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On completion of the module the student should be able to:
Formative Assessment Guidelines
Literature search process and critical methodological appraisal of one primary research paper.
Word Allocation: 750 words. Submission deadline Week 7 - 9am, Mon 8th Nov 2021
This formative assessment provides students with the opportunity to practice their skills developed during the module, as well as providing feedback to indicate their understanding of key issues. Although submission of the formative assessment is compulsory, it is not graded and does not count towards the final summative mark awarded for the module.
The purpose of this assessment is to practice your;
Literature Search Process (500 words)
Clearly describe the process for searching out relevant literature to include:
Critical Methodological Appraisal of one chosen primary research article (250 words)
You may go no more than 10% over the total word limit for this assessment.
Formative Assessment Presentation and Submission
The Formative Assessment should be submitted to TurnItIn. You do not need to submit a hard (printed) copy of this assignment. You should follow the presentation guidelines for the Summative Assessment later in this handbook.
Summative Assessment Guidelines
Word allocation 4,000 words. Submission Deadline: Thurs 6th January 9am 2022
The summative assessment for this module requires you to write either an Empirical Research Protocol or a Structured Literature Review protocol for a research study on a topic of your own choosing. This study will likely form the basis of your Dissertation. The information below specifies the different sections required within your protocol and the issues which are to be examined therein. The approximate word allocation for each section is also specified as a guide to the breadth required, as well as the mark allocation (in brackets).
Qualitative or Quantitative Empirical Research Protocol
Title (approximately 25-50 words)
Provide a short title of approximately 25-50 words. This will likely be based around your key research question or aim.
Abstract (200 words) (5%)
This should summarise your protocol including your topic, question/aims, perspective, methodology and methods. It is much easier to write this after you have completed the rest of your assessment.
Introduction: (200 words) (5%)
Provide the reader with the background and justification of your study.
Literature Review (600 words) (15%)
Briefly describe the literature review you undertook during the formative assessment, then provide a detailed critical analysis of relevant research and, if appropriate, other literature to underpin your topic. Identify the limitations of previous research and how this supports the need for your proposed study.
Research question and aims (200 words) (5%)
Usually you will have a specific aim or research question which is a broad statement of intent. You may wish to include a maximum of four objectives which outline the how you will achieve this aim.
Perspective and Methodology (1000 words) (25%)
This section will include a critical summary of your chosen research perspective (qualitative or quantitative) in relation to your research question and a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen methodology (e.g the quantitative design/ qualitative approach you will adopt , for example thematic, phenomenological, randomised controlled trial, cross-sectional survey etc.).
Methods (1000 words) (30%)
Critically appraise how you will conduct your study, including your population, sampling strategy and frame, data collection tools and data analysis. Issues of rigour/validity/reliability must be considered throughout, considering the strengths and limitations of these methods. Provide a draft example of your questionnaire, interview schedule etc. in an appendix (this does not need to be fully developed but should give some indication of where you want this to go). It is essential that the proposed methods are feasible given the time constraints of an MSc dissertation, the resources available to you and relevant ethical considerations (i.e. involving NHS patients requires lengthy ethical applications). Critically evaluate the main differences between quantitative (inductive) and qualitative (deductive) approaches.
Recruitment and Ethical issues (500 words) (10%)
Discuss key ethical issues pertinent to your study as well as practical issues affecting participant recruitment, including access to the relevant population, gatekeepers, participant engagement etc.
Timetable (100 words)
Given the expected constraints of Master’s study one /two semesters (Full/Part time) you should propose a timetable that fits with your programme and acknowledge its limitations.
Budget and likely funding sources (100 words)
Describe the costs associated with your study and how will you meet these.
Dissemination of results (100 words) (5%*)
Explain where and how you intend to publicise the results of your study.
* for timetable, budget & dissemination
It is essential that this work is underpinned by relevant theory and evidence throughout.
