Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to identify ethical ramifications and needs in others’ work?

PSY 790 Final Project Guidelines and Rubric

Overview As the final step in your journey toward your master of science degree in psychology, you will complete a capstone project that integrates the knowledge and skills you have developed in previous coursework and over the duration of the term by creating a research concept paper and professional presentation that will be developed for an identified target audience. You will also reflect on your journey through the psychology program and how you plan to position yourself professionally. The capstone project is divided into three milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold to the final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two, Four, and Six. The final capstone project will be submitted in Module Nine. This capstone will be assessed somewhat differently than other courses you have taken online at SNHU. There are three separate components of the project, but they all operate together to make up the whole capstone experience and are not assessed separately. You will be evaluated on all three components as a unit in determining whether you have demonstrated proficiency in each outcome. Your instructor will guide you through this process, keeping a running narrative of your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the course outcomes as you progress through the class. Your work is expected to meet the highest professional standards. In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:

 Advocate for and extend psychology’s role and responsibility in promoting agency and the psychological well-being of individuals, communities, and organizations

 Adapt to shifting demands and ill-structured problems by critically evaluating the relevance, priority, and appropriateness of various information and potential courses of action

 Design, conduct, and evaluate research through the lens of its potential to advance knowledge in psychology as well as the psychological well-being of individuals, communities, and organizations

 Integrate psychological theories, methods, and research to generate new knowledge and promote agency and the psychological well-being of individuals, communities, and organizations

 Incorporate empathy, reflectivity, and an appreciation for collaboration and diversity of perspectives into efforts to promote agency and the psychological well-being of individuals, communities, and organizations

 Protect the integrity and professional responsibility of psychology through the demonstration of ethical comportment in all aspects of the profession

Prompt For the capstone project, you will first develop a research concept paper that introduces your topic, research question, literature review, research methodology, and ethical considerations. You will also submit a presentation that should be developed for your identified target audience, as well as a personal and professional reflection.

Capstone Component 1: Research Proposal For the first of three capstone components, you will develop a well-organized research concept paper that lays the foundation for a solid plan to implement research. First, you must choose a relevant problem that aligns with your focus within the field of psychology and with how you plan to position yourself professionally. You can choose a problem that has a gap in our understanding and then provide an explanation of psychological phenomena and variables. Or you can choose an applied problem that directly involves the psychological well-being of individuals, communities, or organizations. The following sections should be included:

1. Introduction/Problem. This should describe the problem (which may be a research problem or an applied problem), the purpose of the research, and the significance of the research. If your research topic is related to a gap in knowledge, you should clarify what is known and where the conflict or gap in knowledge exists. If you choose an applied problem, identify the issue to be addressed and include an accurate and detailed overview of the issue. In general, include all information that you think is necessary to establish a comprehensive analysis and foundation for understanding your chosen research topic, including a theoretical framework or the theory that is guiding your proposal. This section should address your research question(s). Consider the following questions: What is the purpose of the proposed research? How does the purpose reasonably fit within the research problem? Further, what are the assumptions and potential limitations associated with the identified problem or gap in knowledge or applied problem? This section should also discuss your target audience, such as academics, mental health professionals, organizations, and so on. (This may be a broad audience for research that is oriented toward contributing to theory or a specific organization or community for research that is focused on addressing applied problems and interventions.) Discuss your target audience in relation to this proposal and why your research would be relevant for this audience. For example, in what way would your research help address how we understand a phenomenon or help an organization address a critical problem? Your target audience will depend on your area of study. For example, for students on a general track in this degree program, your research concept paper might center on researching a general issue in the area of psychology. If you have a concentration in child and developmental psychology, your proposed research must focus on a specific psychological need or issue surrounding children, adolescents, and/or teens. If you have a concentration in industrial and organizational psychology, your proposed research must focus on factors contributing to the advancement of an organization’s performance through application of psychology.

2. Literature Review. This section is an analysis of the scholarly debate on the theory and research related to your research question. The literature review should not be a collection of summaries. Rather, it should be organized according to the message you want to convey and appropriately synthesize the literature into your message. This suggests that you will draw from multiple sources in order to best communicate your points. Organize your review so that it provides a logical argument for the background of your proposed research and how your research fits into the big picture.

