12 steps to success: producing a quality legal research paper
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Slides for the presentation by Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe (Queensland University) at the Learning in Law Annual Conference 2011.

Slides for the presentation by Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe (Queensland University) at the Learning in Law Annual Conference 2011.

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  • the LEAP and MORE are part of the eGrad School related to the ATN universities.   fIRST is a little wider than the ATN group.   Neither of them are QUT specific.   But QIPS is QUT specific. 

12 steps to success: producing a quality legal research paper 12 steps to success: producing a quality legal research paper Presentation Transcript

  • 12 Steps to Success: Producing a Quality Legal Research Paper Dr Terry Hutchinson Natalie Cuffe Queensland University of Technology
  • This Presentation covers
    • A statement of the project
    • Background and context
    • The literature and theoretical framework
    • Describing the Project and the Rationale behind the 12 Steps
    • Critiquing the Project
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • The Project*
    • To develop an interactive legal research and writing web site to provide an online framework to support postgraduate law students (and those undergraduate law students studying in final year research units and elective research projects) in undertaking a substantive academic paper.
    • *Funded by the QUT Faculty of Law Teaching and Learning Grant Scheme
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Background and Context
    • Researcher credentials - prior grant on project management, Researching and Writing in Law 3ed/ journal articles/ Learning Legal Research (Thomson), history of QUT legal research skills training
    • The importance of this project given HDR agendas (ERA), plagiarism and ethics (Aust Code for Responsible Conduct of Research)
    • General HDR resources QUT - ATN E-Grad School / InfoScholar /Portia /APLN
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
    • Context of Research Management
    • Critical and Creative Thinking
    • Critical Writing
    • Entrepreneurial Foundations
    • Ethics
    • Knowledge Transfer and Research Commercialisation
    • Leadership and Workplace Communication
    • Managing Research Careers
    • Project Management for Research
    • Public Policy and Research
    • Principles and Practice of Research Management
    • R&D Management Project
    • Practice-Led Research in Creative Arts, Media and Design
    • Risk Management
    • Strategic Issues in Research Management
    ATN PROGRAMS - LEAP
    • University Generic Resources
    • e-Grad School (Australia) http:// www.egradschool.edu.au /
    • All online postgraduate resources for students, supervisors and research managers eg Modules on Research Education (MORE)
    • InfoScholar to help develop advanced skills in finding and analysing information crucial to successfully completing a research degree .
    • QUT On-line training resources http://www.rsc.qut.edu.au/studentsstaff/training/qutresources.jsp#qips
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Portia at QUT
    • The Postgraduate Office Research Training Information Assistant (PORTIA) is a web-based system to support postgraduate research students and supervisors with management of postgraduate research. It allows students and supervisors to create a research plan, assign tasks/goals, record meetings/consultations, notes and other important events related to research.
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • The literature and theoretical framework
    • Importance of research skills in the postgraduate curriculum including project planning and management, lifelong learning, research process rather than sources
    • Teaching as conversation
    • Education theory - students seeing examples and modelling process /constructive alignment (Biggs)
    • Blended delivery and instructional design (Laurillard)
    • Understanding differences in legal systems and research paradigms
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Literature on research skills and lifelong learning
      • legal education should focus on what lawyers need to be able to do rather than anchored around restrictive and outdated notions of what lawyers need to know (ALRC, 1999 at para 2.21).
      • Importance of research skills (information literacy), project planning and management in post graduate curriculum
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Literature on contemporary higher education learning
    • Education theory - students seeing examples and modelling process /constructive alignment (Biggs)
      • Shift away from transmission and behavioural styles of teaching and learning (information acquisition) (Ramsden) and more towards a constructivist approach viewing learning as knowledge construction (Mayer)
    • Teaching as conversation
      • Laurillard provides an alternative teaching and learning system characterising the process as a iterative “conversation” (Conversational Framework)(Laurillard,2002)
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Laurillard’s Conversational Framework Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Literature on b lended delivery and instructional design
