Research process models

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  • 1. Research Process Models Jennifer Meltzer ISTC 651
  • 2. Why are research process models important?
    • We can be overwhelmed by an information overload…
    • A weekday edition of the New York Times has more information in it than the average 17 th century man or woman would have come across in an entire lifetime (Lewis, 1996)
    • Regarding the estimated number of Web pages: in 1995: 1.3 million; in January 2000: more than 1 billion! (Guernsey, 2000)
    • People get physically ill as a result of stress caused by too much information. The medical term is Information Fatigue Syndrome (Investor’s Business Daily, 1996).
    • Conclusion: We need formulas to help us organize & understand new information.
  • 3. Ten types of models : quick summaries…
    • Big 6- This is the most popular research model. It is based on six main steps: task definition, information seeking strategies, location and access, use of information, synthesis, and evaluaton.
    • Flip it- Flip it was created by Alice H. Yucht. Her model is an acronym for focus, links, input, payoff, it (being the demonstration of knowledge.)
    • Dialogue- This process model emerged in 1998 and is an acronym for: define, initiate, assess, locate, organize, guide, use and evaluate.
    • 5 A’s- The A’s model was developed by Ian Jukes. His steps in research are: asking, accessing, analyzing, applying and assessing .
    • Scientific method - This model is good for elementary level learners and has five main steps: observe, question, hypothesize, predict, and communicate
    • WebQuest- webquests are wonderful way to incorporate technology into an authentic research project. The webquest idea was developed by Bernie Dodge in the mid 1990’s. Visit WebQuest.org for his resources.
    • 8w’s of Information Inquiry- This model was developed in the 1990’s by Annette Lamb. She attempted to make the research process more fun, by calling the steps: watching, wondering, webbing, wiggling, weaving, wrapping, waving and wishing.
    • I-SEARCH- The main idea behind Ken Macrorie’s research model is that students are driven by personal interests. This model is more geared toward secondary level learners and has four main components: selecting a topic, finding information, using information and developing a final product.
    • Super 3- Eisenber and Berkowitz wanted a more simple form of the Big for younger learners. The Super 3 has three basic steps: plan, do and review.
  • 4. Best models for each level of learning :
    • After reviewing the ten samples of research process models, it is clear that these models have more similarities then differences. However, three of the ten stand out as more effective for elementary, middle and high school level learners.
    • I-search : High school
    • Big 6 : Middle school
    • Scientific Inquiry : Elementary school
  • 5. The Scientific Method and Inquiry for elementary school learners:
    • Students who use the scientific method are active learners. The research model is based on the Socratic method which uses self and mentor posed questions in order to gain new knowledge. Students are actively engaged throughout the inquiry process as they become “information scientists”.
  • 6. Student Information Scientists on a Farm:
    • After visiting an area farm, students became fascinated with how farmers grow and sell their crops. How do they decide what to grow? Why do they rotate crops? When do they plant? How do they decide when to sell? What factors impact the price of crops?
    • One student information scientist traced the Chicago Board of Trade corn prices over a week and graphed the results. See the graphics below: one in marker and the other computer-generated.
    http://virtualinquiry.com/inquiry/inquiry2.htm
  • 7. Big 6 : Middle school
    • Task Definition- evaluate the nature and type of information needed . * Defining the problem can be the most difficult step for some students!
    • Use of information- evaluate information among potential sources.
    • Location and Access- evaluate how to represent information as search terms.
    • Use of Information- evaluate what information is relevant and useful.
    • Synthesis- evaluate the specific information to apply to the task and how the information fits together. * Most visible step .
    • Evaluation- evaluate the quality of information in the final product and effectiveness in the process.
  • 8. Why the Big6 Six model is my recommendation:
    • This model is useful for all ages- easily adaptable for individualization
    • Tried and tested- problem solving/ results
    • Clearly defined framework - which can easily be applied to existing lessons
    • Simple - students can refer to two anchor questions when they get lost: Where am I in the Big6 process? What is my school or personal need?
    • Integrates technology -there is room for technology at every stage of the Big6 process.
  • 9. I-search : High school
    • An I-Search paper is a special kind of research paper. In an I-Search paper, you not only research, but you describe the entire process you go through to find out and report your information. An I-Search paper is a story you tell in four parts:
    • What’s great about this kind of paper is that it is your story and you get to tell it in your own voice . You describe everything you do as a kind of quest, and you include all the stumbles you experience along the way.  
