Unit 29: Research Project RPNR Mathematics quality improvement storyboard Adaptive Motives for Social Situations

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HND Public Services
Academic Year
Unit Number & Unit Title
Unit 29: Research Project
Assignment Author
Jack Adams
Assignment Title
Changing Perceptions of Public Services
Date issued
September 2020
IV Name and Date
Andreia Areal 06.08.2020
Formative Submission Deadline
Summative Submission Deadline
Research Proposal: 4/12/2020
Research Project: 14/04/2021

Good Academic Practice
DGHE considers an act of academic misconduct when a student attempts to benefit either for themselves or for another person by unfair or improper methods, regardless of it being intentional or unintentional. 
Examples include:
•             Purchasing work and presenting it as your own. 
•             Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work as your own such as:
o   Using quotes without the use of quotation marks. 
o   Using images produced by another person without acknowledgement. 
o   Using data or ideas without acknowledgement. 
o   Copying another person’s work.
o   Getting someone to help you write parts of your submission as if it were your own.
•             Collusion is when two or more students working together without prior authorisation from the academic member of staff concerned (e.g. programme leader, lecturer etc.) to produce the same or similar piece of work and then attempting to present this entirely as their own individual submission.
It is important that you are clear about what you need to do for each assignment and how you can do it. If you are not sure about any rules regarding academic writing and referencing, guidance is available from many DGHE sources including Moodle, our Library and Study Skills Support teams and from your module leaders/personal tutor.
Purpose of this assessment
The aim of the unit and assessment is for students to develop skills of independent enquiry and critical analysis by undertaking a sustained research investigation relevant to their HND and professional development.
Choosing a topic   You need to choose a topic for your assignments within the general subject area of changing perceptions of public services.   Pearson suggest that the range of topics students could cover includes the following areas: The perception of public services in societyThe role of the media in developing public perceptionThe implications of poor public perception on public servicesThe impact of policy and practice when managing public perceptionSpeed of change – the role of changing perceptions in the public servicesThe challenge and the benefits of technology in managing changing perceptions of the public sector   Before you do a lot of work on this assignment, you should discuss your ideas for a topic with the module tutor and ensure that he agrees that the topic is a suitable one.   The undertaking of research should involve primary data collection – in other words, data that you will collect yourself. You should choose a topic that is realistic for a student to do in the time available.  You are not expected to propose a topic that would require a large research team or take years to complete.   As your research proposal will include a short literature review, it is also important to consider whether there is enough academic literature on the chosen subject.   You are strongly recommended to propose only one method of collecting your primary data – e.g. a questionnaire survey or semi-structured interviews, not both.  
Formative Task: The Proposal
You are required to produce a research proposal with the following sections:                                                                                                                   Title Page CHAPTER 1        Introduction [around 500 words] CHAPTER 2        Literature Review [around 1,000 words] CHAPTER 3        Methodology Justification [around 500 words]   References APPENDIX 1            Research ethics approval form   Chapter 1. Introduction   In the introduction you should introduce the reader to the background of the study and the nature of the problem/issue/opportunity. It should therefore set the study in context providing a rationale for the study. The main focus of the justification should be on why the research would be useful to the specific organisation and/or the public sector.  But you could also mention the academic interest of the topic – for example, how it would fill a gap in the literature.  The aim and objectives should be stated clearly in this chapter.   Chapter 2.  Literature Review   You are expected to provide a critical review of the existing literature on the research area being investigated.  Key factors to take into account are:   •        You cannot read every book and article on your chosen topic.  Nevertheless your review should indicate that you have studied some quality academic work in the field, including journal articles reporting relevant empirical research and/or referring to grey literature.    •        The literature review should be relevant to your research aim and objectives. It should also inform your choice of methodology (e.g. you should consider what primary research methods previous researchers have used and consider whether this suggests you should propose the same method or a different one, or variations in your approach to build on what others have done). As such, you should consult previous studies which have employed quantitative methodologies and qualitative methodologies.   •        Critically analysing past research is essential. You cannot just describe what you have read, with each article summarised in turn.  The material needs to be organised into relevant themes/topics.   •        The literature must be up-to-date.  You should be looking to use plenty of recent literature (typically not older than ten years).   Chapter 3.  Methodology Justification   The purpose of this chapter is to explain briefly what your primary research method will be and then to justify why you chose that method.  In other words, what are the advantages of the proposed method in your specific case and, where there are potential disadvantages of the method, why are these not so important or how do you plan to minimise them through a good research design? Consider why you chose either a qualitative or quantitative research methodology over the other and introduce your proposed sample.   References   Appendix 1.  Research ethics approval form   A version of this form is at Appendix 1.  You will need to complete this form and attach it as an appendix to this formative task.    Word count: 2,000 words, excluding the reference list & research ethics approval form
Submission Format
This research proposal should be submitted via Moodle to the relevant submission point on 04 December 2020. Please note that progression to data collection stage / summative task is dependant on the supervisor’s approval of the proposal [formative task].
