All 30 entries tagged Research

View all 507 entries tagged Research on Warwick Blogs | View entries tagged Research at Technorati | There are no images tagged Research on this blog

July 28, 2009

写论文杂记

近来的日子都在写论文—文献评论和研究方法论。由于选择了个人化的叙述写法,个人的情绪随着对研究的热忱,对学问的敬畏和对难题的懊恼而起伏不定。最近两次和在做翻译学研究的同修谈论写论文的心得,不自觉地受了她所属的艺术与人文系的影响。身为社会科学系的研究员,我经常处于自然科学和艺术与人文两极之间的灰色地带。尤其是我较倾向于定性法研究,这在本质上与艺术与人文的研究方法相似。

实际上,我的身份是挺尴尬的,而这尴尬的身份常常令我难以作文。我的学术背景混杂,求学的大学和执教的大学加起来有五家有余,且它们的本质和作业形式都很不一样。我本科念了创意多媒体,主修电影与动画,这乃是媒体、艺术和资讯与通讯科技混合学位。念多媒体硕士,专攻电子教学时,接触到浩瀚的教育学,并把所学到的知识与技术应用到在我执教的吉隆坡大学里—号称马来西亚第一所的技术大学。后来有机会教南澳大学在马来西亚泰莱学院的双联课程,我接触了较人性化的大众传媒学。辗转去了苏丹伊德里斯教育大学的艺术与音乐系,见识到艺术家与艺术教育家颇另类的教学与研究方法。到了华威教育学院念博,除了面对文化冲击,还得接受深度的自我思想探索考验。过去一直用在生活和职场上的各种即战武器(包括暗器,写作用的)突然变得无用武之地了。原来被迫求生求存而求胜、求功名、求利益的日子,竟然不复存在了。这对在来到英国前,脚底下踩着成千上万个竞争者的我来说是不可思议的。在学风优良、研究风气鼎盛的氛围里,我尝到了获取智慧的甜果,自由地在研究的宇宙翱翔。我不再须要以如‘燕雀安知鸿鹄之志哉’的话语来自怜(自恋?)自叹。

今年六月中,我自觉地认为是真正开始写博士论文了。导师建议由研究方法论开始,然后引用我从去年9月到现今所写过、发表过的文章,并反思和自反我研究路上的反思与结论。听起来感觉很不错,写起来可痛苦难当,进度比蜗牛还慢!另一方面,我发出去的问卷音讯全无,希望是因为暑假的原因吧!但愿入秋后可以得到积极的回应。

很期待我写好的论文。在各路英雄/英雌的拔刀相助下,我有信心在限期内让她降世。加油!!


Model for identifying research area

Identifying research area

I am reflecting on my research journey. This is one of the outcomes of the reflection--to share with anyone who is searching for his / her research area, topic, question or aim.


February 12, 2009

Botching it by rushing 欲速则不达

欲速则不达

昨晚请两位劳苦功高的导师到Leamington Spa的宝石粤式餐馆吃饭,庆祝我成功地晋级为博士研究生。回家后,读了以下这篇故事,(取自<<星洲互动>>于2009年2月11日刊登的沟通平台)自我警惕机制骤然启动。

一个年轻人到少林寺向师父拜师学艺,他问师父要练多久才能出师,师父说:“大概5年吧!”

“啊,这么久?”年轻人急切地问:“假如我比其他弟子花更多倍的努力,是不是可以提早学成武功?”

“这样的话,你大概需要10年!”师父说。

“甚么?10年?那如果我再加倍、加倍地努力学习呢?”

“20年吧!”师父淡淡地回答。

年轻人愈听愈糊涂:“师父啊,为甚么我越努力练习,学成武功的时间就越长呢?”

