Project Report: School Absenteeism
Project Report: Intervention for absenteeism in high school students
For the individual written assignment, prepare a report of the intervention you have designed, using the following sections to structure your report.
Section 1: Overview of the intervention
Introduce the intervention in a paragraph that briefly outlines the nature of the intervention and the problem or issue it addresses.
Section 2: Define the problem
Define the problem so that it is clear what the problem is, why it is a problem, and who it is a problem for. Below are some questions to consider. You won’t necessarily answer all of them, and you may answer additional ones. But these are a guide to what might help give definition to the problem.
- What is the problem or issue addressed by the intervention?
- Why is it a problem?
- Why is there a need for intervention in this problem/issue?
- How prevalent is the problem/issue?
- What other interventions are available?
- For whom is it a problem?
- Who are the key stakeholders (recipients of the intervention, as well as individuals or groups who have a vested interest in the problem or issue)?
Section 3: Problem analysis
Present your analysis of the problem, focusing on explaining the causal or contributing factors. Your analysis must draw on empirical research so that the causal or contributing factors identified are backed up by scientific research. It is also important to bring in some social psychological theory at this point. Provide a brief outline of the theoretical framework you have chosen and explain why it is appropriate for analysing the problem.
- What is the outcome variable (what behaviour are you aiming to change)?
- What factors help to explain the behaviour, or more specifically, what explains variation in the behaviour?
- What social psychological theory or theories are you using in your analysis? Describe the theory and explain why or how it applies to the problem being addressed.
- Consider including a chart showing the process model.
- Include research that supports the links in your process model.
Section 4: Intervention design
Discuss the design of the intervention. This section should focus on translating the theoretical concepts in the process model to concrete and specific thoughts, feelings, behaviours, contextual factors, etc. relevant to the problem. For example, if the problem behaviour was smoking and one of the factors in the process model was perceived behavioural control (from the theory of planned behaviour), what does perceived behavioural control mean in the context of smoking? What thoughts, feelings, behaviours, etc. could be classified as perceived behavioural control? Secondly, this section should outline the behaviour change techniques (BCTs) chosen to address each of the factors in the process model. If you have decided to address only a subset of factors, explain why you chose them and why you are not addressing all the factors in the process model (e.g. effect size and modifiability considerations). Finally, bringing all the BCTs together into a coherent intervention, describe the program or intervention you have designed. It should be clear how the activities or elements of the intervention have been designed to target specific explanatory factors and change the outcome variable (behaviour). What were/are the ultimate long-term goals of the intervention? Project Report: School Absenteeism
Consider the following questions in this section:
- Which factors in the process model are being addressed by the intervention?
- Are you targeting all factors or just some? If some, what is the justification for choosing these factors (e.g. effect size, modifiability)?
- For each factor being targeted, is there a need to translate a theoretical concept (e.g. attitude) into concrete thoughts, feelings, or behaviours?
- How could you attempt to change the thoughts, feelings or behaviours that represent the factors in the process model? What behaviour change techniques could you use?
- Explain how or why you chose the BCTs in your intervention design. Are there studies that suggest these techniques are likely to be effective for changing the target thoughts, feelings, and behaviours?
- Bring together and summarise what your intervention needs to do in order to implement the BCTs and bring about change in the outcome variable.
Section 5: Implementation
This section should focus on describing the way in which you propose to implement the intervention. What will the intervention actually look like? Will it be a multifaceted school-based program, an online video, a mobile app, a poster or flyer, or a subtle change to the environment? How have you decided to implement your BCTs in order to bring about a change in the contributing factors and ultimately the problem behaviour? Discuss where you would implement the intervention, what facilities, staff, resources, permissions, etc. might you need? What are the logistical issues involved in running or implementing your intervention? The idea here is to foresee problems, barriers or opportunities and build in plans to overcome or take advantage of them.
- How was the intervention implemented?
- Who is the target group specifically?
- What is the channel through which the target audience will be reached?
- Was it cost effective?
- Are there any limitations or weaknesses in the way the intervention is or was implemented?
- What method will be used?
- What strategies will be employed to implement the intervention?
- What are the requirements around facilities, staff, training, delivery of messages, time frame, etc?
Section 6: Evaluation
A good intervention needs an evaluation plan. Describe here how you could go about evaluating both the process and the outcome of the intervention. In order to evaluate the process (whether the intervention was implemented as planned) you will need to have some implementation goals and action plans so you can assess whether or not these were adhered to. To evaluate the outcome, you will need to have a methodological strategy to accompany the implementation. Will you use a control group? A pre-test post-test design? How will you balance internal and external validity? Project Report: School Absenteeism
- How might you evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention?
- What implementation goals and actions could you evaluate to monitor the implementation process?
- What measurements would you use to assess the effectiveness of the intervention on the outcome(s)?
- When would you measure change in the outcome?
- How will you balance internal and external validity?
- What design would you use (e.g. experiment, quasi-experiment, correlational)?