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Fall12 INF1240 Research Methods Lecture 3

Lecture Slides, September 24, 2012
by

Sara Grimes

on 8 July 2013

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Transcript of Fall12 INF1240 Research Methods Lecture 3

Luker's Writing/Thinking Exercises:
What question concerning the social world would you like to investigate if you were absolutely guaranteed that you would not fail?

What kinds of questions might you want to spend sveral previous years of your life investigating? What worries and provokes you? What would you like to know?

Given your research interest, how would a canonical researcher design this research question? Why is that way of studying your question inadequate/insufficient?

What is the "frame" - or hook - of your research? Whose converstion are you trying to slide into? How will you grab the attention (and interest) of your audience?
Group Blog Visit:
http://inf1240groupblog.wordpress.com/
Research Question
Exercises 1-4 (and beyond): Tools for finding the question hidden inside your research interests.

Appendix 1: Troubleshooting for those who still don't have a "case" (specific topic/area/site of inquiry)
http://ostatic.com/blog/four-open-source-mind-mapping-apps-to-keep-you-focused (e.g. FreeMind)
Data Visualization and Mind Mapping
© 2010 Eleonore Fournier-Tombs
Wordle
In-Class Exercise #1
As suggested by Luker:
In pairs of two, take turns describing your research question (even if under construction), OR research interest (OR, if need be, your more general academic interest(s)).
For the person describing: Try to be as concise as possible.
For the person listening: When they are done, repeat back to them what you understand their question to be, based on what they just said.

Objective: Narrowing down through elimination - by explaning what it's NOT and why, you may get closer to what it is that you actually want to ask/answer.
WHAT?
HOW?
WHY?
Finding your frame
Claimsmaking
Helps you to situate yourself
Helps you to narrow down your proposal
Helps you to set objectives
Helps to identify bias & assumptions
Helps to argue importance, relevance
Helps secure support & funding
Different methods = answer different questions
Canonical/traditional approach (rule of thumb):
Survey/quant.content analysis: frequency, distribution across fixed categories, measuring (or linking or comparing) behaviours and/or features.
E.g. What databases do UofT librarians use in their own research?
Interviews: exploration of issues with complex/emerging/ or ambiguous cultural meanings. Why do people do the things they do? How does the content/text represent gender, etc.?
E.g. How do UofT librarians choose which databases to use, or not use, in their research and why?
Properties of the phenomenon
Properties of the method
Properties of the researcher????
Example:
1) A comprehensive mapping of the emerging phenomenon of “UGC games” within children’s digital culture, which will document and analyze the UGC tools and affordances provided within a number of commercial titles; document and analyze the content that children (aged 6-12) have created using these tools; as well as observe some of the social and material contexts within which UGC gaming practices unfold. Among the contexts to be examined are the liminal, in-between, transitory contexts (backyards, backseats, playgrounds, etc.) likely associated with UGC gaming on mobile devices.
Document + Formal (comparable) Features + "a number": Content Analysis



Document + content produced by children specifically
How will I know if the content was produced by a child?
Survey players to identify child-creators + child-created content.
Ethics approval. Permission of forum administrators.
Advertise survey on key forums (self-selected groups not likely generalizable). Secure parental consent & informed consent to include game levels in analysis.
Survey Tool: Opens up new possibilities for directions, research questions, demographics, and stakeholders (e.g. industry, policy, educators, kids).
Content Analysis
Critical textual/design analysis
Comparative case study approach
?
Claimsmaking
1.the on-line J.-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master's application form, completed, printed and signed
2.the program of study (max. 2 pages)
3.a bibliography/citations (max. 5 pages)
4.research contributions page (if applicable, max. 1 page)
5. official letter to confirm part-time study &/or leave....
6.all undergraduate transcripts
7.all graduate level transcripts
8.two (2) completed Letters of Appraisal in sealed envelopes
9.the Departmental Appraisal (only for candidates who must apply through a Canadian university)
10. completed, printed and signed Consent to Disclosure...form...
11.the Application Checklist
SSHRC Proposal (Real or Mock)
Assignment 2
AAll required material should be attached to your application printout as additional pages. Please ensure your attachments are presented according to these specifications:
typed or word processed, single-sided, on 8 1/2" x 11" (21.5 cm x 28 cm), white paper;
single-spaced, with no more than six lines of type per inch;
body text in a minimum 12 pt Times New Roman font;
all margins set at a minimum of 3/4" (1.87 cm);
your name appears within the set margins at the top right corner of every page; and
pages numbered consecutively following the last page of your application printout.
General Presentation

Describe your degree program and your research proposal in non-technical terms. Write your proposal in clear, plain language and avoid jargon, since your application will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary committee.

Ensure that your text includes the following requirements:
Identify the university and degree program which you are pursuing or intend to pursue;
Outline clearly the research training component of the degree program and tell us how your program of study meets one or more of the three components listed under Eligibility (consult the program description on SSHRC's Web site);
If your Master's degree program involves a thesis, a major research paper/essay, or a major research project, provide a well-structured outline of your research proposal, specifying the research question, context, objectives, methodology and contribution to the advancement of knowledge;
If it is relevant to your research proposal, describe any work experience, community involvement or other extracurricular activity;
If your research proposal is in health or psychology, justify your submission of this proposal to SSHRC (rather than to NSERC or CIHR), based on the Guidelines for the Eligibility of Subject Matter at SSHRC;
If the output of your degree program is an artistic creation rather than a thesis, indicate clearly the research component of your proposed work. Outline the objectives of your research, the context, methodology, and contribution to the advancement of knowledge.
if your degree program does not involve a thesis, major research paper/essay, or a major research project, remember to outline clearly the research training component of the degree, as indicated above.

