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Conducting literature review


Conducting Literature ReviewA very brief overview

About Me Dr. Merza Abbas Assoc. Prof. Chairman of Graduate Studies, Centre for Instructional Technology & Multimedia,

Achievement? Best Thesis/Dissertation Awards USM : META: Ibrahim Jbeili (2004) Hamidah Maidinsah (2004)

Tumpang syok sahaja

Ibrahims Award

Why do a master degree? To do a better job To teach better: more effectively, more efficiently, more productively, etc To improve the quality of learning

To move to better jobs Because it is exciting, challenging, etc Because its there

Why do a master degree? To do a PHD, to be a researcher To acquire constructive knowledge as well as destructive knowledge To learn to deconstruct and/or reconstruct knowledge (how do you know what you know is correct?) No real applications except for a PHD or in a research environment

What is a graduate program?PHD Master Grad. Dip/ Prof. exams Bachelor Diploma Critical review of paradigms: Accept when irrefutable Critical review of theories: Accept when proven More skills & theories: Accept w/o question Skills & theories: Accept w/o question Skills: Accept w/o question

Structure of Academic thinking

P R E S C R I P T I V E Res.

ParadigmD E S C R I P T I V E Res.




Structure of Scientific Revolution (Kuhn, 1970)Master programs Paradigm Normal Science


New Paradigm

New Normal Science

More Anomalies Doctoral Programs

Another new Paradigm

Objectivist ParadigmTheory Behaviourist Focus: Mastery of content/skills through conditioning and use of Mental processes extrinsic motivationalprocesses are predictable: External factors through accumulation of sub-skills can change and sub-procedures internal processes through activation of mental processes such as schemas, strategies, & metacognition

Cybernetic Cognitive

Constructivist ParadigmTheory Mental Development Humanist Social learning Focus: reasoning skills & science process skills through inquiry and solving real-life problems Mental processes are not predictable: Knowledge meaningful & through is private & is personally purposeful learning constructed through scaffolding, cooperative/collaborative learning,

What is a thesis/dissertation? Report of a scholarly investigation Proof of theory-practice mastery Genuine & Original thought/argument

Document to pass a sentence Verify/fine-tune theories, models, practice Reject/Debunk paradigms, theories, models

What is in a thesis/dissertation? Chapter 1: Introduction Problem Statement Research Questions Hypotheses, etc

Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter

2: Literature Review 3: Research Methodology 4: Results / Data Analysis 5: Discussion & Conclusions

Skills for Research & Thesis Writing Draw & apply reasonable conclusionsOrganize & analyze expt. data Plan & conduct controlled expt. Generate logical predictions Recognize & state Alt. H & Theories Sense & state causal question Describe nature accurately

Dari Lawson (1995)

Literature Review What is it? What is it for? Where do we start? How do we do it?

How do we know weve done a good job? Worked example(s)

Quantitative research Qualitative research

Literature Review: M.Ed. Evaluation Form Perkaitan Sumber yang disoroti dengan masalah kajian. Terdapat teori/model untuk menyokong masalah kajian. Sumber yang disoroti adalah terkini dan mencakupi skop kajian.

What is it? High quality overview Clarity, Flow, Relevance, Recency, Empirical focus, Independence

With technically accurate citations and references List all articles cited in text, Cite all articles listed in reference Use the APA standard.

What is it for? Support for ideas in Chapter 1 Elaboration of ideas in Chapter 1 Reference for discussion and conclusions in Chapter 5 Must be thorough, exhaustive, & up-todate

Where do we start?

Choose a paradigm Problem Statement (3-5 pages: tentative cause & effect statements)Problems = anomalies Choose a suitable theory/model Identify Independent Variables (IV) Identify Dependent Variables (DV) Identify Moderator Variables (MV)

Write clear Research Questions

Derive a Title from the Research Questions Tip: RQ = Summary of Problem Statement

How will the IVs affect the DVs among the MVs? Develop the Hypotheses

Information Processing ModelLearning: process of E Encoding and decoding N Stimuli/Knowledge items V into meaningful structures I Response Muscles R using various cognitive Generator O strategiesN M E N T Senses Sensory Register Executive Control Motivation

Short Term/ Working Memory

Long Term Memory

Piagets theory Learning: process of resolving cognitive conflicts

Existing Schema in equilibrium New Information causes disequilibrium



New Schema in equilibrium

How do we do it? Expand from the Title Expand from the Research Questions Expand from the Problem Statement Take note of the Academic Pecking Order Sources of Knowledge Who else has done this, in what paradigm, with what subjects, & with what results: go to ASKERIC, Google, etc. Expand concepts to content outline Use cause and effect structure

Tip: Hypotheses are summaries for Lit. Review.

The Academic Pecking OrderInnovators Developers Reporters Students No name dropping, padding Please!

Sources of Knowledge Experience Authority Deductive Reasoning Inductive Reasoning Scientific Thinking/Research (Empirical studies)

Inductive ReasoningBegins with specific observations Detects patterns & forms Forms tentative hypotheses to test Concludes with a new theoryDari Sopiah Abdullah (2004)

Scientific Thinking

Deductive ReasoningBegins with a theory that explains an event forms hypotheses to test Collects data/ observations to test Hthesis Confirms original theory

How do you know youve done a good job? Does the review support every hypothesis? Does the review support Chapter 5? Up-to-date, thorough, exhaustive, original? Can be turned into a book / a monograph?

Tuckmans (1999) criteria Context Magnitude (number of references) How empirical & up-to-date Connectedness to the problem Well-organized? Establish significance? Convincing argument?

Lets try an example Paradigm Variables Research Questions Title Literature Review Outline

How to improve learning?

Thank you


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