Research Project Evaluation
Format MLA Volume of 6 pages (1650 words) Description Research Evaluation 2. Analysis of internet based PDF fact sheets 3. Interview Research Project: The Evaluation Students: The evaluation must include: Some notes from SACE on the moderation/grading process and general points: Stage 2 Research Project performance standards Writing the Written Summary An example: Written Summary Comments from last year’s examiners report highlights some key issues and provides details about how to do your best in this external assessment: Evaluation of decisions made in response to challenges and/or opportunities (E2)
Assignment type : Research Paper
Topic: ‘To what extent has the highly idealized and unreal photography of fashion magazines affected the self-esteem of 16-18-year-old females in Australia in the last decade?
The purpose of the writtain summary (120-200 words) is to provide background information aboout the topic and nature of the Research Project for the external assessors.
– Research topic – title and reasons for choice
– Research processes – identification of main activities
– Research Outcome – brief description/explantion
An example: Writtain Summary
Research Topic: Produce a design and work plan suitable for a mural outside the local swimming pool.
I really like murals and am interested in how they are both designed and commissioned. I wanted to put a proposal to the council aobut putting a mural at the front entrance of the new swimming pool. I researched murals and kept records about their similarities and differences; location, themes, size, materials, colour, artist’s name etc. I also read a number of magazines and articles and talked to my art teacher about design techniques and materials. I interviewed three people who had completed commissions to produce murals in Australia, talked to quite a few councils who had supplied the money for public art and talked to the manager of the local swimming pool. My Research Outcome consists of a work plan which includes a design, together with suggested materials, construction details, and costs.
1. Written Summary
2. Evaluation of research processes;
3. Evaluation of decisions made in repsonse to challenges and opportunities.
4. Evaluation of the Quality of the Research Outcome.
Research Development: “To what extent are females between the age of 15-18 physically impacted by their consumption of lean, muscle building proteins contained in red meat, and why?”
My Research Project focussed largely on the extent to which a female between the ages of fifteen and eighteen may be physically impacted by their consumption of lean red meats and why. The detailed group’s dietary recommendations and physical necessities were investigated as were the diets of surveyed individuals. An interview was also conducted to add credibility to many factual statements made in the research outcome, as well as identify specific dietary necessities of the investigated group that could not be sourced elsewhere.
Research utilised and developed the creative thinking and personal and social capabilities, in the investigation and also the development of employed research styles.
It was found that individual’s diets are vastly impacted by their physical activity and therefore energy expenditure. Analysis of all acquired research and findings supported statements made by Grace Greenham that an individual’s consumption of lean red meats does not directly correlate to either their overall health or the persons muscle mass.
Evaluation of research processes:
Although information gathered from the conducted survey gave a relevant and reliable view into the dietary patterns of investigated individuals, and therefore the research topic, the survey as a whole was considered unsuccessful. This was due to the limited sample group, their ethnicity, cultural and moral beliefs as well as depth of answers. It was realised that many of the questions may have been beyond the level of understanding of some survey participants. This was revealed by the repetitious answers to questions of which differed in nature. Answers to survey questions did not provide reliable insight and/or information that could without further research, substantiate the research question. Upon reflection of the survey it was found that an increase in survey participants, and therefore sample size, across all investigated ages, in a range of social and economic standings as well as locations and cultural climates, would increase the acquired knowledge and understanding of the dietary patterns of the investigated group. Although some question answers became repetitious, trends emerged amongst the surveys and thus allowed an insight into the dietary patterns of investigated individuals, further enabling comparisons to be drawn between trends and Australian recommendations, thus informing the research question. Analysis of survey structure and responses encouraged me to identify previously unconsidered areas of the research topic. These areas included intolerances to specific foods, cost of red meat, accessibility and individuals consideration of their diets. I realised further investigations via sources such as internet based PDF fact sheets was necessary to substantiate the research outcome and inform my understanding of the investigated topic.
