Centre collégial de développement de matériel didactique

Player Scripts

Research Scholar

Under the supervision of the Research Director, the Research Scholars write Research Proposals and participate in collegial activities such as the Internal Grants Review.

The Research Proposals are formulated around the Research Institute’s dedicated theme and are written either by individuals or teams of Research Scholars assigned to Social Science Disciplines:

  • Anthropology
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology

Using the custom-designed tools, the CONFETTI WAY and the DECISION CIRCUIT, the Research Scholars create a well-rounded collection of Research Proposals with a competitive advantage.

The Research Scholar Script Form is specially designed to help you to write a Research Proposal worthy of being submitted to the external grants review of the COLLEGIATE CONTEST.

Research Director

  • Supervise the drafting and peer review of Research Proposals in the multidisciplinary setting of the Research Institute.
  • Designate a theme for the Research Institute and adapt the scenario to suit the particular requirements of your course.
  • Ensure that the Research Proposals can pass muster in the external funding competition offered by the last of the three scenarios, the Collegiate Contest scenario.
  • Evaluate the meaningful learning that takes place and benefit from the custom-designed instructional materials.

Research Scholar

INTRODUCTION

  • This form is designed to prepare you to write a Research Proposal.
  • Preview the Research Institute material before starting this form.
  • Each player is expected to complete a form.
  • Much of the first half of the form should contain your own individual responses even if you are producing your Research Proposal with others.
  • Fill in the fields where you see the empty bullet symbol:
  • Your Research Director (teacher) may provide more specific instructions on how to complete this form.
  • You are not “in character” while filling out this form.
  • To print the entire content of this script at once, please click on the PRINTER icon on this page.

 

What is your name?

Which discipline have you been assigned to?

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What are the names of the other students assigned to this discipline?

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What is the dedicated theme for the Research Institute?

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Step 1

GET INTO CHARACTER

Browse for about 15 minutes through an official website (Canadian or American) of the professional association of your discipline. This should help you understand how professionals in your discipline conduct their affairs. Examples include the Canadian or American Psychological Association or the Canadian or American Political Science Association. They are easy to find online. For business, these associations are more specific to areas such as marketing, advertising, finance or accounting.

Do your best to find answers to the following questions individually (not as a team).

  1. What kinds of reasons or stated goals guide their activities as a professional association?
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  2. Provide a few concrete examples of programs, events or activities that they support (e.g., conferences, workshops, scholarships, job postings…).
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  3. Where/how do they appear to conduct their research (geographic locations or in terms of in labs or in the field)?
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Generate a very informal list of about ten keywords that appear to signify the unique concepts or approaches taken by your discipline on the dedicated theme. For example, keywords found in a search on Political Science on the theme of violence are electoral violence, protest movements, decolonization, ethnic conflict and low-intensity wars. 

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Go to one of your library’s periodical databases to generate a list of peer-reviewed scholarly journal article titles. Simply enter your discipline and the theme in the basic search box and scroll through the titles and subjects for ideas. Your Research Director will probably show you how to conduct this type of search.

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Do some research online to find something relevant about your discipline and the theme at a research institute or a university department. Copy the URL below and briefly describe what you found.

Choose a title and an institutional affiliation for your own character (e.g., Dr. [your last name], from University of [name of reputable one in your discipline].) Get ideas for character titles and institutional affiliations by consulting relevant websites such professional associations, research institutes and university departments related to your discipline.

List the character titles and institutional affiliations of your discipline fellows.

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Step 2

SIGNAL APPROVAL OF CODE OF CONDUCT

Review the Code of Conduct under the Rules and Code of Conduct and respond to the questions below.

Which part of the code of conduct do you think you will have no trouble adhering to?

Which part of the code of conduct do you think you may have some trouble adhering to? Why?

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Step 3

WRITE YOUR LITERATURE REVIEW

Start writing up your Research Proposal. Your Research Director will give you the exact details and may even add or remove items in this particular step.

This Research Proposal Parts table is an all-purpose outline for a Research Proposal. Please note that there is no single standard model for a Research Proposal. Requirements vary considerably.

RESEARCH PROPOSAL PARTS
Introduction (Overview & Literature Review)
Method Plan
Bibliographic List of Cited Sources
Appendix (optional) 

 

The Introduction is the first part of a Research Proposal and consists mostly of a Literature Review.

The Literature Review and the Method Plan are the most substantial parts of a Research Proposal and are interconnected. The Literature Review provides the context for the research question that emerges at the end of the review and sets the stage for the Method Plan part of the proposal. The Literature Review provides a brief account of significant literature on a selective area of a topic, while the Method Plan makes a convincing case for how best to address the research question.

