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Research Methods Using a Structured Model

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Presentation on theme: "Research Methods Using a Structured Model"— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Methods Using a Structured Model
Jon Simon, HUBS BMAF Subject Centre and University of Hull Small Teaching/Research Grant

2 What does the Model do? Helps students:
Develop their own research proposal Structure their own research project Summarise empirical research papers/projects Critically review empirical research papers/projects Helps educators: Structure a research methods module Structure an e-Bridge research methods site

3 Based on Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory
Concrete Experience Active Experimentation Reflective Observation Abstract Conceptualization

4 Why Use Kolb’s Model? Covered in study skills modules.
One of the best known learning theories in management education. Based on a series of respected psychological theories/models including Dewey’s pragmatism, Lewin’s social psychology, Piaget’s cognitive-development, Rogers’s client-centred therapy, Maslow’s humanism (Kolb, 1984, p. 15) Central role of experience. Effective learning (and research) involves all 4 stages.

5 Using Gowin’s Vee To Develop Kolb’s Learning Cycle into a Research Methods Model
Any one heard of Gowin’s Vee? Model for conducting research in the natural sciences. Consists of a series of components that fit well around Kolb’s Learning Cycle. Called the Kolb/Gowin Research Methods Model Assumption = each of Kolb’s 4 stages required in a research project. See Handout for Model

6 What is the Kolb/Gowin Model?
Objects/Events: What aspects of the business world does the research study investigate? What, Who, Where, When, How Many Concrete Experience

7 What is the Kolb/Gowin Model?
Purpose: What is the purpose of the research? Focus Questions: What are the big questions the research seeks to answer? Reflective Observation Worldview: How might the researchers’ background & belief influence/bias the investigation?

8 What is the Kolb/Gowin Model?
Abstract Conceptualization Theories: What theories are guiding the investigation? Categorises / Constructs: How do experts link / categories these key concepts? Concepts: What are the key concepts experts use when talking about the topic?

9 What is the Kolb/Gowin Model?
Value Claims: What are the limitations, recommendations and implementation issues arising from the results? Results: What are the results of the research? Active Experimentation Data Analysis: How is data analysed? Data Collection: How is data collected? Assumptions: Upon what research philosophies and approaches does the data collection/analysis rest? Hypotheses / Principles: What principles / hypotheses are guiding data collections?

10 What is the Kolb/Gowin Model?
Word template with text boxes Three examples of its use: Student research proposal. Summarise empirical research paper. Critically review a research paper.

11 Who has the Model been used with?
Second year HUBS undergraduate research methods module – assessment is a student research proposal & presentation. MBA research methods module – assessment is a student research proposal. Model to be used as an entrance to an e-Bridge blended learning site. PhD student – preparation for Viva.

12 Assessing Quality/Validity of Students Proposals
Kolb’s Theory of Learning Development Not so widely known Three levels: Acquisition Level = Basic knowledge of component. Specialization Level = Component contains appropriate details concerning the project Integration Level = Do all the components fit to tell a clear consistent story. Validity

13 Do students like the Model? Quantitative & Qualitative Evaluation
Second year undergraduate accounting and finance (103), business (38), economics (13), marketing (27), logistics (6) and management (18) students on a research methods module: Age: Under % % Over % Gender: Male 63.5% Female 36.5% Home Country: UK 59.3% Other European 5.9% China /SE Asia 28.9% Other 5.9%

14 Do students like the Model? Qualitative Evaluation
Rank Please state the one thing you most liked about the Model % Examples of student responses 1 Provides a useful structure 36 Organized method of decomposing research. It helped me break down my research topic and allowed me to concentrate on only the relevant information I needed. I like the fact of the different headings which helped to break the research down into the categories. 2 Understandable 23 Easy to understand 3 Specific components 13 4 Helps thinking about the research process 9 It got me thinking outside the brackets. It makes you think about your project in stages-allows you to break it down into sections. 5 Comprehensive 7 It was easier continuing with topic once identified all parts. Makes you address all issues 6 Focused attention on empirical aspects of the research process This lead me to get the primary research for the proposal. 7 plus Provides a useful summary (2%), Aides communication (4%), Helps get started (2%), 5 Ws (1%) and shows how research is about learning (1%)

15 Do students like the Model? Qualitative Evaluation
Rank Please state the one thing you most disliked about the Model % Examples of student responses 1 Specific components, particularly the abstract conceptual components and worldview. 31 e.g. categories/constructs box, theories. 2 Difficult and complex to apply 30 Hard to fill in all the sections. Choosing which part of the research covers which category. 3 Takes too long 12 Tedious, annoying and time consuming. 4 Too restricting 6 Cannot fit a lot of information on. 5 Too simplistic Not comprehensive enough. Did not help me make research decisions. Did not help me choose a topic or decide what data analysis to use. 7 plus Some components are too similar to differentiate (2%), Not convinced all components are necessary (2%), Not suitable for all topics (2%), Not hierarchical (1%) Focused on research projects rather than proposals (1%), Relevance of Kolb’s learning cycle (1%) and Repetitive (1%).

16 Further Developments Diagnostic questionnaire to identify issues students may find problematic in preparing research projects/proposals, based on Kolb’s Learning Styles Inventory. Sister Model developed to help students prepare a Critical Thinking piece of work e.g. Cases and argument-based essays. Based on Richard Paul’s critical thinking components. Being used as the structure for an e-Bridge MBA research methods module.

17 Conclusions Model helps business school students:
Develop research projects & proposals and Understand and be critical of research studies. All on one side of A4! Helps educators efficiently review students research proposals as highlights misunderstandings and can see quickly the strengths and weaknesses. Stresses importance of the logical interconnection between these issues (i.e. Validity). Facilitates discussion of philosophical issues (induction/deduction, empiricism, rationalism, ...) Students generally liked the Model. Business school educators generally like the Model.

18 Kolb/Gowin Research Methods Model
Could you use the Model in your subject? Thanks for listening (if you were listening) Any questions?

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