An important skill for any educator is the ability to access, interpret
and critically evaluate the research conducted by others. This task
focuses on developing this ability. Locate two research articles
(primary sources; hint: look for a methods and results section) that
you feel may have educational implications and/or applications in
your area of Master’s specialisation (or other area agreed with the
Subject Coordinator). Read and evaluate each article separately,
considering each of the following points as a guide (note: this is not
an exhaustive list of considerations):
# What is the focus of the researcher’s work (i.e. is there a
stated purpose? research question? problem?) Does the
article provide a sufficient review of previous studies on this
# Does the researcher adopt a design that is appropriate to
their research question? Why is it appropriate or why is it
not? What sorts of insights does this design (not) permit?
# Are the researcher’s methodological decisions appropriate
(i.e., appropriate participant recruitment? appropriate data
sources? appropriate data collection methods? are each of
these methodological decisions made sufficiently clear? if
not, what additional information would you require?)
# Do you agree with the interpretation of results? Why or why
not? How do they fit with the methodology decisions made?
On the basis of your critique of these two studies, write an essay
(1) provides context for this area of study, briefly synthesising
key findings and debates (introduction);
(2) evaluates each article
separately, briefly describing the study (e.g., aim, methods, results,
conclusions) and then provides in-depth evaluation of the methods
adopted (e.g., strengths, limitations), culminating in an appraisal of
the author’s conclusions, as well as the presentation/justification of
the educational implications and applications that you see as a
result of this study (body text); and
(3) a synthesis of these findings
to briefly discuss the state of research in this area of investigation,
including apparent methodology-based limitations and debates and
future research that could address them (conclusion).
PLEASE NOTE: The focus of this task is on the evaluation of
methodology, in order to evaluate the utility of published research
for informing educational theory, research, practice and/or policy.
This requires you to extend beyond simply describing the methods
used (although some description of the methods will be required in
order to provide explanation for your evaluation), with a particular
focus on the methodology (rather than the specific content area). A
minimum of 10 scholarly (e.g., credible, reliable) references are expected.
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