Internet based PDF fact sheets, predominantly focussed on the dietary implications of consuming lean red meat, were a crucial element of the research processes utilised when formulating a response to the research question. PDF fact sheets such The Australian Guidelines to Healthy Eating, were easily accessible; primarily though government bodies or other credible and reliable organisations. The majority of investigated fact sheets supported information detailed by other sources, furthermore increasing the reliability of the research outcome. All PDF fact sheets presented information in a logical and easy to understand manner that I was able to interpret and link with other information sourced. A list of references was provided at the end of each PDF file and thus provided further links to other websites, articles and books that supported factual information and statements made within the file, whilst also providing links to other secondary sources. I investigated many cited articles, which contributed to the research process, informing the research outcome and contributing to a deepened understanding sociological patterns. PDF fact sheets were found to be an effective, efficient and generally informative internet based research format. Information gathered was relevant to the research question and thus informed the written outcome by providing information relative to how females between the ages of 15-18 are physically impacted by their consumption of lean red meats.
The conducted interview was a pivotal source when assessing the credibility and reliability of other sources as well as when responding to the research question. Although I encountered difficulties whilst formulating questions posed in the interview, Grace Greenham’s responses reflected much of information I had previously been unable to deem reliable or credible due to her professional status. Grace Greenham’s responses provided additional information that I was able to research further by investigating online PDF fact sheets, such as The Australian Guidelines to Healthy Eating, and the sources cited within them. As the research question is based mostly in factual information, identification of consistent information provided by a range of sources enabled reliable and accurate information to substantiate the research outcome. It became clear in the interview responses that dietary requirements and their relevance to muscle building proteins contained in lean red meat vary depending on many individual factors and thus a recommendation common to all individuals within the investigated group is impossible to formulate.
Evaluation of decisions made in response to challenges and opportunities:
One of the challenges I faced in my research outcome was that much of the information was beyond my level of understanding. Furthermore I was unable to retrieve the desired information from many investigated sources, such as the resultant effects on the hormonal system due to excessive or inadequate consumption of lean red meats. I endeavoured to overcome this challenge by focusing my research in areas of public interest such as the Australian Dietary Guidelines for healthy eating, which aims to inform the general public and is therefore of a level in which I was able to clearly understand, relate to my investigation and substantiate. Therefore, sources that were ascertained of an understandable level were found to be reliable when cross referenced and hence were of great importance when writing the research outcome. Future investigations would include a broadening of biological knowledge, thus unlocking an understanding of potentially informative sources.
Another issue I faced was a lack of professional expertise and input into my research. Despite multiple attempts to make contact and interview various health care professionals, in different relevant fields of interest, very little contact with said individuals was made. At times this lack of communication or acknowledgement from professionals was frustrating as it slowed my research and delayed the substantiation to many other sources that professional opinions and input would provide. I was however, able to make contact with Grace Greenham, a sports scientist at the University of South Australia . Many of the points she made when answering the questions I had formulated, added credibility to my research outcome and furthermore supported information gathered from secondary sources which otherwise may have been deemed unreliable. Although I received very few acknowledgements of my research from contacted professionals, I was able to increase my confidence when approaching individuals with whom I have previously not been in contact, as well as better my ability’s in regards to writing formal documents such as disclaimers and respectable interviews. The research outcome was detremented by a lack of professional participation which may be corrected in future investigations. Furthermore should the research outcome be used as a guideline or reference point for any female within the investigated age group, all recommendations should be investigated in relation to the specific individual in question as variation in individual necessities and diet may occur.
The composition of survey and interview questions was a third research challenge. I found it difficult to ask questions of participants that did not become repetitive or caused the loss of interest of participants. Upon analysis of surveys, questions which required less self-analysis and thus were factual or routine based, projected answers which largely supported other research. More research should have been done prior to the interview and thus formulated questions could have been focussed and therefore attained answers may have been more beneficial and complementary to the research outcome. Most information sourced from the interview and the survey was useful in the investigation and resulted in an increased understanding of the investigated topic.
Evaluation of the Quality of the Research Outcome:
The outcome was based primarily on secondary research from a range of sources as detailed in the folio. Information gathered from an interview with a sports scientist at the University of South Australia (Grace Greenham) and that from a survey, was pivotal. The primary use of secondary research in conjunction with a reliable interview did not result in a research outcome suitable for the entire subject group. A majority of sources utilised were sufficient in conveying detailed biological information in a clear, unbiased manner which I was able to employ and sufficiently convey in the research outcome. As the topic is largely based in biological fact, there was little room for speculation, and thus pinpointing relevant information was paramount to the research outcome. Through critical analysis of a comprehensive range of sources, a variation in dietary necessities was clarified and thus the research question could not be comprehensively detailed.
