose a particular approach and use it consistently throughout your project.

Checklist for Chapters 3 and 4

Summary of the Problem

Are Chapters 3 and 4 introduced with a

2-3 paragraph summary of the problem?

Yes
No

Statement of Objectives

Are at least two evaluation objectives listed?

Yes
No

Does the statement of each objective include:

What change will result?

Yes
No

How much change is expected?

Yes
No

Where the change will occur?

Yes
No

When the change will occur?

Yes
No

Description of the Intervention

Is there a complete, clear and concise description

of the program implemented given?

Yes
No

The Evaluation Plan

Is the evaluation design named or described?

Yes
No

Is the size of the sample(s) stated and how the individuals

were selected?

Yes
No

Is a complete description of the demographic data included

and how these data were used?

Yes
No

Is there a description of the manner in which the data

were analyzed, indicating any statistical test(s) used and the

level of significance chosen?

Yes
No

Is there a copy of all evaluation instruments, whether

self-developed or purchased, included as part of the study?

Yes
No

Is there a description of the manner in which you developed the

instrument, whether it was field tested and the results?

Yes
No

Is there a description of all limitations to the evaluation plan?

Yes
No

Are all the data collected directly relevant to the objectives?

Yes
No

writing Chapter 3 – Description of the Intervention

Begin this chapter by briefly summarizing the nature of the problem to be studied. This summary of the problem should be only two or three paragraphs long. It will serve to refresh the reader’s memory and provide a focus or frame of reference to which the rest of the chapter can be related.

Statement of Objectives

The most important part of the Business Application Project is writing measurable (result-oriented) objectives. At least two objectives, but preferably four or five objectives, should be part of the study.

In writing the objectives, state each one in a separate paragraph. It would be advisable to identify each objective (Objective One, Objective Two, etc.). Use free-standing side headings for this process.

To assist the reader in understanding what the objective is and why it was selected, a description and explanation should follow each one.

When stating each objective include:

· What change will result? (Stated in observable and measurable terms.)

· How much change is expected?

· Who or what will change?

· Where will the change occur?

· When will the change occur? (time boundaries)

EXAMPLE:

Objective One

By January of next year, there will be a 50 percent reduction in the number of errors committed by the clerical staff in the XYZ Department of the SKS Manufacturing Plant.

What?

Reduction in the amount of errors

How much?
50 percent

Who?

Clerical staff

Where?
XYZ Department

When?
By January of next year

Remember, the explanation clarifying the reason for including the objective must come immediately following each objective.

Description of the Intervention

The intervention is a plan, or program, intended to correct the problem. Describe completely, clearly, and concisely, the intervention to be implemented. If it was a training program, describe the content of the program, the methods and materials used, the length of the program, and when and where the program was held.

If a procedures manual is to be developed, describe its contents, its length, how it was distributed, and when and where it was distributed.

If a computerized inventory control program is developed, describe the input and the output, describe the type of data entered into the program, how the data are manipulated by the program, and what type of data or report are generated from the program. Also, indicate its implementation, complexity, and intended use.

Since this is the core of the entire Business Application Project, the reader must clearly understand all the characteristics and procedures of the intervention. In short, by reading this section only, the reader will know what was designed and implemented. If you developed a different intervention (or strategy) for each objective, then organize this section by each objective. One word of caution: limit the intervention to one main strategy if at all possible. The more complex the intervention, the more difficult it is to specify what really caused the change.

Writing Chapter 4 – The Evaluation Plan

General Requirements

The methodology used to determine whether the project met its objectives is described in this chapter. Included are questionnaires, collection methods, and complete methodology descriptions.

Some of the descriptions to be included are:

· The evaluation design – name or describe the research design used.

· The size of the population and how it was selected and organized into groups.

· If any demographic data on the population were collected, describe the data and how they were used.

· When and where the data were obtained and the manner in which the data were obtained.

· Special precautions which were taken to remove bias in the data.

· The manner in which the data were analyzed. If a statistical test was used, indicate which one, and what level of significance was chosen in performing the test.

If a questionnaire was developed
, or other data collection instruments used, include complete copies of them in the appendix. However, learners should describe and explain the data collection instruments in the body of the text of this chapter, in order to give validity to the instrumentation and the study. After describing the instruments, write in parentheses where readers can find them. For example:

The data in Sample Questionnaire X indicates… (Please refer to Appendix B to see a copy of the Questionnaire used.)

Finally, discuss any limitations in the evaluation plan. These may be variables that cannot be controlled by the research design or flaws or biases in the instruments.

The following examples are intended to illustrate how to organize this chapter. These are not exclusive. Use any format that organizes the information clearly and completely.

