Research Logs

Group Research Log (a.k.a. Assignment 1)
Due Weekly (Evaluated on Week 8 and during exam week): Value 20%

Assignment Description:
Students will form groups of 10-12 in order to collaborate on a group research blog. The blogs will not only serve as an online archive of each student’s progress in this course, but will provide a place to record ideas and resources that you’re thinking of using in your research project (and proposal), as well as a forum to voice your thoughts and questions about weekly readings and topics covered in seminar. Group members are expected to interact with each other, commenting or replying to each other's contributions in order to engage in (and ultimately produce) an ongoing dialogue about research methods and the research process.

Each week, we will browse through one of these group research blogs (projected on the big screen), and extract from them discussion points to pursue in lectures and group discussions. Wherever possible, we will also use this opportunity to give the different contributors feedback and tips on how to develop their projects further. Each project will be reviewed twice over the course of the semester—once during the first half of the semester, and once during the second half. A fixed schedule to determine the order in which the blogs will be reviewed will be made during the first class (by drawing names from a hat).

The projects will also be evaluated twice - during Week 8 and Week 14. Your grade for this assignment will be based on the consistency (10%) and relevance (10%) of your individual contribution to the blog. Here, “consistency” means that contributions are made on a weekly or near weekly basis, and reflect a timely, ongoing engagement with weekly readings, materials, research, etc. “Relevance” means that the contribution contains one or more of the following: familiarity with course readings and other materials (lectures, group discussions, etc.), as demonstrated through the use of specific examples, author names or theoretical concepts; inclusion of themes and points that have a clear and direct relevance to research methods, their application, as well as associated issues and debates; discussion of literature, problems, ideas, examples and current events that pertain directly to your intended research topic/proposal, which includes consideration of the course readings and themes. It is therefore important that all of your posts and comments include a signature (First and Last Name), so that your work can be identified as yours.

Contributions will (and should) vary in terms of length and topic, but try to keep your posts brief (100-175 words) and to the point. Links and block quotes are welcome, but these should never “stand alone” – they should always be accompanied by discussion of contents and an explanation of why they are included.

Groups can decide for themselves which tool or site they will use, depending on familiarity and personal preference. Some good (free) ones to consider are Blogger and WordPress

Fall 2011 INF1240 Blog Archive:
Research Methods: A group research blog
Dangerous Methods

Fall 2010 INF1240 Blog Archive:
(See lefthand sidebar for current (Fall 2011) Blogroll stream)
Group 1: Sara Grimes' Research Methods Class
Group 2: Research Methods: A Collection of Journeys
Group 3: INF1240H: Research Methods Dialogues
Group 4: 4research
Group 5: PhD Wannabes