Technology Research Preparation

Subject description

This subject provides postgraduate technology students with professional communication skills appropriate to their course. The subject begins with the techniques necessary to develop a literature review and professional ethics is taught in the research context. The class breaks into two streams. Those undertaking research degrees take the Research Stream and produce a complete literature review. Those undertaking coursework degrees take the Professional Stream and produce a project proposal, suitable for implementation in 32933 Research Project.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

  1. Conduct research at a level appropriate to the student's program of studies.
  2. Search effectively for industry and academic texts (Professional Stream), or academic texts (Research Stream).
  3. Critically evaluate textual sources of information.
  4. Demonstrate research ethics by drawing upon other's words and ideas fairly and honestly with appropriate citation and referencing.
  5. Construct a research report based on a review of the literature which demonstrates synthesis of information, critical thinking and the logical arguing of the students' point of view.
  6. Present clearly, both formally and informally, on their research.
  7. Produce a project proposal (Professional Stream).
  8. Demonstrate professional research skills, including the keeping of a research journal, the maintenance of a database of scholarly articles using bibliographic software, critical note-taking, and the provision of constructive support for fellow researchers (Research Stream).

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

  • Demonstrate research skills (B.6)
  • Communicate effectively in ways appropriate to the discipline, audience and purpose. (E.1)
  • Appreciate ethical implications of professional practice (F.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

Each student will attend between eight and eleven one-and-a half-hour lectures (depending on their stream), and eleven one-and-a half-hour tutorials, in addition to a hands-on session in the Library. The first five lectures will be common to all students. The later lectures will be in two streams.

Tutorial groups will be streamed throughout. Each tutorial will focus on work either prepared beforehand by students or completed in class, using concepts taught in the previous lecture.

Self-study: Students will be expected to produce written work each week, for tutorials, based upon their reading and searching.

Content (topics)

The various aspects of IT industry or scholarly reading and writing will be integrated into the creation of a full project proposal or a complete literature review, according to the stream. Common topics include: search strategies; evaluating sources of information; reading critically; reference lists and citation; writing critically and making an argument; producing a literature review; research ethics; and oral presentations.

The Professional Stream will also cover development of a proposal, including: aims; background; significance; methodology; editing; and proposal integrity (or consistency of the various parts of the proposal). The Research Stream will also cover: stating and arguing a thesis; identification of research questions from gaps in the literature; significance of the research; and editing.


Week 1

Prework Activity: Research Topic.

Notes: Think about your possible topic and do initial literature survey to better understand the topic. Please read the Prework activity.

Week 2

Subject Introduction; The Role of Research in IT; Evaluating Sources of Information

Notes: Tutorial: Your Research Interests and Skills; Groups and Topics Confirmation

Assessment 1 commences: Building Research Skills

Tutorial Notes (for tutors)

Research stream:

Teams & Topics Selection


Professional stream:

Talk About Research

Week 3

Library Hands-on Session. Students will be advised how to book a session.

Notes: No Lecture or Tutorial

Week 4

Structuring a Literature-Based Report; Arguing Your Point of View

Notes: Tutorial: Referencing and Citation

Tutorial Notes (for tutors)

Week 5

Writing Well: Synthesizing Information; Quoting versus Paraphrasing; Paragraphing; Critical Writing

Notes: Tutorial: Paraphrasing and Paragraphing

Tutorial Notes (for tutors)

Week 6

Project Aims and Objectives; Background

Notes: Tutorial: Preparing for Your Research

Assessment 2 due: Literature-Based Report

Week 7

Professional Stream: Project Significance and Innovation

Research Stream: Editing

Notes: Tutorial: Executive Summaries (Professional Stream); Editing Assignment 2 (Research Stream)

Assessment 2 returned

Week 8

Professional Stream: Project Methodology; Research Ethics

Research Stream: Identifying the Knowledge Gap

Notes: Tutorial: Presentation Skills (Professional Stream); Building a Table of Keywords versus Papers (Research Stream)

Week 9

Professional Stream: Project Evaluation, Discussion, and Conclusion

Research Stream: Ethics

Notes: Tutorial: Project Methods (Professional Stream); Identifying Ethical Risks in Your Work (Research Stream)

Lecture Note