As you have seen in the Learning Resources assigned throughout this course, there are a variety of ways to develop and express a theoretical foundation for research. Depicting the elements of your foundation visually can be just as effective as—and, at times, even more impactful than—conveying the information through written narrative.
As a nurse scientist, using a visual medium to articulate your ideas could help you realize that you need to reexamine a conceptual relationship. Or, it could spark the development of a new research question or hypothesis. Creating a graphic model can also help you spot inconsistencies in your theoretical foundation that need to be rectified. In addition, a well-crafted graphic model can enable your target audience to quickly and easily understand the rationale for your proposed program of research.
This week, you develop a graphic model and share it with your colleagues in the Discussion. You then integrate your graphic model into your Theoretical Foundation for Research Paper, which is due in Week 10 and serves as the Major Assessment for this course.
Construct graphic models to convey theoretical underpinnings of research
Analyze graphic depictions of theoretical foundations for research
Apply analytic methods to the development of theoretical foundations for research
Developing a Graphic Model
In the Week 5 media program, “Conceptual Relationships and Assumptions,” Dr. Hathaway shares a visual representation of her work, which is relatively linear and features unidirectional arrows to show the relationships between concepts. She explains that in other sources, you will often see graphic models using circles, curvy lines, and other markings to show different associations.
Indeed, Kilpatrick, Lavoie-Tremblay, Lamothe, Ritchie, and Doran (2013), use the imagery of a set of Russian nesting dolls (known as the Matryoshka doll) to illustrate a complex set of interactions and activities that are embedded within one another. The other articles in this week’s Learning Resources present varying examples to demonstrate how you may visually portray the elements of your theoretical foundation for research.
For this Discussion, you create and post a graphic model depicting your theoretical foundation for research. Your colleagues will offer interpretations of your model to help you identify sources of confusion that need to be addressed.
Review the elements you have been developing throughout this course. Consider the following:
How would you show the relationships between and among major concepts? For example, how would you illustrate antecedents and consequences?
Is there some aspect of the existing framework/theory you selected in Week 6 that you would like to incorporate in your graphic model? If so, what modifications would you make for it to be appropriate for your research purposes?
How would you use your graphic model to support and/or express your research questions or hypotheses?
Create a graphic model of the theoretical foundation for your research. Your model may include pictures, symbols, and words or short phrases.
Note: Per the Assignment instructions, you may include narrative to accompany your graphic model in your Theoretical Foundation for Research Paper (which is due by Day 7 of Week 10). However, for this Discussion, share only your graphic representation. Your colleagues should view your graphic model without the narrative and share their interpretations of your visual representation to help you identify potential sources of confusion.