The “literature” for the Literature Review should be predominantly, if not exclusively, drawn from your discipline. Your Research Director will provide you with more specific instructions.

View the Writing the Literature Review the Confetti Way video to learn how to write the Literature Review. 

 

Custom-designed for writing Literature Reviews, the Confetti Way is an innovative technique for integrating multiple sources into a blended text. 

Use the table below to summarize your sources the Confetti Way. You may need to add other rows, depending on the number of sources required by your Research Director.

SOURCE SUMMARY WORK SPACE
CITATION INFORMATION FOR SOURCES COLOUR SUMMARY POINTS
  • Generate 12 summary points for each source.
  • Place each summary point in the appropriate area below.
#1 [place citation information (author, titles…) here] red
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#2 [place citation information here] green
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#3 [place citation information here] blue
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ADD OTHER ROWS AS REQUIRED by Research Director    

 

Fill in the Inverted Pyramid Outline Template according to the Confetti Way video and the Research Director’s instructions. 

Inverted Pyramid Outline Template

Using the confetti notes and this outline, write up a draft of the Literature Review to the best of your ability. Add the References or Works Cited list. This draft will be copied into a template in Step 7, Draft Research Proposal.

Step 4

RAISE VIABLE RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Once you have written a draft Literature Review using the Confetti Way, you will need to find a viable research question to launch yourself into the next and final part of writing the Research Proposal – the Method Plan. On your own, try to find some answers to the following brainstorm question prompts.

What kinds of gaps, limitations or disagreements did you note as you were writing up the Literature Review?

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Generate at least ten research questions openly and freely. Do not overthink; list questions as they come to mind. Think about the gaps/limitations/disagreements identified above and about the who, what, where, when, and how aspects. Highlight a few of the more promising and discipline-related questions from that open-ended list. Questions that hold the most promise are ones that have no known and ready response.

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Revise one or two of the more promising questions and show the results here:

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Get together with your discipline fellows and share your revised questions with them. Discuss how these questions relate to the literature from the discipline. Roughly write down at least three of the more well-liked questions that emerge in the discussions:

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Get ready to share these well-liked questions in a multidisciplinary panel session.

Step 5

HOLD MULTIDISCIPLINARY PANEL SESSION ON QUESTIONS BY DISCIPLINE

The Multidisciplinary Panel Session will be organized, convened and moderated by the Research Director. The goal of this panel session is to generate a collection of questions that reflects diverse and wide-ranging disciplines. The session should take about 60 minutes to complete and is organized into two parts: 

  1. Panel presentations 
  2. Moderated discussion

For the panel presentations, a panellist from each of the disciplines is invited by the Research Director to briefly present (~5 minutes) the literature and the research questions that emerged from their earlier discussions with their discipline fellows.

For the moderated discussion, the Research Director opens up the floor for a 30-minute interactive exchange of ideas concerning the questions formulated by the separate discipline groups. To be considered: 

  1. How well does the collection of questions reflect the many and varied ways of asking questions across the disciplines? 
  2. Is the range of questions sufficiently diverse? 
  3. Can similar questions be differentiated? Which ones? How?

AFTER THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY PANEL

Briefly summarize how well your discipline question(s) held up in comparison to the others that were presented. How well did your question(s) appear to reflect your discipline? To what extent? In which ways?

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What kind(s) of changes would you consider making to your question? Briefly explain.

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Firm up your question before moving to the next step. If you are having trouble, be sure to discuss this with your discipline fellows or the Research Director.

Step 6

DECISION CIRCUIT ACTIVITY – DEVELOP AND PEER REVIEW method plan

You can start making decisions for the method plan portion of your Research Proposal once you have a viable research question.

RESEARCH PROPOSAL PARTS
Introduction (Overview & Literature Review)
Method Plan
Bibliographic List of Cited Sources
Appendix (optional)

 

Your tool for developing the method plan is the Decision Circuit. The Decision Circuit is a collection of activity boards with an amended glossary that prompts you to make a series of research decisions.

View the video Plan your Research the Decision Circuit Way and listen to the audio recording Developing a method plan with the Decision Circuit to get a sense of how the Decision Circuit works, and how it can be used. 

DEVELOP

Either alone or with your discipline fellows, start using the Decision Circuit. For each of the three Decision Boards, there is a series of numbered question prompts. Follow through on the decisions for each of these questions. If you do not know what the options are, consult the glossary and your course materials.

Enter your decisions for each of the numbered items below and provide brief explanations about the actual applications. For instance, if you decide on content analysis as a technique, explain what you will analyse.  

