How to design questions for design research

ID: 54485 Type: Workshop
  1. Johannes Cronje, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
  2. Franci Cronje, Vega School of Brand Communication, South Africa

Monday, June 24 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Location: Noord View on map

Abstract: A frequently-encountered weakness in graduate research studies is a discrepancy between the aim of the research and the actual research questions. Frequently the promise made in the introduction of a thesis is not fulfilled by the time the conclusion is written. This workshop uses an adaptation of Burrell & Morgan’s four paradigms of social science research from which a set of research questions can be derived that will ensure that what a student sets out to do is aligned with the research questions, so that the research methodology can be derived from that. The highly interactive workshop calls on each participant to interrogate their own research, to select one aim out of a possible four, and to develop two matching research questions to achieve the aim. The workshop also explains how the model can be used in iterative design research by cycling through all the various aims and questions.

Objectives

By the end of this workshop delegates will be able to 1. Define the aim of a study in terms of four words: explore, explain, develop or describe. 2. Determine an epistemological point of departure for a design research project based on a belief system somewhere between an objective and subjective reality. 3. Position the study in terms of a concern with abstract or concrete conceptualisation. 4. Align the epistemological and conceptual dimensions with the identified research aim. 5. Develop matching research questions using the question stems “who, what, why or when”.

Topical Outline

A frequently-encountered weakness in graduate research studies is a discrepancy between the aim of the research and the actual research questions. Frequently the promise made in the introduction of a thesis is not fulfilled by the time the conclusion is written. This workshop uses an adaptation of Burrell & Morgan’s four paradigms of social science research from which a set of research questions can be derived that will ensure that what a student sets out to do is aligned with the research questions, so that the research methodology can be derived from that. The highly interactive workshop calls on each participant to interrogate their own research, to select one aim out of a possible four, and to develop two matching research questions to achieve the aim. The workshop also explains how the model can be used in iterative design research by cycling through all the various aims and questions.

Prerequisites

The aim of this workshop is to assist researchers to develop clear, crisp research questions that are aligned with research aims. The workshop is aimed at Masters’ and Doctoral students and/or their supervisors. The workshop responds directly to a discussion session in the graduate sessions of the 2018 conference. There are no specific prerequiisites, except that delegates should have some indication of the type of research in which they would like to engage.

Experience Level

Intermediate

Qualifications

Johannes Cronje has supervised or co-supervised 72 Masters and 60 Doctoral students and published more than 42 research papers. He obtained a Doctorate Literature in 1990 and then a Masters’ Degree in Computer-Assisted Education from the University of Pretoria. From 1994 to 2007 he was a professor of computers in education with the University of Pretoria. He has also been visiting professor at Sudan University of Science and Technology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; the University of Joensuu, Finland, and the University of Bergen, Norway, The Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven, Belgium, The University of Namibia and the University of the Free State, South Africa. Franci Cronje holds a Doctorate in Media Studies and a Masters in Higher Education Studies (Cum Laude) she has supervised or co-supervised three masters and two doctoral students.

Topics

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