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MITS6011 | Advanced Research Topics | IT

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Students will need to consider a research problem in Information Technology. The problem could arise from many different fields, for example, medical, business, science, engineering, hospitality, banking etc … The selection of the research problem will need to take place early, in session 1 or 2 as the first deliverable is in session 3. This is necessary given the nature of the subject. All theremaining work throughout the semester will stem from the basic research problem. The idea is that this Unit of Study will mimic the research process and provide you with the understanding and tools to undertake future research. In the first session, we will extensively discuss finding research problems and from there formulating research questions. This then gives us the foundation for proceeding with the remainder of the unit.


Below is a brief explanation of each of the deliverables including submission guidelines and deadlines, though the deadlines have already been given in the Table 1 above.

Research Question and Abstract    ( 10 Marks    Due session 3)
The research question lies at the heart of your research project. After considering a research problem (whatever the field of study) from there you will develop the research question. We will discuss formulating research questions in session one and two, but within the research problem the research question focuses specifically on one aspect of the problem that you will undertake as part of the research programme. There are many ways to present the research question, and these will be discussed during the sessions.

Along with the presentation of the Research question, you will also provide an abstract. An abstract at this stage is a carefully written single paragraph which succinctly describes the background and research problem that is being investigated by the researcher. The general approach can also be outlined here. The format of the abstract will be discussed in the first two sessions.

Submit your assignment in one document file by the due date and time to the assignment drop-box.

Full Proposal    ( 10 Marks    Due session 5)
The full proposal is a document that contains your entire proposal for the research to be undertake. These documents are normally required by academic departments before students are admitted to undertake research degrees such as a Masters research degree or a PhD. This document will contain your abstract and research question from the previous submission but integrated into a coherent document along with other components that will be discussed in class. A selection of references that you will use in developing your research paper will also be included at the stage.

The format of the full proposal can be found in the example document (proposal.doc). Use this document as a starting point to develop your full proposal and submit by the due date and time to the assignment drop-box.

Introduction and Full Abstract    ( 15 Marks    Due session 7)
The Introduction of the research report contains a full introduction to the research you have undertaken. The Introduction normally contains a statement of the problem (including the initial research question, the Significance of the problem, some historical background. The purpose, or goal to be gained from a better understanding of the research question, statement of hypothesis, any assumptions and limitations as well as any possible ethical considerations. Perhaps also a brief overview of the methodology.

The format of the Introduction can be found in the example document (report.doc, chapter 1). Use this document as a starting point to develop your Introduction (add and delete sections as appropriate).

Your submission also contains the full abstract. This is an extension of the initial abstract submitted with the proposal document and summarizes the report including the hypotheses, procedures, and major findings (you will not be conducting the research, so you won’t have any findings). The Full abstract should be no more than one page.

Submit this chapter by the due date and time to the assignment drop-box.

Literature Review    ( 20 Marks    Due session 10)
The literature review gives the reader (and the examiner) the necessary background to understand the study by citing the investigations and findings of previous researchers and documents the researcher's knowledge and preparation to investigate the problem.

Studying the existing literature is one of the essential preliminary tasks when you undertake a research study. This enables you to acquaint yourself with the available body of knowledge in your specific area of research. “The literature review is an integral part of the research process and makes a valuable contribution to almost every operational step” (Kumar, R. Research Methodology: a step-by-step guide for beginners, 3rd ed, Sage 2011).

The literature review will be discussed in class and examples given, the literature review would normally constitute Chapter 2 in a research report, see suggested guidelines in (report.doc, chapter 2)

Submit this chapter by the due date and time to the assignment drop-box.

Methodology    ( 15 Marks    Due session 12)
In this section you clearly outline what methodology you used in your research i.e. what you intend to do and how you intend to do it. It must be clearly written so that it would be easy for another researcher to duplicate your research if they wished. Most researchers will use one or more of a number of well documented and acceptable methods understood by the research community. We will discuss a number or research methodologies in different sessions, but there will be many others you can choose from

The structure of a methodology chapter will be discussed in class and examples given. The Methodology would normally constitute Chapter 3 in a research report, see suggested guidelines in (report.doc, chapter 3).

Submit this chapter by the due date and time to the assignment drop-box.

Full Research Paper    ( 10 Marks    Due session 13)
In this submission you incorporate the previous three submissions into a final document and submit by the due date and time. This submission will incorporate the Full Abstract and Introduction, The Literature Review and the Methodology chapters into one document. This will give you a chance to take on board any comments given by your instructor in the previous submissions, make corrections and possibly recover some marks which may have been deducted in the previous submission.

Submit this document by the due date and time to the assignment drop-box.

Presentation    ( 20 Marks    To be arranged – typically in session 15)

For this component you will be required to do a 10-15 minute presentation on your research report and answer any questions from the audience. The presentations will be conducted in a symposium type setting after the end of the semester, typically in week 15. There is no submission for this component of assessment, you will be graded on your presentation and ability to answer any questions put to you. The structure of the presentation will be discussed during the semester and a suggested format will for the presentation will be made available in a sample set of powerpoint slides, see(presentation.ppt).

As this component is based on your presentation, you will need to present in order to be allocated any grade for this component

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