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NURS 329:Research Methods: Assignment

Assignment Copyright- SU course faculty

NURS 329 Research Methods
Guidelines ~ Research Article Critique Group Project


The purpose of the project is to give students the opportunity to be involved in research activities at a beginning/baccalaureate level by assuming the role of active consumer of research. Students will submit a written critique of an approved research article as a group and also present the critique orally to class.

1. Presentation will be done in small groups of 4-5 people per group based on class section size. Students will be randomly assigned to presentation groups within each section. Each group is to then identify a group leader for submission of materials (written critique & PowerPoints).
2. Students are to choose a research article from the nursing literature. The article must be concerned with medical-surgical nursing, gerontological nursing, or related adult health medical-surgical topic.
3. It must be a QUANTITATIVE study and specifically, an experimental or quasi-experimental intervention study conducted in the hospital, nursing home or community setting/home addressing a medical/surgical-related clinical practice, educational, or psychosocial issue. It should be published within the last 5 years.
IMPORTANT ~ NOTE that the following are NOT appropriate to use for the critique project:
• Quantitative research which does not use inferential statistics. This includes nonexperimental (1-group or cohort) studies and survey research which utilizes only basic/descriptive statistical tests only (frequencies/%)
• Research articles from medical journals, other disciplines OR nursing research articles that use more advanced designs (crossover) +/or statistical procedures/analysis
▪ EXAMPLES: Path analysis, intention to treat analysis, structural equation modeling (LISREL), GEE
• Systematic/integrative/scoping reviews (of the literature) on a particular topic area
• Instrument validation (psychometric evaluation) studies focused on an instrument (factor analysis)
• Meta-analyses or secondary analyses
• Evidence-based practice projects, quality improvement projects or feasibility studies
• Pilot (preliminary) studies
• Qualitative research
• Maternity, pediatrics, and psychiatric or other specialty practice (non-medical-surgical) articles

It is the students’ responsibility to review the article carefully (both abstract & body) to identify an appropriate article based on these guidelines PRIOR to bringing to instructor for review.

4. Once the group identifies an article (or preferably, articles) for consideration of approval by faculty, they are to be presented to faculty either after class or via email (link or attached pdf). Once the article is approved, a copy of the article is to be submitted to instructor(s) with the names of the group members written on the first page of each article copy.
5. Students then work with as a group to develop a written summary and critique using the form provided (posted on MyClasses). Groups are also be required to do an oral presentation (using PowerPoint) outlining the article and critique points during an assigned class date/time at the end of the semester.
6. The Fain textbook and information presented in class are to be used as the basis/format for the critique.
See “Questions to Consider When Critiquing…” at the end of each chapter AND pgs. 293-296 (Research Appraisal Checklist) to assist in the critique process. It is strongly recommended that groups start working on the critique promptly after article approval, section by section, as it is covered in class.
The “Research Critique Form” is to be used for submitting the written critique to the instructor(s). The form is available on MyClasses course web page in WORD format so that one can TYPE the information directly into the document. No handwritten forms/critiques or other formats will be accepted. We recommend use of Google docs to work on the written portion as a team. The format of the report should be a succinct summary for each item/section with the emphasis being on the critique of each bulleted item. It is to be no longer than 4-5 typed pages (single space) and uploaded to the Assignment tool in MyClasses by the posted deadline; a 5-point penalty will be assessed for each day that it is late.
NOTE: While the guidelines presented in Fain are comprehensive in nature, not every point mentioned will apply to your study. Students must judge as to whether a particular point applies and/or warrants critical analysis.


A detailed yet succinct written portion/critique (using the available WORD document template, “Research Critique Form” available on MyClasses course website) is to be submitted by designated deadline into the Assignment tool. A rubric will be used for grading purposes; it is available on MyClasses.
REMINDER: Put all group members’ names on the submission, and, only ONE submission per group (by designated group “leader”) into the MyClasses critique project assignment column.

The primary basis for the critique grade is the written portion of the critique itself and not the information presented in the PowerPoint slides. The slides should provide the class with an overview of the article and the key points of your critique for discussion purposes only. They are to outline key bulleted points and not be in the same detail as the graded written report/critique.
1. Twenty minutes is designated for each group oral presentation followed by a brief question period at the end of the presentation for audience and instructor questions/comments (approximately 5 minutes).
2. In the presentation, every member of the group must participate in the oral presentation equally.
3. Students will be graded on the quality of their presentation including professional appearance and manner, use of appropriate research terminology, and audiovisuals that enhance audience comprehension and interest. NOTE: Professional dress is expected on day of presentation.
4. The presenters should expect the instructors to make comments after each presentation and ask the presenters some basic questions. This is for everyone’s benefit to assist in understanding of key concepts and in preparation for the final exam.
5. Attendance by all students on all presentation days is required; courteous attention to peers is likewise expected.
*Failure to comply with the above guidelines may be reflected in your grade for the project.
For presentation purposes, students should begin by introducing themselves (first & last name), and state the article title, author(s), year and journal in which published—noting such on TITLE slide.