EXAMPLE A:

Objective Analysis Design

In this segment, list each objective with a description of how the evaluation design will determine if the objective is met. Questions, collection of data, pre- and post-analysis, etc. may be used to accomplish the task. Each objective may have a different method of collecting proof to determine if the objective was met. The number of segments in the chapter is dependent upon the number of objectives. Remember, however, results are not included in this chapter.

Data Analysis

This section indicates what data analysis and calculations are important to the research. Each calculation should be noted with an explanation of why it was selected.

Limitations of the Data Collection Plan

The weaknesses of the design is established in this part. It also includes what variables may hinder clear answers and what other factors could not be controlled. Every experiment or test has elements that cannot be controlled, and should be noted.

EXAMPLE B:

Evaluation Design

If there is one design for the entire project, it is best to describe the plan in detail. This provides the reader with a complete overview of the design and how it was administered.

Data Collection Plan

In this section, weave into the discussion of the data collection, the objectives to be reached by such a collection. Mention pretest and post-test collections and how they will be used statistically to gather proof of objectives being met.

Keep the collection plan simple. In its analysis, each objective will be closely monitored to see if it was met. Be as complete as possible. As a consequence, the reader will know the plan in detail and how to apply it to all of the objectives.

Limitations of the Data Collection Plan

This section denotes the weaknesses of the design, what variables may hinder clear answers, and what other factors could not be controlled. Every experiment has elements which cannot be controlled, and they should be noted.

Start each chapter with an opening paragraph that explains what will be found in that chapter. Furthermore, close each chapter with a summary paragraph specifying how this particular chapter is integrated into the entire Business Application Project.

Week FOUR

OVERVIEW

Learners will be presenting Chapters 1-4 of their Research Projects, and receiving feedback from the facilitator.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Adult learners will:

1. Compare and contrast their progress and approach with that of the rest of the cohort.

2. Model for each other constructive feedback techniques.

3. Learn and demonstrate public speaking and presentation skills.

week five

OVERVIEW

Learners will be working independently to write Chapters 5 and 6 of their Business Application Projects.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The adult learner will:

1. Complete Chapter 5 of their Research Project.

2. Complete Chapter 6 of their Research Project.

Writing CHAPTERS 5 AND 6

The Purpose of Chapters 5 and 6

The two general purposes of these chapters are:

1. To present a summary of the results with an analysis, according to the procedures outlined in the data collection plan. This demonstrates the ability to apply data analysis and statistical methods.

2. To present the conclusions and recommendations derived from the data analysis. This demonstrates the ability to interpret and draw conclusions from research data and to develop recommendations based on sound research findings.

The work completed up to this point culminates in Chapters 5 and 6. These two chapters focus on the results of the research and its practical value.

Checklist for Chapters 5 and 6

Results

Have you organized this chapter by objective, briefly restating

each objective and indicating the instruments or measurements used?

Yes
No

Have you presented for each objective only the data which are relevant to it?

Yes
No

Have your followed each table or figure with a discussion of its contents?

Yes
No

Have you clearly stated the results of any statistical tests?

Yes
No

Have you stated how the actual results compared to those

expected?

Yes
No





Conclusions



Have you briefly stated your Research Project’s

purpose and objectives?

Yes
No

Have you stated whether your objectives were met, and indicated why or why not?

Yes
No

Have you stated whether or not your original expectations were

met?

Yes
No

Have you related your findings to the original problem as

described in Chapter 1; is impact clearly shown?

Yes
No

Have you related your findings to relevant research by other researchers?

Yes
No

Have you discussed any limitations in your procedures and indicated the implications of these limitations on the conclusions?

Yes
No

Have you discussed the generalizations you can make from your findings?

Yes
No

Have you given a complete analysis of the findings, indicating all
the conclusions that can be drawn from them?

Yes
No

Have you confined the conclusions to those which are supported by solid data?

Yes
No

Recommendations



Have you discussed all the policy recommendations that can be based on the findings?

Yes
No

Have you discussed the recommendations for further research that the project suggests?

Yes
No

Have you shown how the results support the recommendations you made?

Yes
No

writing Chapter 5 – Summary of Results

This chapter will summarize the results obtained from implementing the evaluation plan described in Chapter 4. Tell the reader what was discovered as a result of the research.

The chapter should begin with a brief introduction stating the contents of the chapter. Following this introduction, the chapter should be organized by objective. The results of the data collection should be presented as they relate to each objective, so that the reader will know which objectives were met and which were not met.

For each objective, begin by restating the objective and briefly indicating the instrument or nature of the measurements used to obtain data relevant to the objective. Follow with a summary of the actual data collected. Only pertinent data to an objective should be presented. For example, if you used a questionnaire with questions relevant to two or more objectives, do not present the data on all the questions; present only the data on the questions relevant to the objective currently being discussed.

