Reflective Research Portfolio

Introduction to Research Methods 2020-2021– assignment details

Formative feedback deadline – 18th December 2020

You will receive feedback on this draft by 22nd January 2021

Second semester deadline – 6th May 2021 at 4pm

Word count: Between 1500 and 2500 words

The word count does not include the References section or Appendices

Throughout this module you will be asked to put together a research portfolio. The aim of the portfolio is to consolidate your knowledge of research methods, and to allow you to reflect on the practicalities of doing research.

Aims and objectives

1.   To develop an in-depth understanding of research methods

2.   To allow for reflection across the module

3.   To use academic sources to support understanding of research methods

Learning outcomes

By completing this assessment, you will be able to:

1.   Engage in deep reflection of your learning over the course of the year

2.   Demonstrate a good knowledge of research methods

3.   Demonstrate an understanding of the issues which can arise when conducting research

4.   Develop good written communication skills

5.   Learn how to engage with the academic literature of research methods

Component 1: A reflection on your experiences of learning research methods (1000-1500 words)

We’d like you to reflect on your experiences of learning, doing and participating in research this year. This may seem very broad, but we would expect that you reflect upon the knowledge you’ve gained, how you’ve gained it and what you’ve learnt from it. We’ve given you some broad ideas for the types of things you might reflect on:

?          The process of developing research questions and designs

?          The strengths and limitations of different research designs

?          Your experience of developing experimental hypotheses

?          The feedback you received in seminars and how it impacted upon your learning

?            Your experience of learning  how to use SPSS

?          Which research designs you felt most comfortable with?

?          What you did to try and improve your learning around research methods?

?          The weekly quizzes

?          Specific seminar tasks

At the end of your reflections, you should include a learning action plan for how you plan to progress your research methods learning in the next year.

Component 2: Thematic analysis (500-700 words)

You will be asked to conduct a thematic analysis on a short piece of text which is provided in the Assessment 2 folder. You should write up one of the themes you find and include it in your portfolio. It should be no more than 700 words, including any extracts you use to illustrate your theme.

Required Appendix

Coding for the thematic analysis presented  as Component 2 above. Please place at the end with the other appendices

Component 3: Test of difference

Use the data provided to run a test of difference. Fill in the proforma for test selection answering the questions provided. Run an appropriate test and report its results in APA format

Component 4 References

You should provide some references to support your analysis of your learning experience and also in reference to research methods related material which informed your understanding. All primary sources cited should be presented  in a Reference list in APA (6th ed.) format. Marks here will reflect both the credibility of the sources used, the relevance of them to the points being made and correct use of APA 6th format.

It is important to understand  that a Reference list is not the same thing as a Bibliography. While a Bibliography lists sources consulted a Reference list only provides the primary sources cited in the text

See the APA for guidance on 6th ed referencing

In text citations have a number of rules which can be found via the library

First citation in-text:

Grady, Her, Moreno, Perez and Yelinek (2019) found that… OR

… in storybooks (Grady, Her, Moreno, Perez & Yelinek, 2019)

Second and subsequent citations:

Grady et al. (2019) OR

(Grady et al., 2019)

Your reference list should be presented  in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author. Second and subsequent  lines should have a hanging indent. For example


Apsolon, M. [markapsolon]. (2011, September 9). Real ghost girl caught on Video Tape 14 [Video file]. Retrieved from

Grady, J. S., Her, M., Moreno, G., Perez, C., & Yelinek, J. (2019). Emotions in storybooks: A comparison of storybooks that represent  ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 8(3), 207–217.

Component 5 (Appendix):

This appendix collects some of the work that you have completed during the year. To get a pass mark in this section you need do no more that present evidence that you did the required work (it does not need to be correct). More marks will be available for good engagement with the tasks.

This component will ask for content from your weekly worksheets so just save your work as you go along. As we are working in a different format to normal worksheet content may change a little from previous year. More information on this will be given nearer to the assessment date.

In the meanwhile, simply make sure that you do the worksheets and save a copy to One Drive. As a general indication the areas asked for last year are indicated:

?          Your research questions

?          Your research designs

?          Your thematic analysis coding

?          Your hypotheses

?          Your qualitative interview guide

?          Print outs of all of your statistical output from the worksheets

?          Observation coding scheme

Marking criteria

The marks will be allocated to each component as follows:

Component 1Reflective log and action plan45%
Component 2Thematic Analysis15%
Component 3Test of Difference15%
Component 4References10%
Component 5Appendices15%

This is quite a different assessment to what I’m used to. How can I do well?

We know this might seem a bit daunting, and may be very different to anything you’ve done before. So here’s some tips for how to do well:

1)   Read this guidance carefully. If you’re unsure of anything, please use the discussion boards to ask.

2)   Attend all your seminars and actively participate. You will be given various tasks’ which may help you in preparing for your portfolio. You will also be able to get feedback from your seminar tutor which you can include in you portfolio.

3)   Keep a ‘reflective log’ – this may be your thoughts and opinions as the module progresses.

The seminar worksheets will suggest when you might want to keep notes on tasks but you should really try to keep a log throughout the module.

4)   Make sure you include all the appendices. You are not being marked on whether you got the tasks correct here, but you should include everything asked for or you will lose marks.

5)   Submit a draft reflection in December for feedback. We will give you feedback for how to improve your grade. We will also give you an indication of what sort of grade you would receive if you submitted that work.