3. Research Design. This should include a detailed plan to collect and analyze data, as well as highlight the types of sources you would use. You may choose a qualitative or quantitative approach. However, your choice of method, design, sampling, data collection, analysis, and overall process should be justified and logically fit with your research question(s). Proposals that involve implementation of interventions will have a program evaluation component that must include research design. This section will also require you to discuss the reliability and validity of your measurements. Finally, you should consider how you will operationalize or measure the main concepts/variables you are researching and include a description of your data sources.

4. Ethical Considerations. This should include a thorough explanation of the ethical considerations related to the topic and to your proposed study. Your explanation should address the ethical ramifications of the problem, the population under study, the data-collection instruments and their analysis, and so on. This section should incorporate peer-reviewed literature as well as relevant codes of conduct (i.e., the American Psychological Association).

5. Conclusion. In this final section of the text, you will summarize your study and explain why your proposed research is significant, highlighting the practical implications of your potential findings for your target audience(s). This section should also include an analysis of your research’s potential contribution to the field of psychology.

Guidelines for Submission: Your research concept paper should be 15–20 pages long and should follow American Psychological Association (APA) style. It should include a title page, a table of contents, references, and (if applicable) appendices. In the “real world,” there are usually no page-length requirements, so the given page range is a suggestion, and you should use your professional judgment regarding the length of your paper. You may include illustrations, photographs, graphs, charts, and other non-textual materials as needed to support your research concept, but please be sure to format all of these in APA style. Refer to the module resources and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, sixth edition (required in previous courses) for guidance in APA style formatting.

Capstone Component 2: Presentation For this component, you will develop a presentation that articulates a convincing need for the proposal you have developed. The presentation should be engaging and appealing to your target audience(s). You should envision yourself giving this presentation before your target audience(s). This could be, for example, a boss, fellow scholars at a conference, or a grant provider. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the problem you have identified and the need to conduct research or implement and evaluate an intervention. Remember that you are seeking support of the proposal, so knowing your audience and tailoring your message to them is crucial. Since you will not actually deliver this presentation in person, you must create a self-sustaining presentation. A narrated presentation is strongly suggested. The presentation should adhere to the principles of an effective presentation, and all of your sources should be cited properly. There is no minimum or maximum number of slides required. You should use your judgment to create a presentation of appropriate length that will convey all of the necessary information while keeping the attention of your audience.

Capstone Component 3: Professional Reflection For the final component of your capstone, you will write a three- to five-page paper in which you discuss the process and outcomes of this project, the experience of giving and receiving feedback from peers, and how you incorporated feedback from your instructor. You will also touch briefly on how your coursework culminated in the capstone project and what you can take from this project into your workplace. This may include discussions of unforeseen problems or obstacles and any surprises. The paper should also discuss your identified strengths and problems that you encountered while completing the project. Finally, the paper will examine how the capstone project will be useful in the job market or in furthering your education. Some of the issues that you could address in this final component of this capstone may include:

 Overall, what was your capstone experience like?

 Reflect on the significance of the capstone in relation to your own experience at SNHU.

 What connections do you see between your capstone and your academic program?

 How will you apply what you have learned to your future academic and/or professional life?

 What is your take on the value and role of psychology in the incorporation of empathy, reflectivity, and an appreciation for collaboration and diversity of perspectives?

Milestones Milestone One: Resource Collection In Module Two, you will collect potential peer-reviewed resources for your proposal. Summarize the literature in a three- to five-page paper. Discuss how each resource relates to your research questions or intervention you have chosen. In this paper, you may summarize each article in preparation for the synthesis you will do as part of Milestone Two. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone One Rubric. If you have any questions after reading the feedback for this submission, reach out to your instructor. Remember that your instructor is a resource you should utilize throughout the course. Milestone Two: Literature Review In Module Four, you will provide a five- to seven-page paper integrating your review of the existing research and theory and tying it to your fully developed topic. You should have incorporated feedback to revise your research questions and support for the basic or applied study. This literature review should focus on relating the existing theory and research to your project. The literature review is not just a summary of research articles. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Two Rubric. If you have any questions after reading the feedback for this submission, reach out to your instructor. Remember that your instructor is a resource you should utilize throughout the course. Milestone Three: Methodology, Design, and Data In Module Six, you will revise your chosen methodology, design, and data-collection tools as needed. Also, define the process from the selection of participants (and stakeholders as applicable) through data collection to data analysis, including any limitations, delimiters, and assumptions. Include all ethical considerations. Paint a picture of the entire process to show how you will conduct the study. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Three Rubric. If you have any questions after reading the feedback for this submission, reach out to your instructor. Remember that your instructor is a resource you should utilize throughout the course. Capstone Project Submission: Research Proposal, Presentation, and Professional Reflection In Module Nine, you will submit your full capstone project. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the critical elements of the final product. It should reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course. This submission will be evaluated with the Final Project Rubric.

