Research Project III

Develop innovative approaches to workplace activities through systematic research in an industry relating to their stream studies.

Course Code: BGN202
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Study Research Methods at Home



Take your research skills to the next level.  


Prerequisites: Research Projects I & II or equivalent
 
Being a good researcher involves more than coming up with brilliant ideas and implementing them.

Most researchers spend the majority of their time reading papers, discussing ideas with colleagues, writing and revising papers, staring blankly into space – and, of course, having brilliant ideas and implementing them.




Lesson Structure

There are 5 lessons in this course:

  1. Determining Research Priorities.
    • Beginning your research
    • Brainstorming
    • How to brainstorm
    • Basic steps for brainstorming
    • Terminology
  2. Planning Research Improvement
    • Overview
    • Mind maps
    • How to mind map
    • Concept mapping
    • Flow diagrams
    • Analytical procedures
    • Terminology
  3. Testing the Viability of Alternative Approaches
    • Research design
    • Major types of research design
    • Action research
    • Fishbone diagrams
    • Lateral thinking
    • Lateral thinking techniqies
    • Pareto analysis
    • When and where to use pareto analysis
    • Observations
    • Root cause analysis
    • Finding the root cause
    • Hypothesis
    • Null and alternate hypothesis
    • Terminology
  4. Conducting Detailed Research into Commercial Work Procedures
    • Log books
    • Collecting and logging data
    • Checking data for accurtacy
    • Developing a base structure
    • Data transformations
    • Analysing your data
    • What shape is data in
    • Analyzing documents
    • Analyzing interviews
    • Analyzing observations
    • Analyzing questionnaires
    • Interpretation
    • The results
    • Writing up your report
    • Report structure
    • Terminology
  5. Developing an Improved Approach to a Workplace Procedure
    • Overview
    • Terminology

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Analyse current industry procedures to determine possible areas for improvement or innovation.
  • Plan research on the development of innovative approaches for improving a commercial work procedure.
  • Conduct detailed research into the viability of alternative innovative approaches to a commercial work procedure.
  • Conduct detailed research into the viability of alternative, innovative approaches to a commercial work procedures.
  • Develop an improved approach to a workplace procedure based on results of research.

How To Start a Research Project

Often the hardest part of research is coming up with a research topic or question. Your research topic should first of all be interesting to you and relevant to the field of study/work you are in – you'll be spending a lot of time and work on your project so be sure to choose a topic that you are eager to learn more about. 

Second, choose a topic where there is enough evidence (primary and secondary sources) that you can use (in languages that you can read, and that are accessible) for your research.

Third, choose a topic of the ‘right’ size. Topics that are too narrow may not be important or significant and you may not find much evidence. Topics that are very broad may be too complex for your project.


Where can you find good and plausible topic ideas?

  • Brainstorm some ideas alone or with friends. Take 3 minutes and jot down possible topics – subjects that have always interested you. Once you are finished read through the list and see if any of the topics can be transformed into a research project.
  • Talk with people who work in that discipline or industry. Ask them what needs to be researched.Read industry journals. Are there any topics related to your area of interest?
  • Browse through books relating to your area of interest. Once you come up with a topic that you think will work check with your tutor. Your tutor will be able to help refine your idea and give you leads on where to begin your research.
  • Do Internet searches.
  • Contact regulatory boards/government authorities etc. to find out what research is being done in your area of interest.

Identifying the subject matter of your research is a good start, but your topic will not be truly focused until you have rephrased it as a research problem or hypothesis.
The quest for an answer to your research problem (or validation of your hypothesis) then becomes what drives your research forward.

One way to focus in on your research problem is to consider the overall purpose of your project. Are you setting out to define, classify, compare, analyse or prove a point?
 

In general, a good topic may address these practical issues:

  • Does it fit the requirements for the paper or assignment?
  • Are there enough resources available on the topic? This question especially applies to projects requiring library research. Are there enough books, articles, Internet documents?
  • Is it an important and worthwhile topic? This factor is very important.
  • Are you interested in the topic? If you have a choice, find a subject that interests you. It's hard to get motivated if you don't care about what you are doing. Think about choosing a topic that will help you gain expertise in an area that will be useful in the future.

 

 
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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Dr Robert Browne

Zoologist, Environmental Scientist and Sustainability, science based consultancy with biotechnology corporations. Work focused on conservation and sustainability.
Robert has published work in the fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and develop

Christine Todd

University lecturer, businesswoman, photographer, consultant and sustainability expert; with over 40 years industry experience
B.A., M.Plan.Prac., M.A.(Social).
An expert in planning, with years of practical experience in permaculture.

Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand

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