Course Project Task I

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Module 1 Assignment 1: Course Project Task I

Research Topic and Preliminary Questions

Since you devote a lot of time to your research, it is important to select a topic of such personal interest that you will really enjoy working on it. However, choosing a topic is not that simple.

Supplemental handouts are provided in Shared Documents for M1 A1, with ideas about research topics and research questions. Each provides a different perspective that may be useful, in addition to the assigned reading in your texts. As Fink (2010) has suggested, thinking of potential research questions around your research topic very early gives you the opportunity to focus on the key words generated the questions you frame. These can help as you begin your database search in M2.A1. In addition, focusing your research topic area around potential questions may help you better understand possible relationships among variables where you might focus your research interest. As you begin to think more this way, consider wording your questions within a context like the following example: “What are the potential relationships between—- and —-? The idea of framing questions in this relational, scientific way is highlighted, especially in the Shared Documents article, “Generating and Developing Research Questions.”

The following are additional guiding ideas for you to consider:

Potential relational questions to help you focus your topic and enhance your preliminary keyword search: Think of your topic in terms of preliminary questions that you want answered about the topic.

Educational significance of your topic: Examine the expected impact or significance of your study in your field of study or the potential significance of what you hope to add to the scholarly literature. [Note: you should use conditional verb forms—“The results may lead to a better understanding of the adolescent learner.”]

Background / Need for the Study: The background is the context of the problem that you have chosen to study and is one way to demonstrate that your study has attracted/will attract the attention of the educational research community. State the background of your topic in one or two paragraphs.

Reason for interest in this topic. Specific aspects of the topic you would like to pursue: In what ways could this topic be limited so it would be a manageable topic to research? For example, it would be too broad to explore the leadership styles of all high school principals whose high schools had graduates who entered colleges or universities.

By the due date assigned, submit your research topic to the Discussion Area directly into the forum, and not as an attachment.

Read the topics submitted by your peers. Offer your own assessments of their submissions. Provide balanced feedback, describing the strengths and weaknesses of their submissions. Make suggestions for improvements so your peers can develop and refine their work.

You will receive feedback from your peers and facilitator concerning your research topic.

Please make sure you review the elements of the grading criteria and associated points carefully and make sure your assignment has addressed all the elements and in enough detail to merit full points.

Assignment Grading Criteria Maximum Points
Stated a doable research topic and at least 2 potential questions using the relational model highlighted above and discussed in the handout in Shared Documents.

6

Explained the context of the stated research including the reason for your interest in the topic, the importance of the topic, and your suggestions on making the research topic manageable

8

Identified and stated at least 4 potential keywords from the proposed research questions (keywords should be derived from the variables in your research questions) that could be used for the database search in Module 2

4

Provided thoughtful feedback on a minimum of three of your peer submissions using the grading criteria.

6

Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

8

Total:

32

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