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Despite the fact that I have been absent, I was provided with all the necessary basic information regarding the library and technology research resources via blackboard overseas. I have virtually been introduced to the classmates and to the syllabus and the matter of course just as well. The purpose of the first week of this course was mainly to introduce us in the topic we were going to go through the semester. We have overviewed the main topics which we were going to learn about and discussed the expectations which were being asked from us.  I have learned that the resources can be both found in hard copy and electronically. Many library have online databases, like EBSCOHOST, Emerald, etc. which combine the quality of information, because they use per reviewed periodicals and journals; and easiness in usage, which is great,  as they have acquired electronic format, and can be retrieved using internet whenever they are needed by a click of a mouse.

Research process

This week has been focused on looking at the research process itself. We took a look at various steps one has to go through to be successful while his research. In his article Eric Anderman (2009), provides a short overview of the research types and methods that exist. Taking a close look to the strengths and weaknesses of each of the designs, I have discovered that even though the longitudinal studies can provide with more complete information, the experimental designs seem to be more interesting and describe the closest facts to reality.

Also, in order to gain deeper knowledge and practice the research methods, we have been assigned into research groups. I was very satisfied with the members of my research team. As each group will have to accomplish a project, we have jumped into discussion right away about the quantitative and qualitative data collection methods in order to understand better what could suit our task.  

Ethical issues

Week three was very informative as we have discovered all about the ethical issues, which might occur while preparing the design. Ethics refers to the moral principles that are set in a community regarding the social norms towards all the individuals. I have found out that one cannot use the data received from an individual without letting him know about what is it for, and without signing special forms of agreement. I enjoyed this topic and thought this was not that difficult to remember. Especially, it is very important to be informed on ethical issues in research methods, so you don’t let out anything. Other than that, this week we have started to work on our team projects, which was very interesting and new. Unfortunately, even though the general idea was rather clear, I got confused while we were digging into the details. I was rather confused and frustrated at the same time, therefore decided to discuss the topic and the thesis with my professor at an appointment. 

Design and measurement

The research designs and measurements were the focus of this week of studies. I have found out that the research methods is not a mere gathering of the data, but it requires a particular order of the actions from the individual’s part. In addition, one has to consider all the limitations which would not categorize for the purposes of the design. By the end of the week the task was getting clearer for me and I knew my role in the team work now, as we have sent out the topic of our paper. I like the subject of research methods better now, as the concepts get more familiar. In addition, the way the teacher gives it is fantastic and very engaging. We were also given the information about the midterm exam and what it is going to cover. Just because the task for this week wasn’t that big I have completed the Human protection training online beforehand, even though it was required for week five.

Protection of Human Subjects Assignment

I found this week rather stressful due to the midterm exam that we took online. It was the first time I have ever taken one in my life. It was a nice, yet different experience and I enjoyed it to the maximum. I have found the test questions were well formed and fully reflected the baggage of knowledge we have received so far during this course. In addition, the questions were not that difficult after all. In fact, they were perfectly reflecting our understanding of the subject and our readiness of performing our own researches. Our professor did a very good job on compiling the exam. Neverthless, the system has had a few technical differences which stressed me out. Yet, I enjoyed the professor’s actions taken under these circumstances, as he, knowing about the problem that occurred to many of us, sent us an email to inform that we had an option to choose between writing an essay or completing the exam. I evaluated his gestures as a strong sign of a leadership.

Indexes, Scales, Typolgies

During this period of time we have reviewed the midterm exam and papers. I found it positive that the teacher has discussed the midterm with us. I suppose it was very useful going through all the questions together with the professor finding out the correct answers, so we know for sure the information. Also, the professor discussed with us the problem with the system that many of us had faced. In order to understand the problem the professor has made a statistical analysis of the browsers which were used for completing the exam (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Firefox).  Also, this week I have found out that the discussion board is a very useful tool and it helps immensely for my personal understanding of the material. For instance, this week I have been using the discussion board to prepare for class. After reading the chapter about the indexes, scales and typologies used in the research methods, some material was not that clear to me. Nevertheless, after reading the posts of my classmates, the information regarding what the scales were, and how they would reflect the opinion of my sample.

