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ITECH5500 Professional Research And Communication Assessment Answer

Section A. Multiple choice questions.

For each question or sub-question, select the single best answer, and clearly highlight it on this question sheet.

Question 1. For each of the following sub-questions, identify whether the characteristic listed is most commonly associated with quantitative or qualitative research.

  1. Uses inductive reasoning: Quantitative Qualitative
  2. Uses numerical data: Quantitative Qualitative
  3. Focuses on testing of theories: Quantitative Qualitative

Question 2. A researcher is carrying out research to investigate the effect of the monthly average temperature on the monthly rainfall. In this context is the monthly average temperature:

  1. a dependent variable.
  2. an independent variable.
  3. a confounding variable.
  4. none of the above.

Question 3. Which of the following actions is regarded as academic misconduct?

  1. Submission of papers to journals
  2. Sharing research results
  3. Presentation of research results at a conference
  4. Fabrication of research results

Question 4. Which of the following is not a part of Research cycle?

  1. Research proposal
  2. Gather data
  3. Applying for research grant
  4. Problem or idea

Question 5. A quantitative research project is recording the number of students graduated from IT departments of Australian universities. Which category of data does this belong to?

  1. Nominal.
  2. Ordinal.
  3. Interval
  4. Ratio.

Question 6. The ethics approval process at a University or other research organization is designed to protect:

  1. The validity of the research
  2. The quality of the publications arising from the research
  3. The rights of the participants
  4. The reputation of the organization

Question 7. Which of the following p-values show that there is no enough evidence to support Null-hypothesis:

  1. p-value = 0.56
  2. p-value = 0.01
  3. p-value = 0.29
  4. p-value = 0.07

Section B. Short answer questions.

Question 8. Briefly describe each of the following types of research:

  1. Pure basic research
  2. Strategic basic research
  3. Applied research

Question 9. Briefly discuss the ways of avoiding plagiarism.

Question 10. The weights of 15 participants (kg) are shown below:

51.2, 70.5, 61.4, 67.0, 83.0, 61.1, 82.4, 94.4, 62.6, 78.4, 63.9, 89.6, 71.4, 58.4, 79.2

Calculate the following descriptive statistics:

  1. Mean
  2. Median
  3. Variance
  4. Standard deviation

Civil status of participants.

  1. Height of participants.

Question 12. A university database contains the following information about each student – their full name, their student ID number (a randomly assigned 8-digit number), their date of birthday, their sex, their age and the year they joined the university. Identify which data-type each attribute belongs to, and explain your answer.

Question 13. For each pair of variables, specify which variable is the explanatory variable and which is the response variable. Also identify whether the variable is categorical or numerical.

  1. The time student spends for the study and her/his final score
  2. The car engine size and car’s maximum speed

Question 14. Consider the following research hypothesis and the p-value obtained via a statistical test. Would this testing have involved one-sample or two-sample hypothesis testing? Does the scenario involved paired or independent samples?

Assuming the appropriate testing was used, what would be an appropriate conclusion to draw given the reported results and p-value?

Explain the reasoning for your answers.

The hypothesis is that students who are familiar with the Theory of Algorithms learn the programming language C++ faster than students who are not familiar with this theory. We have gathered data from 30 students who are familiar with the Theory of Algorithms (Group 1) and 30 students who are not familiar with the Theory of Algorithms (Group 2). Experiments showed students from Group 1 took a mean of

32.5 hours to complete the training course of C++, while students Group 2 the mean was 42.1 hours. The p-value was 0.14.

Section C. Research scenarios.

Read the following scenario describing a research project, and then write a short criticism of this project. You should clearly identify at least four aspects of the project which you believe are incorrect or poor. These may relate to the research question, the experimental design, the analysis and reporting, and/or any ethical or academic misconduct issues. For each criticism which you identify, clearly describe the problem and state how it should have been addressed to improve the quality of the research.

Question 15.

A company providing on-line teaching software claims that students who are on-line students achieve better results on learning programming languages than on campus students. The company has developed a hypothesis based on this claim. The company chose one university to conduct research to test this hypothesis. It applied for research ethics clearance and at the same time included both on-line and on campus students to participate in this experiment.

At the end of semester, all students undertook the same exam on programming languages. The company used final scores of all students to test its hypothesis. The company has published a report in which it concludes “the average score of 67 for on- line students is higher than


Section A: Multiple choice questions

Question 1: a. qualitative

b. quantitative

c. qualitative

Question 2: b. an independent variable

Question 3: d. fabrication of research results

Question 4: c. applying for a research grant

Question 5: a. nominal

Question 6: c. the rights of the participants

Question 7: b. p-value = 0.01

Section B: Short Answer Questions

Question 8: 

  1. Pure basic research: This is the type of research which is conducted with the sole purpose of advancement of knowledge and not for any other long term benefits which may be collateral. Hence, the main objective is to acquire new knowledge.
  2. Strategic basic research: This is the type of research which is conducted with the purpose of acquiring new knowledge so as to find solution for a practical problem or at least the expectation is to make useful discoveries through research so that the research can provide the broad base of knowledge necessary for the solution.
  3. Applied research: This is the type of research which is conducted with the purpose of acquiring new knowledge with respect to a specific application in view. Hence, the research has a specific and predetermined objective that needs to be achieved.

