The main purpose of this assignment to critically appraise a research article based on CASP tool. The chosen article is based on a cohort study and the article is also relevant to the subject matter. The article opted out for the study is based on epidemiology observed in the learning observed in teens. This is a cohort study based on epidemiology instruction made for high school youths. CASP tool is the most used tool for critically appraising any research article. The tool that will be used for this study is specifically crafted for cohort study only. It has 12 questions divided over multiple sections (CASP Tool for Cohort Study, 2019). All of these questions compiled together can help as a string constructive tool, that can be helped to drive a sense out of the research paper. This tool is very helpful in analysing every angle of the research article. This can be fruitful in analysing the strengths and limitations of the research paper and thus, help in judging its value and worth. Cohort study is a form of longitudinal study that samples a group of people or cohort of people (Al Thani 2019, pp. 1420-1433). They are generally selected on the basis of experiencing a common event. The study group or a cohort group is then analysed on the basis of cross-sectional basis by the means of intervals through time.
Aim of the study helps in defining a directional approach to the study. It also helps in highlighting the main conceptual framework the study is based on. The purpose of the aim to clearly express the detailed description of the study. It also helps in highlighting the though process of the researcher. The aim of the study was to determine whether if epidemiology instruction for high school students can help in improving the literacy skills for students. This was compared with science, technology, engineering and maths courses as well. Literacy is a primary skill required to be acquired by every individual (Barrett 2019, pp. 60-71). It is therefore, imperative to impart such skills in individuals from a very early age on. The study was fruitful in highlighting the aim of the study and its relevance to the current day scenario. The study was also able to ponder upon the importance of the same in supporting the school student’s development targeting their literary skills. Not only the study picked up a relevant topic to be analysed, but was also able to highlight its importance in term of being applied in modern day education system.
The study used the base of New York City Public School as a target for recruitment purposes. Student which were included in the study were enrolled in science coursework at Hunter College in College Now program. These students were enrolled during the fall and the summer sessions, in 2018. College Now can be deemed as a good and robust choice of selection for candidates, as it has enrolled more than 20,000 high school students each year. These selections are only made on merit basis, through campus selection process carried out amongst 17 campuses. As the study was based on analysing efficacy for multiple subjects, the choice of All Hunter College Science course was the best. The college offers various subjects’ courses such as chemistry, statistics, geology, epidemiology and many more. There were multiple other coursework’s taught at this school. Thus, making it a sound choice of recruiting facility for carrying out the above-mentioned cohort study (Bonander 2019, pp. 54-63).
The study was based on subjective measurement. For the study purpose both pre and post results were analysed together. This was done on the basis of Test of Scientific Literacy Skills (TOSLS) (Aina 2020, pp. 207-220). This tool is most apt for analysing outcomes on the basis of scientific inquiry to be done for literacy. The study included the participants on a random basis and thus, there was a close consideration for minimalizing the underlying bias in the study. Not only the tool used in the study was helpful but was also able to marginalize the gaps between the study (Basam 2017, pp.174-184). The recruitment was done in bulk and thus, the selection of candidates was ensured to be random. There was no bias reported in the study, on the basis of sex, race, grade level or ethnicity of the students recruited for the cohort study group. Both pre and post data collected was apt to the settings opted for the study purpose. They also helped in marginalising any underlying bias that might have raised from the data collection technique.
The primary outcome was mainly based on the validation of the data collected by the means of Test of Scientific Literacy Skills (TOSLS) (Aina 2020, pp. 207-220). This tool made use of multiple-choice questions, aiming to cover the overall aspects of the science literacy. The data was to be self-filled by the researcher. It was able to ponder upon the gaps and strengths to be identified in the study. The students were asked to review these questions in the beginning of the first three class sessions and at the end of the last week of the semester. Both data collected through the pre and post methods were observed closely and were found to be consistent with the reported literature of support. A 5-week contrast was used to establish a traditional version of the course during the whole session of the fall. The outcomes of the study were observed to be in sync with the analysis as well as the criteria’s set for the study. The tool used for the purpose of precuring data for the study, was also quite apt to the study purpose and aim of the study. It is one of the main tools used for the literacy-based studies.
