Becoming Educational W17: Some final notes on the research project.

The Project

We have been blogging about the research project for several weeks now – so do read through back issues of this Blog if you feel you need to catch up. All the information that you need is there – including links to sample Lit Reviews and sources of information!

Project in Summary

Basically we want you to investigate one thing that might help a student to succeed or fail at University – so this could be *one* from:

* Do they make notes? If so – what sort? Why do they make notes? Do they help their learning?

* How do they feel about academic writing? Do their feelings help or hinder their approach to writing?

* How creative are students in their approach to their studies? Why are they creative? Do they think that the creative approach they adopt will help them to succeed?

* Or how do they feel about academic reading – or group work – or presentations…?

The Literature Review

Once you have chosen just *one* of these areas to investigate; you will need to do some reading to see what other people say on that topic. For useful sources to read – check out the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education: http://www.aldinhe.ac.uk/ojs/

For your Lit Review you have to write an essay like piece of writing on your topic. For example – if you were researching Group Work – your Lit Review might be an essay like piece of writing as if answering the question: What is the role of group work in University? If you were researching notemaking, your Lit Review might look like a short essay answering the question: Why and how do students make notes at University? And of course you would be using references to back up the points that you would be making.

For examples of Literature Reviews on relevant academic topics go to: http://www.learnhigher.ac.uk/learning-development-research/#literature reviews

The Method Section

Once you have a feeling for the topic that you are going to research – you will need to decide how you might research that topic with some students. Will you get them to draw something – or to make a collage – which you will then interpret? Will you interview people – and analyse what they say? Will you gather some people together and engage in Image Mediated Dialogue… and analyse their writing on the pictures that they have chosen? You have to explain your research method – justifying why you have chosen the method that you have: this will become your Method section.

The proposal part therefore should have:

* Your topic: Question and sub-question

* Introduction: Why you are interested and/or why it is worth researching

* Your Lit Review: Analysis of what other people have written on this topic (approximately 750 words)

* Your ethics statement: guaranteeing anonymity, that people have the right to withdraw – and you will at least do no harm.

* A summary of your Methods (how you will research it).

Proposal Total: 1000 words

And it has to be submitted formally through the Assessment Unit – with a printed off Cover Sheet – by 15.00 on Thursday 20th February.

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5 thoughts on “Becoming Educational W17: Some final notes on the research project.

    • This is always a tricky one – how much of the Project write up should be in the future tense – and how much should be in the past tense… As we have separated the two halves of the Project into Proposal – and Report… I would write the proposal in the future tense… This will be done, I will ask participants to make collages – to produce a dance-work – to write a poem…
      Good question – thanks for asking it!

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