NB. The title, reference list and any data collection tools in the appendix are excluded from the word count.
Structured Literature Review Protocol
Title (25-50 words)
Provide a short title of approximately 25-50 words. This should reflect your key research question or aim.
This should summarise your protocol including your topic, question/aims, search methodology and methods. It is much easier to write this after you have completed the rest of your assessment.
Critically describe the background to your review topic area.
Background: (600 words) (15%)
Provide a detailed justification for conducting your SLR. Through a critical analysis of relevant research and, if appropriate, other literature, identify the limitations of previous research and how this supports the need for your proposed SLR. You should explain how you have consulted the relevant databases (e.g. DARE / PROSPERO and Google Scholar) to ensure that no review on this topic already exists.
You will have a focused review question or specific aim. You may wish to include a maximum of four objectives which outline the how you will achieve the review aim.
This section should provide a critical discussion of your selected type of review (qualitative or quantitative). Include a critical discussion of your chosen approach and why this will best answer your study question. Critically describe the methodologies (i.e. the quantitative designs/ qualitative approaches) that are best placed to answer your question, for example thematic, phenomenological, randomised controlled trial, cross-sectional survey etc.).
Methods: Literature Search Strategy (750 words) (20%)
This section should detail your search strategy by explaining how you intend to conduct your search. Include a critical discussion of the processes associated with searching and selecting primary research studies. Critically discuss your proposed databases, search terms (subject headings and keywords), and delimiters (including dates). Describe and provide a rationale for any limitations of the review (e.g. restricting your search to English language papers only, or not conducting a comprehensive search of grey literature resources). Briefly discuss how searches will be combined using appropriate Boolean operators (e.g. AND, OR, NOT) and if appropriate, indicate whether your search strategy will be guided by any framework (e.g. PICO/SPIO). In this section, you should also justify your study inclusion/exclusion criteria (your inclusion/exclusion criteria may be presented in a table; do not include the table in your word count) and describe the screening processes for selecting the papers to include in the review. Critically evaluate the main differences between quantitative (inductive) and qualitative (deductive) approaches.
Methods: Quality Assessment (400 words) (10%)
Identify a quality assessment tool (provide the reference to the source). Critically discuss your chosen tool and explain how you plan to conduct the methodological quality assessment of primary research studies using this tool. Discuss whether papers will be included/excluded on the grounds of quality – and provide your rationale for this decision.
Please include an example of the quality appraisal tool that you intend to use in your review as an appendix.
Data Extraction Tool (350 words) (10%)
Identify and adapt or develop an appropriate data extraction tool (reference the source, if appropriate). Critically discuss your tool and any adaptations to it and explain how you plan to conduct data extraction using this tool. Discuss why particular data items have been chosen for extraction. Attach a template of your proposed data extraction tool as an appendix (this may be a draft of your final tool).
Given the normal and expected constraints of completing this review (i.e. one semester for full time students / 2 semesters for part time students), you should propose a timetable to conduct this study that fits with your programme and acknowledge its limitations.
You should describe the costs associated with your study and how will you meet these.
Explain where and how you intend to disseminate the results of your review.