Question 9: 

Plagiarism means presenting the work of others as if it was your own. To avoid this, the following ways can be used:

  • Paraphrasing the original text: Whenever a paper is being written, the author must ensure that the writing is in his or her own words rather than copying and pasting from already available text. Further, writing in own words means writing the ideas in own words and not only changing the structure of the sentences or modify slightly. Doing this indicates the author’s understanding of the topic and further opinions or research that he or she has done gain ethical credibility.
  • References and Citations: Wherever required, the author must ensure that the appropriate references and citations are given to various ideas that are used in the paper.

Question 10: 

Serial Number
Weight (Kg) (x) (arranged in ascending order)















Count (n)
Sum (Ʃx)
Mean (Ʃx/n)
Median [(n+1)/2]th value or 8th Value
Variance [Ʃ(xi-xbar)2/(n-1)]
Standard Deviation [√Variance]

Question 11: 

a) Civil status of participants: The variable is categorical as it is qualitative in nature. It cannot be counted but only categorised in two or more categories (yes or no, married or unmarried, female or male; etc.) It cannot be arranged in a relevant or meaningful order and mathematical operations can’t be performed on this. It can be represented through pie chart, bar charts etc.

b) Height of participants: The variable is numerical as it is quantitative in nature. It can be counted and arithmetic operations can be performed on it. It can be arranged in order also. It can be represented through histograms, scatterplots, box plots, etc.

Question 12: 

  • Full Name: Nominal Data
  • Student ID: Nominal Data
  • Date of Birth: Interval Data
  • Sex: Nominal (Dichotomous) Data
  • Age: Ratio (Numerical) Data
  • Year of Joining: Nominal (Categorical) Data

Question 13: 

  1. The time student spends for the study and her/his final score: Time spent on studies is explanatory variable as it explains the change in other variable. Time spent is a numerical variable. Final score is the response variable as it responds to changes in the other variable. Final score is also a numerical variable. 
  2. The car engine size and car’s maximum speed: Car engine size is explanatory variable as it explains the change in other variable. Car engine size is categorical variable. Car’s maximum speed is the response variable as it responds to changes in the other variable. Car’s maximum speed is a numerical variable. 

Question 14: 

  • The testing would have involved two-samples hypothesis testing as there are two groups being tested: Group 1 which is familiar with the Theory of Algorithms and Group 2 which is not familiar with the Theory of Algorithm.
  • The testing involves independent samples as the two groups, namely, Group 1 and Group 2, are independent of each other. It is not a control test environment where the same group has been administered knowledge of the theory and then tested for hours taken for completion.
  • The reported p-value is 0.14. At an assumed significance level of 0.05, p-value is higher than the significance level of 0.05. Hence, we can conclude that there is no statistically significant evidence to reject the null hypothesis. Hence, we can conclude that the null hypothesis is true. 

Section C: Long Answer Questions

Question 15: 

  1. Sampling Method: Usually, we try to ensure that the only difference between the two groups is the intervention, as this means that different outcomes between the groups can be attributed to the intervention. The aim of a sampling method is to ensure that the different groups are as equally matched as possible in terms of any characteristics (other than the intervention) which we believe may influence the outcome.However, in the given case, the on-line and on-campus students of a single university were segregated for creating hypothesis. The difference in average scores of on-line and on-campus students may be due to multiple reasons, apart from the mode of teaching. For example, intelligence level, time spent on studies, etc. These factors will make the hypothesis results unreliable. Effort must have been made to ensure that only the intervention factor (mode of teaching) should be accountable for difference in average scores. For this purpose, while taking samples; previous performance of students from either mode could have been compared so as to make the hypothesis more reliable.
  2. Small Sample Size: The Company chose only one university for creating hypothesis and arriving at a conclusion. The sample may not be representative of the entire population. There may be different characteristics of the population that may have been missed.  Effort must have been made to ensure that the sample is representative of the entire population and various characteristics of the population. This could have been done by widening the sample to cover more universities, more regions or counties etc.
  3. Sampling Technique: There is lack of use of sampling technique which could have helped to capture more population characteristics. Effort must have been made to widen the target population and then sampling technique, such as non-probability or probability techniques should have been used to ensure capturing more population characteristics.
  4. Studying Available Literature: The case study presented does not indicate that the Company has examined prior literature and theory to identify any characteristics which may influence the outcome. This may impact the reliability of the results. Additionally, variables that actually are important may have been missed altogether. The current study relies on a single variable: average score. Before launching a study, pilot tests and pre-tests could have been conducted to save costs and tune the final study in a better way. 
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