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Gael McDonald
RMIT International University
25Publications
Publications 25
Newest
#1Ray W. Cooksey (UNE: University of New England (Australia))H-Index: 22
#2Gael McDonald (RMIT International University)
In this chapter, we review many of the data gathering strategies that can be used by postgraduates in social and behavioural research. We explore three major domains of data gathering strategies: strategies for connecting with people (encompassing interaction-based and observation-based strategies), exploring people’s handiworks (encompassing participant-centred and artefact-based strategies) and structuring people’s experiences (encompassing data-shaping and experience-focused strategies). In l...
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#1Ray W. Cooksey (UNE: University of New England (Australia))H-Index: 22
#2Gael McDonald (RMIT International University)
In this chapter, we discuss issues and considerations associated with negotiating and gaining access to data sources, something that many research texts are relatively circumspect about. Difficulty in obtaining access, restrictions placed on access, or withdrawal of support can be devastating to a postgraduate researcher and can cause not only considerable emotional upheaval, but such a setback can also have ramifications on project quality as well as completion. Data access could involve digita...
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#1Ray W. Cooksey (UNE: University of New England (Australia))H-Index: 22
#2Gael McDonald (RMIT International University)
In this chapter, we explore how to take a project planning approach to managing your research journey as a means of reducing uncertainty and risk. Managing your research project is essentially all about planning and mapping your research journey and it will require time and energy to do it effectively. Effective planning will give you a scaffold from which to work as well as a way of monitoring your progress. We will discuss strategies for understanding how your work should be structured in rela...
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#1Ray W. Cooksey (UNE: University of New England (Australia))H-Index: 22
#2Gael McDonald (RMIT International University)
This chapter presents the concept of research frames (i.e., Action Research, Case Study, Evaluation, Survey, Cross-Cultural, Indigenous, Transdisciplinary, Developmental Evaluation, Explanatory, Exploratory, Descriptive, Feminist) as ways of providing more holistic pictures of how your research purposes can/will be translated into research strategies and tactics that will generate or apply knowledge and learning that will speak to and influence specific audiences. We show that research frames em...
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#1Ray W. Cooksey (UNE: University of New England (Australia))H-Index: 22
#2Gael McDonald (RMIT International University)
In this chapter, we identify five important life dimensions necessary to keep in balance, or avoid a distressing imbalance, during your postgraduate research journey: employment, mental well-being, physical health, social interaction and spiritual well-being. We argue that there is a difference between your productivity (outputs) and your productive capability (capacity to produce desired outcomes). A work/life imbalance can stifle your productive capability thereby compromising the necessary fu...
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#1Ray W. Cooksey (UNE: University of New England (Australia))H-Index: 22
#2Gael McDonald (RMIT International University)
The basic goal of all forms of data analysis is to build meaning from the raw data and convey that meaning to one or more specific audiences. This chapter reviews approaches to data analysis which provide key pathways for telling the stories about what you have learned through your research journey by helping readers/users connect evidence, including strategic data displays, with those stories. Quantitative analysis deals with data in the form of numbers, measurements and indices whereas qualita...
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#1Ray W. Cooksey (UNE: University of New England (Australia))H-Index: 22
#2Gael McDonald (RMIT International University)
This chapter is concerned with sampling, which is all about making choices related to data sources that will be the focus of your data gathering strategies. In social and behavioural research, sampling refers to much more than selecting human participants, especially when patterns of guiding assumptions, specific research configurations and specific data gathering strategies are considered in conjunction with the research context, research frames and associated research questions and/or hypothes...
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#1Ray W. Cooksey (UNE: University of New England (Australia))H-Index: 22
#2Gael McDonald (RMIT International University)
This chapter explores a range of patterns of assumptions (also referred to as ‘paradigm assumptions’) that you could adopt in social and behavioural research; patterns such as positivist, interpretivist/constructivist, critical realist, critical social science, participatory inquiry and indigenous or feminist. Such patterns emerge from your answers to a number of pivotal questions and have clear implications for downstream contextual and methodological choices. We show how different patterns are...
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#1Ray W. Cooksey (UNE: University of New England (Australia))H-Index: 22
#2Gael McDonald (RMIT International University)
In this chapter, we explore the question of whether you have what it takes to undertake and complete a postgraduate research journey. It is not just about knowing research methodology and being able to write but is also about planning and managing yourself. There is a wide range of personal, professional and technical skills that you will need to draw upon, including intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, flexibility, project management skills, self management skills, communication skills, a...
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#1Ray W. Cooksey (UNE: University of New England (Australia))H-Index: 22
#2Gael McDonald (RMIT International University)
In this chapter, we briefly review different styles of doctoral program, traditional PhD, professional doctorate and PhD by publication, with a view to understanding the shape and substance of their major research outcome (we note, however, that much of what we say is also relevant to research master’s degrees and Honours research degrees). We convey the key differences in thesis, dissertation or portfolio research outcomes using three metaphors, the hourglass, the candlestick and the sandwich, ...
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