Empirical Research Methodology
Name, title of the presentation
What are these course?
The courses are for students
who are interested in research in
'real world' settings. You will
learn methods for exploring how
and why various
are designed, implemented and
•IT3010 – Mandatory for
master students (Spring
•TDT39 – Selectable for
What do we teach?
What is the framework?
helps to solve
What is the framework?
Figure 3.1 in: B. J. Oates, Researching Information Systems and Computing. London: Sage Publications, 2006.
Briony J. Oates,
• Students' research plan for
• A template will be provided
for the plan, along with
some example plans.
• The template is based on
the book and should
support master project
evaluation criteria (E and
– Purpose: Why you want to do
this research? What is the
– Contributions: What new
knowledge will you produce?
– Research method: What
research strategy/method will
– Participants: Who do you need
for your research? What
resources do you need?
– Research paradigm: Is this a
or critical research project?
– Deliverable: What is the form of
the final deliverable?
Some common issues
• Low quality research questions (e.g. yes/no questions).
• Mixing computer science theory and application areas.
• Difficulty of foreseeing area of contribution.
• Lack of focus, staying at a too generic level.
• The plan is too ambitious. Multiple strategies.
• Empirical research does not always mean user
• The candidates introduce totally new methodological
The thesis supervisor
• The deliverable, the research plan, is student's plan for
• The supervisor needs to be involved.
• The student needs to agree with the supervisor about
the content of the plan.
• The planning will hopefully increase the quality of the
research results (read: publications!)
Discussion (ISSE 26.08.2015)
• What do you think about the course?
– Generally positive feedback during ISSE meeting of 26.08.2015.
• What do you think about your role as supervisor?
– The course can improve the communication. Some supervisors
did not know about the existence of a research plan deliverable.
• What should be changed?
– Version 1.0 of the plan should be ready by end of first month.
– We need to emphasize an iterative approach to the research
• Babak will add a milestone to the course, end of Sept.
– Students who take IT3010 should not take TDT39.
• Babak will inform and update the web pages.