Data are normally presented in table or figure format. Each table or figure should be followed by a brief discussion of its contents. Be specific about the unusual or key findings. In discussing the data, report the level of significance of each statistical test and indicate whether it exceeded the criterion level one established to determine significance. Also, indicate how the obtained results compared to those expected. The raw data collected should be presented in the Appendix of the paper. Only summarized data should be presented in this chapter. One exception is raw data that is not lengthy; such data may be included in the text. Introduce the statistical material with statements such as, “The data summarizing the effect of training on sales are presented in Table 9 on page 23; the raw data can be found in Appendix B on pages 31-36.”

When using tables or figures to display data in the text of this chapter, position them as closely as possible to the written discussion of their contents. This helps the reader make quick comparisons between the visual and textual presentations of the results. The best placement is on the same page. If that is impossible, make sure the table or figure appears on the page following the reference to it.

A brief example is provided below.

Chapter 5 – Sample

The effect of a training program for sales agents on the behavior of the agents and on sales quotas is presented in this chapter. The raw data for each objective are presented in Tables 4 and 5 in Appendix A.

Effect of a Training Program on Sales Agents

Objective One: To significantly (P=.05) increase the sales of telephone sales agents in the sales office within two months after training.

A randomized pretest/post test control group design, utilizing the February 1990 (pre-training) and May 1990 (post training), and Monthly Agent’s Sales Reports, was used to evaluate achievement of this objective. The data summarizing the effects of a training program on sales agents are presented in Table 1.

TABLE 1

MEAN SALES FACTORS FOR TRAINED

AND UNTRAINED AGENTS

Group*

Pre-training Sales

Post-training Sales

Trained

35.6

47.3

Untrained

35.7

37.9

*n = 25 for each group

The two-tailed, non-paired t-test comparison of the pre-training mean sales factor was not significant at .05, indicating that both groups were equal on this dependent variable at the start of the study. The post training means showed a difference of 9.4 in favor of the trained agents.

The t-value for this difference was 10.31, which is significant beyond the .001 level. As predicted, the trained group’s performance was significantly better than that of the untrained group.

writing Chapter 6 – Conclusions & Recommendations

This chapter will draw conclusions based on the analysis of the results presented in the previous chapter. In short, tell the reader what the results mean and what actions should be taken as a result of the findings.

Introduce the chapter with a restatement of the purpose of the Research Project and its objectives. Follow this introduction with a brief statement indicating that this chapter presents an interpretation and discussion of the project findings (results) and a discussion of the recommendations stemming from these findings. Following this brief introduction there are three sections to the chapter, which are indicated by free-standing side headings:

· Conclusions

· Policy Recommendations

· Recommendations for Further Research

Conclusions

In this section, discuss the meaning of the results beyond what they mean statistically; that is, interpret the findings and indicate what can be concluded from them. This section should be a detailed discussion of the conclusions relevant to the actual subjects involved in the study and to other populations to which it can be generalized.

In the discussion, (1) indicate whether the results confirm, totally or in part, the original expectations or predictions; (2) indicate whether or not each objective was achieved and why; and (3) indicate whether the results were due to the expected variables or to uncontrollable variables. At this point, discuss what implications the limitations previously mentioned have had on the conclusions. Discuss the relationship of the results to the original problem description. Questions to ask: “Was the intervention a viable solution to the problem?” or “Did it make a difference in solving the problem or improving the situation?”. If appropriate, discuss the long-term, as well as short-term implications. Finally, indicate other populations to which one can generalize the study results and the extent to which the generalizations can be made.

The presentation of conclusions should be organized by objectives. Preface the conclusions with a brief summary of the objectives and the findings (results) relevant to them; then, discuss the conclusions that can be drawn from these results. In some cases, the findings regarding several objectives may be interrelated. In that situation, you should explain the interrelationship. When writing the conclusions section, present only those conclusions that can be supported by solid data: do not claim more for the results than they really show. Special care must be taken when speculating why the results were not as expected. Be ready to support any speculation with data, information, or observations gathered during the project or from the published literature. Be sure to discuss why the objective was or was not achieved and what modifications may have improved the intervention’s effectiveness.

Policy Recommendations

In this section, discuss what actions the organization or community should take based on the results of the Business Application Project. A good set of recommendations makes it more likely that the report will have an impact on policy. The recommendations may affect the future of the program and other programs or policies long after the project is complete.

At a minimum, state whether the intervention should be continued, dropped, modified, or tested with other populations. Perhaps there are new or expanded policies you would suggest as a result of the findings. Perhaps new programs or interventions or change is needed in existing programs. In making recommendations, explain how the results support them.

Recommendations for Further Research

In this section, indicate the kinds of additional research needed in the topic area. These recommendations may take various forms. If there were any limitations in the research procedures, indicate what changes should be made in future studies. If one addressed only some aspects of the problem as described in Chapter 1 of the report, indicate how the remaining aspects should be researched. If the project raised new questions, indicate how they could be studied. If the intervention failed to achieve some of its objectives, indicate what other interventions may prove fruitful. Indicate any additional outcome variables the intervention is likely to impact—variables that should be measured. For example, if it measured the impact of training on increased knowledge, one may wish to recommend that a follow-up study measuring the impact of on-the-job behaviors be implemented.

