Application of ideas: Developing useful research questions

Use the checklist for developing useful research questions to help you

analyse question below to make it into a useful research question:

  • Identify a clear and specific focus

  • Be specific in your use of terminology

  • Develop operational definitions

  • Avoid bias and assumptions

  • Think out wording for questions carefully

Do children work better if they plan their own investigations?

Possible analysis points:

Criteria for a good research question

Analysis of the research question:

Clear and specific focus

To make the question less broad focus on a particular curriculum area e.g. science or mathematics

Specific use of terminology: operational definitions

Define ‘investigation’ to ensure that specific criteria are identified to classify an activity as an investigation

Avoiding bias and assumptions

‘work better’ implies that the researcher believes that enabling children to plan their own investigations will have a positive impact – develop more neutral wording

Carefully thought out wording

‘work better’ is ambiguous and needs to be clarified

Possible reworked questions:

What is the impact on levels of motivation of enabling children to plan their own investigations in science?

How does allowing children to plan their own investigations in science affect engagement in the learning process?