KIT714 ICT Research Principles: Assignment 1

Practical Qualitative Research Exercise                                                                                                                                        

Type:                 In-Semester, Individual Assignment

Task Length:   minimum 2,000 words

Weighting:     20% of total assessment for this unit

Due Date:       Friday 5 August 2022 – 11:55 pm (Week05)

Submission:    electronic submission on MyLO (WORD or PDF)

Description:    This practical exercise will engage students in a qualitative research exercise that will enable them to directly deploy skills, tools and techniques covered in the unit. Each student will be required to complete the exercise and prepare a written report that displays their level of qualitative research understanding and competence.

Objectives of Assignment:

  • To increase understanding of the skills required to collect, analyse and interpret qualitative research data;
  • To increase understanding of the relationships between data collection, data analysis and data interpretation when conducting qualitative ICT research;
  • To develop skills and competence in the conduct of qualitative ICT research.
Links to Intended Learning Outcomes
#1 Produce a research artefact by investigating an ICT related problem
#2 Apply different research methodologies to conduct ethical ICT research


Qualitative research comprises ‘an array of interpretive techniques which seek to describe, decode, translate and otherwise come to terms with the meaning, not the frequency, of certain more or less naturally occurring phenomena in the social world’ (Van Maanen:1983:9 – cited in Ticehurst & Veal:1999:94). ‘The motivation for doing qualitative research…comes from the observation that, if there is one thing which distinguishes humans from the natural world, it is our ability to talk! Qualitative research methods are designed to help researchers understand people and the social and cultural contexts within which they live [and work]. Kaplan and Maxwell (1994) argue that the goal of understanding a phenomenon from the point of view of the

participants and its particular social and institutional context is largely lost when textual data are quantified.’

(See also Qualitative Research in Information Systems (Myers):


Many international students are enrolled in the Master of Information Technology and Systems Degree offered by the School of ICT at UTAS. Many students use Language Translation Apps regularly to mitigate language issues they come across both in dayto- day communications and in the course of working towards their degree. You would like to investigate the experiences of students who make use of these Language Translation Apps to determine:

  • What apps do they use;
  • What are the functionalities of the apps;
  • In what context/situation(s) do they use the app; (iv)        How much did they rely on the app; and  (v) Whether or not did they find it useful.


  1. Describe which Qualitative research strategy you would adopt for this investigation and your reasons for choosing this. You will need to justify your answers using academic literature.
  • Discuss which Qualitative data collection method is appropriate and justify your answers using academic literature. Depending on your choice of data collection methods, please address the following:

a.  Interviews

  • Identify and describe what type of interview (unstructured, semistructured or structured) is appropriate and provide justification for your choice.
    • Present the question frame that you will use in the interviews.
    • Describe in detail how you will plan for and carry out the interview.

b.  Observations

  • Identify and describe what type of observation (participant or nonparticipant) is appropriate and provide Justification for your choice.
    • Discuss what you will focus your observations on. iii. Describe how you will plan for and carry out the observation sessions in detail.

c.      Focus groups

  • Describe who the focus groups are and provide justification for your choice. ii. Present a discussion guide showing the topics that will be covered in your focus groups.

iii. Describe in detail how you will plan for and run your focus groups.

  • Discuss which Qualitative Data Analysis technique you will use to analyse the data you plan to collect? Describe how you will apply this technique and justify why you think it is appropriate, supported by academic literature.

** Justification for choice of qualitative research strategy/data collection methods/data analysis technique should be done focusing on why you have chosen the particular qualitative research strategy/data collection methods/data analysis technique and not why you have not chosen others. **

Please note: All the information should be compiled and presented in a professional report format. Please follow the guidelines below:

  • Title Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Page numbering
  • Introduction/Conclusion
  • Appropriate headings and subheadings
  • Harvard style of referencing
  • Document should be submitted in MS Word or PDF format.
A professionally formatted document using language that was suitable for publication in an academic setting Produced a professional formatted document using language that was appropriate for the audience Produced a document that was appropriately formatted with language that required improvement to better suit the audience. Produced a document that was appropriately formatted with language that required improvement to better suit the audience Document was poorly presented and contained numerous spelling and/or grammatical errors. Accurate referencing provided using the Harvard method. Mostly accurate referencing provided using the Harvard method Minor errors in referencing provided using the Harvard method. Major errors in referencing using the Harvard method Referencing does not follow the Harvard method    

Communicate research according to best practices


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