Guidelines For Submitting A Case Study

Submitting a case study of your research project is a great way to share your results with others and provide a model that others might use to do a similar research project.

There is no way to anticipate all the varieties of research which OC fields might or could do. To try and write a manual to encompass all these possibilities would require a very thick textbook. Instead, it is better to begin a collection of studies which have actually been done by missionaries on the field. These studies can be catalogued and abstracted to make them easily referenced by other researchers. Samples of survey instruments, spreadsheets, project manuals, even training materials from all over the world would then be in each researcher's hand. Occasional updates of new case studies could be added.

In order to facilitate this sharing of case studies, here are a few guidelines for making your research project easily understood by others.

Background: What was the purpose of the study? How did you or the team become aware of the need for the study? What was the basic research question? This will generally be explained in the background section.

Methodology: How did you develop the study? What research tools did you decide to use? Why? Did you test it before implementation? What adjustments were necessary? This will be described in the methodology section.

Evaluation: What's your evaluation of the study now? What were you pleased with? What would you do differently? Did the findings have any impact on the team or the church? This will be covered in the last section: evaluation.

In the case of a thorough, well documented research study, (which we often don't have time to do on the field) these questions will be answered in the introduction of the final report. If you want to submit a study which does not answer these questions, please take the time to write out a preface which will.

A word of understanding. It will take extra effort on your part to turn your research report into a case study. It is likely that after you have labored to develop a tool or to finish the report, you probably don't want to go back and write a preface which answers the above questions. But by doing this you can potentially multiply your effectiveness many times over. Others will see your work and be stimulated to adapt it to their context or else develop some other tool which yours inspired. This likely comes under the heading of “spurring one another on to good works!”