Summative Task
The research report must be based on your earlier research proposal.  Chapters 1 to 3 should be an updated version of your previous work, taking into account the feedback you received and your increased knowledge of the subject as the research has developed. The research report should then go on to explain how you did your primary research, to analyse your findings and to set out your conclusions, recommendations and reflections.                                                                                                                    Title Page CHAPTER 1   Introduction [around 500 words] CHAPTER 2   Literature Review [around 1,000 words] CHAPTER 3   Methodology Justification [around 500 words] CHAPTER 4   Methodology Explanation [around 1,000 words] CHAPTER 5   Findings [around 1,000 words] CHAPTER 6   Conclusions and Recommendations [around 750 words] CHAPTER 7   Reflections [around 500 words]       References Appendices, including a blank version of your primary data collection instrument and your research ethics approval form, completed and signed     Chapter 4.  Methodology Explanation   This chapter should explain the primary data collection and analysis techniques that you used when doing your primary research.   The chapter needs to be clearly structured and the following model is suggested:   Access – how you gained access to the sampleSampling – define and justify the population, explain and justify the sampling technique and discuss the sample sizePrimary data collection instrument – a copy of your questionnaire or interview questions should be included as an appendix.  This should be annotated with comments on each question so that the reader can see how each of them links to the literature on/ the themes of the topicData collection administration (e.g. how you went about conducting your questionnaire survey or your interviews)Data analysis approach – how did you analyse the data? Ethical issues relevant to the research – refer to and append the research ethics approval form   Chapter 5. Findings   This chapter should set out and analyse what you found from conducting the primary research. The content of the chapter will vary depending on whether you have used a qualitative approach (e.g. semi-structured interviews) or a quantitative one (e.g. a questionnaire survey).  Whatever the method, you will be expected to take an critical approach when evaluating the data, including suitable references back to your literature review, and not simply to describe what you found.   Chapter 6.  Conclusions and Recommendations   This chapter needs to bring together what you have found out on the subject of your research, taking into account your initial aim and objectives and the findings of your literature review and primary data collection.  The conclusions should summarise the key findings.  The recommendations should set out the actions which you believe the sector should implement, or at least consider.  Recommendations need to be specific, supported by the evidence you have gathered and also ones that look to be realistic.     Chapter 7.  Reflections   This chapter should reflect on what you learnt about the research process during your project.  Think about the following questions and address one or two of them in your reflections: How do you evaluate the success of your research? With the benefit of what you now know, would you have modified your original topic in any way? Did the research go as you had expected or were there things that surprised you? Would you do some elements of the research differently if you had a second chance? What are the most important lessons you have learnt from the research project?   Ensure that there is a clear structure to your reflection, do not try to summarise the whole research process.   This provides evidence for ALL Learning Outcomes Word count: Word count: 5,000 words, +/-10%, excluding the references & research ethics approval form.
Submission Format
This research report should be submitted via Moodle to the relevant submission point by the 14 April 2021.