Glasgow Caledonian University School of Health & Life Sciences Assessment Matrix – SHEM/SCQF 11
Grade: <50% Refer/Fail
Demonstrates engagement with techniques which underpin pursuit of own research/ advanced scholarship
Exceptional ability to comprehend and engage with the complexity of the task to present a structured, fluent and coherent piece of work
Excellent demonstration of initiative, decision-making and problem-solving skills exhibited as an independent learner pursuing advanced level study
Outstanding ability to systematically assimilate, manage and synthesise information to inform own research/advanced scholarship
Highly competent in comprehending and engage the complexity of the task to present a structured, fluent and coherent piece of work
Demonstrates clear initiative, decision-making and problem-solving skills as an independent learner pursuing advanced level study
Sound ability in systematically assimilating, managing and synthesising information to inform own research/advanced scholarship
Competent in approaching the nature and complexity of the task to present a structured, fluent and coherent piece of work
Competent in decision-making and problem solving in pursuing advanced level study
Adequately manages the sourcing and retrieval of information to inform own research/advanced scholarship
Unable to demonstrate competence in addressing the complexity of the task failing to present a structured, fluent and coherent piece of work
Unable to demonstrate decision-making and problem-solving skills in context of advanced level study
Inability to systematically assimilate, manage and synthesise information to inform own research/advanced scholarship
Demonstrates a systematic understanding and critical awareness of contemporary knowledge related to the field of inquiry
Utilised an extensive range of relevant sources, current and seminal, to comprehensively interrogate major issues within field of inquiry
Excellent usage of appropriate literature to establish clarity, focus and skilfully communicate a line of reasoning
Depth of understanding exemplary, outstanding ability to synthesis knowledge and present insight at the forefront of inquiry
Good use of a broad range of relevant sources, current and seminal, to comprehensively interrogate major issues within field of inquiry
Sustains a coherent and well develop argument through usage of relevant literature which establishes clarity, focus
Sound understanding demonstrated which evidences the ability to synthesis knowledge and present insight at the forefront of inquiry
Satisfactory incorporation of relevant sources to investigate key areas within field of inquiry
Evidences a critical argument to present a credible line of reasoning using relevant literature
Satisfactory level of understanding presented based on exploration of key concepts within field of inquiry
Obvious omissions in sourcing relevant literature necessary to comprehensively explore field of inquiry
Unable to present and establish clarity, focus and communicate a line of reasoning
Partial awareness but overall fails to demonstrate comprehension and insight within field of inquiry
Demonstrates conceptual understanding which evidences critical evaluation based on command of topic/ field of inquiry
Outstanding ability to
Interrogate and objectively examine the relative worth of differing perspectives
Highly developed analytical and evaluative skills resulting in sophisticated reasoning which is exceptionally cogent
Eloquently justifies own positionality presenting personal judgment based on research appraisal and advanced scholarship
Skilfully interrogates and critically examines the relative worth of differing perspectives
Evidences well-developed analytical and evaluative skills to present, debate, and refine a cogent argument
Clear ability to justify own positionality by presenting personal judgments based on research appraisal and advanced scholarship
Establishes the ability to present a range of differing perspectives
Appropriate analytical and evaluative skills deployed present a cogent argument
Can demonstrate and present personal judgments based on research utilisation and advanced scholarship
Inability to offer evaluation due to poor grasp of alternative/different perspectives
Poor evaluative skills which has resulting in recapitulating material and thus compromised ability to present cogent argument
Unable to articulate own positionality to offer personal judgment based on research and advanced scholarship
Demonstrates originality in the creative and contextual application of knowledge
Exceptional insight and independence of thought which is creatively applied within field of study
Highly creative in contextualising and justifying the meaningful application of theory to practice
Outstanding demonstration of knowledge advancement skilfully applied as confident and independent learner
Insightful independent thought which is creatively applied within field of study
Clear ability to contextualize and justify the meaningful application of theory to practice
Convincingly demonstrates knowledge advancement and is skilled in its application as confident independent learner
Some indication of independent thought applied within field of study
Able to justify the application of theory to practice
Demonstrates knowledge advancement and its application as an independent learner
Lack of independent thought applied within field of study
Inability to articulate the application of theory to practice
Deficient in demonstrating knowledge advancement and its application as an independent learner
Summative Assessment Presentation
The front cover of all assessments must provide following information:
In addition, you must:
In submitting this piece of coursework via TurnItIn from my personal GCU Learn account, I confirm that it is my own original work and has not been submitted elsewhere in fulfilment of the requirement of this or any other award. I also confirm that I am aware of and have adhered to the GCU Plagiarism Regulations (available on the GCU website).
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