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Research methods 2003-41 Meeting on Research Methods for MSc Projects - 11 th March 2004 by Lydia Lau Why this meeting on Research Methods? Clarify expectation.

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Presentation on theme: "Research methods 2003-41 Meeting on Research Methods for MSc Projects - 11 th March 2004 by Lydia Lau Why this meeting on Research Methods? Clarify expectation."— Presentation transcript:

1 research methods Meeting on Research Methods for MSc Projects - 11 th March 2004 by Lydia Lau Why this meeting on Research Methods? Clarify expectation on amount of research work in MSc project Convince you that this is important, and have to start thinking about it NOW! Give you more tips for literature search Provide some pointers on common issues.

2 research methods What is research? Systematic investigation towards increasing the sum of knowledge (Chambers 20th Century Dictionary) Research is the examination of the limits of knowledge: assessing what is known up to a particular point, defining unanswered questions and devising ways of answering them in an organised and meaningful way (Lumley and Benjamin 1994)

3 research methods Module objectives of MSc project 1.Demonstrate an in-depth comprehension of the topics/issues relevant to the project; 2.Select and apply the appropriate research methods for their chosen project area; 3.Demonstrate independent application of the knowledge, methods and techniques..(etc).. normally, some elements of software implementation are expected; 4.Demonstrate skills in project management and research presentation; 5.Produce a critical evaluation on the outcome of the project.

4 research methods So, your project should be.. integrative independent interesting intellectually challenging ?innovative - not necessary but good

5 research methods When do you need to think about research methods ?

6 research methods A researchers building blocks Philosophy – ideas and beliefs that underpin the research Methodology – the way (steps) that the ideas and beliefs are applied Methods – techniques used to gather and analyse data

7 research methods Research Methods - which one(s) ? Laboratory experiments Field experiments Surveys Case studies Theorem proof Subjective/ argumentative Action Research Longitudinal Descriptive/ interpretive Forecasting /futures research Simulation Others?? extracted from Galliers RD (1992), Information Systems Research: Issues, Methods and Practical Guidelines, Blackwell Scientific, Oxford

8 research methods Research methods – more? A popular engineering research technique: Construction of an artefact –Conception –Creation /prototyping/proof-of-concept –Matriculation of artifact usage (from Roger Clarke Similar to SE approach? Still need to use other research methods (e.g. for evaluation).

9 research methods Stages in your project (as on (i) planning (ii) Initial data collection, (iii) situation evaluation, (iv) solution definition (v) Implementation of solution (vi) Conclusion

10 research methods Literature Search You should be at stages (i) and (ii) now? You need to assess what is known up to this point in time so as to -scope your project objectives sensibly -inform which research methods are appropriate for your project How to make effective use of our Library? Over to Elaine…..

11 research methods Background study It is wise to learn from your own mistakes It is shrewd to learn from other peoples mistakes Professor Alan Dix.. need to look at other peoples work what they write (books, articles, manuals) what they say (interviews, discussion) what they make (software, organisations)

12 research methods Recording what you have done Recording references What –details (title etc) –keywords (your own) –mini abstract –key points Where –card index –word procerssor file –standard database –bibliographic database Project Log

13 research methods Analyse existing work classify taxonomise multiple perspectives matrices

14 research methods Develop your own ideas - i literature review bright ideas novel solutions Dont rely on it! Risky to put it in your critical path! Novel must be better. Ideas? or solutions?

15 research methods Develop you own ideas - ii Planning Initial Data Collection Situation Evaluation Solution Definition Implementation of Solution Conclusion ideas abstraction analogy lateral thinking silly ideas challenge yourself

16 research methods Resources Books on research methods in the library Choosing Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Appropriate Research Methods Your Supervisor !!!


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