Week 2 and 3

Week 2


Research Question

I’ve combined Week 2 and 3 as I was unable to make lectures on Week 2.  However, the focus for Week 2 was on the Research Question and library searches.  Over the past week I have been reflecting on my choice topic whilst reverting too and fro with my ideas.  After class on Week 1 I thought I would do serious games but I keep reverting back to my initial idea.

Three important questions I need to take into consideration are:  1)  does my idea add to research or am I just regurgitating information that already exists? 2) what advantage does it pose for me in terms of personal development and learning? 3) does this idea present me with a feasible opportunity to create an artefact/resource that is within my capabilities?

The following is an interesting research activity on developing the research question which I must work on.

Research Question activity

From reading copious amounts of research a gap certainly exists on serious games in adult education but I do not plan to develop games in the future and the learning curve to do this is too large.  I have spent the last few days playing with iTYstudio and whilst it presents many benefits I don’t think it is sufficient enough for the artefact/resource.  I feel that the technology may take over.

However, my initial idea on redesigning an existing module to online with the help of learners presents as interesting topic in terms of both personal development and researching a gap.  During the week I came across an article in the Irish Times titled College students should be treated as partners not consumers.  

In this article the HEA state that students at third level should be treated as partners rather than “detached consumers”.  This relates to my own idea where I involve adult learners in the design process so that they become partners in the redesigning process.  So my plan is to do more readings on learners as co-creators and partners which does not seem to exist in adult education.

Week 3

Research, vision, market.

Literature Review

Today we had a very informative and interesting session with Dr John Dallat.  I particularly enjoyed the holistic approach that he takes to research and gained some valuable data.  I have listed some of the many important points he gave us on literature reviews:

  • Compare and contrast – arguments, themes, methodologies and findings
  • Justification e.g. why did I choose this methodology. I have a class of 300 students but 100 took part in the research.  What about the other 200?  Why did I do semi-structured interviews instead of structured?
  • Use High Impact Journals where necessary. This was a new term to me whereas peer reviewed would have been familiar.  High Impact Journals are journals which are highly rated and is generally signified in the database/library
  • Begin your literature review with 6 papers initially and use different highlighting markers to mark the different findings/themes that have emerged
  • When reading a paper ask yourself “What 5 things have I learned from reading this journal/book?” – they don’t all have to be positive
  • Use short sentences, not long descriptive ones. Dr Dallat told us the story of his own supervisor when he completed his thesis – his supervisor told him his sentences were too long – each sentence should only be 1.5 lines long, 2 at the very most
  • Make sure claims you make can be substantiated and methodology is fundamental in doing this – good interlocking between one and the other
  • Good to use your own models
  • Avoid splendid isolation – there should be application of literature in your findings
  • Application and evaluation – interactive process
  • Seminal studies for this them is…….. compare and contrast – analytically e.g. empirically sound study compared to. Seminal refers to authorities in that discipline and it is important to have relevant seminals in your paper e.g. Biggs, Phil Race, Sally Browne, Dewey etc.
  • Pre-determined ideas – how they have changed
  • Brevity – quality over quantity
  • Chronological themes – how perspectives of some researches evolve e.g. Prensky
  • State what journals you are going to be reviewing e.g. journals between years X and Y
  • When Dr Dallat is correcting a paper he checks the bibliography first to see if papers he would expect or recommended are listed
  • The University of Toronto provides valuable information on literature reviews here

We were also furnished with commonly found weaknesses and criteria for assessing a research paper in the form of handouts.

Lots of reading ahead……………………..

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