The current Assignment Brief covers the following Learning Outcomes
Grading Criteria
Learning Outcomes
Task No.
LO1 Design a relevant research proposal.
P1 Illustrate a rationale for the research project that includes identification of other possible areas of research and justification of the topic of choice. P2 Review research methodology, to include ethical considerations.
M1 Design a preferred methodology for the research project, to include a literature review of proposed secondary sources.
LO1 and LO2   D1 Critically analyse the research proposal and data collected that considers both quantitative and qualitative data.
Summative Task
Chapter 1-3 Proposal identifies a realistic topic relevant to protection and the public sector with a clear aim and rationale. Analytical literature review, based on relevant materials and a clear structure. Should consider previous studies that used qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Method is suitable and justification shows a good understanding of research methodologies, as applied to the specific topic. Must be based on student’s own proposed research topic, to be completed later.
LO2 Implement the research project within agreed procedures and to the proposal guidelines.  
P3 Apply tests of reliability and validity considering the variables of the research.    
M2 Assess the selection of tools for Data collection.  
Summative Task
Chapters 3-4 Must include primary research and highlight the reliability/validity of the data. Method and research design must be assessed in line with the proposal, considering the strengths and weaknesses of the chosen method in collecting the data.  
LO3 Review the research outcomes.
P4  Investigate the findings of the research.
M3 Analyse the success or failure of the research project with direct indication of the research proposal.
LO3 and LO4   D2 Critically evaluate the outcomes of the research findings and conclude with future considerations or recommendations relevant to the research.  
Summative Task
Chapters 5-6 Data is well presented and critically evaluated, not just presented and described. Conclusions/recommendations are realistic and based on the evidence presented. Should not be structured around the Los but instead structured in the style of a research report.   Assignment is professionally presented, correctly referenced using the Harvard style and uses good, academic English.
LO4 Present the research project.
P5 Undertake a written research project
M4 Evaluate the process of research, methodology, approach and lessons learned.
Summative Task
Chapter 7 Thoughtful reflection evaluating the research process and the lessons the student has learned, both personally and professionally. Should have a clear structure. Reflection should be on the student’s own research work and management of their work over the two assignments.
Student Achievements and Assessor Feedback
Student achievement and Assessor feedback for both formative and summative submissions will be recorded within Grademark Turnitin via Moodle and will be available for students to view as notified on Turnitin. Please use exclusively the grade classification below.     Assessment Grading Scale Grade Classification Numeric Value (on Grademark) Grade Listed As Distinction 75 D Merit 65 M Pass 45 P Unclassified/ Referred 35 U Alleged Academic Misconduct 0 SP
Student submission and declaration
The following declaration will be inserted in the Turnitin link for both formative and summative submissions: ‘I certify that by submitting the work for this assessment on Moodle (and via Turnitin) it is my own work and all research sources are fully acknowledged using the Harvard system of references. I certify that there are no personal or mitigating circumstances that have affected my work.’   By submitting such document, you acknowledge that your work is your own, and abides by the DGHE code of conduct, and Pearson regulations.   Please note that in case of academic malpractice DGHE reserves the right to decline to accept the work for assessment purposes, and/or conduct an investigation, which might result in an oral presentation, oral or written exam, or any other appropriate form of examination. Further information can be found in the academic integrity and misconduct policy, the assessment policy, and the student handbook.
