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University of Malta Faculty of Education B.Ed.

(Hons) Dissertation Committee



B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Committee

The following members of staff of the Faculty of Education, as members of the B. Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Committee, have contributed to discussing, updating and revising the B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Guidebook at some stage or throughout the period 2005-2010. Dr Sandro Caruana Professor Mary Darmanin Professor Charles J Farrugia Dr Simon Galea Dr Adrian Gellel Dr Victor Martinelli Dr Suzanne Piscopo Ms Sarah Pule Ms Lara Said Dr Doreen Spiteri Dr Gemma van Vuuren-Cassar Dr Raphael Vella

EDITORIAL BOARD Dr Gemma van Vuuren-Cassar Dr Suzanne Piscopo Dr Victor Martinelli Ms Cettina Axiak

The work on this publication was coordinated by the presiding chairs/acting chairs of the Dissertations Committee as follows:
Dr Doreen Spiteri (Chair: October 2005 - February 2006) Dr Gemma van Vuuren-Cassar (Chair: February 2006 - January 2008) Dr Suzanne Piscopo (Acting Chair: January 2007 - March 2007) Ms Cettina Axiak (since February 2008)

The third edition contains minor modifications to the second edition. Modifications have been made in Section 8.2.2 and in Appendix 1

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TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Abbreviations ...........................................................................................................5 List of Useful Links .............................................................................................................6 1 Preface......................................................................................................................7 2 Rationale ..................................................................................................................8 2.1 Why engage in research? .....................................................................................8 3 The Role of the Supervisor, Advisor and Student ...................................................9 3.1 Phase one: Proposal .............................................................................................9 3.2 Phase two: Research and writing .........................................................................9 3.3 Phase three: Examination...................................................................................10 4 Writing Up a Dissertation ......................................................................................11 4.1 Suggestions for getting started on a dissertation................................................11 4.2 Preparing the outline of the study ......................................................................11 4.3 Preparing and submitting the proposal ..............................................................12 4.4 Writing up the dissertation.................................................................................13 4.5 Reviewing the title and preparing the abstract...................................................13 4.6 Submitting the dissertation for examination ......................................................14 5 Types of Research..................................................................................................15 5.1 Issues to consider prior to conducting research .................................................15 5.2 Common types of research.................................................................................16 6 Ethical Aspects of Research...................................................................................20 6.1 Considerations and procedures ..........................................................................20 6.1.1 Planning .....................................................................................................20 6.1.2 Proposal writing .........................................................................................21 6.1.3 Procedure for approval...............................................................................22 6.1.4 Requesting permission to conduct research in schools..............................23 6.2 Ethical issues in educational research................................................................23 6.2.1 Risks to human participants .......................................................................24 6.2.2 The anticipated benefits to the subject and others .....................................25 6.2.3 The anticipated value of the research.........................................................26 6.2.4 Data protection provisions .........................................................................26 6.2.5 Additional safeguards for vulnerable participants .....................................26 6.3 Responsibilities to the community of educational researchers ..........................27 7 Intellectual Honesty ...............................................................................................28 7.1 Honest reporting of information ........................................................................28 7.2 Acknowledging sources .....................................................................................28 7.3 Ownership of data ..............................................................................................29 7.4 Joint research studies .........................................................................................29 7.5 Penalties .............................................................................................................30 8 Style and Presentation Guide .................................................................................31 8.1 Main subdivisions of a dissertation....................................................................31 8.2 Presentation........................................................................................................33 8.2.1 Pagination ..................................................................................................33 8.2.2 Page layout.................................................................................................33 8.2.3 Fonts and headings.....................................................................................33 8.2.4 Line spacing and paragraph formatting .....................................................34 8.2.5 Abbreviations, footnotes and references....................................................34 8.2.6 Numbering and bulleting ...........................................................................34 8.3 Submission for examination ..............................................................................34
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Final submission after the examination .............................................................35 9 Citing and Referencing ..........................................................................................37 9.1 Citing references ................................................................................................37 9.2 Reference listing ................................................................................................40 9.2.1 Referencing: Standard form .......................................................................40 9.2.2 Referencing: General format......................................................................41 9.2.3 Italicising....................................................................................................42 9.2.4 Books .........................................................................................................42 9.2.5 Dissertations, theses and conference papers ..............................................43 9.2.6 Periodicals..................................................................................................44 9.2.7 Electronic sources ......................................................................................44 9.2.8 Referencing CD-ROMs and Computer Software ......................................46 9.3 The Reference List of a dissertation ..................................................................46 9.3.1 Common errors ..........................................................................................46 9.3.2 Example of a Reference List......................................................................47 Appendix 1: Faculty Policy regarding the Dissertation Study Unit. .................................50 Appendix 2: Sample Outlines for the Report on Different Dissertation Types .................57 Appendix 3: List of Documents available from Student Downloads in FoE website .......59 Appendix 4: Forms for students.........................................................................................60


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List of Abbreviations
APA CMS DC FoE IEEE MLA UoM American Psychological Association Chicago Manual of Style Dissertation Committee Faculty of Education Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Modern Language Association University of Malta

ECTS European Credit Transfer System

UREC University Research Ethics Committee FREC Faculty Research Ethics Committee

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List of Useful Links

APA style guide Data Protection ACT XXVI of 2001, as amended by Act XXXI of 2002 Director of Services in Education within the Secretariat for Education of the Archdiocese of Malta Electronic Reference Formats (APA Style) FoE Moodle (for staff) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Request for Research in State Schools form Request for Research in Non-State Schools form UREC guidelines UREC form

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1 Preface
The B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Committee (DC) is happy to present the second edition of the B.Ed. (Hons.) Dissertation Guidebook. The purpose of the guidebook is to assist students and staff involved in the Dissertation study-unit, which is valued at 12 credits (ECTS, i.e. 300 hours of work). Normally, students are expected to work on this study-unit from the second semester of the 2nd year till the 4th / final year of studies. The rationale for the undergraduate Dissertation study-unit is to introduce students to academic research and academic report writing in education. To this effect, the first Dissertations & Projects Guidelines were published by the Faculty of Education (FoE) University of Malta (UoM) in 1998. These were compiled by Dr Valerie Sollars, Mr Charles Calleja, Mr Mario Camilleri, Ms Tania Muscat and Ms Lilian Sciberras, providing guidance and advice with regard to report writing for dissertations. Over the past decade, the General Regulations for University Undergraduate Awards were revised, the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) published and put into practice its procedures, and the University Library started the process of digitising dissertations. Meanwhile, the B.Ed. (Hons) DC, the Faculty Board and various Departments within the FoE, were appraising the processes and procedures adopted in relation to the B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation study-unit. These developments prompted the need for a review of the bye-laws of the B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation, as well as an update of the Dissertations & Projects Guidelines. During the last three years the members of the DC were engaged in a process of revising these documents. After faculty-wide consultation through meetings within the Departments of the Faculty and the Faculty Board, the Faculty Policy Regarding the Dissertation Study-Unit was approved by the Faculty Board on the 19th December 2007 and has replaced the bye-laws of the B.Ed.(Hons) Dissertation. The policy is available online for staff on Moodle, for students on the FoE website in Student Downloads and in Appendix 1 of this guidebook. The list of areas of interest of Supervisors and Advisors and the Dissertation Progress Diary are also available in Student Downloads, and are no longer in the guidebook. The name of this second edition is B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Guidebook (2nd ed.). All the previous chapters have been revised and there are the following additions: a chapter on Research Ethics; a section on Common errors in referencing; a model Reference List; an appendix outlining sample designs for different types of dissertations; and an appendix including the official forms that students will need to access and submit at different stages of the process of completing the dissertation. The Faculty Policy Regarding the Dissertation Study-Unit is to be consulted alongside this guidebook. We trust this guidebook will be of benefit to those engaged in undergraduate research and academic report writing. Dr Gemma van Vuuren-Cassar Chairperson Dissertation Committee (2006-2008)

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2 Rationale
2.1 Why engage in research?

The undergraduate dissertation is a compulsory component of the UoM B.Ed.(Hons) programme, and is a highly challenging and rewarding part of the course. The range of topics from which the area of study can be selected is extremely wide and varied. The dissertation helps students develop their organisational, investigative and analytical research skills, as well as their ability to present and write an academic report. The primary concern of the FoE is to verify that the candidate has learnt from the process and has acquired the necessary skills to conduct research. Contrary to popular belief amongst students, the dissertation does not necessarily have to include empirical research. There are also literature type, investigative type and project type dissertations, to mention a few. The dissertation is a process that requires self-discipline, initiative, creativity and commitment. It allows students to choose an area for in-depth study. Supervisors will guide the students throughout the process, but it is the students responsibility to read academic literature, to research material, to collect data, to write up the report and to meet the deadlines. Students should play a major role in selecting the topic of the dissertation. Students are advised to consult the list indicating areas of research interest of various members of staff before choosing a topic. This list is normally available on the FoE website in Student Downloads. The process of research will generally include the following: Choosing of an area of interest within educational research; Sourcing, acknowledgement and critical appraisal of the relevant literature; Identification of the research question/s; Design of a research project that can address the question/s; Selection of the appropriate research methods; Due and sensitive consideration of ethical issues; Appropriate presentation of results; Discussion of the research and/or product; and Conclusions and recommendations. Ultimately, the dissertation process should contribute to the general development of the students reflective and/or creative practice and of academic writing skills.