The research outcome may be of limited use to the specified age and gender group, however would not be relevant to a large proportion of the general public due to its foundation in diet and physical development of the investigated group. Information presented is gender and age specific and furthermore, would require additional research to relate stated information to the general public. Moreover the outcome may be a useful tool when investigating diets recommended to females between the ages of 15 and 18, however not to the general populous. Parents of individuals included within the investigated group, such as myself, may find the document useful should they wish to maintain a recommended balanced diet for their female child between the specified ages. The outcome may provide beneficial recommendations to females between the ages of 15 and 18, of which the person may wish to take into consideration and moreover, employ within their diet. Although the outcome provides insight into dietary recommendations and the necessity of the inclusion of lean red meats in the diets of 15-18 year old females, requirements and recommendations made do not relate to individuals specifically as professional recommendations vary dependant on may factors, including weight, height, physical activity, genetics and other factors not investigated due to limited time and resources. specific to the person. Although research furthered my personal and social understanding, the outcome is likely to be of limited use as proposed information is widely known amongst professionals and experts within health and dietary fields. An unavoidable lack of personal expertise degraded the standard of interview and survey questions, and the formulated research question response. It is clear that future investigation of a large sample group may reveal readily reliable trends in the context of the culture and social group. Critical analysis of a large sample of research compatible individuals and their diets may lead to the identification of flawed diets, creative solutions to analysed issues could then be addressed. Such research, currently being conducted on a professional level, may greatly benefit an increased portion of society and assist in the necessary dietary education of the societal group, which may ultimately lead to the prevention of obesity and other dietary related illnesses, furthermore rendering the research outcome of minimal use.
1. National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines, Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council. [First accessed 23/03/2015]
2. Greenham, Grace. (2015) ‘The physical effects of lean red meat on females between the ages of 15-18,’ Interviewed by, (05/05/2015).
• evaluate the research processes used
• reflect on the chosen capability and its relevance to themselves and their research project
• reflect on the research outcome and its value to themselves and, where applicable, to others.
• a 150 word written summary of the research project, research processes used, and research outcome (the summary provides background information for the assessors and forms part of the evaluation)
• an evaluation in written form; it can include visual material such as photographs and diagrams integrated into the written text
• a written assessment of a maximum of 1500 words (excluding the written summary).
• The evaluation is against four performance standards and is given a mark out of 30, SACE assessors examine your teacher’s grading of your work and confirm (leave it alone)/change this based on the level of work produced and the grade assigned to it (to ensure adherence to standards)
• E1 is given a mark out of 15, and E2,E3 and S3 are combined to give a mark out of 15 for a total of 30
• First and Third person can be used throughout both the outcome and the evaluation
• This piece of work should be a critical evaluation of the research and its processes, not a narrative/list of what you did – these responses can only achieve at the C grade level.
• It is best to structure your work into subheadings (provided A+ exemplar is a good reference for this)
• They are looking for analysis of sources – they want to know about reliability, credibility and bias and expect some evidence of thought about how and why you made decisions about your research and its processes
The purpose of the written summary (150 words) is to provide background information about the topic and nature of the Research Project for the external assessors.
• Research topic – title and reasons for choice
• Research processes – identification of main activities
• Chosen capability – brief description/explanation
• Research Outcome – brief description/explanation
Research Topic: Produce a design and work plan suitable for a mural outside the local swimming pool.
I really like murals and am interested in how they are both designed and commissioned. I wanted to put a proposal to the council about putting a mural at the front entrance of the new swimming pool.
I researched murals and kept records about their similarities and differences; location, themes, size, materials, colour, artist’s name etc. I also read a number of magazines and articles and talked to my art teacher about design techniques and materials. I interviewed three people who had completed commissions to produce murals in Australia, talked to quite a few councils who had supplied the money for public art and talked to the manager of the local swimming pool.
My chosen capability was personal development and I demonstrated my initiative, creative abilities and understanding of notion/construction of identity. All of these things, combined with a growth in self-confidence and planning/problem-solving skills, have emerged as relevant aspects of my capability during my research project.
My Research Outcome consists of a work plan which includes a design, together with suggested materials, construction details, and costs.