At the end of this chapter, include a summary for the entire Business Application Project. These two or three paragraphs will be the capstone of the entire project.

Week six

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The adult learner will:

1. Complete Chapter 7 of their Research Project.

2. Complete the abstract and the table of contents of their Research Project.

READING AND WRITING UNIT (Individual Work)

writing Chapter 7 – Reflections on the ACTION RESEARCH Project

In this chapter, discuss the learning you have realized in completing the Research Project. This is the first and only time one can use personal pronouns (I, my, me). During the Research Project you were to have kept a journal of your many experiences and frustrations. Now is the time to refer to these experiences and write the reflections important to the study.

The requirements of this chapter necessitate a balance between concrete experiences (what you have learned) and conceptualizations (how they have affected you). Do not repeat a step-by-step writing of the Research Project. Instead, attempt to analyze your feelings, your learning outcomes, and changed attitudes on the basis of some specific experiences. An example would be the literature review. What skills did you acquire? How did researching material of others change your mind? What will change in the future because of the review of literature?

Provide a good mix of conceptualization and concrete experiences. Indicate any roadblocks or difficulties you encountered and how you overcame them. Can any of this learning be generalized to other researchers or research situations? Discuss any unexpected outcomes that occurred during or as a result of this project.

In addition to documenting the learning outcomes, indicate what problems you encountered that needed to be resolved. Be sure to discuss what techniques became apparent during the research process that can be applicable to the daily work situation.

Finally, conclude with a discourse on how the entire program and Business Application Project affected your personal life. Will any of the learning outcomes transfer to personal or home activities? Were there concrete changes that gave personal satisfaction? Would you go through the process over again if given the opportunity?

Make this chapter count for all it is worth. You deserve it.

Checklist For Chapter 7

Results

Reflections



Have you indicated the experiences and

learning outcomes relating to the project?

Yes
No

Have you described the major problems

you encountered and how you overcame them?

Yes
No

Have you discussed the relevance

and value of the research to management?

Yes
No

Have you written this chapter in a manner

which reflects a good balance between

conceptualization and concrete experiences?

Yes
No

Have you discussed and documented all

of the learning outcomes?

Yes
No

Have you generalized the learning outcomes

to other problems in management or personal life?

Yes
No

Abstract



Is the abstract a three-page overview of the

entire Business Application Project?

Yes
No

Is the abstract length within the three-page maximum?

Yes
No

writing the ABSTRACT

(Including sample)

The abstract is a condensed summary of the contents of the Business Application Project. The major purpose of the abstract is to provide the reader with a quick overview. This overview will enable another researcher to determine whether the contents are sufficiently related to his or her problem to make reading the entire Business Application Project worthwhile.

Since the abstract is a summary, it should consist of no more than three pages. Only the key points of the report should be included.

*
The opening sentence should indicate the purpose of the project and

your opinion.

* Briefly summarize the nature of the problem in the next paragraph.

* Next, indicate, in summary form, the project objectives.

* In the following paragraph, summarize the nature of the intervention or alternatives implemented to achieve these objectives.

* Then write a brief summary of the research method implemented and the key results obtained from the analysis of the data.

* Close the abstract with a brief summary of the conclusions and recommendations.

Note: The reflections chapter is not summarized in the abstract. A sample abstract appears on the following page.

Sample Abstract

ABSTRACT

The purpose of the project was to design, implement, and evaluate an interpersonal

relations training program for telephone sales agents at the XYZ Company.

In analyzing the reasons for the low sales conversions, it appeared that a major

contributing cause was inadequate interpersonal relations skills, particularly in dealing

with problem customers. Agents lacked skills in responding to the emotional content of

customer messages, tended to be either defensive or aggressive when handling problems,

and occasionally were discourteous to the customers. Based on the problem analysis, two

objectives were established: to increase the percentage of calls converted into sales and

to increase the ratio of positive to negative interpersonal behaviors, both within two

months after training. The one-week training program consisted of a lecture covering the

basic concepts of transactional analysis, videotapes of effective and ineffective

interpersonal behaviors, and sixteen hours of practice on active listening and problem-

solving behaviors. A randomized pretest/posttest control group design was used to

determine whether the objectives were met. One month pre- and two months’ post-

training sales data were obtained from company sales reports. The data on interpersonal

behaviors were obtained by analyzing taped sales calls. The results showed the trained

agents to be significantly higher on both performance variables. Trained agents achieved

a 25 percent increase in sales over untrained agents. Trained agents demonstrated a 50

percent increase in the ratio of positive to negative behaviors over the controls. Both

objectives were achieved, and it is concluded that the achievements were due to the

training program. The relationship between these findings and those of other researchers

are discussed. The findings of this project support previous findings that interpersonal

behaviors are a significant factor in sales effectiveness and that training involving actual

practice with new skills can result in improved behavior within a short period of time.

