Plan for Success

Why do bad research questions happen?

  • Educators are often coming up with new, innovative pedagogical techniques and tools, doing their best to improve thier classes. Sometimes it’s only AFTER the fact that they think “Oh! I should probably share this with others!”
  • There is a fear of reporting negative results. If you plan a study and research a [thing] and it works, then great! You have a paper! If not, then there’s a worry that the researcher was wasting their time. (This is, of course, NOT the case, but it’s a very real feeling!)
  • A lack of time (either real or perceived) can drive how we engage in research. The concept is not unlike testing your code. Every programmer and computer science instructor knows the value of writing tests for their code. But … given “time constraints”… what’s one of the first things to go?

But! Also, like testing, if you fully engage in refining you research question and designing your study, you will lose less time AND be more successful!

So, let’s make sure that these things don’t happen! Embrace the importance of designing and refining your research question before moving forward!