1. PROBLEM FORMULATION

1.1 Research Question

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1.2 Problem Formulation

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1.3 Approach for Collecting and Analysing the Data

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2. DATA COLLECTION DESIGN

2.1 Forms of Data

2.2 Data Collection Technique

2.3 Data Processing Instruments

2.4 Type(s) of Units

2.5 Sampling Strategy

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3. ANALYSIS, LIMITATIONS, AND ETHICS

3.1 Type(s) of Analysis

3.2 Limitations

3.3 Ethical Dimensions

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PEER REVIEW

The peer review should take about 20 minutes to complete. 

  • Review Decision Circuit decisions with your fellow Research Scholar(s), following the Research Director’s instructions. 
  • Using your own responses, take your fellow Research Scholar(s) through the decisions made for each one of the numbered items. 
  • Be sure to start off by referring to your research question and its relation to the literature (your Literature Review). 
  • Briefly explain your method plan to your peer(s) and ask for feedback or pose questions. 
  • Try to justify why the question will make a valued contribution to the Institute’s collection of proposals on the theme.

Identity three concerns about your decisions that your peer(s) may be of assistance with:

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As a result, what will you revise in your original decisions?

What is the most difficult/challenging decision? Why?

What are your takeaways from the peer exchange?

Step 7

DRAFT THE RESEARCH PROPOSAL

This step provides a template that will help you to assemble and write out the various parts of the Research Proposal, most of which can be copied directly from your work in previous steps.

RESEARCH PROPOSAL TEMPLATE

TITLE

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In approximately 12 words, concisely outline the what, where, how and who of the proposal.

INTRODUCTION

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Overview: Write an opening paragraph with a “statement of the problem,” briefly explaining the reasons for researching the problem or issue that has been targeted for study.

Literature Review: Copy and paste the literature review drafted earlier.

method plan

Decision Circuit items with explanations

1.1

1.2

1.3

2.1

2.2

2.3

2.4

2.5

3.1

3.2

3.3

 

CLOSING STATEMENT

Your pitch for being endorsed.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC LIST OF CITED SOURCES 

APPENDICES (if required)

Using the template material, draft a full written account with complete sentences and coherent paragraphs. Follow the Research Director’s specifications for specific assignment requirements. Run the contents of the draft Research Proposal through this checklist.

Draft Proposal CHECKLIST

Place a check mark beside items that are adequately completed.

  • The opening paragraph clearly states the problem and justifies the need for further study.
  • A clear and concrete account of how to go about gathering, organizing and analysing the data/information is provided.
  • The literature review includes a few references to a variety of literature sources in each paragraph.
  • Proper scientific names are used.
  • Paragraphs cohere well and are structured from the general to the specific.
  • Limitations are identified.
  • The final paragraph of the Introduction raises a researchable question.
  • The closing statement provides clear reminders of why this proposal deserves to be endorsed and given the required support to move ahead.
  • The literature provides a credible context for the method plan.
  • A complete and well-formatted bibliographic list of cited sources is included.
  • The question is stated as a focused hypothesis or thesis that is briefly justified/defined in the Problem Formulation portion of the Method Plan. Appendix items, if required, are included.

How do you intend to address items that are not adequately completed?

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Once everything on the checklist is adequately completed, you are ready to move to the Internal Grants Review. This step requires you to have hard copies of your draft Research Proposal to deliver to the assigned reviewers. Your Research Director may also request a consultation on the results of this checklist prior to the review.

Step 8

INTERNAL GRANTS REVIEW

The Internal Grants Review is intended to provide Research Scholars with a competitive advantage in external grant competitions. It connects scholars across disciplines, in multidisciplinary peer exchanges, on Research Institute proposals. It should improve the quality of the proposals and enhance the success rate for grant acceptance in the highly competitive funding environment of the Collegiate Contest.

All Institute proposals must be submitted to this internal review prior to being submitted for formal evaluation and external funding competitions (e.g., the Collegiate Contest).

The Internal Grants Review involves two sessions:

  1. Reviewer Report Sessions
  2. Response to the Reviewer Report Sessions

REVIEWER REPORT PANEL SESSIONS

A Reviewer Report Panel session consists of three Research Scholars from different disciplines. Each panel member’s draft proposal is critically reviewed by the two fellow panellists.

Each Research Scholar is responsible for providing a copy of their draft proposal in advance of the scheduled session.

Each draft proposal is assigned to a few peer reviewers. Using the ten-item Peer Review Report Form, the Research Scholars review the two draft proposals they have received before the scheduled panel session, following the ten-item Peer Review Report Form below and filling in the required fields.

At the panel session, the Review Reports are delivered in hard copy to be presented and discussed for 45 minutes.

The written Reports are required to prepare the Reviewer’s Response.