Each member in the group will also be required to submit a completed peer evaluation form (available on MyClasses) estimating the % contribution of each group member to the critique project. In the event of a significant discrepancy whereby there is consensus that a particular group member did not contribute in a fair and significant way, then that identified member’s grade may be adjusted accordingly by faculty.
The completed form is to be uploaded in MyClasses designated column by 11:59 pm on the DAY OF the scheduled presentation or PRIOR. Failure to submit the completed form in a timely manner will result in a 5-pt deduction from grade for that individual. Keep comments succinct (1 page) and confidential.

• On or Before Date Noted on Course Schedule for Identification of Group Members/Leader:
o Email course coordinator of designated leader for the group
• On or Before Date Noted on Course Schedule for Article Approval:
o At least two weeks prior to deadline for article approval, group designee will submit article (with 1 -2 “back-up” articles ready) for consideration/approval by Course Coordinator.
o Once article is approved, then group may sign up for a date for presentation and is to provide each faculty member a copy of the article (2 hard copies to Course Coordinator OR by email). Please note group members’ full names on upper right corner of first page of article.
No two groups are to critique the same article (Approved on 1st-come-1st served basis).
NOTE: Group leader is to email or provide hard copy of selected article in PDF format with full/legible figures/tables and including References page(s).
• The final version of the completed written critique form (using the posted WORD template) is to be submitted by the designated leader of each group in the Assignment tool in MyClasses by the posted deadline in Course Schedule.
• On the Day of the Scheduled Group Presentation:
o Power Point Presentation:
▪ A stapled hard copy of the PowerPoint presentation (printed in 6 slides/page format) is provided to each instructor (2 copies) on day of/just prior to presentation; it is also to be uploaded into designated column in MyClasses by 11:59 pm the day prior to the scheduled presentation.
▪ Both groups presenting in each class are to have the electronic copy of slides being used for class presentation on the classroom desktop a few minutes prior to class.
o Peer Evaluation Form:
▪ The completed form is to be submitted by each group member (individually) to designated column in MyClasses by 11:59 pm on the day of the scheduled presentation. Failure to upload by this deadline will result in a 5-pt deduction.

General/Recommended:                                                                          Other Specialty:
Applied Nursing Research                                                                             Geriatric Nursing
MED-SURG Nursing                                                                                     Journal of Gerontological Nursing
Journal of Clinical Nursing (N/A @ SU)                                                        Journal of Emergency Nursing
                                                                                                                      Cancer Nursing
                                                                                                                      Oncology Nursing Forum
                                                                                                                      Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing
                                                                                                                      Pain Management Nursing
                                                                                                                      Critical Care Nursing

WARNING: In addition to medical journals, research articles from the following journals are NOT to be used because they are top tier journals that use complex methods and/or statistics beyond the scope of this course.
Nursing Research Western Journal of Nursing Research
Research in Nursing & Health Journal of Nursing Scholarship

• While appropriateness of article title should be addressed briefly (1 sentence) in written critique paper, groups need not spend time on this in the presentation, rather focus on problem statement, etc.
• It can be helpful to provide brief overview of study so that audience has idea of intervention, basic outcome variables and population along with discussion of title
• As not typically provided in article for copyright purposes, it might be helpful to find a copy of any psychosocial instruments(s) used in study; most can be found online or using Google Instruments
• When using WORD critique form, make sure the font/size being used stays the same throughout the paper; while the headings are bolded, do NOT type your responses in bold
• The same rule applies to your PowerPoint slides/presentation—be consistent in use of font/size (other than headings that are usually larger). Avoid too many words/complete sentences on slide and do not use underline headlines/wording as it is harder to read; use bold instead
• Other PP slide tips -- Bullets should be used for majority of slides for ease of reading by audience; avoid long complete sentences unless citing a definition/quote. Bulleted statements are short incomplete sentences which do not include extraneous wording/pronouns nor periods at end
• As this is to be a “professional” presentation, please dress accordingly and do not forget to introduce members of group (first & last names)
• It is highly recommended that groups practice a dry run of the presentation PRIOR with emphasis on keeping within the allotted time frame