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Assessment Guidance for Research Briefing and SPSS Practical

SEMAL Dr Andrew Clegg Dr Dawn Robins

Data Analysis for Research

BML224: Data Analysis for Research

Data Analysis for Research

Data Analysis for Research


Working in small groups (maximum 4 students), you are asked to design and execute a short questionnaire survey and present a research briefing as part of a quantitative methods research conference that will take place in December. This will consist of a short press briefing (approx. 6 minutes per group) and a supporting poster presentation/press pack that outlines the key results from the survey.

The Survey

You will be expected to develop a suitable research topic and design an online questionnaire. You are free to decide on your own topic, but your choice of topic should be referenced against the academic literature or equivalent. For example, if you were investigating attitudes to the Olympic Games, I would expect to see some reference to existing literature on this topic, and how this has guided/influenced your own research objectives and subsequent methodology. The design of the questionnaire is critical and should include a range of questions that generate opportunities to demonstrate progression from basic to advanced statistical techniques. The link between questions, types of data and approaches to analysis will be covered in detail during the course of the module. The questionnaire should be designed and then delivered on-line using Bristol online surveys (BOS). Each group will be given a BOS account, and guidance on the use of BOS will again be given during the module. You are expected to get a minimum of 50 responses. Your results should be analysed using SPSS and presented accordingly, following the guidelines covered in the module.

Research Briefing

Your group will be expected to present a short 6-minute research briefing that should aim to provide an executive summary of your research, making brief reference to existing research or secondary data that informed your research aims, and the key elements of the methodology you applied. The main focus of your briefing should be to tell a clear and articulate story about your results. You will not have time to cover everything, and you should aim to highlight the main results – additional information can be included on your poster. We expect to see a detailed analysis of your results, in the first instance focusing on the descriptive statistics such as frequency counts, contingency tables,

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Data Analysis for Research

averages, and the inclusion of correctly formatted Excel charts. Advanced analysis, for example using crosstabulations, which may seek to establish relationships between different variables, and subsequently apply statistical testing, should also be evident. Again all these concepts and approaches will be discussed in detail during the course of the module. The research briefing can be delivered as a PowerPoint presentation or Prezi. Please note that all presentations will be videoed. Examples of last year’s presentation can be viewed via Moodle.

Research Poster

In addition to the research briefing, you are also required to produce a research poster. Again this should seek to provide a clear overview of your research and expand on the key themes covered in your research briefing. If it helps think of the research briefing as an executive summary of your poster display. The poster should be approximately 56cm (height) by 300cm (width) in size (which is equivalent to three panels on a display board). As with the presentation, the poster should make reference to a literature review and existing research or secondary data that informed your research aims, and the key elements of the methodology you applied. Some critique of your chosen methodology should also be included. The main focus of your poster should be to highlight your results and tell a clear and articulate story. The overall structure of your results here is critical and there needs to be demonstrable progression and logic to the order of your analysis – from basic to advanced statistical analysis. Again we expect to see the correct application of techniques in terms of analysis and presentation. In terms of analysis, we also expect to see you investigating relationships between different variables, and to go as far as including appropriate statistical tests to demonstrate the significance of any relationships you think exist in the data. Again all this will be covered in the module, and the overall content is structured in a way that it will guide you through the assessment process. It is therefore very important that you engage with the module and the resources provided, and work pro-actively towards the successful completion of this assessment. As always I will expect to see a high standard of presentation. As part of the briefing you should also submit two hard copies of your presentation, and a final copy of your questionnaire. Please ensure all student numbers are clearly marked on submitted documentation.

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Data Analysis for Research

Assessment Criteria

The assessment criteria for research briefing and poster are: •

Evidence of clear research aims and objectives linking to applied quantitative methodologies

Clear and logical structure of analysis demonstrating progression from basic to advanced statistical techniques

Clear extrapolation of answers and analysis based on the use of the appropriate statistical techniques and the interpretation/application of SPSS output

Ability to convey relevant results accurately and succinctly using appropriate formats and conventions

Standard of presentation of all included elements (e.g. PowerPoint/Prezi/ poster)


To complete this assessment successfully, you are expected to work together collegiality, using the timetabled group meeting slot effectively throughout the course of the semester. You are asked to adhere to the following guidelines to ensure that each member of the group contributes fully to the group, and that individual contributions to the assessment are recorded. Guidelines: •

Each group should appoint a project manager.

Each group meeting should be formally minuted, with attendance clearly noted.

Action points for individual group members should be made at each meeting, and then subsequently monitored and updated.

Action plans should be submitted electronically to the module tutor after each meeting.

Anybody not contributing fully to the assessment process will be asked to attend a meeting with the module tutor to explain their lack of engagement. If a student demonstrates a persistent lack of engagement, then an individual mark may be awarded that is more representative of the individual contribution to the group effort.

The satisfactory completion of group meetings and the recording of action points is a required part of the assessment process and I ask that you take this task seriously and complete in a conscientious and appropriate manner, as it is designed to ensure effective groupworking, which is in your own interests.

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Data Analysis for Research

SPPS Practical

In addition to the research project you will also be asked to complete a 70-minute SPSS practical exam, to demonstrate your understanding of the key themes, concepts and techniques covered during the module. As part of the practical, you will be provided with an SPSS data file which you will be asked to analyse, through the completion of a workbook. While the assessment equivalency is 70 minutes, given the practical nature of the paper you will have 90 minutes to complete the overall exam. The first five minutes must be spent carefully reading the paper.

Assessment Criteria

The assessment criteria for the exam are: •

Demonstration of underlying statistical theory in relation to the use of descriptive and advanced statistical techniques.


Extrapolation of answers and analysis based on the use of the appropriate statistical techniques and the interpretation of PASW Statistics output.

Support and Guidance

The very structure of the module is intended to provide clear guidance for the assessment, and each week we will cover a different theme and relate it back to the assessment. The self-directed tasks during the module are also designed to give you the confidence and competencies to effectively analyse your own dataset.

If however, you feel that you need additional support then please do not hesitate to contact Dawn or I for assistance. We are happy to meet the individual groups, or run additional surgery sessions if there is demand. Above all it is important that you engage with us. Historically, those students that engage with the module do very well. Those students that do not ask for assistance, inevitably fail. We appreciate that some of you may find this assessment difficult and stressful so please ask for help!! All our contact details are available via the Moodle homepage.

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