Module 3 Introduction

This module introduces research designs and methods used in addressing research questions concerning intervention effectiveness and in evaluating practice at multiple levels of social work intervention. We expand on our prior course content about study approaches as we explore quantitative, qualitative, mixed, and community-engaged research approaches to understanding interventions. Related to these research approaches, we compare study design options, measurement and data collection strategies, and participant recruitment issues appropriate for answering social work intervention research and evaluation questions. Regarding study design, we address strengths and limitations of specific study designs (including experimental and quasi-experimental designs). In exploring intervention and evaluation study participant issues, we examine recruitment and retention strategies, sample size issues, and techniques for random assignment to intervention conditions. Ethical concerns related to intervention and evaluation study participants were covered in Module 1 of the current course and directly relate to these discussions. Specific to measurement and data collection strategies, we examine issues such as using clinical assessment tools as research measures, identifying measurement tools and their psychometric properties (reliability, validity), and cultural competence related to measurement approaches. Intervention fidelity is an integral aspect of this module. 


After engaging with these reading materials and learning resources, you should be able to:

  • Describe and critique different approaches and designs appropriate for addressing intervention and evaluation research questions, including addressing issues of intervention fidelity/integrity;
  • Recognize measurement issues and strategies for ensuring a strong measurement and data collection plan related to the study design and variables;
  • Explain issues in participant recruitment (and retention), including sampling strategies, sample size, and random assignment in intervention research;
  • Identify issues of cultural appropriateness and relevance related to study approach, participant recruitment, and measurement plans in intervention research;
  • Define key terms related to the design and implementation of social work intervention and evaluation research.


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Social Work 3402 Coursebook Copyright © by Dr. Audrey Begun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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