Research Methods

to support students enrolled in RES701

Research Approaches

Just a reminder that I asked you to find out about your designated topic for this week – I forgot to post the list again but here it is now!


  1. Secondary Research        Alka/DongChen
  2. Observational Research  Sarah/Prerna
  3. Exploratory Research      Simranjit /Lisa
  4. Case Study Research       David/Luke
  5. Experimental Research  Jaydon/Zuohao
  6. Discourse Analysis         Cody/Jared
  7. Action Research              Yanglong/Kai
  8. Design Science                Toby/JingBo
  9. Argumentative                Alex/Dejan
  10. Interview                         Bhoj/Weilong
  11. Survey                              Harry/Becca
  12. Randomised Controlled Trials  Jonathan/Brandon
  13. Meta-Analysis               Katie/Amber
  14. Focus Groups                 Sihan/James


For your topic I want you to answer these questions as an individual blog post (you can include links to other information or videos etc if you want):

  1. What is it ? (Short description of how it works)
  2. What kinds of questions/problems might it be useful for?
  3. How could it be used in IT research  (try to think of an example)?
  4. What are the strengths of the approach?
  5. What are the weaknesses of the approach?

All our work this week will be based on these so it is important that you come prepared! If you weren’t in class last week, please to check to see which one you have been allocated 🙂

Notes will be here later.

March 28, 2017 Posted by | Class Work, General, News | Leave a comment

Blog Award – Week 5

A bit disappointed in the number of blog posts this week –  a number of you are now in danger of losing marks on Assignment 1 for not having got your blog underway properly.  Remember you should be posting in your blog at least once a week and some weeks I would expect there to be more than that.  You need to put around one hours a week aside for updating your blog!  If you want to be considered for the blog award I need to have your post(s) in place by Tuesday lunchtime as I will be checking on a Tuesday afternoon.

Congratulations to those who have made a good start in creating a starting point for their areas of interest which could perhaps lead to a project.  A special shout out to Amber, Becca, Brandon and Jonathan for this and as always Alex is writing thoughtful and accurate posts about various items of interest.  A special thanks this week too, to Dejan for finding a really useful article on ontology and epistemology – I have noted it for use with future students.

The best post though this week has to be David’s essay on metaphor and how it shapes our lives – although based on a class in SYD701, the ideas are equally relevant to RES701 as David showed.  It is a thoughtful and insightful read and I would encourage all of you to take a look – Congratulations David – blogger of the week.

March 21, 2017 Posted by | Blog Award, News | Leave a comment

Identifying the right approach……

Last week we talked about ontology and epistemology and the importance of these concepts to research that we do.  We talked about how it is important to identify what kind of knowledge you want to discover as that affects the way you go about looking for that knowledge.  Identifying the ontology and epistemology of our own, or others’, research is important as it underlies the choice of research method and the credibility of the results.  We will be doing quite a lot of work on this theme over the next few weeks and will start with an interesting activity (wait for class to find out more!)

At the start of the class I will make my notes visible here.

March 21, 2017 Posted by | Class Work, General, News | Leave a comment

Week 4 Blog Award

Well done to everyone who got their blogs sufficiently underway to considered for the first Blog Award.  There were a number of interesting ones and it was good to see people post about things we had done in class, answers to some difficult questions and thoughtful personal comments about technology.

Remember you are writing for yourself as much as for me and your audience.  This is the beginning of a research diary which should chart your thinking over the next few months.  Also remember that when you use words or images from another online resource that aren’t yours, you must acknowledge them in some way – usually by way of a link to the original. It is important to get into the habit of doing this right from the beginning and congratulations to those of you who did!

As I indicated last week, Alex has made a great start to his research diary with comments on class work, answers to questions I asked but most importantly by following up some of his own interests which are likely to be of great value in the future – I have to give the first Blog Award to Alex – well done.

Don’t forget to check out others’ blogs – there is some interesting reading there! Leave some helpful and encouraging comments if you want some in return 🙂

March 14, 2017 Posted by | Blog Award, News | Leave a comment

Difficult Concepts

For this week’s class I asked you to find out the meaning of, and think about these two terms:

  • Ontology
  • Epistemology

You could look them up in a dictionary or wikipedia and get the definition from there but I don’t think it will help you very much!  What I really wanted you to do is to try to find your own meaning for them as they relate to research  – this is often similar to the way the concepts are used in philosophy.  On your blogs I hoped to see your ideas of what you think these two terms refer to in the context of undertaking research through considering these questions.

  1. What is ontology? How is it relevant to research?
  2. What is espistemology? How is it relevant to research?
  3. What is the connection between ontology and epistemology in a research context?

These are hard questions I know !!  I didn’t expect you to find ‘perfect’ answers, I just wanted to start you thinking!  Exploring these questions and coming up with a framework that can guide much of our thinking for the rest of the course will be the focus of today’s class.

I will be posting the link to my notes here either during or after the class.

March 14, 2017 Posted by | Class Work, General, News | Leave a comment

Difficult questions

An important and fairly major part of this course is about establishing information that we can rely on and then understanding how we can contribute to other people’s knowledge by creating credible information of our own. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at these issues in some detail.  This week we begin that exploration by looking at one particular concept and teasing out a number of different and difficult questions that arise once we begin to explore it.  That concept is the notion of ‘truth’.

During the course of the session we will be looking at some difficult questions and interesting links (links below will be available in or after class) and attempting to find some satisfactory if not definitive answers – this will lead on to our discussions around the concepts of ontology and epistemology.  Prepare to have a pleasantly aching brain by the end of the class 🙂

The following links will be available either during or after the class :


For next week  – I would like you to try to answer the following questions on your blog please:

  1. What is ontology? How is it relevant to research?
  2. What is epistemology? How is it relevant to research?
  3. What is the connection between ontology and epistemology in a research context?

March 8, 2017 Posted by | Class Work, General | Leave a comment