PEER REVIEW REPORT FORM

What is your name?

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What is your discipline?

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What is the title of the Research Proposal under review?

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What is the name of the fellow Research Scholar whose proposal is under review?

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In reviewing, bear in mind that you are reviewing a draft version of a Research Proposal for an internal review and that this is not a win-lose external form of review. Complete the Report as per the Research Director’s specifications. After a careful reading of the assigned Research Proposal, address the following:

In your own words, what is the main goal of the proposed study?

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Identify two of the most cogent features of the Literature Review.

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How could the literature review be improved?

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Briefly explain how the research question relates to the literature reviewed.

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How could the thesis statement or hypothesis be improved?

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What parts of the Method Plan address the hypothesis/thesis effectively?

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What parts of the Method Plan address the hypothesis/thesis ineffectively?

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Is there a discernible discipline approach (something about the question, the perspective or the techniques that differentiates the proposal from the other disciplines)? Briefly explain.

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As a reviewer, you recommend the proposal be:

  • Accepted with few or no adjustments – rated outstanding
  • Accepted with some minor adjustments – rated excellent
  • Accepted with improvements – rated very good
  • Rejected with an invitation to resubmit after major revisions – rated underdeveloped
  • Rejected with an invitation to consult with the Research Director – rated seriously flawed

What should be the focus of attention for the revisions?

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Deliver the Report to the peers whose proposals you reviewed, following the Research Director’s instructions.

Insert the Reviewer Reports of your own proposal here:

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The Research Director will probably hold panel sessions where fellow peer reviewers verbally deliver their Reports to the peers whose proposals they reviewed.

RESPONSE TO THE REVIEWER REPORT PANEL SESSIONS

Responses to the Reviewers’ Reports are discussed in a follow-up session with the same peers. Each Research Scholar prepares, in advance, a Response to the Reviewers’ Reports, using the eight-item Response Form below. The Responses to Reviewers’ Reports are presented and discussed for 30 minutes.

Each peer should summarize their Response based on their answers to the eight question prompts. Then an open and free exchange of ideas should ensue. The Response session is informal in structure, operating more as a friendly exchange.

After giving the Research Scholars time to process the feedback and write their Responses, the Research Director convenes another set of panel sessions for the peers to respond to the reviewers’ Reports.

RESPONSE FORM

Use the question prompts to formulate a Response to the Reviewer Reports you received. Looking over the Reviewer Reports, answer the following eight question prompts:

Which parts of your proposal were assessed as addressing the hypothesis/thesis effectively? Briefly explain.

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Which parts of your proposal were assessed as addressing the hypothesis/thesis ineffectively? Briefly explain.

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Do you feel that these assessments were accurate and fair? Briefly explain.

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Were any parts of the Reports inaccurate or not useful? Briefly explain.

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What part of the peer feedback was most surprising to you? Briefly explain.

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What feedback do you plan to act on?

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What do you plan to ignore?

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To what extent do you agree with the reviewers’ ratings of your proposal? How would you rate your own proposal? Briefly explain.

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As a reviewer, you recommend the proposal be:

  • Accepted with few or no adjustments – rated outstanding
  • Accepted with some minor adjustments – rated excellent
  • Accepted with improvements – rated very good
  • Rejected with an invitation to resubmit after major revisions – rated underdeveloped
  • Rejected with an invitation to consult with the Research Director – rated seriously flawed

POST-REVISION ACCOUNT

After revising the proposal based on the feedback you received, provide a brief account of what you did and why.

Briefly describe what you revised and how long it took you to do so.

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Which aspects of the Reviewer’s Reports helped with the revision?

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How satisfied are you with the revisions at this point in time?

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Step 9

OBTAIN ENDORSEMENT FOR COLLEGIATE CONTEST

Having your Research Proposal endorsed as eligible for entry into the external competition of the Collegiate Contest is an honour worth pursuing. The Research Proposal can be evaluated based on its grade merit or on the rating system used earlier in the Reviewer’s Report.

As a reviewer, you recommend the proposal be:

  • Accepted with few or no adjustments – rated outstanding
  • Accepted with some minor adjustments – rated excellent
  • Accepted with improvements – rated very good
  • Rejected with an invitation to resubmit after major revisions – rated underdeveloped
  • Rejected with an invitation to consult with the Research Director – rated seriously flawed

Your Research Director will explain exactly how this can be accomplished.

Step 10

COMPLETE AND SUBMIT ASSIGNMENT MATERIAL

  1. Complete this Script Form and submit it and any other required material, as per your Research Director’s instructions.
  2. Consider submitting your Research Proposal to the Collegiate Contest. Eligibility and requirements are posted on this website under the scenario information for the Collegiate Contest.

