Unit 7 Research Skills

unit 8 research skills

Unit 7 Research Skills

Introduction

Research skills equip learners with a higher level of knowledge and skills that will allow them to be self-directed and focused in a specific field of expertise. Research is undertaken in a range of disciplines and is quite prevalent in domains such as medicine, science and academia.
Research is paramount in terms of establishing what has been experienced and discovered in the past, relating this to current studies in the field, and providing some sort of hypothesis or prediction for the future.
Research involves the exploration of a range of primary and secondary sources of information. From theses sources, conclusions can be drawn regarding a particular question or theory that may need to be investigated and tested. Submitting a research proposal, may be based upon these original findings, and through the adoption of a research methodology, new discoveries could be unearthed and recorded.. There are a number of elements that contribute to research. These can include the application of a research methodology that will determine how the research is conducted and also whether it will be of a qualitative or quantitative nature. The research question should spearhead the studies and provide a focus on a specific area, idea, concept or development.
On completion of this unit learners should be able to conduct a literature review that will engage them in identifying a range of primary and secondary information sources. Learners will be able to critique sources and triangulate the information gathered to determine currency and validity in the area of study undertaken.
Learners will also engage in research seminars both as a participant and as a reviewer.  The seminars will be used as a forum to disseminate good practice, and to create an awareness of topical issues within their chosen research field.
AIM
To equip learners with the knowledge and research skills needed to select a research question, and design a research proposal for a chosen topic of interest.
KEY OBJECTIVES:

  1.  Understand different research methodologies
  2.  Know how to conduct a literature review
  3.  Be able to present a research proposal
  4.  Be able to contribute to a research seminar.

INDICATIVE CONTENT

      1.  Understand different research methodologies

  • Research types and methodologies:types e.g.experimental research, survey research, evaluative research, observational research, developmental research; applied versus fundamental research
  • Data collection: methods e.g.primary and secondary data collection, observatory, experimental
  • Research pitfalls:problems e.g. dependency and access to information sources, time, money, expertise, introduction of bias, the Hawthorne Effect, the Halo Effect
  • Types of data:qualitative e.g.‘information rich and data poor’; quantitative e.g. statistical analysis techniques, ratios

      2.  Know how to conduct a literature review

  • Sources of information:types e.g. visual, audio, paper-based, electronic; benefits and drawbacks of types; categories e.g. primary and secondary sources, restrictions and limitations
  • Accuracy of information:validity e.g. triangulation of resources to ensure validity; currency
  • Literature review framework:styles e.g. Harvard referencing; adopting a formal format

      3.  Be able to present a research proposal

  • Research question:defining the question e.g. selection and suitability; scope and boundaries; target audience
  • Survey methods:interview techniques e.g. unstructured, structured, semi-structured; administered questionnaire; attitude measurements e.g. Likert scaling, Thurstone scaling, Guttman scaling, semantic differential scaling; sampling e.g. random, quota, stratified
  • Research ethics:issues e.g. potential ethical issues arising during research, ways to address ethical issues in research; role of the Ethics Committee

      4. Be able to contribute to a research seminar

  • Research seminar:functions e.g. disseminate ideas and good practice; discuss research proposals; gather feedback to inform proposals
  • Delivery strategies:structure e.g. clear framework; level of detail; use of IT

Case Study
Social media or Social Menace
Millions of people around the world with access to the Internet are members of one or more social networks. They have a permanent online presence where they create profiles, share photos, share their thoughts with friends and spend hours just catching up with what hundreds of friends are doing with their life but its dark side is still being measured.
There arises the need to examine the effects of social media on individuals and families. You are required to prepare your process of investigating the factors that determines these individuals fascination with social media and the effects it has on their families.

Task 1

The objective for this task is to address and exhibit an understanding of different research methodologies. You are required to address the task as specified and research by using supportive materials like books, Journals, websites, etc. to address the learning outcomes as specified:  Please note that the research and subjective skill needs to exhibit transferable skill by reflecting it to the case study. Answers reflected without reflective practice will be referred.
P1.1 - assess different research methodologies e.g. experimental research, survey research,evaluative research, observational research, developmental research; applied versus fundamental research
P1.2 - justify the use of a research methodology to be used for the research proposal e.g. primary and secondary data  collection,  observatory, experimental
P1.3 - discuss the importance of both qualitative and quantitative data  in research e.g. ‘information rich and data  poor’; quantitative e.g. statistical analysis techniques, ratios
P1.4 - explain the problems that can arise when undertaking research e.g. dependency and access to information sources, time, money, expertise, introduction of bias, the Hawthorne Effect, the Halo Effect

Task 2

The objective for this task is to conduct literature review and demonstrate understanding of Literature review framework.  You are required to address the task as specified and research considering the given case study in your assignment to address the learning outcomes as specified
P2.1-  justify the use of research sources e.g. primary and secondary data  collection,  observatory, experimental
P2.2 - evaluate the importance of using primary information  sources e.g. triangulation of resources to ensure validity; currency
P2.3 - describe a recognized system for referencing e.g. Harvard referencing adopting a formal format

Task 3

The objective for this task is to conduct and present a research proposal.  You are required to address the task as specified and research considering the given case study in your assignment to address the learning outcomes as specified.
P3.1- present a research proposal to a defined  audience utilizing appropriate survey techniques .g. unstructured, structured, semi-structured; administered questionnaire; attitude measurements e.g. Likert scaling, Thurstone scaling, Guttman scaling, semantic differential scaling; sampling e.g. random, quota, stratified
P3.2 - discuss the role of ethics  in research e.g. potential ethical issues arising during research, ways to address ethical issues in research; role of the Ethics Committee

Task 4

The objective for this task is to address and exhibit an understanding of conducting research and to contribute to a research seminar. You are required to address the task as specified and research considering the given case study in your assignment to address the learning outcomes as specified.
P4.1 - prepare an extract  from the research proposal appropriate to a seminar environment e.g. disseminate ideas and good practice; discuss research proposals; gather feedback to inform proposals
P4.2- provide constructive feedback on proposals presented within the seminar environment  e.g. clear framework; level of detail; use of IT