    • In the “What I Know” section, you get to tell the reader why you’re interested in the topic, and if you’re not positive of your facts, you can even tell the reader that you think something is true but that you’re not sure.
    • In the “What I Want to Find Out ” section, you get to tell the reader why you want to know more, and if you’re not sure you’ll be able to find the answers to your questions, you can tell the reader that, too.
    • In the “The Search” section, you describe all the efforts you made to find information. This includes the questions you asked that turned out not to have answers, the articles you read that didn’t help you answer your question, the people you talked to and the web sites you visited that gave you wrong information, the difficulty you had using an online database, and all the other stumbles and falls you experienced along the way. It also includes all the successes you had: how you found the perfect book, how you located an expert to talk to, how you added new questions that changed your idea about the topic, how you found newspaper or magazine articles that answered your questions.
    • In the “What I Discovered” section, you compare what you knew and thought you knew to what you actually found out. If you turned out to be completely wrong about what you thought you knew, that’s okay. You get to tell the reader what changed your mind. You look back at all the information you gathered, organize it, and draw conclusions about your topic. You also look back at the way you did your research and tell the reader what you learned about yourself as a researcher. If you learned that you’re good at locating lots of sources, you get to brag about it a little. If you learned that you’re a little bit lazy or that you put things off a bit too much, you get to tell the reader that, too. And you get credit for it! http://www.sbhsd.k12.ca.us/sbhslib/research/02isearch.htm
  • 10. Scaffolding Process and Audience Analysis/Comprehension for each model:
    • I-search : High school
    • For elementary age learners the principles of the I-search strategy can be carried out through basic “k-N-L” chart as a graphic organizer during a lesson. This could even be used at the middle school level with more sophisticated sources being used. Journal entries would also work well in middle school and would effectively keep the student focused on self-reflection. The process can be carried through to the most advanced learner through the I-search research paper.
    • Big 6 : Middle school
    • Having 6 steps to a research model is not too many for young learners and not too little for older students. High school students can use this model in deciding which college to attend, middle school students could apply the Big6 strategy to a science fair project and elementary students can do this in a group activity without even knowing it.
    • Scientific Inquiry : Elementary school
    • observe, question, hypothesize, predict, and communicate: These five steps are the framework behind a Socratic Seminar in which high school students learn from each other’s structured dialogue and questioning. It is the basis for scientific experiments from advanced to elementary.
  • 11. Comparison Chart: ACRL Standards Eisenberg/Berkowitz Scientific Method Ken Macrorie (The Big6 Skills) I-Search 6. Evaluation 6.1 judge the product 6.2 judge the process 5. Synthesis 5.1 Organize 5.2 Present 4. Information Use 4.1 Engage (read, view, etc.) 4.2 Extract information 3. Location & Access 3.1 locate sources 3.2 Find information 2. Information Seeking Strategies 2.1 Determine range sources 2.2 prioritize sources 1. Task Definition 1.1 Define the problem 1.2 Identify info. Requirements 5.presenting, debating and/or application of findings 5.1 Organize 5.2 Present 4. performance of experimental tests of the prediction and inferring a conclusion 4.1 Engage (read, view, etc.) 4.2 Extract information 3. use of the hypothesis to predict existence of other phenomena 2.1 Determine range sources 2.2 prioritize sources 2. Formulation of a hypothesis to explain the phenomena 3.1 locate sources 3.2 Find information 1. Observation and description of phenomena 1.1 Define the problem 1.2 Identify info. Requirements 4. What I discovered 5.1 Organize 5.2 Present 6.1 judge the product 6.2 judge the process 3. “The Search” 3.1 locate sources 3.2 Find information 4.1 Engage (read, view, etc.) 4.2 Extract information 2. “what I want to find out” 1.2 Identify info. Requirements 2.1 Determine range sources 2.2 prioritize sources 1.” What I know” 1.1 Define the problem
  • 12. All can be adapted to different levels of rigor They vary from 6, 5 and 4 steps All meet ACRL and information power literacy standards The I-search puts an emphasis on self-reflection throughout the research process. All models acknowledge that a problem exists and seeks to find a solution The scientific approach is more “hands-on” and project oriented. All are generic models, that can be applied to any subject. Differences: Similarities:
  • 13. References:
    • Berkowitz, Robert, E., Eisenberg, Michael, B. (2000) Teaching information & technology skills the big6 in secondary schools.
    • Lewis, D. (1996). Introduction to dying for information. [Online]. Available: http://about.reuters.com/rbb/research/dfiforframe.htm .