Research Director

INTRODUCTION

  • This form is designed to prepare you to direct the Research Institute
  • Preview the Research Institute material before starting this form.
  • Each player is expected to complete a form.
  • Fill in the fields where you see this bullet symbol:
  • You are not “in character” while filling out this form.
  • To print the entire content of this script at once, please click on the PRINTER icon on this page.

What is your name?

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What is the dedicated theme for the Research Institute?

Step 1

GET INTO CHARACTER

  • In much the same way as the Fund$ Game scenario, this role-play scenario requires the teacher to play a role as well. Instead of the traditional knowledge-transfer role with the teacher driving the learning, the teacher assumes the role of facilitator in a largely student-driven learning environment, overseeing the learning, but letting the students take charge of creating the content in a playful, yet serious way.
  • Adopt characteristics from existing research institutes. Conduct online searches using obvious search terms such as “research institute” or “research centre directors” to find out more about the role you are assuming and how scholars function in it. Consider adopting the name or theme of an existing institute.
  • Facilitate your students’ socialization into a professional community of practice. Role-play scenarios are popular tools in clinical and technical apprenticeship training. In this case, the learning environment of a research institute allows the learners to generate knowledge about the research world by being active participants – writing, collaborating, thinking and behaving as researchers. It situates the learning of relevant life skills in an authentic setting.
  • Expect different reactions from your students. Depending on your learning/teaching style and the diverse learning styles of your students, a role-play scenario could be a challenging undertaking. Some will thrive in this participatory environment while others may struggle to adapt.

Suggestions

  • It is reassuring for learners to know that the teacher is also playing a role in the game. Be frank with the students about the role that you will be assuming for the game. Invite them to review the Research Director Script. Show them some inspiring examples from existing institutes.
  • As some students may be intimidated by role-play, provide reassurance that we all play roles (student, athlete, sibling, friend…). This game is intended to provide them with a low-stakes environment to learn something about the dynamics of knowledge production in the social sciences. A positive by-product may be that they learn something about their own skills in a professional setting that they will be able to draw on in a job interview.
  • Student concerns can be largely offset by carefully planning the learning activity. Take the time to establish clear directions in your assignment instructions and regularly review the work plan and the students’ progress.

Step 2

 CREATE ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS

  • This scenario is designed for students to produce a written Research Proposal (individual or group) and to complete the Research Scholar Script Form. A grade value should be assigned not only to the final production, the Research Proposal, but to the process work, the Research Scholar Script Form. The script form allows you to validate the preliminary work for the Research Proposal. Script form work also takes up most of the 25 hours estimated for a six-week run.
  • Review the timeline in your script and the Research Scholar Script to determine how best to align your own course plans with the six-week timeline provided. You may opt for an extended plan or remove some steps for a more compressed scenario. Either way, while writing up your assignment instructions, be specific about what you expect for the timeline and the students’ proposal and script work.
  • Decide whether you want the students to produce Research Proposals individually or in small groups. Evaluation is certainly more clear-cut if you ask for individual proposals, but if you opt for the group proposal, be clear on how the grade values will be determined. Also, be clear on how individualized you expect the Research Scholar Script Form to be. You may want to itemize this in the evaluation grids.
  • The assignment instructions should include a statement about how this scenario fits with the overall course objectives/competencies, a timeline, grade values, due dates and evaluation criteria/grids.
  • Complete the assignment instructions and deliver them to the students in advance of the start date. This will give them a chance to visit the TRC website.

Suggestions

  • Carefully review the completed assignment instructions with the students during class time.
  • Navigate through the main touchpoints of the Research Institute material to ensure they understand the connection between your assignment instructions and the TRC website material.
  • Since the literature review work is unusually time-consuming, limit the number of sources required for the review. Finding, reading, summarizing and synthesizing scholarly sources can take some students double or triple the time of others.
  • Consider making adherence to the Research Institute Code of Conduct worth a portion of the grade. Also consider making the draft proposal worth a portion of the grade.

Step 3

SELECT AND INTRODUCE THEME

  • Read Themes and Sample Theme Descriptions to get an idea of what you could select as your dedicated theme. It is advisable to have some expertise with the theme.
  • Once a theme is selected, prepare a presentation to orient the Research Scholars. Get them enthused about the prospects for their own research proposals. Find materials that relate to significant and impactful research on the theme, such as YouTube panel discussions across disciplines or poignant definitions by key scholars. Point to notable gaps in the literature to give the students a sense that there are unanswered questions and that the field is still open to investigation.