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3 The Role of the Supervisor, Advisor and Student

For the sake of brevity, and unless explicitly indicated otherwise, in the following pages the term student refers to one or more students working on the dissertation study-unit. The Supervisor shall guide and assist the student in all the phases of the dissertation. The Supervisor will tutor the students work, keep records of students progress and examine the dissertation. At the proposal stage, the Supervisor may request for the appointment of an Advisor. The Advisor shall assist the Supervisor, and/or guide and assist the student in the various phases of the dissertation as deemed necessary. The Advisor will also keep records of students progress and examine the dissertation. The student is expected to request appointments for tutorials with the Supervisor/Advisor and to attend any meetings called by the Supervisor/Advisor. The student is fully responsible for completing and presenting the dissertation by the set deadline and in the stipulated formats. There are three main stages during which the B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Supervisor will offer specific guidance.


Phase one: Proposal

During this initial phase the Supervisor normally: Helps the student formulate and write the research proposal; Ascertains that the research exercise is a feasible piece of work in terms of the content, the research methodology and the time-frame allotted; and Confirms that the student has checked that the area of study is not an exact duplication of work in current or past dissertations, or in other published or unpublished material, both in and outside the Faculty. This excludes cases in which, for research purposes, it may be legitimate to replicate a study which has already been carried out in the past.


Phase two: Research and writing

During this phase the Supervisors main responsibilities include advising on and guiding the students research and as such include: Participating in regular meetings and/or consultations with the student (though it is the students responsibility to seek advice, make appointments and meet deadlines); Planning with the student definite time-frames and deadlines for the presentation of the draft of part/s of the dissertation and of the final write up / product. Recommending the perusal of literature and other material related to the topic and, where necessary, advising the student to attend other courses, seminars, activities (both at university and/or elsewhere) which have a direct bearing on the work and which are essential for a proper and a wider understanding of the topic under research; Recommending to the student to request permission in writing from the DC to effect any major/minor amendments in connection with the officially accepted proposal and title, and/or to request an extension in length/time or to embargo the submitted final dissertation, stating clearly the reasons for such changes or requests; Informing the DC, as a matter of urgency, if a major difficulty occurs which might prejudice the students presentation of the dissertation according to established procedures. On the part of the student, this includes problems of health, problems of
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shared responsibilities and workload - in cases where a dissertation is being written by more than one student -- and other unpredictable circumstances. Supervisors on prolonged leave of absence are to notify the DC of arrangements which are being agreed with the student or seek assistance from the DC; and Noting the students progress in writing on the FoE Dissertation Progress Diary. In the case of dissertations involving more than one student, a Dissertation Progress Diary is to be completed for each student. The role of the Advisor is to: Advise the student during certain stages of the dissertation, as well as give advice on selected sections of the students draft chapters as necessary; and Note the students progress in writing on the Dissertation Progress Diary. In the case of dissertations involving more than one student, the Dissertation Progress Diary is to be completed for each student.


Phase three: Examination

The Supervisor and, if there is one, the Advisor, as members of the Examination Board, will contribute to the final evaluation of the dissertation. They will: Be present during the examination of the dissertation; and Participate in the discussion leading to the compilation of the official Examination Report, as well as agree on a final mark and grade for the dissertation. The Supervisor will return the examined dissertation to the student. If there are any corrections to be made, the Supervisor will guide the student accordingly. In such a case, the student will be required to sign the Declaration of Completion of Corrections to the B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation form, confirming that the final copy of the dissertation submitted contains the corrections decided by the Examination Board. The official Examination Report will be given to the student by an administrative officer of the DC at an announced date or via postal mail. The student will then make final copies of the dissertation and submit them to the FoE by the stipulated deadlines and in the required formats for bound and digital copies.

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4 Writing Up a Dissertation
4.1 Suggestions for getting started on a dissertation

Owing to the amount of work that is involved in choosing, planning, executing and writing up a good dissertation, the work has to be carefully conducted in stages. In general, students are advised to: Choose the area and type of dissertation they wish to conduct; Make a plan of the study; Establish clearly the overall aim and specific objectives of the study; Establish and work to a practical timeframe; Collect data that can be processed to meet the objectives within the timeframe set; Respect their Supervisors own timeframe and commitments; Keep within the scope of an undergraduate dissertation; and Regularly hand in proofread chapters or parts of the dissertation as completed, with appropriate referencing according to established referencing guides. There are a variety of types of undergraduate dissertations. The most suitable type of dissertation and the most appropriate methodology to address the research question should be discussed with the Supervisor. The following are some of the more common types of undergraduate dissertations: 1. Literature based study (such as researching a concept, or the contribution of a researcher to knowledge in an area). 2. Investigative or empirical study (such as where data is collected using interviews, questionnaires, observations, experimental design, ethnographic work or a combination of these). 3. Projects (such as the production of resources, portfolios, models; or planning, implementation and evaluation of a programme). The following provides an outline of typical stages involved in the choice, planning, execution and writing up of a dissertation. Although unpublished, the dissertation is a document available in the public sphere (e.g. University of Malta Library) and the standard of research and writing should reflect its status. See also Appendix 2 for sample outlines of the write-ups for different types of dissertations.


Preparing the outline of the study

1. The area of study should be identified first. The Supervisors and Advisors Areas of Research Interest normally found on the FoE website should be consulted. Other sources of inspiration include general education journals, as well as journals that are more specific to the area of interest. These journals can be read in the UoM library or accessed electronically. 2. In order to ensure that there is no replication of previous research, students should also search within the UoM library catalogue of dissertations. Knowing what has been conducted previously helps to identify gaps, whilst also allowing for the possibility of cumulative or comparative research, or the replication of studies that have been conducted in a different context or in the remote past.

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3. Students should then get in touch with an eligible Supervisor and discuss the preliminary research idea. At this point the type of dissertation to be conducted should also be considered.


Preparing and submitting the proposal

The proposal is a master plan for the research study. The proposal should be extremely focused and should help the DC understand the objectives, the research question under study and the design, methodology and tools proposed for conducting the research. The following questions could be asked by the student, depending on the nature of the study, to guide in the drafting of the proposal: What is the provisional title for the dissertation? What are the main issues in this area of research? Which issue is of most relevance and concern to me as a researcher? What is the main research question? What do pertinent and relevant references state about the area of research? How much is already known about this area of study? Which methodology best fits the type of research? What would be an appropriate sample and sample size? What would be an appropriate age range of the participants? How will the data be collected and analysed? How will production or the intervention take place? What ethical issues need to be considered? Who will need to be contacted to get permission and consent to carry out the study? What documentation is needed for ethical considerations and permission to carry out the research? What is the timeframe of the study?

For the purpose of an undergraduate dissertation, students may use any one or a combination of research methods. When more than one student and/or multiple methods are used, the sample sizes ought to be adjusted as appropriate. The following guidelines are being suggested for sample sizes: Interviews Focus Groups Case Studies Questionnaires/Standard Tests Experimental Teaching 15 - 25 5 - 8 sessions 1-5 50 - 600 (or as appropriate) 2 10 sessions

The proposal is to be submitted on the official B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Proposal Form of the FoE. It may be word processed or handwritten. This form can be downloaded from the website of the FoE, Student Downloads. In case where clear ethical considerations need to be made, students are also required to seek approval of their proposal from UREC. The documentation required for ethical approval to conduct the research will be explained in Chapter 6 Research Ethics (see section 6.1.2). The procedure for the approval of B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Proposal Form and
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for ethical approval is also explained in Chapter 6, Research Ethics (see section 6.1.3). A list of forms used in the process of the Dissertation study-unit in given is Appendix 3.


Writing up the dissertation

The next stages depend on the type of dissertation chosen. It is highly recommended that students consult literature that explains in more detail the steps that need to be followed in research. In the library one can find a number of books that discuss methodological issues. It is best if students obtain their own copies of good research methods and academic writing text books pertinent to their area of study. Furthermore, it is suggested that students take heed of the suggestions that are put forward by their Supervisor. The research process normally includes a number of stages. The order of the stages will vary from one type of study to another. What is suggested here is not a prescribed list, but a mere indicator. Common stages of the research include: 1. Drafting and writing the chapters of the Introduction and Literature Review; 2. Developing the research instrument (identifying literature on a concept of research; producing the method of collecting data; developing a teaching programme and/or resource; producing a model and so on); 3. Obtaining permission to conduct the study in schools, institutions or elsewhere; 4. Piloting the study and/or pre-testing resources or a model; 5. Collecting the data and/or implementing a programme and/or trialling resources or a model; 6. Drafting and writing the chapter of the Methodology; 7. Processing the data and interpreting it; 8. Drafting and writing the chapters of the Production and/or Analyses of the Data/ Results and of the Discussion of Results; 9. Refining the drafts of chapters; and 10. Writing the Conclusion, Recommendations and Abstract. Throughout the research process, students are encouraged to work closely with their Supervisor and Advisor, where applicable. It is the responsibility of the student to present and report materials in a clear and coherent manner. It is recommended that before presenting final drafts of chapters to the Supervisor, the work is checked thoroughly, proof read and corrected for style, consistency of format and any grammatical and syntactical errors. Chapter 5 presents an overview of some of the more common types of research. Sample possible outlines for the design and presentation of the report on these different types of dissertations can be found in Appendix 2. These are just suggestions. Each student should discuss the most appropriate design and presentation for their work, which may be different from those mentioned here, with their Supervisor.