The study was able to monitor all basic elements in the study. The different categories used for the study purpose were analysed critically and were compiled aptly in the data. The epidemiology was addressed in sync with the various factors pondered upon the study. The inter group interaction within the data elements used for the study purpose was also explained in detail in the cohort study. Both mean and standard deviation data was covered for the analysis part of the study. Semester of the study was also used included as the main compounding variable for the final results derived from the study. The study was also able to validate the same results in a lager group of participants taken into consideration for the study (Louie 2020, pp.14-18). All of the compounding factors that were of valid importance was taken into due consideration for the study purpose. The data was also analysed through a schematic and methodical approach. Multiple replications of the various elements were also considered for the cross-sectional analysis to be connected in the study. The study also took care of the internal consistency of the data collected. This consistency was able to measure the various skills to reduce the overall burden of the data collection to be carried for the study purposes. The value-based questions asked for the study were clearly able to analyse all concerns of the study.
The data was collected on the basis of first three days of the study and the last few days of the final week. The study failed to demonstrate any strong follow-up with various participants of the study. Pre and post data were mainly collected on the basis of self-reported system addressed by the participants with the help of the researcher. The data was only collected on a primary basis from the first three classes. The secondary data collection basis was considered mainly in the last week of the semester. The in-between period of the study between these two phases of data collection, didn’t reflect back on any kind of follow-ups done. The study was mainly based on collecting this pre and post data and analysing the same for any underlying in consistency. The pre and post data collection was observed for irregularities on the basis of means and standard deviation observed in the data analysis (Luo 2018, pp. 1785-1805). The study was not based on a follow-up protocol to be used to collect the data for the research. The main target was to analyse for the contrast between the pre and post data. The only main follow-up which was considered for the study was the follow-up of the semester, considered as a main element to be evaluated. The semester was a valid compounding factor which was accelerated for a period of 5 weeks, in contrast to the fifteen-week version, usually considered for the course during the fall process.
The data results were based on a total number of 116 students used for the study purpose. Various main categories that were chosen for the study purpose included, gender, race-ethnicity, grade level, area poverty status, semester and course subject. Under the gender category both males and females were used for the study purpose. For race-ethnicity various categories selected included, Asian/pacific islander, Hispanic, white and black. The grade levels covered the students enrolled in 10/11 and 12th grade. Area of poverty element was stratified into three main categories including, low, mid and high. Two semesters were used for the study purpose, namely, fall and summer. Lastly, for the course subject, physics, biology, chemistry, geology, statistics and epidemiology was taken into close consideration. The tabulated means TOSLS performance was able to aggregate the various course subjects. The test reflected on a rise in test score for the subject of physics when analysed for pre-test. There was a rise in pre and post tests scores observed in the subject of chemistry. The results also reflected upon an increase in the scores of females as compared to their male counterparts, when measured through the TOSLS scale of performance (Moss 2017, pp. 56-64). There was also a higher level observed in low and mid poverty group as compared to the high poverty group of individuals. The study also made use of the Crude model of testing. The model was able to reflect upon a direct association between the course subjects and change in the literacy skills of the students. The TOSLS performance for the subject for physics and biology, however, reflected upon the similar results in term of variance and positive deviation. The model used for the study purpose was able to well adapt to individual level student based on gender, race-ethnicity, grade level, age, semester and the poverty status. The scale also measured a lowered performance level for chemistry and geology relative to the other reference group used for the study purpose. The model testing which was used for examining the interaction between the course subject and sociodemographic factors, reflected on no significant difference in TOSLS performance scale. However, the interaction for biology was observed to be higher in females as compared to their male counterparts. In physics the ratio was lowered in females and higher in males. The other basic parameters used in the study such as race-ethnicity, gender, poverty status and so on, were not able to highlight upon any significant difference. This was based on evaluating the relation between the course subject and TOSLS performance conducted on the basis of demographic factors (Genlott 2016, pp. 68-80). The results were able to identify a close connection between the tool used for the study and the parameters taken into close consideration as a whole. A positive inference was interpretated from the study. The study however, was not able to establish a positive result in certain elements, failing to establish a close connection if these elements with the main aim of the study.
The results covered all major elements to be closely pondered upon. The importance of the inclusion of learning process in teen was fruitfully established. The study results were also able to establish a direct link between the study aim and the parameters derived for the analysis of the results. However, with few of the factors, the study was not able to prove a positive or a negative establishment with the results. The main criteria of highlighting the value of literacy-based education was clearly reflected on the study (Ollerhead 2019, pp. 1-20). In a totality, the results reflected by the study can be deemed to be positive, but not as precise as they should have been. There was also a larger sum of standard deviation observed when in came to close comparison of the parameters between the male and female population group.
