Research Methods

to support students enrolled in RES701

Week 7 Follow up

Thanks for the session today – just a couple of things to remind you of…

Assignment 2 Change of Date from May 5th – New date May 12th.

Don’t forget to email me the blog that you think should get the award for last week!

Thank you and see you next week ūüôā


April 5, 2017 Posted by | General, News | Leave a comment

Week 7 – Credible Evidence

This week we will continue to look at assessing credibility. We will start by finishing off the work we were doing last week on different research methods and then move on to look at finding information and assessing its credibility by considering its source.  There are a wide range of sources of information and we have already talked about some of them, but recognising what is likely to be credible and what may be biased or incorrect is difficult.  We have talked about looking to see if the methods used were appropriate and done well but there are other things we can look out for too, such as

  • how we found it
  • when it¬†was written
  • who it was written by (expert, undergrad student,….)
  • where it was published or what type of ‘thing’ it is (book, article, blog)
  • what others have said about it (reviews)
  • whether others have used the information in their own work (citations)
  • how it is written (style)
We are going to start by looking at different sources of evidence or information and thinking about how credible* ¬†they are! ¬†Here’s¬†the spreadsheet we will be using¬†for this (available in class).
This often leads us to think about the difference between ‘academic’ or ‘research’ literature and general information which may be just opinion or anecdotal evidence. ¬†Sometimes where we search can also have a bearing on the ‘credibility’ of what we find so we will begin to explore different ways of ‘searching’.
Notes will be here and the exercise for the blog post will be here.

April 4, 2017 Posted by | Class Work, General, News | Leave a comment

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 ūüôā

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 Р 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 РI 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 ūüôā

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

Longitudinal Study from Dunedin

I mentioned the longitudinal study from Dunedin following 1000 babies born 45 years ago.  Here is a very recent article about the study from the NZ Listener Рfascinating read!

August 11, 2016 Posted by | General, News | Leave a comment


Hello everyone!  Welcome to Semester 2  2016!

One of your first challenges will be to set up your own wordpress blog (or if you already have one you can create a category for RES701 and use that) and we will be doing that in the first class.  As soon as you have, please email me your url so that I can add it to the site here.  Then you will need to get that first post written!

If you have managed to avoid creating a blog up to now, there are links to instructions about  setting up a wordpress blog here  .

Once you have created your blog please do these things :

  1. Send an email to Clare giving me the URL of your blog so that I can add it to the class blog list.
  2. Make sure your blog has the link to this class blog.
  3. Write your first post  by answering these questions
  • What do you think ‘research’ is?
  • Do you think you will ever need research skills?
  • What do you think a research journal is and who is it written for?
  • What is plagiarism?
  • Why is it important to avoid it?

Answer these questions on your blog as soon as you can to get your blog underway.  You can make it one blog posting or separate ones, either is fine.  I usually find that if my posting gets too long it is better to separate them into individual ones. Please give a little detail in the answer to each question.

To give you an idea of some of the work that students did in previous years I have left the links to their blogs in the sidebar – you are welcome to have a look at them for guidance.

If you want to see what other students are writing you can check out their blogs too Рlook for the links in the sidebar and leave comments on them if you want to.  It is useful to put the links of other students blogs in your sidebar too.

Please remember to check out the NMIT Online site too РI have put the course outline there and also the assignments Рwe will be looking at these briefly in our first class.

A link to the notes from our first class will be available here .

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Class Work, General, News | Leave a comment

The dangers of research

I was telling you about the need to protect yourselves as a researcher as well as protecting your participants.  Here is a great example of the dangers of being a researcher rigorously investigating a company that may not be a willing participant!

The education bridge to nowhere

June 9, 2016 Posted by | General, News | Leave a comment