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 it‛s 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?
Critical review of paradigms:
Accept when irrefutable
Critical review of theories:
Accept when “proven”
Grad. Dip/ More skills & theories:
Prof. exams Accept w/o question
Skills & theories:
Accept w/o question
Diploma Skills: Accept w/o question
Structure of Scientific
Revolution (Kuhn, 1970)
Paradigm Normal Science
Anomalies New Paradigm
Theory Focus: Mastery of content/skills
Behaviourist through conditioning and use of
Cybernetic through accumulation of sub-skills
Cognitive through activation of mental
processes such as schemas,
strategies, & metacognition
Theory Focus: reasoning skills & science
Mental through inquiry and solving
Development real-life problems
are not predictable:
Knowledge is private &&
Humanist through meaningful
Social through scaffolding,
learning cooperative/collaborative learning,
What is a
• 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
• Chapter 1: Introduction
– Problem Statement
– Research Questions
– Hypotheses, etc
• Chapter 2: Literature Review
• Chapter 3: Research Methodology
• Chapter 4: Results / Data Analysis
• Chapter 5: Discussion & Conclusions
Skills for Research & Thesis
Writing Draw & apply reasonable conclusions
Organize & 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)
• What is it?
• What is it for?
• Where do we start?
• How do we do it?
– Quantitative research
– Qualitative research
• How do we know we‛ve done a good job?
• Worked example(s)
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
– 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-to-
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
– How will the IVs affect the DVs among the MVs?
– Develop the Hypotheses
• Derive a Title from the Research Questions
• Tip: RQ = Summary of Problem Statement
Learning: process of Executive
Encoding and decoding
into meaningful structures
using various Generator
Short Term/ Long
Sensory Working Term
Register Memory Memory
• Learning: Schema in
resolving New Information
cognitive causes disequilibrium
How do we do it?
• Expand from the Title
– Expand concepts to content outline
– Use cause and effect structure
• 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.
• Tip: Hypotheses are summaries for Lit. Review.
The Academic Pecking
Begins with a
to test H’thesis
a new theory
Dari Sopiah Abdullah (2004)
How do you know you‛ve
done a good job?
• Does the review support every
• Does the review support Chapter 5?
• Up-to-date, thorough, exhaustive,
• Can be turned into a book / a monograph?
Tuckman‛s (1999) criteria
• Magnitude (number of references)
• How empirical & up-to-date
• Connectedness to the problem
• Establish significance?
• Convincing argument?
Let‛s try an example
• Research Questions
• Literature Review Outline