      • Blended delivery recognises some combination of virtual and physical environments. For example Garrison and Vaughn define blended learning as “the thoughtful fusion of face-to-face learning and online learning experiences” and emphasise the need for reflection on traditional approaches and for redesigning learning and teaching in an online environment.
      • Learning is promoted when new knowledge is demonstrated to the learner and when new knowledge is applied by and integrated into the learner’s world ( Merril - principles of instructional design)
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
    • “ there is a serendipity of education, legal education and information technology in education theories in emphasizing student centred, independent, situated, contextual, active and reflective learning......... Communications and Information Technology (C&IT) can … provide conversational space beyond the classroom ” [emphasis added] (Paliwala, 2001).
    • Using a ‘point of need’ approach
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • 1: Choosing a Topic 2: Generating Hypothesis and Objectives 3: Identifying Conceptual Framework 4: Choosing Methodologies 5: Implementing Methodologies 6: Research Planning 8: Working with your Supervisor 7: Documenting your Research 9: Writing the Proposal 10: Oral Presentation 11: Writing the Literature Review 12: Writing the Paper writing research paper
  • Why these steps?
    • Reflects research and writing process
    • Articulating a framework and steps that those more experienced undertake intuitively
    • Linear framework, presents all the elements, exposes students to all aspects, some will be more important than others depending on the individual student and project of choice
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • What are we trying to achieve?
    • An enhanced postgraduate law student experience
    • Enhanced skills development
    • An improvement in the quality of the legal research papers being written by the postgraduate students
    • An ultimate increase in the number of postgraduate students who submit their research papers for publication
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • How have we gone about this?
    • Selecting a topic to model
    • Investigating software tools
    • Content development
    • Graphics and creative design
    • Feedback
    • Ethics approval and evaluation
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • In what way is this program different from what is already available?
    • the framework for organising the project,
    • information on each step in the process,
    • suggestions for software that might guide and record the research process and aid information sharing and feedback,
    • information on how to use the software,
    • examples of the use of the software,
    • all examples based on one legal topic which is surrogacy,
    • this topic is generally accessible, resource rich and readily understood by lawyers from diverse work experience backgrounds, or trained in differing legal systems,
    • examples of each step in the process using this topic so that there is a research paper on surrogacy,
    • r eflections on and critique of each step in the research process, and
    • f urther reading and sources of assistance in undertaking each step.
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • How does the website work?
    • Hyperlinks, site map, software, examples, critique and reflection, further reading,
    • Community Site so other units beyond Postgrad research unit can link in to it
    • Future enhancements? Developing Interactivity? Website beyond BB? More fluid, blogs, creating online research community?
    • Testing and Evaluation
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Research Planning Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Assessing the Approach
    • Advantages
    • BB is cheap and easy to mount on the QUT internal system
    • Breaks down the research into components or chunks which should simplify the process
    • Provides examples as guidance
    • Connects with other general materials available
    • Disadvantages
    • BB has limited graphics capabilities and is not as fluid or attractive as a website
    • Students may struggle with the software and need hands on instruction
    • Very linear approach – and research is anything BUT linear
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Feedback
    • ‘ overall I found the 12 steps site to be extremely useful’
    • Themes –
      •  information new and pertinent
      •  examples useful
      • software new and useful
      • suggestions for FAQs, vodcasts
      • reading lists need to link to fulltext
      • Wordle - steps need to be numbered
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Peer Feedback
    • Comments?
    • Look and feel of site? Professionalism & usefulness for international students
    • Usefulness of surrogacy example?
    • Have we left anything out?
    • Uses beyond what is envisaged? (Not directly tied into assessment at this point – simply a reinforcement with examples of what is happening in class)
    • More interactivity planned for site in future … any suggestions … blog, supervisor/student conversations?
    • Questions?
    Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011
  • Dr Terry Hutchinson and Natalie Cuffe, QUT, Learning in Law January 2011