Exploring online research methods - Incorporating TRI-ORM

Online course: Assessment

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Open/close headingOverview

This page provides an archive of the assessment details for the online courses. On this page they are presented in the same way as experienced by course participants. There were two parts to the assessment, both worth 50% of the marks.

  • Research Design Proposal
  • Reflective Blog

All work was considered by two markers and a provisional mark and feedback returned within 3 working weeks.

 

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Open/close headingResearch Design Proposal

Word limit 2000 words (excluding bibliography and appendices). You should write a proposal in which you describe and present the research project that you intend to pilot (using online research methods) as part of this course. 

The proposal should:

  • Identify your research question(s) and briefly explain why it is important
  • Justify why you consider the use of online research methodology is appropriate to address this research question
  • Explain which specific online methods you will employ and justify the selection of these techniques
  • Discuss the ethical and methodological issues that the use of online methods raises for your work and how you intend to address these
  • Briefly summarise the ways in which you intend to analyse the data you collect and report on the findings

 

Throughout, the proposal should explain how your research project, and particularly those aspects related to the use of online research methods, relate to, and are informed by relevant publications.  The suggested reading, e-tivities and online seminars/meetings over the first few weeks of the course are all designed to help you explore these issues in relation to the use of online research methods generally.  The research design proposal is an opportunity for you to demonstrate how these issues specifically relate to the research project that you intend to undertake. 

 

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Open/close headingReflective Blog

The reflective blog is a way in which you will assess and evidence your personal progress and development as an online researcher.  Your posts should demonstrate how you have engaged in critical and analytical reflection on use of online research methods over the course of the module.  We will be expecting you to post at least weekly reflecting on the weekly e-tivites and the discussions you have had within the synchronous meetings.  We also expect you to read and post to other course members blogs.

Your blog should provide a personal statement in which you critically examine how your knowledge, understanding and skills as an online researcher have developed as a result of undertaking this module.

Roth (1989) summarises the reflective processes in the following way, which you may find helpful as you compose your posts:

  • Questioning what, why, and how one does things and asking what, why, and how others do things;
  • Seeking alternatives;
  • Keeping an open mind;
  • Comparing and contrasting;
  • Seeking the framework, theoretical basis, and/or underlying rationale;
  • Viewing from various perspectives;
  • Asking 'what if...?';
  • Asking for others' ideas and viewpoints;
  • Using prescriptive models only when adapted to the situation;
  • Considering consequences;
  • Hypothesizing;
  • Synthesizing and testing;
  • Seeking, identifying, and resolving problems.

 

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Open/close headingMapping to learning outcomes

The combination of these two assessments should enable you to demonstrate how you have met the module’s learning outcomes as shown in the table below:

 

Learning Outcomes

Research

Design

Proposal

Reflective

Blog

1. Evaluate when online research methods are appropriate for social science research

x

x

2. Discuss the key ethical and methodological issues surrounding the use of online research methods

x

x

3. Critically evaluate the use of online research methods to address their own and their peers’ research questions

x

x

4. Design and implement an online questionnaire or online interview to address their own research questions.

x

x

5. Evaluate their online research design in the light of feedback from the pilot;

 

x

6. Identify the key issues in successful implementation of online research methods from the perspective of researcher and respondent;

x

x

7. Reflect on their experience as an online researcher and identify further opportunities for development.

 

x

 

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Authors of this page: Jane Wellens and Tristram Hooley - Year of publication: 2009
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