Lightbulb Ideas

Semester 2 (Week 5)

Theses are lightbulb ideas and discoveries I had on 28th April 2018.

Lightbulb Ideas

Lightbulb Idea 1:
Key concepts, or pervasive ideas, like RATIO and FUNCTIONS will be MAJOR CITIES on my Google Maps of Mathematics.

Lightbulb Idea 2:
Patterns will be a TOWN that will have similar FEATURES as the similar CITY called FUNCTIONS. These FEATURES will include TABLES, GRAPHS, FUNCTION DIAGRAMS, EQUATIONS. However, EQUATIONS will probably have to exist as a concept (TOWN) or more likely a pervasive idea (CITY) as well.


Discovery 1
Use LEAFLET open-source JavaScript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps.  This can be found at:

This is used by:

GitHub foursquare Pinterest Facebook Evernote Etsy Flickr 500px European Commission The Washington Post Financial Times NPR USA Today National Park Service

Discovery 2
Web Mapping with Python and Leaflet

Discovery 3
How to build a map of the London Underground.

Building Gorgeous 3D Maps with eegeo.js and Leaflet

Building Gorgeous 3D Maps with eegeo.js and Leaflet

S2-Week 4-Class

Semester 2 (Week 4)

Theses are the notes I took during the Tuesday afternoon workshop that took place from 14:00 to 17:00 on 24th April 2018.  The tutor was Dr Claire McAvinia.

Topic for today’s workshop

– Publishing Journal Papers

Your chosen journal
– Which journal(s) does your research draw on?
– What journal is the leader in your field?
– Where is the journal published?
– Who publishes the journal?
– Are authors you have read on the editorial board?
– Does the journal publish

Computers and Education
– Brendan Tangney is on the editorial board

The Guardian
– How to get published in an educational journal

Structuring a Journal Paper
– Abstract / Summary
– Introduction
– Background / Literature Review
– Research Methods / Methodology
– Findings
– Analysis / Discussion
– Conclusions (including future work)
– References
– Appendices (Depends on Journal)

Brown and Murray

Using Murray’s 10 prompts (2009, p.1)

Do a full draft
Then do a rewrite
Keep stuff for a possible PhD.

Review Process
– Publish as is
– Publish with minor changes
– Major revisions required
– Reject

S2-Week 3-Class

Semester 2 (Week 3)

Theses are the notes I took during the Tuesday afternoon workshop that took place from 14:00 to 17:00 on 20th March 2018.  The tutors were Dr Claire McAvinia and Dr Ita Kennelly.

Topics for today’s workshop

– The Introduction
– Abstract
– Conclusion

Previous MSc student publications

Some Measures of Academic Research

Is there a difference between analysis and interpretation of data
Informed / contextualised
Explicit about aims

The Introduction

Pat Thomson highlights the work that the thesis should have

Warrant (setting out your stall)

The introduction has to clearly set the warrant for the thesis- the mandate or rationale for doing the research. Identify the gap in the research.

We need to understand a particular phenomenon, process or practice better…

Justify your research topic/question


Sets out specific focus for the research in the form of a thesis statement, aims and objectives.


This includes methodology and methods.

Outline and Definitions

Outline or road map
Clarification of any key definitions.
Some theses and papers use a glossary.


This is about locating the researcher in the research. This varies according to the discipline, the topic,the epistemology, etc.



Establishing boundaries around the research makes it clear what aspects of a topic and those you haven’t.

It’s about setting expectations that you meet in the thesis.


What the abstract has to do

It is a mini-statement of the thesis or paper.
It presents ALL the key aspects of the larger text
The biggest problem examiners have is the writer not providing the results of the project.

What the abstract is not

The abstract is not a trailer or a
It’s not a foreword

Abstracts – what the MSc handbook says

This will depend on the target journal paper so different rules apply!
You may be given a word limit or you may be instructed to provide a structured abstract with specific bullet points.

Issues with Abstracts

They are very short – not easy to stick to word limit
They are very short – you need to get everything in there

Abstract questions to ask

What’s the research question
How do I locate the significance of the work
What conversation am I in?
What approach have I undertaken to address the research question
What do I offer to existing research? So what…
What’s my argument?
Does my abstract make sense as a stand-alone


Future areas for further exploration
Significant / important finding and highlighting
Make sure there is no new material

Based on your own experience, what is the purpose?
What do you expect to find out from reading it?

Guidelines from Wallace and Wray
(1) a summative claim that reflects the conclusions of your findings and discussion and briefly identifies the key claims and observations from your research literature

Don’t be repetitive
Save a really good quote or fact for the end of the paper…for impact
Instead of just summing up, try going further and predict.
Or you could add personal thoughts on the subject, if you have any personal knowledge. What do you think can or should be done about something.
Consider implications.
Answer “now what?”
Consider qualifications: are there qualifications/limits to your argument.
N.B. A strong finish!


All necessary features
Research question

– tell them what you are going to tell them (research question)

– tell them

– tell them what you have just told them (restate research question)

S2-Week 2-Class

Semester 2 (Week 2)

Theses are the notes I took during the Tuesday afternoon workshop that took place from 14:00 to 17:00 on 6th March 2018.  The tutors were Dr Claire McAvinia and Dr Ita Kennelly.

Topics for today’s workshop

– Interpreting Qualitative Data
– Writing and Presenting your Findings

From Analysis to Interpretation

Is there a difference between analysis and interpretation of data?

It is useful to understand that these are separate but interconnected processes.

