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CS5551 Research Methods: Assessing the Evidence about E-Participation Assessment Answer

CS5551 Research Methods

Main Objective of the assessment

The coursework for CS5551 (Research Methods) is an individual research proposal. This assignment assesses the following learning outcomes (LOs):

  1. Argue convincingly and justifiably for the study of a chosen problem area (LO1);
  2. Formulate and justify an appropriate research design applicable to the problem area chosen (LO2);
  3. Determine a feasible work-plan relevant to the scope and content of the research project (LO3).

This coursework is designed to prepare you for the dissertation part of your MSc studies, where a key element to a successful MSc dissertation is a well-thought out project proposal. In this assignment, you have a choice of three topic areas. For your dissertation, you will have a free choice, subject to obtaining the necessary agreement from your supervisor.

Description of the Assessment

You will be required to produce a research proposal. The topic of your research proposal can either be chosen from below or you can identify your own topic. Please make sure that the topic you choose is aligned to the particular MSc that you are doing.  

Suggested Topic Area 1: Assessing the Evidence about e-Participation

E-participation is a generic term which refers to the use of Web-based technologies, such as online social networks, to enable citizens to engage in political activity with the ultimate aim of influencing policy making. Examples include organising social movements, for example, to oppose government policy, such as funding cuts; various forms of online deliberation and discourse, for example, eConsultation and eVoting; trades union activity; and citizen journalism. Typical research questions in this area focus on the following issues:

  • What evidence is there that online interactions, such as those outlined above, foster social inclusion and enable democratic decision making? What alternative research findings exist?
  • Does e-participation enable new forms of organising, and if so, how enduring are these new forms?

Suggested Topic Area 2: Learning Analytics Data Analysis

A course instructor has implemented several new features in a learning management system (LMS) to supplement the current activities undertaken by students studying a module. The instructor wishes to investigate the efficacy of each of these new and existing features as single entities and in combination with each other to increase student attainment. This information will assist the instructor in deciding which features to continue with and augment, and which to drop from the repertoire of activities undertaken by the students. The instructor collected data on which students engaged with which features on the LMS, how many times they accessed and engaged with a particular feature, and their final grades. The instructor also has access to the previous cohort’s final grades to allow comparisons to be made when none of these features were enacted. All of the data is available in CSV files. Students are anonymised and identified by number only.

Typical research projects in this area address the following hypotheses:

  • Hypothesis: Specific instructional features are more effective than others at increasing student attainment either singly or in combination with each other.
  • Null Hypothesis: No specific feature or features make any difference to student attainment it is influenced solely by the number of times a student accesses the materials.

 Suggested Topic Area 3: Design for Emotional and/or Physiological Signals

Wearable devices and smart phones are increasingly being enabled to detect data from their users and the environment. This can include human physiological signals (such as heart rate) but research is also exploring whether human displays of emotion can be detected (for example from facial expression, tone of voice). Typical research questions in this area focus on the following issues:

  • What kinds of applications could benefit from the integration of such technology?
  • What are the legal and ethical implications?
  • Are there user acceptance issues?
  • How can the effectiveness of such applications be evaluated? 

Your research proposal should include a literature review; a justification for your choice of research methods; a strategy for collecting data or recruiting participants; and a plan of work for completing your project by mid-September 2018. You should do this by answering the following questions:

  1. What work has been done already in the topic area and what are the compelling unanswered questions? Your answer should demonstrate that your research question is one that needs further work.
  2. What research methods will you use? Do you think that any other research methods could be used? Justify your selection using appropriate references.
  3. What type of data will you need to collect? If your project requires you to conduct some research using participants, what types of participant will you need? How will you recruit them?
  4. How long will your project take? You should answer this question by including a Gantt chart. Your Gantt chart should include no more than 10 key activities, with dates, and be accompanied by a short description of each activity.

Your research proposal should be no longer than 2500 words, excluding references and the Gantt chart

Learning Outcomes and Marking Criteria

This assessment is learning-outcome (LO) based, which means that failure to demonstrate any of the LOs will result in failure of the module overall. You should take care to consider all criteria associated with the LOs when preparing your work. The detailed marking criteria for CS5551 are listed below

Format of the Assessment

Your research proposal should adhere to the following format:

  1. A cover page with your student ID, the module code and title, the academic year and a proposed title for your research project;
  2. Your research proposal;
  3. A list of all the references used in your proposal, following the Harvard style;
  4. A description of the activities involved in your project;
  5. A Gantt chart.