Reviewing the title and preparing the abstract

The title of the dissertation must accurately and clearly reflect the content. Towards the end of the research process it may emerge that the provisional title submitted in the proposal may no longer be appropriate. By the end of February of their final year of study, students will be asked to
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complete the Exact Title Form, when they will have the opportunity to revise and modify the title of the dissertation, if necessary. Finally, students will be ready to write up the Abstract. The Abstract should include a brief description of the dissertation and include: the objectives of the research, methods and sample size where applicable, and the main results and conclusions. The abstract should be as factual as possible- explanations and opinions should be excluded. It is suggested that the Abstract should be between 150-250 words.


Submitting the dissertation for examination

For the purpose of examination, students are to submit THREE loose (unbound) copies of the dissertation on the date announced by the DC. Where there is an Advisor as well as a Supervisor FOUR loose (unbound) copies of the dissertation must be presented.

References Bailey, S. (2003). Academic Writing: A Practical Guide for Students. London and New York: Nelson Thomas. Brooks, F.E. & Brooks, P.A. (1996). Research Guidelines: Methods, Writing and Assessment. Malta: University of Malta.

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5 Types of Research
5.1 Issues to consider prior to conducting research

The research topic we are interested in is usually informed by our personal lives and experiences, by who we are and what we believe in. However, decisions regarding the type of research to engage in involve more than a mere personal preference based on awareness of the different techniques of gathering knowledge. The type of research one decides to engage in depends on the research question or questions and on the methodological reflections about the best way to develop knowledge in the area to which the question or questions is related. This section is an introduction to some of the established techniques of gathering knowledge, or in other words, types of research. Yet, one must keep in mind that there are many types of research that are continually being updated or coming into application. Therefore, the descriptions of the research types below are not intended to replace reading the recent literature on research methodology. Of note is that the decision to engage in a particular type of research depends on a sound understanding of why this type was chosen. One should be able to give the reasons for engaging in a particular kind of research. In short, the questions one needs to ask are epistemological ones (i.e. a question about knowledge). These include: What kind of knowledge do I want to generate? E.g. I want to know if streaming is still being implemented in Year 3 classes. Why is the research type chosen suitable? E.g. An interview-based survey with Heads of school is potentially a suitable approach because Heads of school are typically involved in streaming policies in schools. When answering these questions, researchers are considering their own particular theories related to the subject, as well as their ethical and political outlooks as researchers. These questions often help to develop a methodological account of the research which eventually needs to be included in the final report. The researchers own theories and/or ethical and political outlooks will in fact affect the whole research process and its various stages. Reflecting on what type of research to choose: An example If we are interested in teachers as a research topic, we might need to consider whether we would like to do a study about teachers or with teachers. Both are very valid kinds of research, but the choice depends upon: the research question; whether one wants to present teachers as active or passive participants or knowledgeable participants; or whether one would like to give an overview of the common problems of these teachers. Maybe the goal is to explore the way teachers have been perceived throughout the years, or to analyse the way a particular contemporary document related to education speaks about teachers in the present. This decision will be influenced by our own particular values. For example, a feminist who strongly believes that women should be given space to voice their ideas will shape the research to accommodate this principle. The research will most probably be focused on women teachers ideas or their life stories. For this we might take up interview-based research.
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Alternatively, we might want to know the proportion of primary school teachers who feel stressed and to identify the common sources of stress for such teachers. This would involve survey research. The question why many teachers in primary school are women may involve the researcher in a historical study, content analysis and maybe some interviews with those who allocate teachers to schools. A philosophical study might explore what it means to be a teacher, or explore a question concerning the kinds of relationship between teachers and students. This would probably draw on philosophers ideas about being a teacher and teaching and learning in general and about teachers relations to students in particular. This type of study could be solely literature based, reviewing research carried out so far.


Common types of research

The following is a descriptive list of some of the research types that one might wish to consider. This list is not exhaustive. Clearly, decisions as to what kind of research one takes up should be made after methodological aspects have been considered deeply. The below descriptions give examples with an educational research orientation. Content analysis is a kind of research that involves the interpretational analysis of cultural artefacts or events. The artefacts are texts that can be read and therefore anything that can be read can be considered for analysis. Content analysis generally makes use of texts that are not created for the purpose of the study and do not involve interaction with those who produced them. Some examples of cultural artefacts include written texts or records such as books (fiction, school, reference, auto/biographies), essays, childrens work, certificates, wills and testaments, diaries, journals or graffiti; audio records such as recordings of narratives, speeches, or radio programmes; material culture and visual texts such as movies, television shows, advertisements, magazines, newspapers, billboards, greeting cards, photos and music. This type of research is also referred to as text analysis, discourse analysis or archival research. As with any other kind of research, the theoretical and political interests of the researcher shape the analysis of the text. Narrative inquiry involves the content analysis of narratives. The researcher may be involved in searching for and analysing narratives that have been written, or may pursue the creation of narratives by the participants. Narrative inquiry is usually aimed at capturing the interrelatedness between the personal, social and the political. Examples of narrative inquiry include the analysis of stories written by children, or their own accounts of life experiences; narratives of teachers or other persons that focus on particular experiences; as well as autobiographies, and oral and life histories. Narrative inquiry sometimes involves fictional presentation of narrative data. Philosophical inquiry is generally involved in the analysis of texts. The research involves a conceptual and often critical and creative search into an area of study. Philosophical research may include: Questions of conceptual clarification: e.g. the idea of lifelong education; the nature of religious, democratic or prison education; the idea of becoming a teacher; Questions of justification and value: e.g. womens autonomy as an educational aim; learning to be critical; the case of PSD in Maltese schools; Questions concerning social justice: e.g. childrens rights and examination systems, systems of inclusion or multiculturalism in the primary/secondary schools; and
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A study of a particular philosopher: e.g. Maxine Greenes idea of imagination for education; Jane Roland Martin and the education of women; Audre Lorde and relations between women. Philosophical inquiry is based on the exercise of argumentation and justification of theories, viewpoints and positions. There is no template for philosophical research because generally ideas and arguments evolve along the research process. The written dissertation and structural presentation of ideas are part and parcel of the content one wishes to present. Historical research is concerned with researching the past; such as the study of individuals, groups, movements, ideas or institutions. It involves the collection and selection of suitable sources of data; the evaluation of the sources of data; and use of primary and secondary sources including, for example, educational documents, reports, timetables, photographs, journals and letters. A critical reading and analysis of the various sources of data may include an explanation of the causes of past events and the impact of these causes on present and future events. Survey research may include interview-based and questionnaire-based research among others. It may involve using structured or unstructured interview guides, or questionnaires with closed and/or open-ended questions to gather information or to provide an outlook which is relevant to the research question/s. This kind of research gives space for direct or indirect interaction between the researcher and the participant. Researchers who are concerned about the implications of the power relations in the production of knowledge and the possible silencing of voices through structured interviews may adopt a more informal conversational approach. Ethnographic research is characterised by the role of the researcher exploring real worlds through multiple methods of data collection, especially interviewing and observation. In ethnographic research the researcher enters into the social worlds of the participants over an extended period of time and interacts with the contexts and the participants to understand and give meaning to the latters particular and complex worlds. The key aspects of ethnographic research include the processes of entry into the field, data collection and data analysis, as well as deep critical reflection on these various processes. Case study research is a form of ethnographic research which focuses on a particular population group or phenomenon in real situations. Examples of such groups and phenomena include students who are dyslexic, the school health team, the multicultural class, the rural school, or the school development plan, the EkoSkola programme, or a Comenius Project. Generally, case study research focuses on one or a very limited number of individual groups or examples of a particular phenomenon in order to construct an in-depth account of what happens or happened to the individual or groups or during that instance. The emphasis here is on depth rather than breadth of study. Action research is a method of inquiry that is characterised by its commitment to bring about improvement and change in educational contexts and the people involved in these contexts. It is based on the principle of working with others. Action research requires a process of reflection and action by individuals as they are involved in the planning, execution and evaluation of educational activities. Examples of types of action research include: Action research conducted by individual student-teachers as researchers aimed at enhancing their own teaching practice and their professional development; and Action research that involves the researcher in collaborative partnership with others, such as students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Evaluation research involves the acquisition of information and the assessment of that information to give feedback about needs, programmes, policies, activities, technologies, teaching
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resources, students, teachers and other persons in the school community. This knowledge contributes to decision-making processes about the issue being investigated. Important general evaluation research questions may include: Who should conduct the evaluative research? How should the researcher relate to the persons involved in the evaluative study? Why is the programme, policy, activity, teaching resource, student etc. being evaluated? What aspects of the programme, policy, activity, teaching resource, student etc. require evaluating? What are the data sources? Where is the problem in the programme, policy, activity, teaching resource, student etc.? What action is suggested to address the problem? How can it be implemented? How was the action implemented? Was the action effective? What was the impact of the evaluative research on the programme, policy, activity, teaching resource, student etc.? Correlational research attempts to determine whether, and to what degree, a relationship exists between two or more numerical variables. It is important to remember however that just because there is a significant relationship between two variables it does not follow that one variable causes the other. The numerical data for correlational research is often obtained via surveys and the researcher frequently uses a correlation coefficient to report the results of correlational tests. When conducting this type of research it is advisable to become familiar with computer-based statistical packages such as SPSS. Experimental research involves two or more groups including a Control group (which is not influenced by or exposed to any aspect of the area under study) and an Experimental group/s (on whom the study will intervene directly). An example of such research could include assessing the effectiveness of a new text book or teaching method by registering its impact on the results of the Experimental group and comparing these results with those of the Control group who were not exposed to the new textbook or teaching method. Practice-based research expands the field of research to include processes of creative enquiry and production. Studies of this sort can be undertaken in different disciplines, though they are particularly relevant to the visual arts, technology or school-based programme implementation. A practice-based dissertation includes both a written part and a non-written, creative part produced by the student presenting the dissertation. The written part conforms to the normal regulations, while the production of creative work (e.g. drawings, digital media, models, project programme and resources) is documented in full and presented as part of the dissertation. In conclusion, when considering the different types of research to choose for a study, one should note that sometimes it is useful to use a combination of types of research. However, one should also ensure that such an approach adds value to the research and does not burden the researcher or the research participants unnecessarily.