Based on the results of this study, it was recommended that the program be

implemented for all the agents in the sales office. It was also recommended that the

program with modifications be tested with sales personnel other than telephone sales

agents.

SAMPLE TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT
ii

CHAPTER 1: DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM
1

Purpose of the Business Application Project
1

Setting of the Problem
1

History and Background of the Problem
3

Scope of the Business Application Project
5

Importance of the Business Application Project
5

Definition of Terms
6

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
7

CHAPTER 3: DESCRIPTION OF THE INTERVENTION
11

Statement of Objectives
11

Description of Intervention
13

CHAPTER 4: THE EVALUATION PLAN
15

Evaluation Design
15

Data Collection Procedures
18

Data Analysis Procedures
19

Limitations of the Evaluation Plan
21

CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY OF RESULTS
22

Effect of XYZ on ABC
22

Effect of UVW on DEF
23

CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
24

Discussion of Conclusions
24

Policy Recommendations
25

Recommendations for Further Research
26

REFERENCE LIST
27

CHAPTER 7: REFLECTIONS ON THE ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT
29

APPENDIX B: Supplemental Material
31

THE FINAL DRAFT

It is time to put the Research Project into final form. (Please read the material on formatting again.)

Next, write the final Table of Contents. This is done after collating all the parts of the report, including the Appendices. Be sure you have the necessary title pages and that all pages are numbered correctly.

Begin to put everything into two copies for the final draft. One of these must be bound in a loose-leaf binder or study folder. This copy will be placed in the library or in the program office, as specified earlier. If it is classified as restricted, it will be kept confidential.

Week Seven

final written summaries

This week includes the evaluation of the final summaries of the completed Research Project. Each learner should prepare a summary and outline of each section of their Business Application Project. The grade on the Final Summary should include the following:

1. Appropriateness of topic:

· Level of difficulty (not too easy or too difficult)

· Research materials available

· Unique research (not adequately covered by other research)

· Timeliness of the topic

· Matching of topic with adult learner ability

· Possibility of impact upon an organization

2. Diligence by the adult learner in continuing to move ahead.

3. The following chart can be used to evaluate the content of the summaries.



Excellent

Satisfactory

Needs Improvement

Opening statement that indicates a clear purpose and objectives

( )

( )

( )

The project’s thesis (position)

( )

( )

( )

The introduction

( )

( )

( )

The body (data)

( )

( )

( )

Conclusion (change advocated)

( )

( )

( )

Is the recommended action clear, specific and consistent with the results of the study?

( )

( )

( )

MODULE EVALUATION FORMS

APPENDICES

APPENDIX A

Problem Analysis Worksheet

1. State the problem in as clear and concise a manner as possible:

2. Why is this a problem?

Where is the problem located or centered?

Who is affected by the problem?

3. Description of current status:
Description of desired status:

(a)

(a)

(b)

(b)

(c)

______

(c)

(d)

(d)

(e)

(e)

(f)

______

(f)

4. Analyze the above for symptoms vs. possible causes. Ask yourself what causes the condition that makes you think there is a real problem. Is this really the problem or only the manifestation of a symptom?

SYMPTOMS

POSSIBLE CAUSE

5. List all possible explanations (hypotheses) for the problem. Use complete sentences, such as: The problem is a result of ineffective communication between departments.

6.
Explain why the above explanations (hypotheses) appear to be relevant or applicable to your study.

7.
Indicate any relationship among the most relevant explanations (hypotheses) identified in #6. (I.e. are they getting at the same thing, does one have implication for another?)

APPENDIX B

ACTION RESEARCH Project
Topic Proposal

Name:
Group:
Date:

Using your completed Problem Analysis Worksheet as a guide, type your responses to the following questions. Strive for complete, yet concise, statements.

1. Problem statement (This can take the form of a statement or question and should include where the problem is found, major elements or variables involved, and the population affected.)

2. What is your personal involvement with the problem, and to what degree do you have control over the situation?

3. On the basis of your problem analysis, what are your explanations and assumptions about the cause(s) of this problem?

4. Specifically, in what practical ways will the situation improve if the problem is solved? How will your organization benefit?

