A Framework and Processes for Conceptualizing and Designing a New Research Project
Pp. 19-49 (31)
This chapter outlines a framework and processes that students as well as
experienced researchers can draw on when setting out to conceptualize a research
project. The framework, which identifies key aspects of a research project that need to
be attended to, also represents an agenda for the activities of supervisors of student
research projects. The content of the chapter is intended to provide ideas, information
and guidance for both students and their supervisors that will help ensure that they can
work together effectively on the basis of a common understanding of what is involved
in this task. An emphasis is placed on the aspects of the research and the researcher’s
own ‘position’ that need to be thought about and decided on before decisions about
data, data sources, methodology, data-gathering methods, and data analysis procedures
can be made. These interrelated aspects include the research topic, thesis and question;
the case for undertaking the research; and the researcher’s paradigm, values, theory and
ethics positions. Accompanying the framework are observations and suggestions about
the nature of the thinking that competent researchers need to engage in as well as
commentary about students’ understanding of the nature and purposes of research.
Research, framework, conceptualization, design, project, rigour,
open-minded, student, undergraduate, dissertation, topic, thesis, question,
paradigm, values, theory, ethics, data, methodology, methods.
Center of Learning and Teaching, AUT University, New Zealand.