Level 05-Research project

Sample Assignment

Context

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To achieve this unit, you are required to formulate a research question, produce a plan and carry out a research project. You will then evaluate the research outcomes and present the research project and its findings. The subject of the research must be discussed and agreed with your tutor before you commence the work. Much of this unit will be assessed based on the final report. The wordcount for this assignment should be in the region of 2400-2700 words.

Task 1 – Design a research project

This task will help you to scope out the research project and sharpen your thinking on what will be included. It will also provide vital information that you will need to include in the final report. You will need to:

    • Explain the key factors that you need to consider in selecting an appropriate research question, for example feasibility and availability of necessary resources including time and expertise (AC1.1)
    • Formulate a focused research question that clearly relates to your chosen area of study or identified problem (AC1.2)
  • Evaluate different research methodologies and identify a specific methodology that will address the research question (AC1.3)
  • Produce a project plan for your research, to include:
  • specific tasks to be completed
  • sequence of tasks
  • timings
  • key milestones and review dates
  • how the research will be monitored (AC1.4)

Merit Task

To achieve a Merit, your final report must identify the risk factors in your research project and project plan and ways in which you plan to mitigate them. (AC1M1)

Distinction Task

To achieve a Distinction, your report must justify the methodology chosen to address the research question. (AC1D1, AC1D2)

You should ask your tutor to review your proposed research question, methodology and project plan before proceeding to Task 2.

Task 2 – Monitoring progress of the research project

In this task you will monitor the progress of your research. You must keep notes as you undertake the research project as you will need to provide evidence that you have monitored the progress of your research in relation to the project plan (AC2.2).

Undertake the research project. The assessor will check that you have undertaken the research in accordance with the research project plan as s/he marks the final report (AC2.1).

Merit Task

To achieve a Merit, your final report must include an analysis of your personal strengths and weaknesses in undertaking the research project. (AC2M1)

Distinction Task

To achieve a Distinction, your final report must include an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the research methodology and the research project plan and an explanation of how the methodology and plan could be improved. (AC2D1)

Task 3 – Reaching conclusions and presenting the research

Your final project report must include

  • an evaluation of the research outcomes in relation to the original research question (AC3.1)
  • an explanation of where and how the research outcomes could benefit from further investigation (AC3.2)
  • an assessment of the possible impact of the research outcomes (AC 3.3)

Your final research and its outcomes should be presented in a format that is appropriate to the audience (AC4.1).

Guidelines for assessors

The assignments submitted by students must achieve the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by the assessment criteria for the unit. The suggested evidence listed below is how students can demonstrate that they have met the required standard. Although the assessment brief sequences the learners’ work on the assignment into three separate tasks, the assessment vehicle will be the overall research project report or presentation with accompanying notes.

TasknumberLOs and ACSuggested evidence
PASS
Suggested additional evidence MERITSuggested additional evidence DISTINCTION
1.LO1: AC 1.1, AC1.2, AC1.3, AC1.4,AC1M1AC 1D1AC1.1: The learner should provide a full explanation of the range of factors that impact on the selection of research questions.AC1.2: The learner should state their research question, so that the assessor has a clear understanding of the area which will be researched.AC1.3: The learner must evaluate a range of research methodologies identifying the differences, strengths and issues that exist with the methods. The learner’s choice of methodology needs to be steered by the evaluation.AC1.4: The learner should produce a project plan that includes all the tasks required to complete the research, key milestone dates, deadlines and timescales and provision for project monitoring.AC1M1: The learner should provide a full list of the possible risks inherent in undertaking the research project (e.g. research subjects’ availability, timeline slippage, illness etc.) along with a list of the actions that they will take to minimise the potential impact or likelihood of these risks arising.AC1D1: The learner should justify the chosen methodology, using the evaluation undertaken to meet the standard for 1.3. The justification needs to be based on firm evidence which is clearly articulated.
LO2: AC 2.1, AC2.2, AC2.3, AC2M1, AC2D1AC2.1: The learner should undertake the research in relation to the project plan. The learner should provide a written record of progress made in carrying out the research in line with the stated plan.AC2.2: In the notesthe learner must ensure there is a record of how regular monitoring of progress has taken place. This might be in terms of the use of time and resources, or to retain focus on the research question. The learner should also describe any action taken to get the project back on track, if required.AC2M1: The learner should provide a thorough review and examination of their personal strengths and weaknesses in undertaking the research project. Ths review should be based on personal reflection and feedback from other sources. The should be detailed enough for the learner to be able to use it as the basis for producing a personal development plan.AC2D1: The learner should provide a thorough evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the research project plan and the research methodology, clearly identifying how they could be further improved.
LO3: AC3.1; AC3.2, AC 3.3LO4: AC4.1AC3.1: The learner should evaluate the research outcomes on the basis of the research question which was created. The evaluation must be balanced, objective and based on evidence. The learner should reach conclusions and judgements.AC3.2: The learner should explain the limitations of the research, highlighting the further questions that it raises. The learner should outline additional research that might be needed to enable these questions to be answered.AC 3.3 The learner must make an assessment of the possible impact of the research outcomes. The assessment must be factual and based on evidence.AC4.1 The learner should present the research and the outcomes in a format which is appropriate for the chosen audience. There is no prescribed style for the presentation. However the chosen method should take into consideration the prior knowledge and information needs of the audience, conform to business expectations and norms, contain an appropriate mix of written and visual representations of the research and be presented accurately and professionally.

Suggested Resources

Bryman, A., 2015, Business Research Methods, 4th Edition Oxford University Publishing

Coghlan, D and Brannick T, 2009, Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization, 3rd Edition, Sage Publications

Creswell, J. D., 2008 Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, Sage Publications Inc.

Davies, M. B., 2007 Doing a Successful Research Project: Using Qualitative or Quantitative Methods, Palgrave Macmillan

Dewberry, C., 2004 Statistical Methods for Organizational Research: Theory and Practice, Routledge

Easterby-Smith, M. et al., 2015, Management and Business Research, Sage Publications

Gill J and Johnson P, 2010, Research Methods for Managers, 4th Edition Sage Publications

Hart C, 1998, Doing a Literature Review, Sage Publications

McNiff J and Whitehead J, 2009, Doing and Writing Action Research, Sage Publications

Polonsky, M. J., and Waller, D. S., 2004, Designing and Managing a Research Project: A Business Student’s Guide, Sage Publications Inc.

Saunders, M. N. K., Thornhill, A., and Lewis, P., 2009, Research Methods for Business Students, Financial Times / Prentice Hall

Thomas, G., 2017, How to do Your Research Project: a guide for students, 3rd Edition Sage Publications

Thomas R and Lynn P, 2009, Survey Research in Practice, Sage Publications

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