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Overview of research methods
The aim of doing this small-scale research project is for you to gain appreciation for research through your own experience. This piece of practical work will build your confidence and competence in doing research and assist you to better critique other research. It is highly recommended that you be proactive in building up a good working relationship with your supervisor. You must involve your supervisor in guiding and advising you on the different stages of your research and the decisions you make. This research project will involve primary data. You will either collect some primary data or use data that has already been collected. Secondary research as in a literature review or summary of the workings of technology is not appropriate. However, if you are using a design science approach, then building and testing a set of metrics will be sufficient (consult with your supervisor). The research must be relevant to a group of people and make a contribution to a field or body of knowledge. Aim to spend approximately 100 hours in total, including planning, applying the research method, and writing it up.
Use APA 7.
Initial research proposal requirements
Submit to Turnitin.
Due: Initial proposal 10-Apr-2021 11:59PM
Weighting: 0%.
Submit a draft proposal by email to your supervisor. It typically takes several iterations of consultation with your supervisor working on the proposal before you are ready and are set up for conducting the research. Explicit approval is required before you continue with the research.
Include the following:
1. An introduction describing the topic area, why you are interested in it, why it is relevant to others, what potential contribution it will make.
2. A literature critique with a summary of what research methods are used, what is known about the topic area, and the challenges and difficulties.
3. Give an overview of all the research required to investigate your topic area. Typically, you will choose a small part of this to do as your project. Perhaps, it is the first thing to do. Perhaps, it is the bit you can do. Give rationale for your decision.
4. The research question. This may contain a number of sub-questions.
5. Research Method. A plan of action: what, where, who, why and how.
6. A pilot test run of the method. This is often extremely useful in informing you on how to refine details of your method and its application. A pilot test can also be very useful in assisting you to refine and scope your research question. If you don’t consider a pilot test appropriate, consult with your supervisor.
Research final report requirements
Due: 11:59pm on Friday, 28th May, 2021
3750 words .
Weighting: 100%.
1. An abstract of no more than 100 words that presents your motivation (one sentence), the research question and method (one sentence), the actual findings or recommendations (list them or describe them), the next steps and/or your vision for the future.
2. An introduction, describing the topic area, why you are interested and why it is relevant and interesting to others.
3. A summary of the literature critiqued in the proposal.
4. The research question. This may include a number of sub-questions.
5. Research Design. Describe what you actually did, where, with who, how. Also describe how you developed and refined the method, including how the pilot test assisted this process.
6. Findings, Analysis and Discussion. Divide these up as best suits your study. Also include some discussion on how your findings support or contradict previous research and knowledge. Consider using diagrams and/or tables to assist the reader, and also offer yourself overviews and big picture perspectives.
7. Conclusion, Limitations & Future Work.
Summarise the contributions your study has made
Identify limitations in your research, including limitations of the research method you used. Such limitations should not be confined to weaknesses in your design, but should go beyond and discuss the use of other research methods that can complement the method that you have used. In experiments, there may be key variables that weren’t included, or could not be included as they could not be measured, or your method was unable to adequately assess the interactions between existing variables. In questionnaires and interviews, there may be many types of respondents who were not covered.
Identify areas of uncertainty that your study raises. For each area and new research questions generated do a design plan for further research.
Identify the areas of opportunity, the new areas of research that your findings open up. Typically, these will involve different methods of inquiry from the method you used in your research. For example, if you did interviews, you may be ready with a hypothesis and be able to outline an experiment. If you did interviews, you may be able to offer a draft questionnaire for a future study. An experimental study may show up the need for further exploratory study using case studies or a survey in order to better identify variables.
If you have actions or interventions to progress something, then consider how research may assist that. For example, what types of methods will inform their formulation and role out and what methods can be used to assess impact and inform refinement, etc.
We are looking for quality of written work not quantity. A well written report could be as short as 15 pages. Supporting material can be put as an appendix.
The report will be marked as a whole. The advantage of that is that extended effort in any appropriate area can be rewarded if it is effective and worthwhile.
Selected topic for this research
Title = Making Mentor and mentee matching a success ( I want to change this to a more catching one suitable for STEM Research Method )
Description =
The idea is to use parameters like skill set, education background, knowledge level and work experience of mentor and mentee. Based on an optimal algorithm that is designed in this research project, the system should be able to list the matching mentee or mentor for a given input data. The input can be a mentor or mentee. Kaggle data set can be used for this purpose.
What are the drawbacks of existing approaches in making successful matches between mentor and mentee in academic institutions? ( is it possible to improve this RQ? )
How to overcome those limitations? ( is it possible to improve this RQ? )
Example Reference:
May be we can combine both RQ into one Research Question and frame a more better one?
Please let me know your thoughts and the cost also.
Feeback from lecturer for the above initial email:

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