5. What are the first two or three steps you need to take?

6. How do you plan to go about gathering your information?

APPROVAL:

Business Application Project Facilitator:
Date:

Site Contact:
Date:

APPENDIX C

Final ACTION RESEARCH Project Evaluation Report

Name

Group

Date

A. Writing Ability

Poor Fair Good Excellent

1.
Correct usage of standard English (correct spelling and tense).

1 2 3 4

2.
Effective sentence structure and paragraphing, including clear and concise thoughts.

1 2 3 4

3.
Logical organization of ideas that evolve into complete concepts.

1 2 3 4

B.
Procedures of Problem Solving



1.
Problem accurately stated for proper research.

1 2 3 4

2.
Background and history relevant to problem.

1 2 3 4

3.
Data collection relevant and complete for conclusion description.

1 2 3 4

4.
Explanation of format (Intervention, Alternative) clear for proper follow-through of problem.

1 2 3 4

5.
Evaluation plan clearly tied to problem and solution-seeking.

1 2 3 4

C.
Quality of Documentation



1.
Literature review contains proper readings focused on the total picture as well as stated problems.

1 2 3 4

2. Sources are properly documented in APA format.

1 2 3 4

3.
The listed solutions focus on the precise nature of the defined problem.

1 2 3 4

4.
Evidence of testing, interpreting, and correct conclusion-making is clear.

1 2 3 4

5.
Evidence that a clear solution to the problem is stated with convincing supporting detail.

1 2 3 4

6.
The weaknesses of the study are clearly identified and explained.

1 2 3 4

F. General Comments (if any)

Action Research Project Facilitator’s signature

Final Grade

Appendix E

Literature Review Q&A

Q: What is a literature review?

A: Essentially a literature review is a summary of pertinent research in the field. Learners and professionals conduct literature reviews to learn about and stay up to date on a particular problem or topic. Think of a literature review as a guide to a particular topic.

Q: Why do I need to have a literature review for this project?

A: This project is an in-depth practical look at a particular problem in your field. It is a hands-on application project designed to walk you through the proper steps of conducting research on a particular topic. Part of the formal research process requires that the researcher investigate what others have already done on the topic. Think of it this way, why conduct the exact same study yielding the same results, if it’s already been done?

With that said, the literature review provides the reader and the researcher with solid background for a research paper’s investigation of the topic.

Q: What type of literature should the literature review contain?

A: It should contain reviews of current (no more than 5 years old) scholarly articles preferably from peer reviewed journals. These types of sources are the safest because you can be sure the research has validity and was conducted correctly. Peer reviewed journals add an additional level of security to the study because it means the research was reviewed by other experts in the field before going to print. You cannot be sure research from non-scholarly sources (i.e. .coms) is reputable.

Q: What do I do if I can’t find any literature?

A: Try expanding your search. One of the biggest struggles when looking for articles is finding articles that aren’t too narrow or too broad. Remember, there isn’t going to be an article or research on your specific problem. (If there is, then you need to revise your problem statement because the whole point of this project is to further research in the field, not repeat it.)

So, if you can’t find any articles, chances are you need to either broaden or narrow your search criteria. Once you’ve found one article that is a good fit, try looking at the key words and the sources that that particular researcher used. If you are still having trouble locating appropriate sources, check with your instructor or a librarian. They will be able to help you narrow or broaden your search.

Q: How do I write the literature review?

A: Every paper will be different, so keep in mind that this is a flexible process. However, the following are some general tips to help you get started.

· Introduction, body, conclusion: Like all sections of your project paper, the literature review should contain an introduction (introducing the reader to the literature review), a body (discussing the literature in detail), and a conclusion (a brief summary of the main points in the section).

· Organization: There are many ways to organize the literature in a literature review. However, you will probably find the “funnel” approach the easiest for this type of project. Try grouping the articles from a general overview to a specific subject perspective dealing with the particular problem.

· Synthesize and summarize the literature selectively: In the body, summarize the main points of each article as they relate to your research. For example, if your research is about apples, and the article you’re discussing is about fruit in general, don’t bother to include the research on oranges. Include the research as it pertains to your topic and your research.

· Use citations: Be careful not to plagiarize. Remember to use citations even if you are paraphrasing.

· Keep your own voice: Sometimes it’s hard to summarize others’ work while keeping your own perspective and voice. A good way to avoid this is by not using too many direct quotations or paraphrases. Try beginning and ending each article review with your own words and how the source relates to your project. Explain why you chose that particular source for your review, and why the research is valid.

· Read other literature reviews: Most scholarly research articles will contain a literature review. Try reading the authors’ literature reviews and see how they write them.

Appendix F

Organizational Format of final report

The final report should consist of the following major divisions in the sequence presented:

· Title Page

· Certification Page

· Abstract

· Table of Contents

· Text of the Report

· Introduction with problem statement

· Purpose of the research

· Literature Review

· Methodology

· Description of the research conducted

· Results

· Conclusion

· Reflections (Your opinions, experiences, and conclusions)

· Reference list

· Appendix of Appendices

Be sure to review your Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Latest Edition) for all references.