The study could have been on the basis of a follow-up structures. This would have enabled more refined results. The mixed-model approach for the study can be considered as an apt option for the given scenario. This enabled the analysis of multiple variants in a schematic manner and with an ease. It also helped in not only presenting a valid data, but also establishing inter-connected linkage between the parameters set for the study purpose. However, the results were not sufficient enough they were quite reliable in establishing a positive impact of teen learning with the literacy rate in terms of epidemiological pattern observed. The tools used for the study purpose, that is TOSLS performance tool, can be deemed as an apt choice of tool to be used for sample analysis purpose.
The results of the study can still be applied to the local population group. The results did not reflect on negative deviation. The preliminary data was based on objective measures calculated through evidence-based approach. Therefore, this approach can be quite fruitful for future implications. The results derived from the study can be closely applied to improve the overall as well as science literacy skills relative to other science course-works that are provided at a higher education level. This can be helpful in improving the overall literacy status of the student’s population, irrespective of the grade, status or accessibility to the system, involved in imparting education to the students.
The results are quite applicable for every other fields of education as well. This self-reported scale of TOSLS used for the study purpose can be applied to both advanced and freshman level in the college and various other educational institutes as well (Moss 2017, pp. 56-64). The study can also be used for a larger group of population, with more elements and subjects, to determine the overall effectiveness of the student learning process. This will be helpful in advancing the literacy skills on multiple educational levels and will be included as a foundational approach from the grassroot level itself. The study can also form the foundational basis of analysis to be carried out, to determine the epidemiology pattern for students in developing newer learning skills and developing strategic planning to ensure its effectiveness in the system. This can be dully used in primary as well as secondary educational settings.
Check list for the Cohort research paper included the below-mentioned questions:
Did the study address a clearly focused issue?
Was the cohort recruited in an acceptable way?
Was the exposure accurately measured to minimise bias?
Was the outcome accurately measured to minimise bias?
Have the authors identified all important confounding factors?
Have they taken a close account of the confounding factors in the design and/or analysis?
Was the follow up of subjects complete enough?
Was the follow up of subjects long enough?
What are the results of this study?
How precise are the results?
Do you believe the results?
Can the results be applied to the local population?
Do the results of this study fit with other available evidence?
What are the implications of this study for practice?
Aina, J.K., Opeyemi, A.A. and Olu, A.M., 2020. Assessment of Scientific Literacy Skills of College of Education Students in Nigeria. Humanities, 5(1), pp.207-220. DOI 10.20448/801.51.207.220
Al Thani, A., Fthenou, E., Paparrodopoulos, S., Al Marri, A., Shi, Z., Qafoud, F. and Afifi, N., 2019. Qatar biobank cohort study: study design and first results. American Journal of Epidemiology, 188(8), pp.1420-1433. DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwz084
Barrett, G.F. and Riddell, W.C., 2019. Ageing and skills: The case of literacy skills. European Journal of Education, 54(1), pp.60-71. DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/ejed.12324
Basam, F., Rusilowati, A. and Ridlo, S., 2017. Analysis of Science Literacy Learning with Scientific Inquiry Approach in Increasing Science Competence of Students. Journal of Primary Education, 6(3), pp.174-184. DOI https://doi.org/10.15294/jpe.v6i3.21049
Bonander, C., Nilsson, A., Björk, J., Bergström, G.M. and Strömberg, U., 2019. Participation weighting based on sociodemographic register data improved external validity in a population-based cohort study. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 108, pp.54-63. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2018.12.011
CASP Tool for Cohort Study, 2019. Retrieved from https://casp-uk.net/casp-tools-checklists/
Genlott, A.A. and Grönlund, Å., 2016. Closing the gaps–Improving literacy and mathematics by ict-enhanced collaboration. Computers & Education, 99, pp.68-80. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2016.04.004
Louie, C.E., D’Agostino, E., Woods, A. and Ryken, T., 2020. Study Design in Neurosurgical Research: Considerations for Observational and Experimental Cohort Studies. Neurosurgery, 86(1), pp.14-18. DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyz386
Luo, D., Wan, X., Liu, J. and Tong, T., 2018. Optimally estimating the sample mean from the sample size, median, mid-range, and/or mid-quartile range. Statistical methods in medical research, 27(6), pp.1785-1805. DOI https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0962280216669183
Moss, G., 2017. Assessment, accountability and the literacy curriculum: reimagining the future in the light of the past. Literacy, 51(2), pp.56-64. DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/lit.12104
Ollerhead, S., 2019. ‘The pre-service teacher tango’: pairing literacy and science in multilingual Australian classrooms. International Journal of Science Education, pp.1-20. DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2019.1634852
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