Suggestions

  • Consider doing an in-class exercise featuring articles on the theme taken from one of the general social science publications. For instance, The International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences is a 26-volume specialized encyclopedia that is available in most academic libraries. Such articles provide great overviews of the scholarly knowledge on the theme, often referring to a number of discipline perspectives. The perfect time for this is when the students are working on Steps 3 & 4 of their Research Scholar Script Form. You could place them in multidisciplinary groups of three. Provide them with an encyclopedia article and ask them to address the following:
  • List three elements of the encyclopedia article that help you to understand something about research that has been conducted on the dedicated theme:
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  • Find a quotable excerpt that expresses something relevant to your discipline. Place the quote here:

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Step 4

ASSIGN ROLES

There are two types of player roles in the Research Institute scenario – Research Director & Research Scholar. The teacher plays the Research Director and the role of Research Scholar is assigned by discipline to the students in the class.

Using discipline-based groups allows the Research Scholars to focus on knowledge in a single discipline on the designated theme. Otherwise, the material is just overwhelming. When a broader social science perspective is required, discipline scholars will be called on to account for their discipline approach in a multidisciplinary activity.

For the multidiscipline part to be viable, a few students must be assigned as Research Scholars in at least five of the ten social science disciplines listed:

  1. Anthropology
  2. Business
  3. Economics
  4. Geography
  5. History
  6. Philosophy
  7. Political Science
  8. Psychology
  9. Religious Studies
  10. Sociology

Decide on how to allot the disciplines to the students in your class:

  • Set lower and upper limits for the number of students in each discipline.
  • Aim for roughly equivalent numbers in each discipline.
  • Ensure no student is alone.
  • Schedule discipline members during the same lab period if you have students divided into separate labs.
  • Decide how the disciplines will be distributed – by choice or assignment.
  • Show them the Research Scholar Script Form:
  • Invite them to get started
  • Explain the timeline
  • Clarify that the script form work is largely individual, and specify where it is not

Suggestions

  • Show them the list of disciplines and briefly explain how the disciplines function in the social sciences.
  • Define multidisciplinarity and discuss multidisciplinary approaches to addressing research problems.
  • Discuss the fact that the competition is external not internal – collegiality is the norm. A concrete way to reinforce this is to discuss the Research Institute Code of Conduct, which they have as a Checklist in Step 2 of their Research Scholar Script Form.
  • Consider making adherence to the Code of Conduct subject to evaluation and worth a portion of the grade.

Step 5

WHAT IS A RESEARCH PROPOSAL?

Explain to the students:

  • The place of research proposals in the research cycle.
  • The rationale behind submitting preliminary pieces of writing such as an annotated bibliography, draft literature review and draft research proposal.
  • The function of peers and the peer review process.
  • Typical components of a proposal and their respective functions.

As presented in the Research Scholar Script, here are the basic parts of a Research Proposal:

RESEARCH PROPOSAL PARTS
Introduction (Overview & Literature Review)
Method Plan
Bibliographic List of Cited Sources
Appendix (optional)


Suggestions

  • Though it is a bit early in the game, this is an opportune time to introduce them to the DECISION CIRCUIT.
  • Consider bringing in a number of sample research proposals or method plans for dissection. Point out the different formats and requirements and the reasons for the lack of uniformity (differences due to grant or journal criteria, discipline approaches, documentation styles, goals…).

Step 6

SUPERVISE THE CONFETTI WAY OF WRITING A LITERATURE REVIEW

Show the students how to write a Literature Review using the custom-designed Confetti Way and the Steps 3-7 of the Research Scholar Script Form to determine the exact work plan over the next couple of weeks.

Two weeks of the six-week version of this scenario is a conservative estimate for the time required to complete all the review work (Steps 3-7). 

Once Step 3 is complete and the literature review drafts have been produced, convene the Research Scholars into discipline groups to discuss viable research questions, following the instructions in Step 4 of their Script Form.

Once the discipline groups complete the Step 4 discussions, convene a Multidisciplinary Panel Session, Step 5. In turns, the disciplines summarize their Literature Reviews and present the “emerging questions” identified in Step 4.

Step 5 of the Research Scholar Script Form is the most time-consuming of all the steps. It involves everything from finding relevant sources to writing about the literature in a referential way. The goal of the Multidisciplinary Panel Session is to generate a collection of questions that reflect diverse and wide-ranging disciplines.

  • You are expected to organize, convene and moderate it.
  • The session should take about 60 minutes to complete and include two parts: panel presentations and moderated discussion.
  • For the panel presentations, you invite a panellist from each of the disciplines to briefly present (~5 minutes) the literature and the research question(s) to their fellow scholars.
  • For the moderated discussion, open up the floor to a 30-minute interactive exchange of ideas about the questions formulated by the different discipline groups. To be considered: How well does the collection of questions reflect the many and varied ways of asking questions across the disciplines? Is the range of questions sufficiently diverse? Can similar questions be differentiated? Which ones?