Recap – Quantitative Data Analysis

Bar Charts, Pie Charts
Mean, Mode, Median

Be very careful about causal versus correlation.

Recap – Qualitative Data Analysis

The analysis process begins with reading all the data at once and then dividing the data into smaller, more meaningful units.

Become familiar with the data and identifying potential themes
– reading, memoing
Examine the data in depth to provide descriptions of the setting, participant and activity (describing)
Think about granularity:
– code pieces of data and group them into themes?
– look for major themes only

Recap – suggested steps


Strategies used to interpret qualitative data

(1) Identify themes
(2) Code your data
(3) Ask key questions
(4) Do an organisational review
(5) Do concept mapping
(6) Analyse antecedents and consequences
(7) Display findings
(8) Be honest – state what’s missing

Academic Paper

5,000 to 7,000 words.

Note: Make sure you have decided on your journal by 1st May 2018.

Recap: Reliability

Reliability relates to the consistency and trustworthiness of research findings.
– applies to all stages of the research design, not just data analysis
– what checks were employed?
Finished studies: is the work replicable/reproducible by others?
‘One has to ensure the research problem, research methods and statistical analyses are in alignment.’ (Brown & Edmunds, p.13).

Strategies for Data Interpretation

Question your study
Connect findings with personal experiences
Seek advice from “critical friends” if possible
But also contextualise findings in the literature
Turn to theory as a means to: link to broader issues, move away from a purely descriptive account, and providing a rationale for your work.
Know when to offer an interpretation from the data

Note: It is rare for qualitative researchers to use all of their data for the task is to identify important themes or meanings, not necessarily inclusi

N.B. Braun & Clarke: paper on thematic analysis.
Braun, V. and Clarke, V. (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3 (2). pp. 77-101. ISSN 1478-0887


Persuasiveness is strengthened when the investigator’s theoretical claims are supported with evidence from informants’ accounts, negative cases are included, and alternative interpretations considered.
(Riessman cited in Silverman)

Evaluating the credibility of research (Silverman 2006, p.276)

(1) Are the methods of research appropriate to the nature of the question being asked?
(2) Is the connection to an existing body of knowledge or theory clear?
(3) Are their clear accounts of the criteria used for the selection of cases for study, and of the data collection and analysis?
(4) Does the sensitivity of the methods match the needs of the research question?

Writing and presenting your findings

Can you present all your findings?

Do you need to present all your findings?
– if so, how will you do that in an accessible way for your reader
– if not, how will you select which findings to present

What is the purpose of the discussion?
To return to your research question:
– To what extent do your findings address the question?
– Do you have an answer for your question?

Some issues with discussions sections:
– Context: not linking back to literature


Note: app for transcription.


S2-Week 1-Class

Semester 2 (Week 1)

Theses are the notes I took during the Tuesday afternoon workshop that took place from 14:00 to 17:00 on 6th February 2018.  The tutors were Dr Claire McAvinia and Dr Ita Kennelly.

Topic for today’s workshop

– Qualitative Data Analysis

How can you analyse your data?

Get close to your data
Give it time
Keep writing
Choose a method
Be consistent – so you can defend what you have done

Bypass analysis through summarising
Gloss over differences
Jump to conclusions

Rethinking some common issues


Can be from from quantitative to qualitative method or from one quantitative method to another (or one qualitative method to another).

Addresses validity concerns

Work Sequence

Numbering Questionnaires
Data Entry
Totals under each categories, demographics
Exploring the data
Designing queries

Check out Andy Fields YouTube videos on SPSS
Envivo – qualitative data analysis software

Qualitative Data Analysis

Interpretive – no one single result or truth
Getting data into a manageable shape

Read all the data at once
Divide it up into manageable chunks

Steps towards analysis

Become familiar with the data and identify potential themes
– Reading, memoing

Examine the data in depth to provide descriptions of the setting, participant …

Think about granularity

Strategies used to analyse qualitative data
1. Identify the themes
2. Code your data
3. Ask key questions
4. Do an organisational review
5. Do concept mapping

Some distinctions

Content Analysis
– Quantifies the occurrence of words, themes, topics
– Conceptual (occurrence of the concepts) analysis and relational (possible links, meanings and concepts) analysis

Thematic Analysis
– Braun and Clarke, 2006
– see steps on next slides

Grounded Theory
– Strictly speaking – a complete research method
– But many people draw on the constant comparative methods of GT inalalysing qualitative data
– No a priori themes or categories

Thematic Analysis

Thematic analysis shares many of the principles and procedures of content analysis.

Steps in Thematic Analysis – Braun & Clarke (2006, p.16-23 and their Table 1)

1. Familiarise yourself with the data
– immerse yourself, read it a lot, look for patterns, taken
2. Generate initial codes
– Pieces of the data that are interesting to you, they will be organised themes as the units of your analysis
3. Search for themes
– Focus on a broader level of themes and organise codes into potential themes
4. Review the themes
5. Define and name the themes
– say what is important and why.
6. Produce the report/written output

Curating! (Selecting the relevant themes/stories)

Binaries – opposing sides to a similar theme

Using software to help

Word and Excel are both good.

iAnnotate can be used for making notes and adding sound clips to documents.

Mind mapping software is useful
– MindManager
– FreeMind
– iMindMap
– Coggle

– You could try Dragon available from

– available from


NVivo and MaxQDA both have 30-day free trials

To consider:
– Technical demand on your computer
– Time demands in setting up your project.