Final Project Rubric This rubric will be applied to all three components as a whole, and no component will be assessed on its own. The “Possible Indicators of Success” are examples for you and the instructor of the types of concepts to look for to demonstrate proficiency. They are neither exhaustive nor proscriptive and should be used as guides for illustrating how your capstone embodies the outcome. All outcomes are weighted equally.

PSY-790-01: Advocate for and extend psychology’s role and responsibility in promoting agency and the psychological well- being of individuals, communities, and organizations

Proficient 100%

Not Proficient 0%

Possible Indicators of Success

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to identify relevant issues within his or her area of specialization?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to effectively communicate a need or gap related to well-being?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to persuasively connect possible solutions to the well-being of individuals, communities, and organizations?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to identify the implications of a specific issue in relation to the psychological well-being of individuals, communities, and organizations or of a gap in our understanding of psychological phenomena?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to identify key stakeholders and/or users from relevant individuals, communities, and organizations?

PSY-790-02: Adapt to shifting demands and ill-structured problems by critically evaluating the relevance, priority, and appropriateness of various information and potential courses of action

Proficient 100%

Not Proficient 0%

Possible Indicators of Success

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to persuasively argue for addressing a specific problem or gap in knowledge?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to select relevant and appropriate resources to guide efforts in addressing a specific problem or gap?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to critically assess and evaluate the extent to which the potential data are valid and reliable?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to identify limitations, assumptions, and biases associated with the identified problem or gap in knowledge?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to persuasively argue for addressing a specific problem or gap in knowledge?

PSY-790-03: Design, conduct, and evaluate research through the lens of its potential to advance knowledge in psychology as well as the psychological well-being of individuals, communities, and organizations

Proficient 100%

Not Proficient 0%

Possible Indicators of Success

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to develop informed research questions that have direct applications for promoting the psychological well- being of individuals, communities, or organizations?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to evaluate and synthesize existing research for the purpose of advancing knowledge in psychology?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to identify limitations, assumptions, and ethical considerations in existing research and the impact of that on the student’s project?

PSY-790-04: Integrate psychological theories, methods, and research to generate new knowledge and promote agency and the psychological well-being of individuals, communities, and organizations

Proficient 100%

Not Proficient 0%

Possible Indicators of Success

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to assess an issue or gap in knowledge by critically evaluating the relevance, priority, and appropriateness of various explanations, related information, and possible courses of action?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to identify and integrate relevant theories to generate new knowledge or promote agency and psychological well-being of individuals, communities, and organizations?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to select appropriate research methods, designs, data-collection tools, and data-analysis tools?

PSY-790-05: Incorporate empathy, reflectivity, and an appreciation for collaboration and diversity of perspectives into efforts to promote agency and the psychological well-being of individuals, communities, and organizations

Proficient 100%

Not Proficient 0%

Possible Indicators of Success

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to offer a perspective to others in a manner that demonstrates empathy and appreciation for others’ views?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to critically reflect on and integrate the work of others (including instructor and peer feedback and published material)?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to incorporate diverse perspectives?

PSY-790-06: Protect the integrity and professional responsibility of psychology through the demonstration of ethical comportment in all aspects of the profession

Proficient 100%

Not Proficient 0%

Possible Indicators of Success

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to assess research plans for their ethical ramifications and make resulting adjustments that maintain the integrity of the investigation and protect the psychological well-being of others?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to identify ethical ramifications and needs in others’ work?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to connect ethical adjustments and mitigation efforts with appropriate ethical guidelines?

Does the capstone demonstrate the student’s ability to identify the ethical considerations associated with the individuals, communities, and organizations most likely to be affected by the identified gap or problem?

 

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