Suggestions

  1. View and discuss the CONFETTI WAY OF WRITING THE LITERATURE REVIEW video during lab or class time. The video shows them how to write a literature review.
  2. Review your assignment instructions with them so they are clear on how their course work ties in with the Research Scholar Script Form.
  3. Give a library search instructional session on the following:
    • Searches for discipline-based research sources
    • Value of overview material for researching a topic (specialized encyclopedias)
    • Online searches
    • Differences between popular and scholarly sources

    You could arrange in advance to have all or part of the instructional session delivered by library staff, if available. This is highly recommended for teachers new to teaching or unfamiliar with the library’s resources.

  4. Show them examples of literature reviews and have them do some simple exercises on summarizing and citing sources.
  5. Manage their Research Scholar Script Formwork as follows:
    • At regular intervals, confer with each individual or discipline to see how far they have advanced with their Research Scholar Script Form. Ask them to have their work accessible at all times.
    • Provide a friendly reminder that even though they are operating in collaborative teams, much of the Research Scholar Script Form is individual work.
    • Troubleshoot problems they may be encountering. They encounter problems with finding and evaluating sources, summarizing, extracting relevant information, synthesizing, formatting and raising questions.
  6. Request to see written drafts of the Literature Review before launching into the Decision Circuit activity.

Step 7

LAUNCH THE DECISION CIRCUIT ACTIVITY

  • You may find yourself having to rally the Research Scholars to move on to the second major part of the Research Proposal – the Method Plan. After drafting the Literature Review, the Research Scholars may feel as if their work is done, which is obviously not the case.
  • The Decision Circuit activity is a handy way for propelling them through this part of the proposal process.
  • Carefully study the Decision Circuit as it will be used by the Research Scholars to design the Method Plan portion of the Research Proposal. It consists of three decision boards that are clustered around a series of Method Plan questions with choices offered under each question. A glossary of terms is provided.
  • The Research Scholars directly input their DC decisions into the Research Proposal Template, following the instructions in Step 7 of their Research Scholar Script Form. A written version of the Method Plan will be generated from this template material.
  • Consider particular ways that you may want the Decision Circuit activity used. You may decide to restrict the proposals to desk-type research designs or encourage designs that are typical to each discipline.

Suggestions

  • Since the Decision Circuit will be used by the Research Scholars, take time to navigate through this material with them, explaining the main touchpoints. Relate the DC materials to the course materials such as the textbook. Show them sample Method Statements from existing studies. This is also the time to explain specific ways to navigate the DC. If you want each discipline proposal to reflect the perspectives and methodologies unique to each discipline, provide support for this.
  • Play and discuss the audio recording on how to use the Decision Circuit, with special emphasis on the iterative decision-making process required for research planning.
  • Schedule some class or lab time for the discipline groups to meet and collaborate. Consider asking the Research Scholars to design two plans (Plan A and Plan B), from which a single plan will emerge.

Step 8

MONITOR PROGRESS

Ask to see each of the Research Scholar Script Forms to verify that the research plans are moving forward at around the same pace. Spend time with those whose forms are sketchy or incomplete.

Convene informal panel sessions to present and review the research plans. The hope is that by coaxing Research Scholars to openly discuss their Decision Circuit plans, they will firm up and formalize their ideas. The cross-fertilization of ideas will provide the peers with a chance to provide feedback and support. Weak choices or poorly formulated justifications can be picked over before the plans are written up formally.

  • The panel sessions should consist of around four to five students and can be discipline-based or multidisciplinary, depending on your goals.
  • Begin with brief descriptions of Decision Circuit decisions and then open the panel for discussion.
  • Choose a moderator for each panel.
  • Consider asking the panellists to present two plans – Plan A and Plan B. The relative merits of Plan A and Plan B can be weighed and even voted on by the fellow panellists.

Step 9

OVERSEE DRAFTING

  • Assist in the assembly and the writing of their entire Research Proposals. Review the assignment parameters and the requirements for the written Research Proposal with them.
  • Verify their use the Draft Proposal Checklist provided in Step 7 of the Research Scholar Script Form and help them to attend to any gaps or omissions identified in the checklist.
  • Inform the Research Scholars when and how you expect the draft written Research Proposals to be delivered for the upcoming Internal Grants Review.

Suggestions

  • Design a brief exercise with a few sample Research Proposals or Method sections of a research study.

Step 10

RUN THE INTERNAL GRANTS REVIEW

You will convene and monitor an Internal Grants Review. This should be scheduled during the final two weeks of a six-week version of the scenario.