“因为,当你的一只眼睛一直‘盯著结果看´时,你就只剩下一只眼睛可以‘专注练习´了!”师父说。

学习,固然需要两只眼睛都“心无旁騖”地“专注”於自己的课业,即使是从事任何行业,不论置身任何岗位,要想出类拔萃、出人头地,少一份专注也是不行的。专注力不足,工作就会经常出错、发生状况,因此,许多谈论成功的励志书籍都告诉我们,在这分工精细的社会,专注,才是胜出的秘诀。

专注,就是集中精力、全神贯注、专心致志。

专注,就是“专精”於自己的领域,把每一件事做到最好,展现专业。

[为了让更多同修分享,本文接下来用英语]

There is a reason why a PhD is commonly set to be completed in three years time. The moral of this story is one could be botching something by rushing. It is still crucial to have an aim, but once it is set, both eyes should be focusing on the work to be done to reach the aim, instead of staring at the aim while rushing on things to be done to reach the aim. My take on is, sufficient time should be spent on planning and target setting. Once it is done, I should concentrate on the tasks to be done and only review the aim after I reach a particular milestone.


February 10, 2009

How can I be a professional researcher?

I want to be a fully fessional researcher at the end of my PhD study, and herewith my progress to date:

  1. I must have something to say that my peers want to listen to (Yes, I have)
  2. I must have a command of what is happening in my subject so that I can evaluate the worth of what others are doing.(Sort of)
  3. I must have to astuteness to discover where I can make a useful contribution. (Yes, I have)
  4. I must be aware of the ethics of my profession and work within them. (Yes, I am aware of them)
  5. I must have mastery of appropriate techniques that are currently being used and also be aware of their limitations. (I am still learning)
  6. I must be able to communicate my results effectively in the professional arena. (Further practice needed)
  7. All this must be carried out in an international context: being aware of what is being discovered, argued about, written and published by my academic across the world. (Doing my research in the UK and reviewing literature worldwide would allow me to reach this)
  8. I must be able to evaluate and re-evaluate my own work and that of others in the light of current developments. (I am doing this via reflective and reflexive thinking)

Reference: Pugh and Philips (2005) How to get a PhD


The nature of PhD (Note jotted from How to get a PhD)

Some people asked me what does a PhD mean to me. What makes PhD holders different from non-PhD holders? I read Pugh and Philips (2005) How to get a PhD and found answer for it:

Table 1: Differences among bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctor’s degree

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Doctor’s degree

The recipient had obtained a general education.

Specialisation started in 19th century.

A licence to practice (historically in theology).

Possessed advanced knowledge in a specialist field.

A licence to teach, in a university as a member of a faculty.

A faculty member needs to be an authority, in full command of the subject right up to the boundaries of current knowledge, and able to extend them.

The recipient is worthy of being listened to as an equal by the appropriate university faculty.

Table 2: Differences among doctor’s degrees

Higher doctorates

Doctor of Philosophy degree

Doctor in medicine

Awarded as recognition of a substantial contribution to the discipline by published work.

E.g. DD (Divinity), MD (Medicine), LLD (Law), DMus (Music), DSc (Science), DLitt (Letters, i.e. Arts).

An early 20th century concept imported from the US to British universities.

DPhil or PhD.

Represents a more restricted achievement than the higher doctorates as it envisages a limited amount of academic work (3 years or so).

The recipient is in command of the field of study and can make a worthwhile contribution to it.

Honorary title given to general medical practitioners although they do not have a doctorate from their universities.

On the basis of their university course they are credited with 2 bachelor’s degrees, although having a licence to practise they exemplify the concept of a master’s degree.


February 08, 2009

Lessons learnt in mock interview

I attended ARM session: The Ethnographic imagination – the art and craft of ethnography on 07 Feb 09. This session was conducted by Prof Pia Christensen. It was a fruitful session, especially the half-an-hour mock interview role-playing activity. In a group of three, the role of interviewer, interviewee and observer were played by each student. The research was meant to explore the interviewee’s perception on the meaning of learning and education in his / her life. 4W1H (‘why’ was excluded due to the ethnographic nature of the research) approach was recommended to generate questions.

I was teamed with Sati and Theo. Sati led both Theo and I to an unoccupied lecture room. After we settled down, we discussed and agreed on the role we play: Sati was the interviewer, Theo was the interviewee and I played the observer role. Next, we spent roughly 5 minutes to prepare for the task. Sati listed the questions to be asked, while I drew an observation table based on the guideline given by Pia (see Table 1).