Title Page

The first page of the report is the title page. It is not numbered and includes the title of the work, the institution to which the report is submitted, the author’s name, the Business Application Project Facilitator’s name, the group designation, a running head, and the date submitted. The exact location of this information and the spacing to be used is shown in the example included at the end of this section.

The title should be brief but must provide an accurate and complete description of the Business Application Project. (For example, “The Impact of Interpersonal Relations Training on Productivity of Telephone Sales Agents of the XYZ Company” or “An Interpersonal Relations Training Program for Telephone Sales Agents of the XYZ Company.”)

Certification Page

The second page of the report is the certification page. It is not numbered and includes your name, the title of the Business Application Project, and the signature of the Business Application Project Facilitator. Indicate whether the report is considered confidential, and therefore restricted from being used as a sample in future classes or catalogued in the library. If there is sensitive information or data that the company, or other organizations, prefer to have protected, the report will be restricted.

Follow the format of the sample indicated at the end of this section.

· Place the researcher’s name and the title of the report on the designated lines.

· Provide lines for the required signature of the Business Application Project Facilitator and site contact.

· Double space between all entries except the restriction statement that begins on the fifth line below the Business Application Project Facilitator’s signature.

· Indicate whether or not the Business Application Project is considered confidential and restricted.

Abstract

The next major division of the report is the two- to three-page abstract. The beginning page should be titled with ABSTRACT centered and in capital letters. The pages of the abstract are numbered with lower case Roman numerals, starting with the numeral ii. (A sample abstract can be found in Week 6.)

The major purpose of the abstract is to provide the reader with a quick overview of the Business Application Project. This condensed summary will enable another researcher to determine whether the contents are sufficiently related to his or her research to make reading the entire report worthwhile.

The key points of the abstract should follow this format:

· The opening sentence should indicate the purpose of the Business Application Project.

· The next paragraph should briefly summarize the nature of the problem.

· The objectives, in summary form, should come next.

· The following paragraph should summarize the nature of the intervention implemented (or proposed) in order to achieve these objectives.

· Next, briefly summarize the hypotheses that were developed.

· Following that is a brief summary of the conclusion and recommendations.

Table of Contents

The table of contents is the next division following the abstract. The title TABLE OF CONTENTS should be centered at the top of the page and capitalized. The pages of the table of contents are numbered with lower case Roman numerals.

The table of contents lists the major division of the Research Project and the chapter and section headings into which the text is formally divided; it also includes the beginning page number of each section. The table of contents provides the reader with an outline of the material covered by the report Business Application Project.

The relationship between the chapters and sections is indicated by the appropriate use of capitals and indentation. The chapter headings listed in the table of contents are numbered consecutively with capitalized Roman numerals and are capitalized as titles. The section headings of each chapter are indented two spaces from the first letter of the chapter heading.

The titles ABSTRACT, REFERENCE LIST, and APPENDIX are included as major divisions in the table of contents. These titles are capitalized but are not numbered with Roman numerals. If the report contains more than one appendix, each appendix should be labeled with a letter or number; for example, APPENDIX A, APPENDIX B, or APPENDIX 1, APPENDIX 2. The title of each appendix should be included in the list, and it should be capitalized.

All titles and headings in the table of contents should correspond exactly with the titles and headings as they appear in the body of the report.

In spacing the entries in the table of contents, you should leave three lines between the title, TABLE OF CONTENTS, and the first entry. You should also leave one blank line between each entry in the table.

Page numbers in the table of contents should be located at the right-hand side of the page, each following a line of dots from the last word of the heading. Only the beginning page number of each division, chapter, or section is given.

Note: Many computer software programs will automatically format this for you.

Text of the Report

The first page of Chapter 1 is the beginning of the report. This page and all pages in the text of the report should contain a header, right centered with the title and the page number on each page.

Each chapter of the report must begin on a new page. The chapter titles must be centered at the top of the page, and be typed in capital letters.

The sections of the chapters should have appropriate headings to indicate the important and logical divisions of the chapters. These section headings should be entered as free-standing side headers, underlined, and have the first letter of each significant word capitalized. (For more specific information and examples, check the most recent version of the American Psychological Association’s Publication Manual.)

Each chapter should begin with an introductory paragraph stating the content of the chapter and should conclude with a summary paragraph stating the contribution of that chapter to the whole report.

Remember that the text of the report is written in the past tense and, except for the reflections chapter, without the use of personal pronouns.

References

Follow the APA guidelines found Hacker’s A Writer’s Reference (latest edition) or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (latest edition).

appendix G

Sample Title Page

TITLE OF THE PROJECT

An Action Research Project Presented to the Degree-Completion Program Name

In partial fulfillment of the requirements

for the Organizational Management Program

Your Name

Action Research Project Facilitator’s Name

Group Designation

Submission Date

Appendix H

Sample Certification Page

This is to certify that the Action Research Project prepared

By

Entitled

Has been accepted by the Degree Completion Program Name.

