Presentation on theme: "Extended Project Research Skills 1 st Feb 2013. Aims of this session Developing a clear focus of what you are trying to achieve in your Extended Project."— Presentation transcript:
Aims of this session Developing a clear focus of what you are trying to achieve in your Extended Project An introduction to possible Research Methods Identifying how you will achieve your aim by choosing valid and reliable methods.
The Nature of the Inquiry Setting the focus for your study Searching for truth (using personal experience, reasoning, research) Discovering that ultimate truth has its limitations……. These are based on our own level of experience / the research approach used / nature of the hypothesis formulated / our skills as a researcher.
Different Types of Research Project Sensitive Research Naturalistic/Ethnographic Research Surveys Internet Based Research Historical Research A Case Study Qualitative Research Quantitative Research
How will you collect you data? Choosing the correct method will make it easier for you to generate valid and reliable data. Validity- does your EP actually research what it claims to research? Reliability- are your methods capable of producing data/conclusions that can be substantiated?
Research methods available General background reading More focussed reading in your specific topic area for the EP (including some previous research in this field) Conversations with relevant sources Interviews Observations Field Notes
Research Methods 2 Questionnaires Analysis of written accounts Participant Observation Using the internet to access information for your ‘review of literature’ (on-line journals, statistics, public documents eg. company policies, the legal system, historical accounts)
Considerations Must read from reliable sources Aim to follow a ‘scientific’ method to solving your problem (Set a research hypothesis, research your topic area widely, test your hypothesis by basing your explanations on evidence, try to isolate your area of interest from other factors, present a balanced argument, make conclusions from evidence not opinion).
Considerations Ethical issues Confidentiality of subjects interviewed or completing questionnaires Show balance in your arguments Maintain a professional distance; try to avoid researcher bias Sample selection – random or systematic? Designing the right type of questions to ask (not closed questions or loaded questions)
Summary: Make a plan. Have a timeline in mind Research focus Background reading and more specific reading Decide on a Hypothesis Choose your type of research study Select the best methods to gather the most valid and reliable data Analyse your data without researcher bias State a conclusion Evaluate your research project, identify some limitations and areas for future development
Recommended Sources A list of examples of suitable sources is given on the accompanying handout. Identify those which could have some relevance for your Extended Project