My challenge this week was deciding on instruments for my variables. I spent hours upon hours this week reading study after study, theory after theory, trying to find the right instruments for my variables. I am very proud of what I found, but I wish I would have started researching week one for the variables I modified to by this week. Reliability is everything. Vogt (2007) encouraged researchers to incorporate reliability and validity into the organization of our thought. So, I slowed down and really started organizing my thoughts. Then I had my ah-ha moment!
The measurement and instrument selection process are the most difficult aspects of the analysis. I remember in my first year, one of the first classes, a professor told the class that when you selected a source, you wanted to cite in your dissertation – not only did the information have to align with your research, but the writer's voice had to also. That time, that sounded like a daunting task; now, I would have to read the entire article!
I laugh, remembering that, knowing that this week I read. I read to find an instrument that worked for one variable. Then I read to find the source. Then I read to ensure it met the criteria I was seeking. And when all of that was over, I moved to the next variable. In the end, further adjustments needed to be made. When two separate instruments seemed to blur lines, converge, and required I made changes, I read more.
I am confident in my professional future. I am proud of my present. And I am here to learn. If it helped the rest of my classmates when I remembered the hardest part was deciding on instruments for my variables, I focused on that… everything else fell into place.
I read enough to understand. I read enough to know what I wanted to cite and what I wanted to save for future work. I read enough to where I gave myself time to complete the process. Then I tested my assumptions in double mock study practice.
I have a lot of work to do with my data, but I am encouraged. If I had one thing I could ask for, it would be more time.
Vogt, W. P. (2007). Quantitative research methods for professionals. Boston, MA: Pearson.