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Research Methods Tutorials Essay

1065 words - 5 pages

Research methods tutorials -MSc Management (Gen)

Tutorial 1

This tutorial has been adapted from John Biggam (2011) Succeeding with your Master’s Dissertation: A step-by-step handbook, 2nd Edition, Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill OUP.

The aim of this session is to learn how to formulate your research aim and objectives which you will explicitly address in your research proposal.

Research aim
Example 1: e-learning

Supposing you want to choose e-learning as the subject of your dissertation, however, you cannot do a dissertation on the general subject of e-learning – your proposal must be focused on its specific aspect. One way of narrowing your topic ...view middle of the document...

|↓ |
|Research aim: The overall aim of this research is to advance an understanding of the impact of e-learning in the university |
|environment in relation to academic staff training preparation. |

Think of the subject area in general terms (e-learning, computer security) and then focus on a particular aspect of the subject. Narrowing your topic down can be done in four stages:

Step 1:
Think of your research idea in terms of one word or label.

Step 2:
Add other words to help clarify the context/focus of your research, include other words to give you a clearer idea:

Step 3
Connect the words above to form a sentence which starts with
‘The aim of this research is to…’
• ‘…advance an understanding of…’ / ‘…explore…’ (for inductive & exploratory research)
• ‘…elucidate…’ / ‘…test…’/ ‘…explain…’ (for deductive / explanatory research)

E.g.: The aim of this research is to advance an understanding of the impact of e-learning in the university environment in relation to academic staff training preparation.
‘The aim of this research is to test the positive relationship between staff age and their effective use of e-learning in the university environment’

Example 2: employment aptitude tests

Step 1:
Employment aptitude tests

Step 2
Employment aptitude tests
Top marks
What it takes
The banking industry

Step 3
Connect the words above to form a sentence –customise it for exploratory / explanatory research

E.g. The overall aim of this research is to elucidate the elements that determine a top mark in employment aptitude tests set by the banking industry.

Some researchers prefer to formulate their overall research aim as a research question/focal question. For consistency on this course, stick to ‘research aim’ but remember that they are both accepted in the wide world of research.

Activity 1
Think of a possible subject which you would like to research in your dissertation. Follow the four steps outlined above, and suggest a possible research aim.

Research objectives
Your research aim needs to be broken down into your research objectives

Example: E-learning:

1. Identify the forces driving e-learning and the barriers to successful delivery of e-learning programmes.
2. Evaluate critically models and frameworks relevant to supporting academic staff in coping with e-learning.
3. Explore staff views...

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