References Clandinin, D.J., & Connelly, F.M. (2000). Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2000). Research Methods in Education (5th ed.). London: Routledge.
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Creswell, J.W. (1998). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Griffiths, M. (1998). Educational Research for Social Justice. Buckingham: Open University Press. Reinharz, S. (1992). Feminist Methods in Social Research. New York: Oxford University Press. Standish, P. (2005). Writing Essays and Dissertations on the basis of Philosophical Inquiry. Paper presented at a Philosophy of Education masters students seminar, FoE, University of Malta. Wasson, J. (n.d.). Minnesota State University Moorhead, Methods of Educational Research: An Internet Based Course. Retrieved December 2, 2007, from

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6 Ethical Aspects of Research

When carrying out research in the field of education ethical conduct is of paramount importance. Though not all types of research studies may require attention to ethical concerns and considerations, many often do. Ethical issues in the design and execution of research projects could be related to the choice of topic, to the timing of certain processes, to the choice, involvement and welfare of participants, to the role of the researcher, to data collection and use, to trialling of products and resources, to presentation and reporting of results, just to mention a few. This section focuses on a number of ethical issues which need to be considered, as well as different ethics-related procedures which may need to be followed in carrying out the B.Ed. (Hons) dissertation. 6.1

Considerations and procedures


In the planning phase, the value of the research needs to be assessed. One needs to ask if the research question proposed: Merits the scale of a dissertation or whether it is more of an investigative project; Will be harmful (physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially) to any individual involved, both during the research phase and afterwards; Will jeopardise any other research currently being undertaken by other researchers with the goal of improving an individuals, groups or societal well-being; Will result in undue burden on an individual or organisation whether they participate or assist in the research process; Will prohibit access to benefits or services for an individual participating in the research; Will result in undue favour towards an individual or group in the form of tangible items, knowledge, skills, esteem; Will not unrealistically raise an individuals or groups expectations with regards to potential outcomes and gains from the research; and Has the potential of reaping enough benefits when compared to the costs (human, physical, or monetary resources) involved. In this phase, one also needs to question availability of expertise. With regard to the research question proposed, one needs to ask whether: Expertise exists within the FoE, UoM or elsewhere to supervise the research; Any potential expertise will be biased as a result of commercial links or other affiliations; One has the skills as a researcher to adequately carry out the research study without jeopardising the safety of any individual or causing damage to equipment; and One has enough knowledge and skills as a researcher in order to provide instruction or a service, or develop a programme or resource which is central to the research study. Finally, one also needs to consider the issue of permission: that is, who will need to be contacted to obtain permission to carry out the study. This may include:
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Permission to have access to a group of participants (e.g. children, adolescents, parents/ legal guardians, workers); and/or Permission to use premises or equipment. 6.1.2 Proposal writing

With respect to appropriate ethical conduct, a number of factors have to be addressed during the proposal writing stage. In addition to the items mentioned in 4.3, the proposal must explain clearly and explicitly ethical issues related to: The age group of any participants involved in the study; Any tasks individuals will be required to undertake as part of the study; and The role of the researcher in the research process, either during data collection and/or if directly involved in execution of the study. Depending on the type of research proposed, occasionally one or more forms need to be attached to the B.Ed.(Hons) Dissertation Proposal Form. These may include the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) form and/or consent forms. The University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) form titled Request for Approval of Human Subjects Research: Where appropriate, Supervisors and/or Advisors are to recommend to their students to complete and sign the URECs Request for Approval of Human Subjects Research form. Full details of requirements are available online in the UREC guidelines. Consent Forms: Full details on requirements for documentation of consent are available online in the UREC guidelines. After consultation with the Supervisor and/or Advisor, students may need to produce one or more consent forms. A Consent Form is required for research on any of the categories indicated in the UREC form (i.e. race or ethnic origin; political opinions; religious or philosophical beliefs; trade union memberships; health; sex life; and genetic information) as well as for research with: Minors who will be involved in audio or video recordings; Parents/guardians of minors who will be involved in audio or video recordings; Minors involved in any therapy or special programme; Parents/guardians of minors involved in any therapy or special programme; Identifiable adults; and Others, according to the nature of the study. The FoE Research Ethics Committee (FREC) Consent Form for Adults (in Maltese or English) may be downloaded from the FoE website. Other consent forms will need to be produced by the students as guided by the Supervisor/Advisor and and/or UREC. The completed Request for Approval of Human Subjects Research form and copies of any necessary Consent Forms are to be attached and submitted with the B.Ed.(Hons) Dissertation Proposal Form. Students are to submit FOUR copies (original and three copies) of the B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Proposal Form and any of the above mentioned forms.
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Procedure for approval

The B.Ed. (Hons) DC will vet all B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Proposal Forms. Where relevant the DC will first check that the Request for Approval of Human Subjects Research and Consent Forms are signed by the student and the Supervisor. Once this process has been completed, a copy of the B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Proposal Forms and the submitted Request for Approval of Human Subjects Research Forms, plus any Consent Forms will be passed on to FREC. Simultaneously, the DC will evaluate all the B.Ed.(Hons) Dissertation Proposal Forms. Within reasonable time, a copy of the B.Ed.(Hons) Dissertation Proposal Form will be returned to the student and the Supervisor, indicating any of the following decisions in relation to the proposal: Accepted. Accepted, subject to acceptance from UREC. Rejected, on grounds stated on the official part of the form. In this case the student has to submit a new proposal (2nd proposal). To be amended as remarked. The student has to resubmit the proposal, endorsing the suggestions and/ or recommendations listed on the official part of the form. In addition, the DC may request the student to submit the documents Request for Approval of Human Subjects Research form and copies of any necessary Consent Forms. The DC may also communicate other suggestions and recommendations. The DC will review any new or re-submitted proposals and follow the same procedure. The DC will submit a report to FREC which will include a list of all the students who submitted the Request for Approval of Human Subjects Research form. In cases where it is deemed necessary to fill in a Request for Approval of Human Subjects Research form, the FREC will make an assessment of the B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Proposal Forms and accompanying ethics-related forms. The FREC will submit a report to UREC outlining its assessment of the research proposals. This report will include the relevant B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Proposal Forms as well as the accompanying ethics-related forms. The UREC will make the final assessment regarding ethics of the B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Proposal Forms and the Request for Approval of Human Subjects Research forms. UREC will report back to the FREC, who in turn will inform the students and the Supervisor of the final decision, which is normally one of the following: Acceptance of the research proposal as ethically sound and having all required documentation. Refusal of the research proposal on ethical grounds, with no possibility of resubmission. In this case a new B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Proposal Form will need to be submitted to the DC and also to FREC, where necessary. Conditional Acceptance of the proposal, where the student will have to write back to FREC stating the changes which will be made to reflect the recommendations of UREC. The FREC will subsequently review any new or re-submitted Request for Approval of Human Subjects Research forms and follow the same procedure.

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Note that it is the sole responsibility of the student as researcher to consult and abide by the UREC Guidelines and to fulfil any guarantees listed in any Consent Form used for the study. 6.1.4 Requesting permission to conduct research in schools

Students may need to obtain permission to conduct research in schools. They need to plan well ahead for this and use the appropriate application forms. State Schools: A special Request for Research in State Schools form needs to be completed and submitted to the Education Division for research in State schools. This may be downloaded from the FoE website or the Education Division website. Non-State Schools: A special Request for Research in Non-State Schools form needs to be completed and submitted to the Education Division for research in non-State schools. This may be downloaded from the Education Division website. Church Schools: Research in Church Schools is allowed subject to the written approval of the Director of Services in Education within the Secretariat for Education of the Archdiocese of Malta, following consultation with the Head of School.