Markers drew attention to issues regarding word count. Teachers are reminded that in addition to the 150 word written summary, there is a 1500 word maximum for the evaluation. The majority of students wrote between 1400 and 1500 words and included an appropriate summary. However, at times word count was difficult to judge, especially if the work was over the word limit and a word count for the summary was not provided. It would be helpful for a word count to be included after the written summary, or if students provided two separate word counts — one for the written summary and one for the evaluation. Some students did not provide a
150 word summary, or it was indistinguishable from the body of the evaluation. For others, it was unclear whether the word count on the cover sheet included the summary. Markers commented that a great number of students spent an overly large proportion (up to two-thirds) of the evaluation addressing specific feature E1, one-third addressing E2, and very little or nothing on addressing E3. This reduced their opportunities to achieve at the highest level.
Evaluation of the research processes used, specific to the research question (E1)
In 2014 there was a minor change to this specific feature, which required students to evaluate their research processes in the context of their specific research question. Students then needed to tailor their evaluation of a particular process to the specific question they had formulated, rather than resorting to generic judgments about the research processes.
Markers observed that in the most successful responses, students:
• gave a general overview of a process and then talked specifically about a source, providing concrete examples of reliability, credibility, and bias
• used a range of qualifiers to differentiate between the levels of usefulness
• used and named specific research sources and provided balanced judgments comprising both strengths and limitations of the usefulness, value, and reliability of the process, particularly in relation to their research question. In doing so, they showed understanding of how the usefulness of a process may vary, according to what question it is being employed to help answer
• provided reasons as to why a process was valid, reliable, or credible
• made clear links between the research process and its value to the research (valuable and credible information) and how it contributed to the increase in the student’s knowledge and/or the quality of the outcome
• clearly distinguished between the terms credible and reliable and did not use them together as though they were one word.
Less effective responses:
• demonstrated a misunderstanding of what is meant by research processes. Many students still used examples such as mind maps, visits to the library, journals, how they referenced, and how they used pens to highlight important information. As this has been a recurring issue in this subject, teachers are encouraged to provide explicit definitions of research processes that are more helpful; for example, that research processes are the activities undertaken that provide a student with evidence or data for their research
• provided very little about the validity of site or author, and made simplistic judgments about how findings were valid because they came from an expert, rather than linking this process to answering their research question
• made brief references to how useful the research processes were for them without explaining how or why
• named the research process, but focussed on what the student did, rather than how useful the process was to the research or what evidence or data the process provided
• relied on recount and diary-like discussion, often reflecting on how enjoyable it was for them, and how it helped them with their other subjects, rather than actual evaluation
• discussed why they did not choose a certain process — for example, a survey — rather than discussing the processes they had used.
This specific feature was new in 2014. It invites students to engage in a complex level of thought, forming judgments about the decisions they made in response to challenges and/or opportunities they faced. This proved to be very challenging for most students.
Markers observed that successful responses:
• identified a problem that arose, but mostly focused on the decision they made regarding the problem/challenge and based their judgment around the consequences of the decision in light of how well they progressed in their research as a result
• focused their evaluation primarily on the decisions made and their consequences, rather than just describing the problem or challenge
• critically weighed up the consequences of the decisions made and how these impacted on their research outcome; for example, whether the decision had a negative or positive impact on their research
• evaluated rather than recounted their challenges, and recognised the fact that when something goes wrong it can open up other (often better) avenues
• did not consider ‘time management’ as a challenge, unless time limitations particularly impacted on the research process
• focused on only a few challenges and decisions in detail
• used specific evidence to support assertions.
On the other hand, markers noted that the least effective responses:
• described or listed problems but ignored the decisions they made
• identified challenges and described what they did as a result, without identifying the ‘decision’ they made or weighing up whether it was good or bad
• discussed what went wrong or not to plan, often relating to time management or lack of motivation with no link to the decisions made
• contained lots of ‘could have, should have, and would have’ statements
• made judgments but did not provide reasons as to why these decisions/opportunities/challenges were useful/limiting to the research
• restricted their ‘challenges’ to issues such as poor time management, lack of motivation, wasting time, not doing homework outside of class, lack of responses to emails requesting information, losing USBs, catching up on missed lessons
• named the problem and then stated what they could have done, rather than showing the link between the decision and how this impacted on the outcome or led to another challenge
• for the most part did not even mention the words ‘decisions’, ‘challenges’, or ‘opportunities’. At best, they suggested other things they could have done, without examining consequences or implications
• stated that ‘this went wrong, this went right’, but made no explicit judgments about why and how this affected their research and outcome
• provided explanatory lists of what could not be done, usually in terms of lack of time or personal organisation
• shifted the blame, by complaining that requests for information or interviews were ignored or tardy.
