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Apply qualitative and quantitative research methods for conducting and analyzing criminal justice/criminology research

Apply qualitative and quantitative research methods for conducting and analyzing criminal justice/criminology research


For this Performance Task, you will design a research proposal for a crime issue affecting your community or region. Although you do not need to carry out the research proposal, it should be an implementable plan. The goal of this exercise is to allow you to look at criminal justice issues from the point of view of a researcher, examining the different facets of an issue that need to be considered to conduct research.

This competency should expand your awareness of theories, designs, and methods that can be used to conduct criminal justice research, should you continue your studies at the doctoral level or be required to conduct research in your career.

An additional purpose of this competency is to deliver an executive summary of your research proposal. You will place yourself in the shoes of a criminal justice professional who must win buy-in for your research proposal by justifying its importance to a superior or another decision-making stakeholder.

Your executive summary should be a synthesis of your proposal that allows your audience to quickly understand its purpose and goals.

Submission Length: One Research Proposal Template and one 2-minute Executive Summary video

Sub-Competency 1: Develop a research question for a criminal justice topic.

Part 1.1: Identify a Crime Issue 

  • Choose a particular crime that is present in your community. Identify what is not yet known about the relationship between that particular crime and its effect on the community. 

LO1.1: Identify knowledge/research gaps regarding the effects of crime on communities.

  • Response explains a major crime issue present in the community, including a description of what is currently known about its prevalence and location. 
  • Response concisely summarizes current research on this topic and areas for further research (gaps in research or emerging trends to explore)

Part 1.2: Formulate a Research Question 

LO1.2: Write a research question for a criminal justice topic.

  • The research question is relevant, measurable, and clearly stated. Research question demonstrates critical thinking related to feasibility (i.e., it will be possible to obtain an answer ethically and with available time and resources).

Sub-Competency 2: Develop sampling techniques for research proposals.

Part 1.3a: Population 

  • Select a population to use for the research proposal. Describe the target population (including size of the population and other demographic and socioeconomic conditions, if known). If you plan to use existing data, describe the population used. 

LO2.1: Select appropriate target population from which to gather data for a research study.

  • Response describes the research population in specific, concrete terms. Population is appropriate for the study.

Part 1.3b: Sampling Technique 

  • Explain how you would sample your chosen target population and why you selected this method. 

LO2.2: Apply sampling techniques to research studies.

  • The response contains a clear and concise explanation of the proposed sampling method and size. 
  • Response provides a justification for why the method is appropriate for the population and research question.

Sub-Competency 3: Define research variables.

Part 1.4: Independent and Dependent Variables 

  • Provide conceptual definitions of the key variables you need to measure. 

LO3.1: Define research variables.

  • Response provides concise definitions for key variables that would be measured in the study.

Sub-Competency 4: Propose mixed-method (qualitative and quantitative) designs for a research study.

Part 1.5: Measuring Variables 

  • Explain how you would measure each variable in your study. 

LO4.1: Select appropriate methods to measure research variables

  • Response provides a clear explanation of how each variable would be measured.

Part 1.6: Instrument or Qualitative Data Source 

  • Option 1: If you are creating your own survey instrument, provide a list of the survey questions you would ask your sample. 
  • Option 2: If you are using existing data, be sure to provide evidence of reliability and validity and a description of the sample, concepts, and measures used in the original study. Also identify any limitations of the existing data. 

LO4.2: Apply qualitative research methods to research studies.

  • For Option 1: Survey questions are clear, well-designed, and tailored to the research question. 
  • For Option 2: Response contains an accurate and detailed description of the existing data, including reliability/validity, sample, concepts, and measures.

Part 1.7: Mixed-Method Approach 

  • Explain the statistical techniques and qualitative approaches you would use to analyze the collected data. 

LO4.3: Select appropriate data analysis methods for research studies.

  • Response demonstrates understanding of basic quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques. Techniques and approaches proposed are appropriate for the research topic and would be feasible to implement.

Sub-Competency 5: Justify the need for conducting criminal justice research by delivering an executive summary.

Part 2.1: Overview of Research Proposal In the first half of your 2-minute video presentation, explain: 

  • The issue your research will address 
  • The need for the approach selected to research the issue 
  • The focus of the research 

LO5.1: Summarize research proposals in an executive summary.

Response adhere to the time limit, is well-organization and succinct, and describes required components (research issue, approach, and focus). 

Part 2.2: Justification for the Research Study 

  • In the second half of your 2-minute video presentation, justify the need for this research study by explaining the benefits it could provide for the agency and ultimately the community. 

LO5.2: Explain potential benefits of conducting criminal justice research.

  • Response adhere to the time limit, is well-organization and succinct, and provides a persuasive justification for implementing the study.



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