Answer

Title: Assessing the Evidence about E-Participation

Words: 2500

Reference: Harvard

Introduction:

The research proposal would focus on the e-participation as the term of referring to the ICT supporting participation process that is involved in the government and governance procedures. The process is related in the administrative governance with the public figure for the growth and development factor of the observation. A different approach of e-participation for the political factors would clearly be observed in the research proposal for carrying out the research process very suitably. In the second chapter, several past researches on the subject will described along with the statistical data observation.  

Research background:

 Technology has been captured in every area of human life that has a positive impact on reducing time-consuming factors in the sectors.  The e-participation is a suitable approach in the government sector to implement technology for a higher level of development initiatives.  As mentioned by Jho and Song (2015), "the use of information and communication technologies to broaden and deepen political participation by enabling citizens to connect and with their elected representatives".  E-participation has appeared as the social media approach in very fast. The next step is taken to make the approach suitable and justified by the procedure of making effective coordination between the service provider and the service users.  The term e-participation is highly taken in the government sector to ensure the participation of the citizen in the political factor to maintain effectiveness.    ICT  is a suitable approach in media politics that improved the procedure of making a higher level of participant observation in the workplace (Zheng, 2017).  The top and down government approach on the business is suitable and sustainable in the process of making operational efficiency of the government sector.  ICT by the government is generally used to carry out the election for the political parties and the process of having proper decision making.  Along with the government sector, the e-participation is used in the business organisation through the online and offline process to deal with more participants observation on the company.

Research aim:

 The research study aims to evaluate different types of e-participation approach along with their positive and negative impact on the sectors.  Furthermore, the research aims to observe e-participation approach on the government section to involve people in the political factor.  

Research objective:

  • To determine evidence about the e-participation in several sectors
  • To explain the role of e-participation on the democratic decision-making process
  • To explain the different e-participation approach in the government sector
  • To examine the model and principles of e-participation in the democrat

Research question:

  • What is the evidence about the e-participation in several sectors?
  • What are the roles of e-participation on the democratic decision-making process? 
  • What are the different e-participation approaches in the government sector?
  • What are the model and principles of e-participation in the democrat?


What work has been done already in the topic area?

Literature review:

The concept of e-participation approach:

Better decision-making process and better participation process relatively needs a way to deal with the growth and development of the organisation. As opined by Janowski (2015), Technological innovation in the government sector has been presented in terms of electronic participation to make active and progressive politics with the supportive approach of the citizen.  The e-Participation and e-inclusion are suitable forms of electronic involvement, such as forums, will also be expanded as required in the government and business sector for the higher level of the improvement process. The approach of electronic participation is generated by the implication of information and communication technology (Ochara and Mawela, 2015).  Democratic decision-making can be generated very properly by the implication of the approach.  As per viewpoints of Liddy et al. (2013), in several areas, the electronic participation can be used very suitably in order to deal with the higher connectivity approach. E-Consultation and E-Voting; trades union activity; and citizen journalism are the typical areas where the e-participation approach is mostly used along with its effective impact.  

Different e-participation approach:

Participation offline:

 E-participation is carried out through the offline approach.  Several traditional public participation methods are formalized in the workplace for the development prospect. As stated by Kim and Lee (2012), Referenda are an important way to make public participation is involved through the electronic voting system in order to deal with the higher level of people participating in the political prospect. A public opinion survey is another e-participation approach through the online process. The survey can be carried out through the telephonic interview and via written question set observation. Focus group observation is another important approach in the workplace to maintain a higher level of participants’ observation and to make effective process on the observation (Patsakis et al. 2015)

Participation online :

·E-Consultation Online deliberation

·  Information provision online

·  E-Polling

·  E-Voting

· Community building / Collaborative e-environments

·E-Campaigning, including e-Petitioning

All the above procedures are a suitable approach to make the active level of participants’ observation process in the workplace for the determination process.  A per viewpoints of Emmer and Kunst (2018), ICT enabled to make democratic citizenship approach by increasing their involvement in the decision-making.  The normative value of the approach is suitable and sustainable for the improvement of consultation and deliberation process. The participation approach of government provides a very quick approach to them in the process of making operational efficiency (Stier, 2015).  In the case of taking a democratic decision, it can be said that suitable initiatives can be taken for the maintenance and management of operational efficiency (Bataineh and Abu-Shanab, 2016).  The most important factor is that the participation approach is helpful for the long term maintenance of citizen involvement in the democratic decision-making process.  