Evaluation of the quality of the research outcome (E3)
This specific feature was changed to an evaluation of the quality of the research outcome, rather than a reflection on its value to the student and/or others, as in previous years. This required a shift in focus to the quality of the research outcome. When the research outcome was defined as the resolution to the student’s research question, this led to far greater insight and recognition of the student’s research in the context of the field of knowledge. However, when students focused on the quality of the mode — for example, the PowerPoint presentation or their spelling and grammar if written — their evaluation tended to be superficial and generic rather than providing an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and understanding about research as an intellectual activity.
In general, markers noted that in successful responses, students:
• provided a realistic rather than an exaggerated evaluation of the quality of the outcome
• made it clear how the question was answered and how well, discussing strengths/weaknesses/limitations etc.
• provided several reasons for their judgments about the outcome’s quality, including its value to self and others. They then made balanced comments on the value of outcome to self but did not overestimate its importance to others, showing awareness that their research is not the greatest work on that subject ever undertaken
• provided specific discussion of how quality could be improved, linking this to processes rather than time management
• discussed how a range of sources backed up their key findings or discussed how some credible sources conflicted, therefore showing different views on the question
• based their judgment about the overall quality of the outcome after assessing the success in meeting the set objective/goal and critically evaluated the usefulness of the outcome
• gave a balanced view as to the quality of the outcome, including evidence produced, conclusions reached, and if they were able to produce new evidence.
Conversely, markers noted that the less effective responses tended to:
• exaggerate the work’s quality and impact, making claims such as ‘the world will benefit from my research’
• describe what form their outcome had taken
• make reference to the Research Project as a whole rather than the particular outcome, generically discussing how they benefited from completing the whole Research Project
• talk about how the outcome was written, what it looked like, and give general terms such as ‘it was great’ rather than a balanced assessment of strengths and limitations
• make little or no mention of the word quality; rather, many talked about how enjoyable it all was
• focus on the format rather than the findings; some research questions did not indicate the chosen format but then decided to evaluate the format — for example, a brochure
• make general statements about what they learned or repeat some of the issues already covered in specific feature E1.
Expression of ideas (S3)
This specific feature assesses students’ ability to express their ideas.
Generally this has been very well done over the years. Markers noted that students were most successful in this area when they:
• provided a generally sophisticated, coherently written document that tried to target the criteria holistically rather than in specific chunks; however, the use of subheadings worked well for some as well as key words
• were set out in a clear logical manner and clearly structured according to the three specific features
• made good use of vocabulary specific to the question, research processes, and outcome; also appropriately used terminology such as credibility, reliability, validity, and accuracy
• were logical, and had an easy-to-follow paragraph and sentence structure
• used headings that related to the current subject outline.
Features of the least effective evidence included:
• failing to separate the summary from the rest of the evaluation
• failing to use section headings, correct terminology, or new paragraphs to discuss a new point
• repeating information to reach the word count
• exhibiting poor organisation, repetition of material, lack of paragraphs, poor proof-reading, spelling errors, and excessively long and poorly constructed sentences
• using informal language with no clear structure or logical order
• revealing poor flow which made the meaning difficult to ascertain
• using incorrect words and expressions, suggesting poor understanding of some concepts such as validity
• applying incorrect headings or not using them at all
• utilising inconsistent syntax and sentence structure
• missing paragraphs
• repeating work — either retelling or explaining what was done rather than evaluating
• providing a very low word count.
Volume of 6 pages (1650 words)
2. Analysis of internet based PDF fact sheets
Research Project: The Evaluation
The evaluation must include:
Some notes from SACE on the moderation/grading process and general points:
Stage 2 Research Project performance standards
Writing the Written Summary
An example: Written Summary
Comments from last year’s examiners report highlights some key issues and provides details about how to do your best in this external assessment:
Evaluation of decisions made in response to challenges and/or opportunities (E2)