Omputing Research Projects-Learning Journal

Introduction
You must either select one of the two case-studies below, and develop these throughout your module workshops, or agree an alternative case-study with your module tutor. This alternative must be agreed before the second teaching session.

Case-Study 1
You have been commissioned to design and develop a new web-browser as an alternative to existing browsers. The design should be informed by current interface design guidelines and issues with existing browsers as well as by user requirements and expectations. You are expected to (i) conduct a thorough review of the associated literature, (ii) select an appropriate research approach suitable to obtain user requirements from a significant sample of potential users (iii) deploy this approach to generate primary data. This will be followed by a complete analysis of the data, (iv) reflect on project management approaches and select a project management approach suitable for this commission, and explain how you would deploy this.

Your work is to be assembled into a  Learning Journal which should record your ongoing workshop activities, and be built-up gradually during this module. Your module tutors will indicate which elements of workshop activities should be incorporated and when.

Your Learning Journal will be formally graded following the hand-in.

Case-Study 2
You have been commissioned to investigate the  fun-factor of a provided computer game, i.e., what is considered to contribute to the game being  fun . You are expected to (i) conduct a thorough review of the associated literature, (ii) select an appropriate research approach suitable to obtain user requirements from a significant sample of potential users (iii) deploy this approach to generate primary data. This will be followed by a complete analysis of the data, (iv) reflect on project management approaches and select a project management approach suitable for this commission, and explain how you would deploy this.

Your work is to be assembled into a  Learning Journal which should record your ongoing workshop activities, and be built-up gradually during this module. Your module tutors will indicate which elements of workshop activities should be incorporated and when.

Your Learning Journal will be formally graded following the hand-in, however you are required to submit two stages of the Journal during the module for formative (un-graded) assessment. You will receive general feedback and will be able to amend your Journal stages. Your tutors will inform you in advance the dates of these staged submissions.

The Learning Journal could be structured as suggested below and you may make extensive use of appendices, e.g., for any questionnaire you have designed, data sets or general research.

(i) Introduction
(ii) Literature review
(iii) Research Methodology
(iv) Data analysis
(v) Project Management


Assessment criteria
In addition to the general points that apply to all assessed work in the subject area of Computing and which are available in the Computing Handbook, the following specific criteria will be used for this work:

(i) A critical literature review of substantial depth, referring to Journal Articles, Books as well as on-line resources.
(ii) Justified deployment of a research approach including design of the research instrument, justified data collection method and data analysis technique.
(iii) Clear and concise discussion of project management approaches appropriate to the task.



Assessment Details
Assessment : Learning Journal (100%)

The student is invited to choose a case-study (from examples provided, or proposed by the student and agreed by the module leader) as a backbone to investigate the various concepts presented in this module and workshop activities. The Learning Journal will be built up as the module progresses and will contain three elements: (i) A critical review of the relevant literature, (ii) Choice of an appropriate research approach and subsequent collection and analysis of data, (iii) Identification of an appropriate approach to project management and discussion of its application to the case-study.


Key Text:
Dawson, C. (2005) Projects in Computing and Information Systems. Prentice Hall

Indicative Bibliography
Dawson C W, (2000) The Essence Of Computing Projects: A Students Guide, Prentice Hall
Hart C, (1998) Doing a literature review: releasing the social science imagination, Sage
Oates, B.J, (2006) Researching Information Systems and Computing Sage
Orna E and Stevens G, (1995) Managing Information for Research, OU Press
Raimond P, (1993) Management Projects: Design, Research and Presentation, Chapman & Hall
Sharp J A & Howard K, (1996) The Management of a Student Research Project (2nd ed), Gower
Spasford R & Jupp V. (2006) Data Collection and Analysis (2nd ed.) Sage
Weaver P. (2003) Success in Your Project: A Guide to Student System Development Projects. FT Prentice Hall
Key Text:
Dawson, C. (2005) Projects in Computing and Information Systems. Prentice Hall

Indicative Bibliography
Dawson C W, (2000) The Essence Of Computing Projects: A Students Guide, Prentice Hall
Hart C, (1998) Doing a literature review: releasing the social science imagination, Sage
Oates, B.J, (2006) Researching Information Systems and Computing Sage
Orna E and Stevens G, (1995) Managing Information for Research, OU Press
Raimond P, (1993) Management Projects: Design, Research and Presentation, Chapman & Hall
Sharp J A & Howard K, (1996) The Management of a Student Research Project (2nd ed), Gower
Spasford R & Jupp V. (2006) Data Collection and Analysis (2nd ed.) Sage
Weaver P. (2003) Success in Your Project: A Guide to Student System Development Projects. FT Prentice Hall