#becomingeducational W14: Wrestling that Research Proposal to the ground!

So what are you going to research?
What METHOD are you going to use?
And why do we keep going on about it?
The Method is the way that we intend to collect information (data) to help us discover something interesting about our Research topic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research).
We are undertaking exploratory research and will be using qualitative methods that give us RICH data to analyse.
Whilst we can undertake INTERVIEWS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interview) and/or use QUESTIONNAIRES (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Questionnaire) – we do want you to gather that *rich* data – so think about:

RICH METHODS:
Collaborative writing as a method of enquiry: http://www.aldinhe.ac.uk/ojs/index.php?journal=jldhe&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=222
Prompted writing (especially Image Mediated dialogue): http://www.leadingeffectively.com/leadership-explorer/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Mediated_dialogue_Palus-and-Drath1.pdf
Or ONE OF a range of visual research methods (collage, rich picture or pattern note production; asking participants to keep a journal or construct a narrative (in words, drawings and/or photographs) as they undertake an activity: http://about.brighton.ac.uk/visuallearning/visual-research-methods/
Tip: Rich methods are often more fun!!

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ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS

Now we are going to bombard you with some questions – think how these questions can help you write your Proposal!!
* As a first year student – and someone who is becoming an educationalist, what are you actually interested in about University study?
Are you fascinated about how we use different STUDY SPACES (back to good old Thornburg)?
Are you interested in student ATTITUDES to study (and perhaps how negative attitudes get in the way of our success?) – so you could explore attitudes to reading, writing, notemaking, group work; or the WAY that we teach; or UNEQUAL POWER relations; or the sorts of ASSESSMENTS that you get set?
Are you interested in what students actually DO: HOW do people make notes or HOW they prepare to write an assignment?

When you have chosen your topic – you will have to justify it – so think about these questions:

Introduction
* Why have you chosen to investigate [notes/reading/space/power/other]?
* why is [notes/reading/space/power/other]:
a) interesting to you?
b) important generally as part of learning/being a successful student/other?
c) important for university students?

Literature Review
* How does [notes/reading/space/power/other] relate to ideas of ‘good’ learning?
* AND – what is good learning? How can you define it?
* What do other academics say (what has already been written on) ‘good learning’ generally AND [notes/reading/space/power/other]?
TIP: search http://www.aldinhe.ac.uk/journal.html

Method
* How will you research this?
* Why have you chosen that method rather than any other?
* How will you choose your participants?
* If interviews/questionnaires – how will you design your questions so that you do not ‘lead’ to the answers you ‘want’? How will you capture the answers? Will you record them – or will you make notes?
* If a more creative method – why?
Good luck

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