Sampling

Even though this week we didn’t have a class we still had to read all the information about the sample and how to choose one. In addition to the reading about the sample, we have also had to read “The Value of Likert Scales for Online Learners”. Apparently, measuring attitude is crucial for a research. In fact, there are a variety of measuring instruments that allow this process to be done. According to Trochim “Like Thurstone or Guttman Scaling, Likert Scaling is a unidimensional scaling method”. Likert scale is among many other tools for research methods, which suits mostly perfectly for social studies. Likert scale is defined by a composition of such elements: defining the focus, generating the items, rating the items, selecting the items, administering the scale. These elements not only help to identify the preferences and the attitudes of the sample list to a particular issue, but also help to define a focus on a particular element, which needs to be paid attention to the most.

I have a feeling that each week we are getting more and more deeply into the material, learning more detailed information. This week was significant, as we have watched a very informative video on the survey about the Coca-Cola case study. We have had a chance to take a look at the research processes from within. This video has shown the attitudes of the individuals to such product as Coca-Cola fizzy water. After the video, I found it a good method from the professor’s part to tell us to try and apply what we have learned from the video into our projects. I liked the survey method, because it can be applied to a large population and it is flexible. In addition, the survey performs in a more detailed way the information about the sample, whereas the ratings in the scale can be read wrong, and therefore the information will no longer be accurate. In such a way, it is understood that practice makes perfect. As we will practice the survey methods in the project, it will be clearer when compiling a study for thesis later on.

This week was on unobtrusive and evaluation research, which I found very confusing. I didn’t understand the topic of this week even when listening to the lecture and reading on the blackboard the comments of my classmates. Therefore, this week was a very difficult one for me. In addition it was a due date for the articles on different types of the research. While I was writing the journal the information got somehow clearer, because it involved a lot of research from my part on my own, and I had to go through the material once again on my own. I have finally perceived where exactly should the quantitative research be used, as opposed to the qualitative. The choice between the different types of the research, such as survey, evaluation, etc. are still a mystery to me, because each has a limitation, therefore does not fully perform the accuracy of the information. I think the professor should focus on this topic more.

This week we didn’t have a class, due to the reason of the final exam. For the reason of the failure of the system during our midterm, the professor decided not to go through the online examinations once again. Therefore we had to come to the class in order to take our copies of the final exams. I liked the ideas of our professor regarding the final exam, because it involved a lot of critica thinking, and my team members were helping each other and discussing the problems. In such a way, the exam was rather pleasant and I didn’t feel any kind of pressure or stress, as I usually do during the other exams. I believe that such attitude to the exam predisposes also to better results, as one feels relaxed thinking about the information he has perceived for the last few weeks.

This week was the final performance of our projects. We have been very well prepared and as I believe a good work performing our efforts during the presentation. Each team member engaged into the explanation of how he/she contributed to the project and what it reflected. I enjoyed the way this presentation had made us learn the research methods through the process of performing the research and trying to teach it to others. I think the professor has though this very well through and as a result we learnt the material neatly. At last, after each has presented their work, the professor has explained how he is going to grade us. Also, the professor wished us good results before we left the class.

Summary

In overall, I enjoyed being a part of this class both from the academic perspective and the personal. The importance of the research methods class in undenying. This class teaches to undertand the process of the research from within and gives one the maximal extent of insight on how to perform their own design. This class had not only taught me what the research methods were, but also how to make the right choices to perform my own design, which will reflect accurately the information about my chosen population on a topic I chose. I find that the book we were going through this class could be less informative, but instead, give more examples for clarification. In addition, one of the weaknesses of this class was the online exam, which would have been failed most of us, if only not the mercy of the professor. Also, I suppose that the quantity of the classes could also have affected our understanding of the material and our performance as a result. I would prefer to have more discussion classes and practicums in contrast to individual work and journals.

Nevertheless, I find many pleasant moments in this class that had helped me to achieve the high levels of performace and personal satisfaction from what I have learned. First of all, the professor did a very good job explaining us the material, engaging us into work, rather than giving a boring lectures. I enjoyed his methods of teaching and appreciate his efforts. In addition, another forte was also the way he was responcive to the questions, inquiries, and our concerns, for instance, during the system failure while taking the online exam. In addition, i found the discussion board an amazing resource of learning and explanation of unclear details. Even if I didn’t have the time to read the chapter I knew I would get the material I need from the discussion board from other students who would explain the details to each other, providing very insightful information. Finally, the group work and team project was the best aspect of the class, as I really enjoyed working in a group and learning from it. Our performance made me proud on summarizing everything we have learned throughout the course.

Custom Journal Essay

Code: Sample20

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