Understanding what a command verb is
Your assignment will always have a series of questions or points that you will need to address. The first step in successfully addressing your assignment questions is by understanding what your lecturer wants from you, and this means understanding the command verb of the question.   What is a command verb? This is constituted by an imperative verb that gives you a specific instruction.   What are the common command verbs your assignment has and what they mean? The following is not a complete list however, it can help you to understand what is expected of you.   Explain = to describe a situation in detail or present relevant facts. E.g. To say it’s a chair, it’s descriptive but not explanatory, to say it’s a wooden chair, made of mango woods, that has four legs, and an arm rest, is to explain.   Assess = to evaluate the relevance of something. E.g. To say Brexit is an important event in the UK, is factual but not evaluative. To say that the impact of Brexit on the automotive industry is yet to be determined, but a likely estimate situates a loss of manufacturing plants, and consequently jobs in the UK, is evaluative.   Compare = to measure how similar or different something is. E.g. To say that surrealism is different from cubism, is to state a fact. However, to state that while both movements are considered modern art, cubism popularised by Picasso, breaks down the subject matter and reassembles it in an abstract form, while surrealism, popularised by Salvador Dali, focuses on the subconscious mind and portrays everyday objects in an unfamiliar setting.   Analyse = to examine something in detail. E.g. To say that the UK judicial system is complex is too simple however, to say that the UK judicial system is complex due to historical reasons, and that has led to separate jurisdictions with one system for England and Wales, another for Scotland, and another for Northern Ireland. In England and Wales at the lower instance you have the magistrate courts and tribunals, followed by the crown court, and the county court, high court and court of appeal (detailing what are the key functions for each of these and how they interrelate with one another, and for the other judiciary systems, and finalising with the UK Supreme Court is to analyse a subject).   Don’t forget you can always refer to your lecturer for other verbs not included here or your study skills tutor.
Section 1: Basic Details
Project title:
Student name:
Student ID number:
Intended research start date:
Intended research end date:
Section 2: Project Summary
Please highlight all research methods that you plan to use as part of your project:
• Interviews:
• Questionnaires:
• Observations:
• Use of Personal Records:
• Data Analysis:
• Action Research:
• Focus Groups:
• Other (please specify):
Section 3: Participants
Please answer the following questions, giving full details where necessary.
Will your research involve human participants?
Who are the participants? Highlight all that apply:
Ages 12-16    Young People aged 17–18    Adults
How will participants be recruited (identified and approached)?
Describe the processes you will use to inform participants about what you are doing:
How will you obtain consent from participants? Will this be written? How will it be made clear to participants that they may withdraw consent to participate at any time?
Studies involving questionnaires: Will participants be given the option of omitting questions they do not wish to answer?  Yes: No
If No please explain why below and ensure that you cover any ethical issues arising from this
Studies involving observation: Confirm whether participants will be asked for their informed consent to be observed. Yes: No
Will you debrief participants at the end of their participation (i.e. give them a brief explanation of the study)? Yes: No
Will participants be given information about the findings of your study? (This could be a brief summary of your findings in general)  Yes: No
Section 4: Data Storage and Security
Confirm that all personal data will be stored and processed in compliance with the Data Protection Act (1998)
Yes: No
Who will have access to the data and personal information?
During the research:
Where will the data be stored?
Will mobile devices such as USB storage and laptops be used?   Yes: No
If yes, please provide further details:
After the research:
Where will the data be stored?
How long will the data and records be kept for and in what format?
Will data be kept for use by other researchers?  Yes: No
If yes, please provide further details:
Section 5: Ethical Issues
Are there any particular features of your proposed work which may raise ethical concerns? If so, please outline how you will deal with these:
It is important that you demonstrate your awareness of potential risks that may arise as a result of your research. Please consider/address all issues that may apply. Ethical concerns may include, but are not limited to the following:
• Informed consent.
• Potentially vulnerable participants.
• Sensitive topics.
• Risks to participants and/or researchers.
• Confidentiality/anonymity.
• Disclosures/limits to confidentiality.
• Data storage and security, both during and after the research (including transfer, sharing, encryption, protection).
• Reporting.
• Dissemination and use of your findings.
Section 6: Declaration
I have read, understood and will abide by the institution’s Research and Ethics Policy:  Yes: No
I have discussed the ethical issues relating to my research with my Unit Tutor:  Yes: No
I confirm that to the best of my knowledge the above information is correct and that this is a full description of the ethical issues that may arise in the course of my research.
Please submit your completed form as an appendix to your submitted research proposal.

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