Power and Sample Size for Multilevel and Longitudinal Study Designs
University/Institute: University of Florida
Power and Sample Size for Longitudinal and Multilevel Study Designs, a five-week, fully online course covers innovative, research-based power and sample size methods, and software for multilevel and longitudinal studies. The power and sample size methods and software taught in this course can be used for any health-related, or more generally, social science-related (e.g., educational research) application. All examples in the course videos are from real-world studies on behavioral and social science employing multilevel and longitudinal designs. The course philosophy is to focus on the conceptual knowledge to conduct power and sample size methods. The goal of the course is to teach and disseminate methods for accurate sample size choice, and ultimately, the creation of a power/sample size analysis for a relevant research study in your professional context. Power and sample size selection is one of the most important ethical questions researchers face. Interventional studies that are too large expose human volunteer research participants to possible, and needless, harm from research. Interventional studies that are too small will fail to reach their scientific objective, again bringing possible harm to research participants, without the possibility of concomitant gain from the increase in knowledge. For observational studies in which there are no possible harms to the participants, such as observational studies, proper power ensures good stewardship of both time and money. Most National Institutes of Health (NIH) study sections will only fund a grant if the grantee has written a compelling and accurate power and sample size analysis. The Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education, also offers competitive grants requiring a compelling and accurate power and sample size analysis (Goal 3: Efficacy and Replication and Goal 4: Effectiveness/Scale-Up). At the end of the online course, learners will be able to: • Use a framework and strategy for study planning • Write study aims as testable hypotheses • Describe a longitudinal and multilevel study design • Write a statistical analysis plan • Plan a sampling design for subgroups, e.g. racial and ethnic • Demonstrate the feasibility of recruitment • Describe expected missing data and dropout • Write a power and sample size analysis that is aligned with the planned statistical analysis This is a five-week intensive and interactive online course. We will use a mix of instructional videos, software demonstration videos, online readings, quizzes, and exercise assignments. The final course project is a peer-reviewed research study you design for future power or sample size analysis.