The Internal Grants Review is intended to provide the Research Scholars with a competitive advantage in external grant competitions. It connects scholars across disciplines, in multidisciplinary peer exchanges, on Research Institute proposals.

It should improve the quality of proposals and enhance the success rate for grant acceptance in the highly competitive funding environment of the Collegiate Contest.

All Institute proposals must be submitted to this internal review prior to being submitted for formal evaluation and external funding competitions (e.g., the Collegiate Contest). The Internal Grants Review involves two sessions:

  1. Reviewer Report Sessions (30 mins)
  2. Response to the Reviewer Report Sessions (45 mins)

REVIEWER REPORT PANEL SESSIONS

A Reviewer Report Panel session consists of three Research Scholars from different disciplines. Each panel member’s draft proposal is critically reviewed by the two fellow panellists.

Each Research Scholar is responsible for providing a copy of their draft proposal in advance of the scheduled session.

Using the ten-item Peer Review Report Form, the Research Scholars review the two draft proposals they have received before the scheduled panel session.

At the panel session, the Review Reports are delivered in hard copy to be presented and discussed for 45 minutes.

The written reports are required to prepare the Reviewer’s Response.

RESPONSE TO THE REVIEWER REPORT PANEL SESSIONS

Responses to the Reviewers’ Reports are discussed in a follow-up session with the same peers.

Each Research Scholar prepares, in advance, a Response to the Reviewers’ Reports, using the eight-item Response Form below.

The Responses to Reviewers’ Reports are presented and discussed for 30 minutes.

Each peer should summarize their Response based on their answers to the eight question prompts. Then an open and free exchange of ideas should ensue. The Response session is informal in structure, operating more as a friendly exchange.

Suggestions

  • Schedule the sessions at different times, perhaps dividing the sessions into thirds, with each group meeting at the same time for about 30 to 45 minutes. This keeps noise levels down and makes it easier for you to monitor the exchanges.
  • Ensure that each session starts on time and is running smoothly and that everyone is focused and remains on task.
  • You will have to determine how to organize the sharing of documents – proposals and reports. Hard copy is the safest and most flexible form for in-class exchanges such as these.

Step 11

ASSIST THE FINAL REVISION AND ENDORSEMENT

  • Schedule about an hour’s worth of class time for the students to revise their work in an open lab setting. Invite them to ask questions of each other and you on an as-needs basis.
  • Advise them on the importance of responding to the revision requests. Scholars who respond well to revision requests should have little trouble having their proposal endorsed for external competition. This may even motivate them to put extra effort into revising the proposal and becoming involved in the Collegiate Contest.
  • Ensure that, if they have not done so already, they account for their revisions in Step 8 of their script form, Post-Revision.
  • Explain how the Research Proposals can qualify for endorsement for external competition.

Suggestions

  • To add some structure to this open lab activity, ask them to bring questions stemming from the feedback generated during the Internal Grants Review. You could assemble them into separate groups – each focused on a shared problem such as the thesis or limitations. Ask in advance or at the beginning of the class which problems they are having and build the groups from there. Consulting with them in separate problem-area groups is easier than dealing with each case on an individual basis.
  • Once the final revisions are complete, you can either determine endorsement by setting a simple performance standard for the proposal (e.g., a minimum grade of 75%) or qualify the proposals in a more involved panel-like session as was done for the Reviewer’s Report.
  • As a reviewer, you recommend the proposal be:
    • Accepted with few or no adjustments – rated outstanding
    • Accepted with some minor adjustments – rated excellent
    • Accepted with improvements – rated very good
    • Rejected with an invitation to resubmit after major revisions – rated underdeveloped
    • Rejected with an invitation to consult with the Research Director – rated seriously flawed

Step 12

COLLECT AND EVALUATE THE WORK

  • Remind the Research Scholars what is due, when it is due and how it must be delivered
  • Collect the required work, which likely includes a completed Research Scholar Script Form and a revised Research Proposal.
  • Clearly distinguish between individual and group work, as this is occasionally a source of confusion.
  • Evaluate student learning based on the evaluation criteria and grade weight value originally established at the beginning of this script.

Step 13

PROMOTE RESEARCH PROPOSALS TO THE COLLEGIATE CONTEST

  • Since the Research Institute scenario is a perfect way to produce proposals with a competitive advantage, submit the best proposals to a competition.
  • If a Collegiate Contest is not in place at your institution, then you may want to consider setting one up. It only takes a few colleagues to agree to set up the framework for the Collegiate Contest. Most of the required materials are available in the Collegiate Contest scenario (role-play scripts, contestant forms, rules…).