Module 4: Selecting Your Topic

Now it's time to select a topic for your paper and then identify the questions you want to answer.

True, the paper for this class is only 10 pages so you might not think that it is very important. BUT, if you take time and select a topic that truly interests you, you might save yourself a great deal of time later in the program because you can continue with this topic into your final masters paper (if you decide to do a literature review.)

Selecting your topic is not necessarily easy.  You need to find something that is broad enough to have meaning but not so narrow that there is no research on the topic.

Too Broad: Using Technology in Education
Too Narrow: The Effects of Using QR Codes with 3rd Grade Girls with Red Hair.
Just Right: Effective Methods for Making Learning More Student-Centric Using QR Codes in Elementary Grades.

Read Chapter 3 in Galvan's book. He provides 14 steps in Selecting a Topic and Identifying Literature for Review.

Here is a short clip on selecting a topic:

What's in the Literature?
Once you have an overall topic (and these change frequently), it is time for you to review the literature in that topic and discover what has been researched.  What questions have researchers asked about this topic and what have they found through their research?  What else needs to be researched?

As Galvan noted in chapter 3, you have to review the sources you have found and look for common themes in the research.    Here is a short video that talks about research themes.  It actually addresses how your will organize your resources when you prepare to write, but it provides a useful structure for your research.

I look forward to meeting with you on Zoom in the near future so that we can discuss your decisions.

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