Table 1: What to observe during participant observation

Category

Includes

Researchers should note

Appearance

Clothing, age, gender, physical appearance

Anything that might indicate membership in groups or in sub-populations of interest to the study, such as profession, social status, socioeconomic class, religion, or ethnicity

Verbal behavior and interaction

Who speaks to whom and for how long; who initiates interaction; languages or dialects spoken; tone of voice

Gender, age, ethnicity and profession of speakers; dynamics of interaction

Physical behavior and gestures

What people do, who does what, who interacts with whom, who is not interacting

How people use their bodies and voices to communicate different emotions; what individuals’ behaviours indicate about their feelings toward one another, their social rank, or their profession

Personal space

How close people stand to one another

What individuals’ preferences concerning personal space suggest about their relationships

Human traffic

People who enter, leave and spend time at the observation site

Where people enter and exit; how long they stay; who they are (ethnicity, age, gender); whether they are alone or accompanied; number of people

People who stand out

Identification of people who receive a lot of attention from others

The characteristic of these individuals; what differentiates them from others; whether people consult them or they approach other people; whether they seem to be strangers or well known by others present

The mock interview started by Sati introduced herself and explained the nature of interview which she perceived. She also guaranteed the confidentiality of the data captured in the interview to Theo. The interview last for 20 minutes and a discussion were held among three of us regarding the lessons learnt in the role-playing. The lesson we learned in the mock interview were shared with other groups. Herewith some useful points to me in the activity:

-         Smile connects people

-         Never expect interviewees to remember things that you have said once, e.g. who you are and where do you come from, etc.

-         A good interviewee would help interviewer in focusing the research topic, provided that the interviewee was given information regarding the key research question and the context of the research in advance. Treat this as serendipity.

-         Interviewer should be flexible in adjusting prepared questions based on interviewee’s background and the real-time interaction with interviewee.

-         Provide options to interviewee or let interviewee determines where to conduct interview. If the interview location is not suitable and only being discovered after the interview has started, do consider to change venue on the spot (let’s get a better place) or arrange another meeting.

-         Interviewer should mention that ‘it is not about right or wrong answers’ at the beginning of interview.

-         Interviewer should ensure that none of the questions is out of the research context.

-         An experienced interviewer would know when to stop.


December 21, 2008

The Person I Admire in Educational Research: Lev Vygotsky

When I was studying in primary school, a popular topic for free essay writing (almost assigned by teachers every year) is ‘The Person I Admire’. I can’t really remember who I admired when I was a kid, but recently I decided to be an admirer of Lev Semenovich Vygotsky. According to Wikipedia, he was a Russian Jewish developmental psychologist and the founder of cultural-historical psychology. To me, I regard him as my target in educational research. Although he died at the age of 37, his research contributions were magnificent.

The first time I learned about him was on 1 May 2004, when I was attending the 4th lecture of Learning Theories and Technologies, during my Master of Multimedia (MMm) study. I knew him through the concepts of the zone of proximal development and scaffolding. Although I got A for this subject, to be frank, I didn’t know much about him.

Last month, on 28 Nov, I rediscovered Vygotsky through Prof David Wray. David gave a lecture on Learning theories and their implications to PhD candidates of WIE. He put Vygotsky’s portrait under the title ‘Social constructivism’ and allocated 4 slides for this topic. Herewith the first slide:

Social constructivism

-         Vygotsky

-         Marxist

-         Revolution – not evolution

-         Development takes place first on a social plane then on an individual plan

Vygotsky

In the second slide, he played a video clip, titled Vygotsky’s Development Theory: An Introduction

There was a caption in the video that struck me: ‘Using a 3% quota, Jewish students were chosen by lottery’, and Vygotsky was a lucky person who won the lottery of getting into school in Russia during the time of Tsar Nicholas II. What a coincident! The chance for me to get sponsored to pursue a PhD in the UK is 3%, and I always consider myself as winning lottery.

When I updated my lists of literature to be reviewed in ePortfolio, I came across Vygotsky’s work in 1933, titled ‘Play and its role in the mental development of the child’. Play is one of the key concepts that associated with my research, thus I searched for this paper and started to have a closer view of Vygotsky’s works. He produced seven books and a thousand over papers before he died—no wonder there are people who regard him as ‘The Mozart of Psychology’.