For all types of schools, students need to allow ample time before the planned research investigation/data collection period to obtain the necessary approval. Students are to note that the approval is normally subject to acceptance by the Head of school. Once permission is obtained, students must abide by any conditions set by the school administrators regarding access to the school and implementation of the study. When research is being conducted in other institutions (e.g. private schools for dance, drama, sports and so on), students are to enquire and write to the head of the institution, requesting permission to carry out research.


Ethical issues in educational research

Educational research is designed to promote and extend knowledge and understanding of all educational activities from the perspectives of learners, educators, parents, policy makers and any other stakeholders. Educational research will offer a number of different methodologies which are valid for the topic being researched; these will often have corresponding ethical dimensions. Most educational research involves working with human participants, such as children, teachers, parents, school administrators, policy makers and others. Working with human participants demands a high degree of respect and responsibility towards participants. This applies whether one is involved in large-scale survey data collection, or in qualitative research involving face-to-face contact, usually in the natural setting of the classroom, playground, school and others. According to the British Educational Research Ethics Guidelines (BERA, 2004), educational researchers have to work with an ethic of respect for:
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The person; Knowledge; Democratic values; The quality of educational research; and Academic freedom. The educational researcher has specific responsibilities to: Participants; Sponsors of research; and The community of educational researchers. The UREC Guidelines, which should be consulted by each student prior to submitting a dissertation proposal, state that before human participants are involved in research, proper consideration should be given to: The risks to the participants; The anticipated benefits to the participants and others; The anticipated value of the research; The informed consent process to be employed; Data protection provisions; and Additional safeguards for vulnerable participants. Each of these factures will be explained in more detail below. 6.2.1 Risks to human participants

Risks to human participants can range from the simple disruption of normal everyday life, to allowing them (even inadvertently) to be identified, to having their privacy invaded, to making them susceptible to undesirable labelling, to raising unpleasant and troublesome issues (such as memories of painful incidents) and many others. It is usually understood that most educational research should be designed to avoid these risks. However, even in the day-to-day participation in the classroom, and with the best of intentions, participants in research may easily become identified as different, or subject to scrutiny, both positive and negative, simply by virtue of their participation in the research. Even when safeguards like informed consent and confidentiality are applied, there might be difficulties. Regarding consent, a minimum standard would include that consent should be freely given, be specific and be informed. Therefore, the person giving the consent has to have adequate information about the research project, has to have the capacity or competence to give the consent, and is in a situation in which the choice can be made freely and without coercion or any other pressure. Information provided by the researcher should include: Who the researcher is and how she or he can be contacted; The nature of the research; What rights participants have (such as to withdraw from the study at any time, to see results); Assurance that the participants will not be named in the study (except in the case of consent for attributable data, where other ethical safeguards are also taken); and
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Assurance that participation in the study is voluntary, and there is no prejudice to them whether they participate or not. Research with minors (children and adolescents under 18 years) sometimes requires the consent of legal guardians, bearing in mind, however, that the minors still have the right to have information and to choose not to participate. The latter also applies to vulnerable groups (e.g. mentally disabled persons), or institutionalised groups (e.g. prisoners) who need information and choice to be able to refuse to participate, even if a legal guardian or a proxy has given consent on their behalf. There is usually a power imbalance between those who hold proxies and those who are not considered competent, which needs to be considered an ethical issue. In addition, all foreseeable risks, discomforts or inconveniences should be discussed with participants in a language which is accessible to the participants. This should include a discussion of the time the research will take; a discussion of the types of activities the participants will be involved in; any known benefits that may be derived from the research; methods of securing the safety of the data collected; and some description of how the data results will be disseminated and to whom (recognising that dissertations can enter the public domain and even journalists can reproduce sections in the press). It is frequently the case that even adults who have the competence to give consent have only a vague idea of what research involves and how it can be used. Both adults and children often disclose more than they need to, not realising the implications of disclosure. It is therefore up to the researcher to constantly remind them that they are participating in research which will be recorded and published. These reminders give them the opportunity to talk off the record, to adjust the record, or even to discontinue their participation, should they so desire. Moreover, vulnerable groups especially, but other participants also, often find participation in research therapeutic, and may mistake the research relationship for a form of therapy. Researchers are obliged to remind participants that the relationship is not a therapeutic one and therapy or other support should be sought from appropriate individuals or agencies. In educational research, ethical behaviour includes not disrupting the education of children by such practices as withdrawing them from the classroom during lesson time. It is also unethical to encourage teachers to single out pupils or groups of pupils, as it is to encourage the articulation of anti-democratic prejudicial language and attitudes such as racist, sexist, or exclusionary discourses. Qualitative research involves a degree of trust established over time. How one leaves the research field, whether it is after just one conversation in which a participant has made a discomforting disclosure or appears upset, or after a period in which the researched has become close to the researcher, is an ethical issue. The researcher must prepare the participants for the end of the conversation, or for exit from the field. Enough time to do this is needed. Additionally, all participants must have contact details such as telephone numbers and email and other addresses, to permit them to clarify, correct or even withhold data, as well as to avoid abrupt break-up of the research relationship. 6.2.2 The anticipated benefits to the subject and others

In educational research, there is usually a time-lag between doing the research and the research being used by policy makers, curriculum developers, teachers and others for the benefit of pupils, teachers and the educational community. It is therefore the case that much of this research is not of direct benefit to the participants of the research. Because the research can be disruptive, discomforting, or create unnecessary administrative burden on schools, students should carefully weigh the benefit of their research proposal, to ensure that the benefit would be greater than the inconvenience. Steps must be taken to produce a final version and presentation format of the
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B.Ed. (Hons) dissertation which can be used by the knowledge community, the policymakers, the school, teachers and even pupils to achieve some benefit from the project. 6.2.3 The anticipated value of the research

In many places, but especially in a small place like Malta, there is the risk that schools and participants are over-researched. Prudence is therefore called for in planning a project, to ensure that the type of knowledge that will result is indeed worthy of asking schools to host researchers. Students should remember that they have a responsibility to the educational community. They should be acutely aware that inappropriate behaviour in the field or over-researching or poorly designed projects with little contribution to knowledge, will spoil the field for other researchers with more valuable research projects. 6.2.4 Data protection provisions

Students are required to read both the Data Protection Act and the University Ethics Research Committee Guidelines to make sure they work within the limits imposed by law. Furthermore, students should recognise that in a small place such as Malta, even giving pseudonyms may not be sufficient to protect a school, staff or pupils from identification. Certain unique and distinguishing features need to be concealed. At the same time, factors that are relevant to the theoretical discussion, such as the sex of the participants or the nationality, may be included if required. For those participants who cannot be protected by pseudonyms because they are singular (e.g. an Education Officer), then it should be negotiated with the participant or the informant what of the data he/she provides should be attributable. Students should also be aware that participants have a right to request that they be identified with use of their original work or any inputs they may make to the study. However, as a researcher, the student must advise them on the consequences of being identified. 6.2.5 Additional safeguards for vulnerable participants

Vulnerable participants include children, vulnerable young people and vulnerable adults. The British Educational Research Association (BERA) Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research (2004) remind researchers that they need to comply with Articles 3 and 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which require that in all actions concerning children the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration. Children who are capable of forming their own view should have the right to express this view freely, including regarding participation in research or withdrawal from research. They should be facilitated to give fully informed consent. Researchers need to word their proposal in such a way that children can understand what the research is for, what their contribution is to be, and how they can accept or withdraw. In other words, the relative youth of children should not be a means of depriving them of the right to decide for themselves whether to participate in research, nor should the consent of responsible adults who act as guardians, be adequate or used to replace the rights of the child. The above UN requirements should also apply to vulnerable adults, particularly individuals in institutions. In the case of those whose age, intellectual capacity or other vulnerable circumstances limits the extent to which they can be said to voluntarily take part in research, the consent of guardians or responsible others must be sought. However, given the power inequalities that exist in these relationships, the researcher needs to still ensure that the participant is comfortable with the research process and will not suffer detriment or distress as a result. Many guardians are not aware of the effect of research on those in their care, nor do they recognise privacy and other rights as well as one would wish. It is up to the researcher to respect these rights with vulnerable
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groups as much, if not more, as they would with other groups. Thus, the consent of guardians is not in itself an adequate measure of an ethical position. Further negotiation with the participant and sensitivity to the participants need and wishes must be established, regardless of the consent of the guardian.