Signed:

Action Research Project Facilitator
Date

This Action Research Project (is/is not) to be regarded as confidential and its use as a sample in future classes is (restricted/not restricted).

Site Contact

Appendix I

Sample Abstract

The purpose of the project was to design, implement, and evaluate an interpersonal relations training program for telephone sales agents at the XYZ Company.

In analyzing the reasons for the low sales conversions, it appeared that a major contributing cause was inadequate interpersonal relations skills, particularly in dealing with problem customers. Agents lacked skills in responding to the emotional content of customer messages, tended to be either defensive or aggressive when handling problems, and occasionally were discourteous to the customers.

Based on the problem analysis, two objectives were established: to increase the percentage of calls converted into sales and to increase the ratio of positive to negative interpersonal behaviors, both within two months after training.

The one-week training program consisted of a lecture covering the basic concepts of transactional analysis, videotapes of effective and ineffective interpersonal behaviors, and sixteen hours of practice on active listening and problem-solving behaviors.

A randomized pretest/posttest control group design was used to determine whether the objectives were met. One month pre- and two months’ post-training sales data were obtained from company sales reports. The data on interpersonal behaviors were obtained by analyzing taped sales calls. The results showed the trained agents to be significantly higher on both performance variables. Trained agents achieved a 25 percent increase in sales over untrained agents. Trained agents demonstrated a 50 percent increase in the ratio of positive to negative behaviors over the controls.

Both objectives were achieved, and it is concluded that the achievements were due to the training program. The relationship between these findings and those of other researchers are discussed.

The findings of this project support previous findings that interpersonal behaviors are a significant factor in sales effectiveness and that training involving actual practice with new skills can result in improved behavior within a short period of time.

Based on the results of this study, it was recommended that the program be implemented for all the agents in the sales office. It was also recommended that the program with modifications be tested with sales personnel other than telephone sales agents.

appendix J

Sample Organizational Development Interventions

TARGET GROUP

TYPES OF INTERVENTIONS

Interventions designed to improve the effectiveness of INDIVIDUALS

· Life and Career planning activities

· Coaching and counseling

· T-group (sensitivity training)

· Education and training to increase skills, knowledge in the areas of technical task needs, relationship skills, process skills, decision making, problem solving, planning, goal-setting skills

· Grid OD phase 1

· Work redesign

· Gestalt OD

· Behavior modeling

Interventions designed to improve the effectiveness of DYADS/TRIADS

· Process consultation

· Third-party peacemaking

· Role negotiation technique

· Gestalt OD

Intervention designed to improve the effectiveness of TEAMS and GROUPS

· Team building – task directed or process directed

· Gestalt OD

· Grid OD phase 2

· Interdependency exercise

· Appreciative inquiry

· Responsibility charting

· Process Consultation

· Role negotiation

· Role analysis technique

· “Startup” team-building activities

· Education in decision making, problem solving, planning, goal setting in group settings

· Team MBO

· Appreciations and concerns exercise

· Sociotechnical systems (STS)

· Visioning

· Quality of work life (QWL) programs

· Quality circles

· Force-field analysis

· Self-managed teams

Interventions designed to improve the effectiveness of INTERGROUP RELATIONS

· Intergroup activities – Process or task directed

· Organizational Mirroring

· Partnering

· Process consultation

· Third-party peacemaking at group level

· Grid OD phase 3

· Survey feedback

Interventions designed to improve the effectiveness of the TOTAL ORGANIZATION

· Socio-technical systems (STS)

· Parallel learning structures

· MBO (participation forms)

· Cultural analysis

· Confrontation meetings

· Visioning

· Strategic planning/strategic management activities

· Grid OD phases 4, 5, 6

· Interdependency exercise

· Survey feedback

· Appreciative inquiry

· Future search conferences

· Quality of work life (QWL) programs

· Total quality management (TQM)

· Physical settings

· Large-scale systems change

� If you use a questionnaire or other data gathering instrument involving human subjects, be sure to check the specific policies of the school’s institutional review board. You may also need to use a consent form or get another form of permission from your research subjects.

� If you use a questionnaire or other data gathering instrument involving human subjects, be sure to check the specific policies of the school’s institutional review board. You may also need to use a consent form or get another form of permission from your research subjects.

© Copyright 2008-2010 Education Strategy®, LLC ALL Rights Reserved Page 1

Writerbay.net

Do you need help with this or a different assignment? We offer CONFIDENTIAL, ORIGINAL (Turnitin/LopesWrite/SafeAssign checks), and PRIVATE services using latest (within 5 years) peer-reviewed articles. Kindly click on ORDER NOW to receive an A++ paper from our masters- and PhD writers.

Get a 15% discount on your order using the following coupon code SAVE15


Order a Similar Paper Order a Different Paper