April 06, 2020
This webinar provided an overview on how to identify, justify and apply research methods. Areas explored focused on where students struggle, and the reasons why such struggle exist.
The point here is that students want to select a method before they know the research problem, existing studies of relevance, and the wider literature in the field. Contrary to this however, the research methods typically should be derived from such existing studies of relevance. And building on something that is still unknown is obviously tricky.
The research method lends itself to you! There is actually not much need to spent much time on this end. It will come naturally to you. Or at least it will be doing so if your work through the related research so to identify existing studies of relevance to the problem.
Therefore, the first thing that students should focus on is to get a better understanding about what is the exact research problem. And where this is still very much unknown, then getting a clear understanding about the issue at hand should be the first quest. Everything else will naturally fall from there (or contrary, might fall apart once being misguided on the research problem or issue at hand). For those struggling on the problem end, take a look here, here, here, and here.
Another point that was discussed through the webinar is the non-linearity of research, and as discussed here. While the thesis is presenting the research in a linear manner, this does not mean that the research has been carried out in that sequence. This is not like a business project that is executed as initially planned. This is – first and foremost – and educational project. And this includes, amongst others, to learn about the application of different methods, or applying the same method differently over time, as the research progresses.
Such a gradual approach then also has the advantage to build on initial research findings and consider these for the further shaping of the research undertakings, as well as allowing for a more focused further consultation of the literature. In this regards the webinar then also looked at using mirroring techniques so to support such a gradual approach and so to assure that all ends are addressed and inform each other.
A recording of the webinar as well as the full slide set is available to registered users here. To those that have some follow up questions, be welcome to post them at the Webinar’s Message Board and we will get back to you.