Responsibilities to the community of educational researchers

The community of educational researchers includes all those engaged in educational research, such as academics, professionals, teachers, parents and students. A main objective of research is that it is shared and published (a dissertation placed on the shelf of a library is a publication). Once published, others may use this research for discussion, policy making, news reports and others. It is therefore important that the standard of the research is high and is not misleading in presentation of data, interpretation, discussion or recommendation. Student researchers may wish to note BERAs guidelines (2004, p. 11) which consider that any of the following will bring research into disrepute and impact negatively on the research community: Falsifying research evidence or findings; Sensationalising findings in a manner that sacrifices intellectual capital for maximum public exposure; Distorting findings by selectively publishing some aspects and not others; Criticising other researchers in a defamatory or unprofessional manner; Exploiting the conditions of work and roles of contract research staff; Undertaking work for which they are perceived to have a conflict of interest or where self-interest or commercial gain might be perceived to compromise the objectivity of the research; Undertaking work for which they are not competent; Using work carried out with co-researchers as the basis of individual outputs without the agreement of the co-researchers concerned; and Using research for fraudulent or illegal purposes. Students should not be disheartened by the number of ethical issues and procedures which they may need to consider in planning and implementing their research. The guidance of their Supervisor and the various online documents referred to in this Chapter should help them to carry out the research both ethically and efficiently. References: British Educational Research Association. (2004). Revised Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research. Retrieved December 4, 2007, from ad63980dbc76a8 United Nations - Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. (1989). United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Retrieved December 4, 2007, from University Research Ethics Committee (2004). Guidelines for UoM Research Ethics Committee. Retrieved December 2, 2007, from

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7 Intellectual Honesty
Intellectual honesty refers to honest practice in acquiring, analysing, interpreting and transmitting ideas. Intellectual honesty in research practices is therefore concerned with respect for truth and respect for persons. Students are to understand that as researchers and as future teachers they are expected to achieve good scholarly standards and that they should do so by adhering to personal and professional ethical conduct. Students are acting in an intellectually dishonest way when they DO NOT: Use and report information honestly; Credit other peoples work used in the dissertation; Correctly cite reference material; Acknowledge the help of persons who have contributed to the research; and Contribute equitably to the research project when working with others. Any of the above behaviours will not be tolerated by the FoE. Supervisors will seek to detect any such intellectual dishonesty and take immediate action.


Honest reporting of information

Reporting results or interpreting texts and results in a way that gives a false picture of the readings or findings are all examples of dishonest practice. Students must demonstrate that the methods of research have been truly and honestly used and that the data reported is correct. It is important that a detailed and accurate account of the method for gathering data is included in the report. Fabrication of data, whether wholesale invention, or exclusion or alteration of data to accommodate a desired conclusion undermines the credibility of educational research in general. As researchers, students cannot claim to be ideologically objective. They should therefore clearly explain the conceptual positions that structure their interpretation of data or texts. Students and supervisors should avoid being involved in studies that could put them in situations of conflict of interest, particularly where the interpretation of results is concerned.


Acknowledging sources

Students are expected to acknowledge their sources of information to enable the reader to clearly distinguish which opinions and findings reported in the dissertation are the students and which pertain to others. When students submit material as if it were their own, without acknowledging the published and unpublished work of others, they are plagiarising. Plagiarism includes: Copying anothers work; Using anothers ideas without acknowledgment, or presenting them as if they were ones own; Paraphrasing a source: i.e. summarising anothers work in ones own words, or altering the order of the presentation without acknowledgment; and
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Including more than a single phrase from anothers work without the use of quotation marks and acknowledgment of source. Plagiarism also involves using or buying the services of a commercial research corporation, or any person other than the individual claiming to be the author, in this case, the student. These practices are considered to be fraudulent. Students must realise that every reference to a source of information, whether in the form of printed material, images, electronic document, or verbal communication should carry a citation. For more information on plagiarism students are encouraged to read the document How to Avoid Plagiarism produced by the FoE Assessment Committee and available on the FoE website in Student Downloads. Students should be highly aware of the fact that lack of knowledge and carelessness in following standard conventions of citation can be interpreted as acts of plagiarism. Verbatim quotations should be indicated by the use of: Quotation marks for in-line quotations ( usually not exceeding 40 words); and Indented block quoting for longer quotations (see Chapter 8 on Style and Referencing). When referring to a secondary source (i.e. a source which they have only read about indirectly in someone elses work), students must make it clear that they have not actually read the source themselves. Failure to do so is considered dishonest practice. Students must make sure to clearly cite BOTH the original source of the material AND the source from which they obtained the reference.


Ownership of data

The storage and use of personal data must follow the legal requirements of the Data Protection ACT XXVI of 2001, as amended by Act XXXI of 2002. Students should ensure that participants know that they have a right to access the data they provide and that they have the right to determine the access of this data by third parties. As explained earlier in Chapter 6 on Ethical Aspects of Research, students should also ensure that research participants have been informed about their rights related to their participation in the research study. Participants are entitled to know why and how their contribution will be used and to whom it will be disclosed and reported. It is good practice on the part of researchers to present participants with the transcriptions of the conversations conducted with them. The participants have the right to change the transcribed write-up, or to allow the researcher to use only parts of the transcribed data.


Joint research studies

Students working together will be acting dishonestly if they do not contribute to the research as pre-established, either by getting credit for the work done by the other as ones own, or by jeopardising the success of the other student and the research project. Representing the work of a group as that of a single student is equally dishonest.

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Acting in an intellectually dishonest manner, as in plagiarism, is considered serious. In such cases, the UoM can issue heavy penalties depending on the severity of the case. (University of Malta, 1996; 1997).


Cross Davis, B. (1993). Tools for Teaching. Preventing Academic Dishonesty. Retrieved February 6, 2006, from http://www.berkely/edu/bgd/prevent.html
British Educational Research Association. (2000). Good Practice in Educational Research

Writing. Retrieved December 13, 2007, from

British Educational Research Association. (2004). Revised Ethical Guidelines for Educational

Research. Retrieved December 13, 2007, from University of Dundee, Code of Practice on Plagiarism & Academic Dishonesty. Retrieved November 2, 2004, from University of Malta, (1996). University Discipline Regulations 1996. Retrieved March 20, 2008, from University of Malta, (1997). Regulations Governing Conduct of Examinations 1997. Retrieved March 20, 2008, from

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8 Style and Presentation Guide

This chapter includes guidelines and details regarding the styling of the text of the dissertation and other aspects of presentation. An overview of typical main subdivisions of a dissertation and the presentation of the report is provided. Details regarding pagination, page layout, fonts, formatting of paragraphs and headings, bullets and numbering, footnotes and references as required for digitised and hard copies of the dissertations are also given. What students need to submit for the examination of the dissertation, and for the Supervisor and Advisor and the library after the examination is also covered in this section. Details about how digitised dissertations should be labelled are provided towards the end of this chapter. It is very important for students to refer to the document Step-by-step guide to create a user friendly digitized dissertation BEFORE they start writing the text of the dissertation. This document is available on the FoE website in Student Downloads.


Main subdivisions of a dissertation

A dissertation is normally subdivided into the major sections outlined below; however, this may differ slightly according to the type of research methodology used and resultant outputs.

Title Page The title page contains, from top to bottom and centred between the left and right margins: The title of the dissertation; The full name of the author or authors; The statement: A Dissertation Presented to the FoE in Part Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor in Education (Honours) at the University of Malta; The month and year of presentation.

Abstract The abstract page contains, from top to bottom: The word ABSTRACT in bold uppercase letters in the top centre; The full name of the author or authors; The title of the dissertation; The text of the abstract as a single paragraph of not more than 250 words in 1 line spacing. The abstract should offer the briefest possible description of the dissertation and a concise summary of the main findings and conclusions; The degree title B.Ed. (Hons); The month and year of the presentation of the dissertation; 3 to 6 keywords (in English) in bold uppercase letters.

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Author's Declaration The authors declaration is a signed declaration by the author or authors regarding the originality of the work.

Dedications and Acknowledgements It is customary to at least acknowledge those who helped in the dissertation research, amongst them the Supervisor, Advisor (if applicable) and consultants, as well as Heads and teachers of cooperating schools.

Table of Contents The Table of Contents must, as a minimum, include all chapter headings and subheadings (up to 3 levels) and Appendices. Where applicable, the Table of Contents should also include a List of Tables, a List of Figures, a List of Accompanying Material and a List of Abbreviations and Symbols. Students must draw up a hyperlinked Table of Contents as outlined in the document Step-by-step guide to create a user friendly digitized dissertation.

Main Text Although the presentation of the main text varies from one dissertation to another, depending on the specific discipline and its research traditions within education, a dissertation is typically organised around the following chapters: Introduction or Background to the Study; Literature Review; Design and Methodology; Analysis of Data; Discussion of Findings; Conclusions and Recommendations.

References All sources cited in the text must be listed in the References section and vice versa. References must be listed in alphabetical order by authors surname. Works by the same author should be listed in chronological order. More information about formatting of references is given in Chapter 9 on Citing and Referencing.

Appendices Supporting material (e.g. lesson plans, interview transcripts, computer programme listings, etc.) and material which is too long to include in the main text without breaking up continuity should be placed in one or more appendices.