I do plan to write books, and hopefully more than seven. The title of my first book to be written, which I promised to write together with Prof Stan in Malaysia, is set: Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Learning Strategies. This book would be an expansion of a paper I wrote in 2006, titled ‘Globalization, e-Learning and The Art of War’. I always think that this paper was not well written because the elements of The Art of War were not thoroughly exploited. I need more time to explore those elements together with Stan.

I know I am nobody, or just as a beginner researcher in education. But I have aspirations and dreams. Like Gautama Buddha said, ‘we are what we think’, I think I am a game-based learning specialist. As a specialist, I will incorporate my knowledge and skills in multimedia technology and pedagogy into the production of the book. Perhaps, I should not call it a book; it ought to be my first game. I want to put my beliefs into practice. I know I am standing in an advantageous position, between creative industry and education. So, I want to try game-based learning out myself, for real. My goal is to revolutionise, to replace traditional teaching media with electronic games. I believe one day in the future, printed books will become antiques in museum, like those papyrus scribes now. Indeed this is not a new idea. For academics who conduct research in Visual and Performing Arts, ‘publication’ of research works could be in non-text based forms, despite its worldwide level of acceptance (see examples of research projects). I hope one day, academics would publish games instead of research papers. In the game, players instead of readers could experience the research conduct through the eyes of the researcher in a virtual world. Players will be engaged with the game play under the flow state. As a person who studied creative multimedia, I personally regard the existing ‘academic papers’ as dull, boring and scary. I imagine that if I could ‘multimedia-lise’ those academic papers, people with non-research background would be able to understand or even like what we are doing.

Like Vygotsky, my idea or imagination might be criticised as being too wild by contemporary academia during my lifetime. However, I sincerely hope to see such shift of paradigm. In the mean time, I’ll try my best to stay alive longer then Vygotsky.


November 02, 2008

Mix methods vs multi methods

Dear Comrade D,

Herewith my understanding of mix methods and multi methods. When the notion of mix methods is used, it is normally referred as mix methods research design, which is mixing both quantitative and qualitative data collection and data analysis approaches. How the mixture of both approaches could be is shown as Figure 17.2 in Creswell (2008:557).

Meanwhile, my understanding of multi methods (research design) should be referring to multiple data collection and analysis methods used in a research conduct. The combination of methods could be either quantitative, qualitative or a mixture of both. In other words, mix methods could be a sub-set of multi methods research design.

The choice of research methods should be driven by your research methodology. Examples of research methodology are case study, ethnography, experiment, quasi-experiment, survey, etc. Each of these research methodology could involve quantitative, qualitative or a mixture of both methods to gather research data. And the choice of data type to be collected in a particular research methodology should be determined by epistemological paradigm or theoretical perspectives held by the researcher who designs and conducts the research (Patton, 2002).

To tackle your problems at this moment, you could either determine your research methodology, then decide which method or combination of methods you want to use to collect your research data. After that, justify the rationale behind your choice of both research methods and research methodology by stating your epistemological views or theoretical perspective—how you see the nature of knowledge in social reality.

I hope this email won’t confuse you, instead it should be able to help your research design.

References:

Creswell, J.W. (2008). Educational research: plannning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research, 3rd ed. New Jersey: Pearson International Edition.

Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods, London, SAGE.


August 26, 2008

Action Summary of 'How to get a PhD'

I re-read the bestseller book of Phillips and Pugh (2005) again. After being a PhD student, I gained new insights. Herewith the action summary of some of the chapters which could be useful for others.

Action summary:

On becoming a research student

  • Be aware that in doctoral education you are under your own management and have the responsibility for determining what is required as well as for carrying it out.
  • You will experience periods of self-doubt which you must come through with the clear aim of becoming a competent professional researcher.

