Introduction to the course, January 21 2016
Name, title of the presentation
Course staff and communication
Room 106 IT building ITV
Meeting time: During lectures and right after. Also
Room 057 ITV
Meeting time: During lectures and right after. Also on
ItsLearning and web pages.
Who are you?
2. Elected or mandatory?
3. Expectations from the course?
4. What is research for you?
What is this course about?
The course is aimed for students who are interested in performing
research in 'real world' settings and explore how and why various
information/computer systems are designed, implemented and used.
The primary focus of the course is collection, analysis and
interpretation of qualitative empirical data.
•IT3010 - Full course. Spring semester.
•TDT39 – Elective course module. Autumn semester.
What is research?
“Research is the creation of new knowledge, using an
appropriate process, to the satisfaction of the users of
- Oates, page 7
Keywords: research problems, research methods, research plans,
data collection, theories, hypotheses, answers, ethics, papers, dissemination,
• A computer system to improve productivity
• A vaccine with potential side-effects
Why research methods?
• Being able to conduct high-quality research
• Understanding the research of others
• Understanding the impact of your own research
• Being critical about what pretends to be research
• Using research results more effectively
• Being able to distinguish research from quasi-
research, or mere bullshit.
• You will get knowledge of:
– Basics of design of scientific studies in computer science
– Principles for data selection, collection and analysis methods
• You will become skilled in:
– Collecting and analysing research data
– Foresee and reduce threats to validity of research designs
• You will acquire competence in:
– Conducting empirical studies
– Critically evaluating the quality of qualitative studies in computer
Is all this supposed to be useful
Figure 1.3 in: B. J. Oates, Researching Information Systems and Computing. London: Sage Publications, 2006.
Figure 3.1 in: B. J. Oates, Researching Information Systems and Computing. London: Sage Publications, 2006.
The research process
– Oates, B. J. (2006). Researching Information
Systems and Computing. London, Sage.
– Also: We have a list of good papers
specializing in different methods. See
itsLearning and ask us!
• Pedagogical approach:
– Individual preparation: reading book
chapters and articles
– Active engagement in groups:
• Exercises that simulate a realistic research
– Individual essay at the end of the course.
– Portfolio assessment, no exams.
• Portfolio assessment:
– A) Three group assignments: 30%
• Research plan.
• Data collection.
• Data analysis.
– B) Group presentations of results and questions: 20%
– C) One individual essay - research plan: 50%
B) Group presentations
• Each group will present results from the group research project.
• Plan for the presentations will be provided later.
– All presentations during weeks 10-18.
– Mandatory participation from all!
• Evaluation criteria:
– Understanding of curriculum, e.g. relating to the specific research methods
from the book.
– Clarity of presentation
C) Essay - research plan
• Choose a research strategy
– Preferably for your master's thesis.
• Write a research plan:
– Include a short literature review (maximum 4 references)
– Length of the report: maximum 1200 words including everything.
• Use provided template with instructions.
– Front page with author name, project name, use candidate number.
– Deadline: Week 18.
– Deliver through ItsLearning
C) Essay - research plan
• Briefly cover the following issues:
– What do you want to research (research questions)
– Why is it interesting to research (relevance for practitioners,
– How will you answer your research questions (selecting
case/artefact, data collection)
– How will you analyze the data?
– What results do you expect to obtain and would they differ from
C) Essay - evaluation criteria
– It has to be clear what are you planning to do and why
– Each part of your research plan should be connected
• Ability to use curriculum in deciding approach for
– Data collection
– Data analysis
– Data interpretation
• Please check your group number in ItsLearning.
• All exercises except the personal essay will be done
Purpose and products of