Principles of e-participation

There are ten guiding principles that help to evaluate the major principles of e-participation in government activity and other areas.

 Commitment: Demonstration of the leadership is the main principles that help to maintain a key objective of e-participation (Sorensen and Torfing, 2018).

Rights: In every kind of e-participation form, the participants should be given the right to give their choice. Restriction cannot take place in the course of action (Zolotov, Oliveira and Casteleyn, 2018)

Clarity: Demonstration of clarity is the main objectivity of the citizen. The government cannot hamper the process.

Time: Proper demonstration of sufficient time allocation can be considered as the most important approach in this course of action.  

Evaluation:  The mechanism can be demonstrated very properly in order to understand the authorities to evaluate their performance at each phase of participation

Objectivity: Nature of the information must be observed collectively where effective participation of the governing body is needed in order to deal with the process of making operational efficiency factor (Bataineh and Abu-Shanab, 2016)

Resource: Observation on the adequate resources can be considered to the most important approach in the course of action.  As stated by Niewiadomski and Anderson (2018), Technical assessment, financial stability and human resource approach must be maintained very suitably in order to deal with the procedure very properly. 

Co-ordination:   Internal-integrity and relationship management process can be considered to be an important approach in the process of making the observation effective. 

Accountability:  Feedback assessment can be considered to be an important procedure in the development of the approach. The most significant factor is that the efficient approach of innovation can be determined by the implication of information and communication technology (Androutsopoulou et al. 2018).

Active citizenship: Encouraging civic activism by increasing capacities and skills of the citizen is the major approach in this process.  Act as per the need of the citizen can be considered to be an important process in the process (Kubicek and Aichholzer, 2016)

Importance of openness and inclusiveness

The main reason for e-participation is to maintain more openness and inclusiveness with participation.  By the e-participation, it can be said that the governing body can be able to make more connectivity with the people. As opined by Chang (2018), Electronic media provide a faster way to make a proper observation with the participants.  In most of the time, political decision may create choice among the people in the country. The process is very much helpful in order to deal with the Development Factor Management Process (Royo and Yetano, 2015).  Another important factor is that the validity of the ten important principles can be determined by the implication of the process. Legal rights and legal measurement can be determined very positively by the implication of the procedure and the framework for the e-participation (Wirtz, Daiser and Binkowska, 2018)

Models of e-participation:

E-Participation model is applicable in the socio-political phenomenon where political aspects can be determined very properly in the course of action (Porwol, , Ojo and Breslin, 2018). ICT enabled civil development through the participation of more people in the political decision-making process.  The procedure has an effective impact on engaging the citizen in the political decision-making process. Hassan and Hamari (2019) said that by the application of the models' information sharing process and the information management process in the government sector can be determined very suitably, and the model has the efficiency to maintain operational evaluation of the public approach in the several sectors.  

Participatory actions

(Source: Zheng, 2017)

The first parameter of the procedure is the decision-making policy guideline where information on the internet can be shared to the people to give their valuable opinion on the process.  The second step is the e-consultation stages where suitable consultation can be taken place in order to deal with the process management observation (Zheng, 2017).  The procedure is highly determinative and effective to maintain effective decision making for the overall development prospect.  The proper decision-making process can do observation done suitably in order to maintain people's participation in the decision-making approach.  

What research methods will you use?

Research methodology:

Research philosophy:

 Research philosophy positivism will be applicable in the research as by the investigation of phenomena empirical measurement would be carried out. The evaluation of empirical measurement will be carried out by the observation of secondary data collection.   The most significant factor is that as the process of data collection in the research will be secondary, then meta-theoretical observation would take place in the course of action (Padilla-Díaz, 2015). The procedure has suitable in the process of making an effective data collection approach. The research on the e-participation needs a logical approach to established its positive impact on democracy. Authentic observation is needed by gathering logical data from the existing sources. 