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The Title page, Abstract, Authors Declaration and Acknowledgement and dedication pages are counted but should not be numbered. Numbering starts with the Table of Contents (usually page v) in lower case Roman numerals. The rest of the dissertation should be numbered in a single sequence in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4 etc.) starting again with 1 on the first page of the main text. Illustrations, charts, diagrams and other graphics placed on a separate page within the text of the dissertation should be paginated as if they were pages of text. 8.2.2 Page layout

The text and, wherever possible, all the material of the dissertation, including illustrations, should be produced on A4-size paper and printed on one side only. In exceptional circumstances, the DC may give permission for the use of an alternative format. If it is necessary to bind in material on a paper size larger than A4, it should be produced on paper that can be folded to fit within the dissertation. A3 is the largest size allowed within the main text for the purpose of digitisation. The upper, lower and right-hand side margins should be at least 2.45cm wide, while the left margin should be 4cm wide to allow for binding. It is strongly recommended that the text is justified for printed hard copies and is left aligned for digitized copies. All dissertations should be word processed. Students are expected to use the word processors facilities (such as styles and templates) as explained in the Step-by-step guide to create a user friendly digitized dissertation to ensure typographical uniformity and consistency throughout the document. It is recommended that students become thoroughly familiar with the following features of the word processor before starting to work on the dissertation: Style and template support, including heading styles and how these relate to automatic generation of a Table of Contents; Auto-numbering of headings, lists, figures and tables; Use of tables to create columnar layouts; Inserting illustrations, graphs and mathematical equations (if applicable) into a document; Inserting cross-references between pages of a document so that a reference is automatically updated when the target page or section number changes; and Widow/Orphan and text-flow control to prevent page breaks from occurring in inappropriate places. 8.2.3 Fonts and headings

Students are encouraged to consult the Step-by-step guide to create a user friendly digitized dissertation and to follow the instructions to the letter regarding fonts. For normal text it is recommended that Arial point size 12 (Microsoft Office 2003 or XP) or Cambria point size 12 (Microsoft Office 2007) is used. It is important that all headings are labelled. The headings should be labelled using the Styles and Formatting menu in word processing. When all headings are properly labelled the built-in Table of Contents feature should be used. The recommended font and alignment for headings differs according to level: Heading 1 should be used for Chapter Titles. Heading 1 should be at least 16 pt., be Bold and be either aligned left or centred. Double spacing should be applied.

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Heading 2 should be used for Sections in the Chapter. Heading 2 should be at least 14 pt., be Bold and left aligned. At least, 1.5 spacing should be applied. Heading 3 should be used for Sub-Sections. Heading 3 should be at least 13 pt., be in Italics and left aligned. At least, 1.5 spacing should be applied. 8.2.4 Line spacing and paragraph formatting

One-and-a-half line spacing should be used throughout the dissertation text, with the following exceptions which should be single-line spaced: The Table of Contents; Long (blocked) quotations (typically longer than 40 words); Computer programme listings; Tables; Footnotes and endnotes; and References (although a blank line should be left between each reference). It should be clear when a new paragraph is starting. Either indent the first line of each paragraph by 10-15mm, or leave extra space between paragraphs (one can use the paragraph formatting features of the word processor to do this automatically). Lengthy quotations (exceeding 40 words) should be formatted as a separate single-line-spaced paragraph indented from the left margin by an additional 10-15mm. 8.2.5 Abbreviations, footnotes and references

Abbreviations, footnotes, references and bibliographical entries should follow accepted conventions for the particular subject. The conventions adopted should be followed uniformly and consistently throughout the dissertation from cover to cover. 8.2.6 Numbering and bulleting

Arabic numerals should normally be used for numbering all sequences within a dissertation, with the exception of page numbers in the front pages before the main text. To avoid excessive nesting depth, not more than 3 levels of headings should be used, with chapter headings being at level 1 and numbered sequentially as 1, 2, 3 etc. Level 2 headings (subheadings) should be numbered as 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 etc. while level 3 headings should be numbered as 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3 etc. If more than one appendix is included, these should be numbered separately and consecutively as Appendix 1, Appendix 2 etc. Tables and Figures within the text should either be numbered first according to the chapter and then consecutively (e.g. Chapter 1: Table 1.1, Table 1.2, Table 1.3 and Figure 1.1, Figure 1.2. Chapter 2: Table 2.1, Table 2.2, and Figure 2.1, Figure 2.2 and so on), or numbered consecutively throughout the whole dissertation (e.g. Table 1, Table 2 and Figure 1, Figure 2 and so on). It is important that, for standardisation issues, not more than 2 types of bullets are used throughout the whole dissertation


Submission for examination

When submitting the dissertation for examination, students should present three loose (unbound) copies of their work; four loose copies if they have an Advisor. Where the dissertation includes
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resources or models, when realistically feasible (physically and economically), copies should be made for each examiner (i.e. three or four copies). This should be discussed with the Supervisor and the DC should also be consulted if necessary. When it is unrealistic to produce multiples of an item, the students should present the original/prototype to the Chairperson of the Examination Board and photos of the original/prototype plus a brief explanatory write-up to the other Examination Board members.


Final submission after the examination

Following the examination phase, students are to present one hard bound copy (where there is an Advisor two hard bound copies) and three copies of the dissertation on CD-ROM in a readonly version to the FoE by mid-July of the year of examination. Students will be notified about the exact date through a notice issued by the DC on the Student notice board. For bound copies, the title of the dissertation should be stamped horizontally in clear lettering on the front cover. Beneath this there should be the full name of the author (or authors), and the degree title B.Ed.(Hons) followed by the year of presentation. The degree title B.Ed.(Hons) followed by the year of presentation should also be stamped on the lower part of the spine. It is permissible, in addition to the requirement given above, to stamp on the spine the name of the author (or authors) and a short title. Some dissertations may include material that cannot conveniently be bound near the related text (e.g. audio and video cassettes, CD-ROMs, DVDs, computer diskettes, slides, large maps or drawings, large music scores, educational resources or games etc). In this case the material should be packaged in such a way that it can be bound with the dissertation (e.g. stored in a pocket attached to the inside back cover of the dissertation), or presented in a separate labelled wallet folder. A List of Accompanying Materials should also be included in the Table of Contents. The two bound copies and any separate wallet folders will be forwarded to the Supervisor and Advisor. The CD-ROM copies are to be formatted as prescribed in the document Step-by-step guide to create a user friendly digitized dissertation. This document is available on the FoE website in Student Downloads. Again, students are encouraged to follow the instructions to the letter in view of digitisation for library use. The text of the dissertation must be completely contained on the CD-ROM and processed according to the Step-by-step guide to create a user friendly digitized dissertation. It is emphasised that when converting their word-processed document to a pdf document students are to use a professional version of Adobe Acrobat which is available on all the computers in the UoM computer labs. If programs other than Microsoft Word are used for part of the dissertation text (e.g. software for music notation or mathematical symbols), then these parts should be saved as graphics and inserted in the word processed dissertation document before converting it to a pdf document. Pictures are always to be saved in jpeg format with a maximum resolution of 300dpi. The created document should be labelled as follows: The first two digits should be the last two digits of the year in which the dissertation is submitted: e.g. 08; The next three letters should be the abbreviated name of the course: e.g. BED; and The last three numbers should be the students number: e.g. 023.

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Therefore a dissertation submitted in 2008 for the B.Ed. (Hons) course by student number 23 should read as 08BED023. When a dissertation is presented in two volumes, the labelling of the pdf documents should read 08BED023.01 and 08BED023.02. In case a resource pack is also digitalised, this should carry the extension .RP as in 08BED023.RP. Any music or video resources or programmes should carry the extension .AV as in 08BED023.AV. Any additional material which is not included on the CD-ROM should be handed in an accompanying wallet folder. This can include videos, audio-tapes, slides and all other audio and visual material that has not been digitised and included within the CD-ROM. The items should be labelled as if they were digitised, as indicated above. The CD-ROM and any accompanying wallet folders should be clearly labelled with: The name of the student/s; The dissertation title; The course and year; The name of the file as it is saved on the diskette; and A contact telephone number in case of technical difficulties. Further support is available by emailing A read-only copy of dissertations awarded grade C+ or higher will be forwarded to the UoM Library. Two copies of all dissertations recorded on CD-ROM will be kept at the Teachers Resource Centre. One will be kept for reference only and the other will be available on loan. If students require that either their whole dissertation or any part of their work is embargoed (i.e. they would like to close access for some years to their dissertation, or parts thereof, or to resources they have created) they need to make a formal request to the DC and to the UOM library when they submit a final copy of their dissertation on CD-ROM stating clearly the reason and duration of the embargo. References Brooks, F.E. & Brooks, P.A. (1996). Research Guidelines. Methods, Writing and Assessment. Malta: University of Malta.

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9 Citing and Referencing

In a dissertation, one often refers to or quotes from different documents or sources. This section is a selective, quick reference indication of the main types of documents or sources used and that therefore need to be properly cited in the text and listed in the References section. Several systems, formats or styles, such as those of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) exist. Details for each of these may be found in published manuals with extensive examples. Such manuals are usually available in libraries. They may also be bought from or ordered through local bookshops or online. It is essential in serious academic undertakings to properly document your work using the style of one system only. Once a style has been adopted no mixing of styles is permitted, and consistency is, therefore, paramount. For example, this chapter has used the style of the American Psychological Association (APA) and any examples given attempt to be consistent with that format. Throughout this chapter, the word document is used to mean any information-carrying item (book, periodical, dissertation, thesis, newspaper article, video or audio tape, electronic source, etc.) that may be used in academic work and that needs to be quoted from or otherwise used in the dissertation and that, consequently, needs to be correctly identified and entered in the References section. Citing is the process of quoting someone else's work and attributing the source in text. This involves concisely but correctly naming that work in an identifiable way within the main text of the dissertation. For example, if you need to use the following quotation from the work of another person, you may do it within your own text, because it is brief (less than 40 words), correctly followed by its proper reference in parentheses (round brackets). Professional isolation is afact of life for most educators. Teachers seldom get to see the "big picture" and rarely stand back and view their subject or profession in a philosophical manner (Simpson,1995,p.50). Reference Listing is the process of giving fuller details for each of the documents or sources cited in your text. Listing of documents is normally done in alphabetical order at the end of the document. In dissertations, much use is made of material reported in the literature. This is not only desirable but obligatory. Scholarship is expected to reflect mastery of the field in the wider sense of knowledge, rather than only in the narrower acquisition of particular skills. As far as possible, students are urged to consult primary sources, rather than secondary sources. That is, students should strive to read and quote from the original book, article, report etc.


