Research Approach – Overview

  • You need to outline how, why and what data collection you will undertake
  • You need to list examples of primary and secondary data collection
    • This could include initial data collection, literature reviews and artefact test
  • You need to tell me the following:
    • Tell me what data you will collect
    • Tell me how you will collect this data
    • Tell me how you will analysis this data
    • Tell me how this data will be used to overcome your problem
    • Tell me any problems you may encounter
    • Must include keywords linked to research methods and statistical analysis
  • There are lots of different ways of doing this, below is a simple example:
    • This example is missing all the associated keywords to stop students copying and pasting
    • You need to include words linked to descriptive analysis (quantitative, qualitative, continuous and discrete data, central tendency etc…)
  • To get you thinking, look at this image


Indicate the research approach which your study will use

Read each of these links and tell me which ones apply to your project. (Please note, the number of keywords which you will use is dependent on your project. However, terms like population, sample, time horizon and data collection approaches are common in 99% of student reports.)

Initial User Assessment to Understanding the Problem

A quantitative survey will be used identify user barriers and reason for not engaging with the University App.  This data will be analysed using descriptive statistics and displayed in charts, tables and graphs to identify key reasons for poor engagement with the current app.  A potential issue with using surveys to collect users feedback is the poor response rate.  To increase the response rate the survey will be presented digitally through the students’ email account and the university website. The survey will also be presented in a paper form in popular student locations such as the student union.  An optional prize draw of £20 will be offered to all respondents.

Exploring the Literature

The key findings will be used to identify specific topics to investigate, such as human-computer interface design and web accessibility requirements relating to mobile technology. The literature will be used to identify best practice, current solutions, and methodologies used within mobile software design.  This knowledge will feed into the artefact requirements and development increasing the success of this research project. A possible issue which may be encountered is the volume of research on mobile interface design and the differing views and approaches. To help reduce this possible issue the additional documents such as International Organization for Standardization and the World Wide Web Consortium will be consulted.

Creating the Artefact

Based on the findings from the ‘initial user assessment’ and the ‘literature review’ the artefact requirements will be listed and explicitly linked to either the initial user assessment and/ or the literature review.  This will ensure that the artefact achieves all the identified requirements and thus overcome the stated problem of poor student engagement with the university app.

Technical Documents

Technical diagrams and drawings will be created to visualise the system.  These technical documents will be used to ensure that all the requirements are present within the artefact and thus overcoming the problem.  These technical documents will then be used to create the artefact ready for testing.  The following technical document will be created:

  • Diagrams which show data flow around the system such as, UML activity diagrams
  • Diagrams which show the database structure such as an entity relation diagram
  • Diagrams interface design and layout, including Cascading Style Sheets tables

Testing the Artefact

  • Prove your artefact works
    • black and white box testing
  • Refine the artefact process for accuracy
    • test group feedback – change interface – feedback – change interface – finalise documentation

Real world testing (Student feedback)

  • Release and get feedback from students
  • Compare feedback with initial student feedback to show artefact improvement