Provide the following:
a bibliography for your research proposal (please do not send publications or include endnotes).
bibliographic details for all citations included in your Program of Study. Ensure that they are clear and complete to allow reviewers to locate the sources easily.
Bibliography and Citations
(maximum 5 pages)
Program of Study — maximum two pages
General Guidelines for the Eligibility of Subject Matter at SSHRC

Applications to SSHRC as the primary source of research or research training support must meet the following two criteria:
The program of research must be primarily in the social sciences and humanities (i.e., aligned with SSHRC's legislated mandate).
The intended outcome of the research must primarily be to add to our understanding and knowledge of individuals, groups and societies—what we think, how we live, and how we interact with each other and the world around us.
Always Read the Org. Mandate
"...enhances our understanding of modern social, cultural, technological, environmental, economic and wellness issues."

"...raises profound questions about who we are as human beings, what we need in order to thrive in complex and challenging times, and where we are headed in the new millennium."

"Research outcomes are shared with communities, businesses and governments, who use this new knowledge to innovate and improve people’s lives."

Current "Priority Areas":
Aboriginal Research
Canadian Environmental Issues
Digital Media
Innovation, Leadership and Prosperity
Northern Communities—Towards Social and Economic Prosperity
INF1240 due date: Oct.15 Internal SSHRC deadline: Nov.26
Reflexivity
Iterative
be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
be applying for support to pursue your first graduate degree (i.e., master's or equivalent) and not have completed more than 12 months of full-time graduate study at the proposed start date of the award (all previous studies at the graduate level, regardless of discipline, will be included in determining eligibility);
have achieved a first-class average, as determined by your university, in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent;
not have already received an award for master's-level study from SSHRC, NSERC or CIHR; and
not be applying for graduate funding in the 2012-13 academic year to NSERC or CIHR.

1 year award: $17,500/yr
Eligibility:
Complete Application:
Tips from Experts
"READ THE APPLICATION GUIDELINES AND TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY. Follow all rules concerning font size, line spacing, margins, page limits, etc. Failure to follow the guidelines can result in an ineligible application — pages that exceed the specified limit may be discarded without your knowledge" (Hood & Alden, 2003, n.p.).

"Pay attention to the award program’s objectives and criteria" and "Write your proposal with the specific funding agency and/or review panel in mind" (Hood & Alden, 2003, n.p.).
"Writing must be clear and concise. Remember that the selection committee members may not have a specialized knowledge of your particular area of research. Avoid jargon and technical language – write your proposal for a general audience. Be sure to define any acronyms or abbreviations the first time they are used" (OGPR, 2010)
Applications
student signature missing (Tri-Agency)

Free-Form Pages (Appendices, incl. Program of Study)
too many pages
sections missing
font too small*
margins too small*

Reference Forms
only one submitted*
not on proper form
too many pages
not original (ie. faxed, photocopied, e-mailed)

Transcripts
missing pages*
not original and official (Tri-Agency)
out of date

NSERC and SSHRC Dept Evaluation
missing or incomplete
signed by someone who also provided reference form

*these errors will make application ineligible
Top 14 Mistakes
compiled by the UBC Office of Graduate Programs and Research (2010)
Additional Tip
Structure

Need to prove that your program and research will help you become highly qualified (see Mandate)
You are writing a persuasive statement – you should fund me
Emphasize the research component of your studies
Clearly state your level of study – what stage are you at?
Outline your thesis and explain how it builds on existing research
Explain how your research will advance knowledge in your field
Describe what you hope to accomplish during the tenure of your award
Provide the name of your supervisor, if known
[...]
State your research problem and methodology clearly
Sell yourself: use a confident voice and sound excited about your research
Be specific
Create a simple study that shows you know how to design a study and that it addresses an important issue

Who are you? Where are you at? Where are you going?
What are you looking at?
thesis statement
research questions
Why is it important that this research is done?
How will you do this research?
methodology
So what? What contribution does this research make?
To Whom?
Template 1 (created by Brown, 2008)

This is who I am
This is my area of research
This area is a problem because... a) b) c) etc.
This is what I am going to do in my research
This is why it matters
Template 2 (Brown, 2008)

Part 1: My background and interests
Part 2: Why this research is important
Part 3: Previous literature on topic and gap in literature
Part 4: My research training, expertise, experience
Part 5: My master's proposal
Template 3 (Adapted from Brown, 2008)
Group Exercise 2
Divide up into groups of 7-8
Read the sample proposal provided
If you were to create a template based on this proposal, what would it look like?
i.e. how is the proposal structured? what info does it include/omit?
Present your findings to the rest of the class.
REAL PROPOSAL? Double check presentation req's in this year's official Instructions
Tips and Advice on "How to Structure a OGS or SSHRC Proposal (Brown, 2008)
What does "max 5 pages" tell you about their expectations????
Full transcript