Assessment 1 Guidelines Part 1: Reviewing the literature and identifying evidence-based practice (1,000 words) In this part of the assignment, you will begin to explore what so many of us need to do in the workplace: understand a problem, find out what might work best as a solution, and consider whether the solution (that has – according to the research - typically worked for others) will be easy or difficult to implement. Scenario: You have been appointed the research manager within an organisation relevant to your field of study. You’ve essentially been asked to a) identify a problem the organisation needs to deal with, b) document what evidence-based information has been found (i.e. through peerreviewed journals/reports) relevant to best-practice and c) report what enablers and barriers might be involved that make implementing best-practice easy or difficult by the organisation. References are not included in the word count. Referencing Style can be Harvard or APA. Please attach a cover sheet with your name and student number, word count and what referencing style you have used. In this scenario, the ‘organisation’ could be a not-for-profit group, a clinical setting, a government department, a committee within your local council – for example – so don’t feel restricted. Use the assignment to engage with a problem/solution relevant to your interests. Get the sense of what it is to become your own detective as an actual researcher, getting to the bottom of a problem, learning what works and what can be done about it, as well as understanding why it might be easy or difficult translating theory into practice. The encouragement is to make this assignment useful, relevant and interesting for your own benefit. Example: (A) Workers within the palliative care unit of a particular Melbourne Hospital felt there seemed to be some miscommunication between doctors and their patients and carers. Research showed that patients and carers automatically assumed the doctor would naturally tell them everything they needed to know, whereas doctors assumed if patients and their carers needed to know everything they would ask (!). (B) Best-practice emphasised the importance of improving communication and practical pathways for achieving it. (C) It seemed easy and logical to provide flyers and information pamphlets in the waiting rooms to up-skill patients and carers about communication tips and hints, but uncertain how to create a culture of communication change within the medical community. Note: It’s important for you to be able to assess the quality of your own work – particularly in relation to feedback given. To this end, for this Unit during this trimester, you are asked to complete the rubrics/marking guide in relation to what you think each section equals as a grade (i.e. mark your own work) – and upload this as separate document when submitting your assignments. The marker will a) grade your work, then b) review your own assessment, and c) provide feedback in relation to your own perception – in addition to any further useful feedback for improving your work over time. It is the marker’s grade that will stand, however. Answer the questions about the Learning Outcomes as indicated at the bottom of the rubric as well. You might score higher than you think, lower than you think – or maybe the same, indicating you are on or off-track. Will this make feedback more helpful for you? Let’s see!
Assessment 1 Guidelines Part 2: Ethics in Research (1,500 words) In this second part of the assignment, you will begin to explore what is involved when considering ethics and ethical implications as part of a research project. When working on research projects, successful ethics applications naturally play a large part in not only gaining approval for the project, but also anticipating and trouble-shooting any problems that might arise when conducting the study. It’s also a really helpful way to work out the appropriate research protocol, so getting it ‘right’ is critical. Scenario: You have been asked to help complete an ethics application for an organisation or group so they can begin a research project. Select one of the following options (topics) as the subject of your assignment (they are all based on actual projects): 1. Evaluating a self-empowerment program aimed at reducing re-offending at the Youth Unit of Melbourne’s Port Phillip Prison. 2. Conducting a survey among staff and patient families in the Intensive Care Unit at the Alfred Hospital, aimed at improving patient experiences. 3. Evaluating outcomes from programs aimed at reducing domestic violence with participants from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities at various inner city community health centres, facilitated by staff from the Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health, Richmond. 4. Monitoring and evaluating Aboriginal tobacco control by conducting a survey aimed at identifying smoking rates in remote Indigenous towns, as requested by the Lowitja Institute. 5. Evaluating outcomes from peer-education programs aimed at increasing safe sex education and practices among youth aged between 18-26 years. As the ethics advisor, you will need to a) identify key ethical implications associated with the proposed research based on associated/similar studies, b) relate these issues to the relevant items in the ethics application form, and c) suggest effective strategies for addressing them so that the ethics application will be approved for the project to go ahead. Resources: Information relating to these initiatives will be posted as sub-folders in the Assessment tab to help you get some background and make a start on your assignment. Reading literature on similar studies and topics and referencing them will be important for this assignment. Reporting and findings will help you identify the key ethical issues, as well as recognising how they were addressed in the various studies, to inform your decision-making. To meet the assessment criteria effectively, best to draw on actual findings rather than drawing on intuition – although your intuition might be a helpful guide regarding where to begin searching the literature. For simplicity, we will assume all projects only require a low-risk ethics application. In reality, many of these would be considered high-risk, and the government NEAF application would require completion, as well as any host organisation’s ethics committee involvement. Given the word count, however, it makes sense to limit this appropriately. Similarly, it makes sense to draw on projects that have clear ethical issues rather than those which are more subtle (which typically attract the low-risk ethics application) to allow you to demonstrate your critical thinking.