Research design:

Descriptive research design will apply in the research for data gatherings. Descriptive would take place by analysing secondary data on the e-participation.  Several empirical studies provide efficiency to determine the dependent and independent variable on the research. Descriptive research design will be helpful for the research that is conducted by analysing theoretical observation of the e-participation in different areas (McNabb, 2015).  The process is very helpful in order to deal with the development process of the research. Research authenticity would be maintained by the implication of the effective approach of the e-participation strategy and framework. 

Research approach:

The deductive approach will use in the research where information deduction will take place. By the assessment of several secondary sources, information would deduce very properly.  The process has an effective impact on the observation method of the research. The literature review will be helpful for the research to have an effective approach to the information gathering process. Several existing literature on the subject matter of the topic provides clear evidence on the process of determination and effectiveness (Zalaghi and Khazaei, 2016).   Information assessment helps to assume the best approach to the method of data collection. Several statistical observation on the approach can be determined by the application of the approach. 

Data analysis: 

Secondary data analysis will be an application in the research.  The data analysis is based on the existing data observation process.  The process helps to analyse the key objective of the research process.  The secondary data analysis has a sustainable process to make an in-depth observation of the impact of e-participation on democracy improvement.  Impact of ICT in the political factor determination can be evaluated very significantly in this course of action.  Secondary data analysis will allow the researcher to gather authentic data of previous research study along with lots of statistical observance on the subject matter (Johnston, 2017)

Research limitation:

 The researcher will face time limitation while carrying out the research process.  Time limitation of the research negatively impacted on the process of data collection. The research process has suitability and efficiency to make observance on the process of making an observation. Another limitation of the research is the budget, as the research on e-participation needs vast observation to get a suitable outcome.  The method of data collection has an effective impact, but the issue remains on the availability of the research data. Biased nature of the data will be a limitation in order to carry out the research work.  

Ethical consideration:

 Remain constant on ethical consideration will be essential for the research that the researcher needs to maintain. Principles of Data Protection Act 1988 should be maintained in terms of carrying out the research.  The researcher will not manipulate the collected data from the secondary sources (Wallace and Sheldon, 2015).  The researcher would use authentic sources while carrying out research.  Once the research would complete the researcher will destroy the data.  Collected data in the research cannot hamper sentiment of the participant.  

What type of data will you need to collect? 

Data collection method with justification:

Thematic data collection method would carry out in the research to have the proper observation.  In the thematic analysis, several data sources will examine by the researcher in order to maintain the process of observation (Braun et al. 2019).  The procedure has effectiveness in making a suitable observation of the process.  Current literature and case studies on the e- participation would take in observation for the maintenance of the data selection method of observation.  Apart from that, the procedure is helpful for maintaining suitable research outcome on the impact and evidence examination of e-participation on the citizen.  

Participant’s observation:

Here participants refer to the case studies where several pieces of evidence on the e-participation has been under consideration to make proper data assessment.  Statistical observation is helpful for maintaining effective observation of the data evaluation process.  

How long will your project take?

Project schedule brief discussion:

The project schedule would be divided into two parts.  The first part will be done on the research proposal that will take eight weeks. The proposal will provide stats on the first week of March and complete on the last week of  April. On the other way, the dissertation will take place from the First week of May and complete on the last week of September. Every week updates will give to the principle.  

Gantt chart for proposal:

ActivityWeek 1Week 2Week 3 Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8
Introduction  to the research topic







Aim and objective formulation







Research methods selection







Data analysis paper collection







Final draft submission








Timeline for dissertation:

ActivityWeek 1 and 2Week 3 and 4Week 5 and  6Week 7Week 8 and 9Week 10 and 11Week 12 and 13Week 14 and 15Week 16 and 17Week 18Week 19Week 20
Revision of research objective











Revision of research methods











Secondary data collection











 Data authentication











Final submission 












Conclusion:

 The research provides clear evidence on the e-participation approach to involve citizen. Both the theoretical and statistical data would be observed suitably for the process of making operational efficiency. In the research methodological chapter several research methods would describe along with its justification to carry out the research process suitably.

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