The nature of the PhD qualification

  • Set out to discover the standard and achievement for a fully professional researcher in your discipline that justify the award of the PhD degree.
  • Read others’ PhD theses in your field and evaluate them for the degree of originality in the research which has satisfied the examiners.
  • Be aware that the initial enthusiasm for the research will inevitably decline eventually. Provide the determination and application (rather than brilliance) that are required to complete the work and obtain the degree.
  • Use the full range of services that your university makes available to ensure that you have proper support in your studies.
  • The tension between the boundaries of the research project and the time available to complete it should be continually reviewed and adjusted by the student and the supervisors.

How not to get a PhD

  • Be aware of the seven ways of not getting a PhD
  • Not wanting a PhD
  • Overestimating what is required
  • Underestimating what is required
  • Having a supervisor who does not know what is required
  • Losing contact with your supervisor
  • Not having a ‘thesis’ (as in position or argument) to maintain
  • Taking a new job before completin
  • Work to understand the implications of these traps fully in your own situation and determine not to succumb to them
  • Re-establish your determination regularly when blandishments to stray from your programme of work occur.

How to do research

  • Consider very carefully the advantages of doing ‘testing-out’ research for your PhD.
  • From observation and discussion with your supervisor and other academics, construct a list of the craft practices that characterise a good professional researcher in your discipline.
  • Aim to ensure that no procedure, technique, skill, etc., that is relevant to your project will be exercised by you there for the first time.
  • Find out from researchers in your subject how the scientific approach actually works in practice.

The form of a PhD thesis

  • Ensure that the four elements of the PhD form (background theory, focal theory, data theory, contribution) are adequately covered in your thesis.
  • Do not make your thesis (that is, the report) any longer than it needs to be to sustain your thesis (your argument).
  • Remember that you need only take a very small step indeed within regard to the ‘original’ part of your work.
  • Discuss with your supervisor the many different ways in which a thesis may be presumed to be ‘original’ and come to some agreement about the way that you will be interpreting this requirement.
  • Write your thesis in readable English, using technical terms as appropriate but avoiding jargon.
  • From the beginning, use the footnoting and referencing conventions of your discipline.
  • Take very opportunity to write reports, draft papers, criticism f others’ work, etc. during the course of your research. Do not think that all the writing can be done at the end. If you do avoid writing you will not develop the skills to write efficiently, or even adequately, for your thesis.
  • Write up your final thesis in the order which is easiest for you. It does not have to be written in the order in which it will be read. The method section is often a good place to start.

Common structure

-         Introduction (including aims)

-         Literature survey (background theory as a review of the relevant literature)

-         Method (data theory including a description of what has been done)

-         Results ( focal theory including what was found)

-         Discussion (development of focal theory and suggestions for future work)

-         Conclusions (summary and contribution)


August 19, 2008

Looking for perfect research?

A colleague of mine said, 'there is no perfect research'. I certainly agree with this statement. In fact, I regard each research study as a journey, a journey of learning and there is no perfect learning as well. Even though the outcome of learning could be assessed and the learner might score 100% in this assessment, that doesn't mean the learner had learnt perfectly. The results of learning are not limited to the outcomes set by the instructors or teachers. For example, I always came out with ideas that were provoked by the sayings of my research supervisors, which sometimes surprised them. I regard that as the 'follow through' effect of learning, which is not the explicit learning outcome but it is definately the result of learning. Because of the existence of such effect in learning, there will not be the so-called perfect learning. Same goes with the so-called perfect research. Sometimes, even an unsuccessful research--those which failed to reach desired research outcomes, could generate 'follow through' results which might be useful to the researcher or the research itself.

In a word, stop looking or planning for perfect research. Just do it!


March 2021

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Feb |  Today  |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31            

Search this blog

Tags

Favourite blogs

Galleries

Most recent comments

  • Can't believe? Why? Your blog is very interesting! I added myself to be your fans / friend. I am not… by on this entry
  • hey! can't believe I find you here! it does make sense, could be better if you make it a flow chart?… by on this entry
  • She realised how much she wanted to change things – some people don't allow themselves that thought … by Sue on this entry
  • Hey—my sister used to have 'winter–blues' back when she was studying in Canada. Glad to hear you're … by safurah on this entry
  • by &#23567;&#28580; on this entry

Blog archive

Loading…
RSS2.0 Atom
Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder
© MMXXI