Citing references

In most undergraduate dissertations, the name-date method of referencing is used within the main text. The rules of the method are given below together with associated examples. Students are urged to note the different procedures for in-text and off-text referencing. a) In-text referencing is given as Name(s) (Date). ArecentstudybyHenderson(1995)showedthatthetwogroupswerequitedistinct.
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b) Off-text referencing where the citation is not actually part of the text, is given as (Name(s), Date). Arecentstudy(Henderson,1995)showedthatthetwogroupswerequitedistinct. The advantage of the latter form is that it does not interrupt the flow of the text. c) In in-text referencing, as in (a), no comma ever occurs between the name and the bracketed date. A comma is inserted after the bracketed date only if a comma would normally follow the name. BrownandBright(1997),inafollowupstudytotheir1993work,foundthattheeffect In this example, a comma occurs after the date because the phrase that follows it is in apposition. d) Two or more references of the same year in in-text referencing are treated as separate -which they are. The correct referencing reads: FollowupstudiesbyGreen(1997)andCarter(1997) AND NOT FollowupstudiescarriedoutbyGreenandCarter(1997) e) Two or more references of the same year in off-text referencing are separated by semicolons. Followupstudieshavebeencarriedout(Carter,1997;Green,1997) f) When two or more references are given off text, as shown in (e) above, two strategies are available. Firstly, they can be presented in alphabetical order, and in date order for references to the same author (or group of authors). Further summaries can be found in various publications (Adams, 1994; Brown and McIntosh1993;Carter,1997;Green,1993;1995a;1995b;1997;WintersandLast,1992). Secondly, the references can be presented in chronological order. This has the advantage of putting the most recent reference in a consistent position, i.e. last in the list. g) Where one author has several references, the name need only be given once, and the dates are usually separated by semi-colons. In a recent series, Brown (1992; 1994; 1995) . Or In a recent series (Brown, 1992; 1994;1995) In the References section, these references are organised in ascending date order (See the examples of Wertsch in Section 9.3.2). h) Where a publication has more than two authors, the first citation in the text should refer to all the authors and the date (e.g. Heinich, Molenda, Russell, and Smaldino, 1996). In
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subsequent citations in the text, write the name of the first author followed by et al. and the date. Visualsprovideinformationandattractandholdlearnersinterest(Heinichetal.,1996). In the References section, all authors need to be included. For the above example, the reference would read as follows: Heinich,R.,Molenda,M.,Russell,J.D.,&Smaldino,S.E.(1996).Instructionalmediaand technologiesforlearning(5thed).Merill,OH:PrenticeHall. i) Where one author has more than one work of the same year, these items should be arranged in the Reference List in chronological order of appearance. The suffixes (a), (b), etc., should be added to the year, as in the example below. Garton, A.F. (1983a). An approach to the study of determiners in early language development,JournalPsycholinguisticResearch,12,513525. Garton, A.F. (1983b, November). Childrens language use in collaborative and conflict patterns of interaction. Paper presented at the Third International Conference on SocialPsychologyandLanguage,Bristol. j) When citing a chapter from an edited book, the author(s) of the chapter and the date of publication appear in the text and not the editor of the book. The attempts to implement assessments in PE have generated some educational and proceduralconcerns(MacdonaldandBrooker,1999). The Reference List should show the following entry: Macdonald,D.andBrooker,R.(1999).Assessmentissuesinaperformancebasedsubject:a case of Physical Education. In P. Murphy (Ed.), Learners, Learning and Assessment. London:PaulChapman. k) When quoted text contributes more directly than rewriting, this may be put in quotation marks forming a natural part of the text. If the text is longer than 40 words, the quotation should be indented (5 spaces) and given in single spacing. The use of quotation marks are not required for longer indented quotations. The single most important fact about quotations is that the source must be indicated for the reader to find the original context without difficulty. Centresneedtobeawarethat,althoughtheymaybespecialistinparticularareasof thetheoreticalaspectsofthecourse,asoundworkingknowledgeofallaspectsof the theory to practice when conducting the observation analysis corrections and synthesis assessment. This will be essential for the 1998 assessment (AEB, 1997, p17). l) Note that an interview reported in a newspaper is cited in the text as follows: SEC PE is contributing to an improvement in the standard of teaching of physical education(vanVuurenCassarquotedinWood,2001,p28).

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m) When citing text from electronic material the rules are continually being updated. According to the fifth edition of the APA Publication Manual (p.120), when the material does not include page numbers, one can include any of the following in the text to locate the quotation: 1. 2. 3. A paragraph number, if provided; alternatively, you could count paragraphs down from the beginning of the document. See the Fennel example below. An overarching heading plus a paragraph number within that section. See the Humphries example below. When no page or paragraph numbers are provided and the use of headings may be confusing, just omit the location. The reader can locate the quoted material by making a word search.

Fennelmakesthepointthatoftendecisionmakersdonotinvolveteachersinplanning curricular reform, adding that this oversightthis disrespectcontributes to the departureofmanymathematicsteachersfromtheprofession.(Fennel,2007,para.2)

The diagnosis of autism is unlikely to be made on the basis of one examination, especiallyifthechildisveryyoung.(Humphries,2000,Assessment,para.4)


Reference listing

This section on referencing is strictly for guidance purposes only and is a selective representation of a mere handful of commonly encountered documents and of ways of dealing with them, using the APA style. As such, in no way is this brief guide meant to be a substitute for detailed consultation of the latest version of the reference manual in use, which is highly recommended. The most recent version to date of the APA manual is the 2001 edition: Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 9.2.1 Referencing: Standard form

There must be no ambiguity or lack of clarity in the reference of a document or source. The reader must be immediately aware of: The author or authors; The type of publication (book, journal, etc.); The name of the publication; The date of the publication; The place of publication and publisher; and Any other relevant information (e.g. page numbers of journal articles, or whether the source is a chapter in a book edited by someone else). Abbreviations of journal names should be avoided. There is a list of standard abbreviations of journal titles, but the number of journals continues to increase rapidly. The recommended practice is to give the journal title in full. The use of standard form requires consistent usage. Slipping in and out of the use of standard form may confuse readers. It is common for all the facts of publication (city, publisher, and date) to be given except in the following cases:

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Original classical and biblical works. Legal works and some public documents which usually omit all but the date. Dictionaries, general encyclopaedias and atlases when it is acceptable to omit all but edition and date. For the place of publication, give the city. This will often be sufficient; but if the city is not well known, or may be confused, give more information (e.g. Cambridge refers to Cambridge in England, but Cambridge, MA must be used for Harvard University Press in the USA.) For foreign cities use the English version of the name, not the foreign one. It is permissible, when two places are shown (e.g. London and New York) to use both, but in general this is to be avoided. The last date of copyright or the last edition date (which will be the same on books still in copyright) that is shown in the book consulted is the date that you give for that book. Reprint or new impression dates should not be given. If no date is evident, put 'n.d.' (no date). 9.2.2 Referencing: General format

It should be noted that standard form is something that has grown through requirements and traditions, and does not derive from a theory or referencing. Thus, standard form is what is familiar and expected, and not necessarily what is logically the most appropriate. In the following example a precise format is used. This format is not obligatory, but any variations from it must be consistently followed. Simpson,C.M.(1995).InternetforLibraryMediaSpecialists.Worthington,OH:Linworth. Note that the above reference to the book by Simpson, contains the following elements in the following order: Surname of author. Initials of first and middle names. Year of publication in parentheses (If you have more than one title by the same author published in the same year, distinguish one from the other by adding lower case letters (a, b, c, etc.) to the year of publication (1995a) (1995b), etc. Title in italics and with each key word starting with a capital letter. Place of publication (Name of city. In the case of cities in the US it is customary to also name the State in abbreviated form. In this case, the State of Ohio is abbreviated in standard fashion to OH. A full list of American State abbreviations is given in the APA manual as Table 13). Publisher's name (Leave out words such as Co., Ltd., Inc., etc. Therefore, not Linworth Inc., but Linworth). The first reference below is an example of a reference to a chapter in a book edited by Olson. The name of the chapter follows the name of the chapter author; the name of the book follows the name of the book editor. The second reference provides an example of a reference to a paper published in the journal Child Development. The third and fourth examples constitute a reference to a paper presented at a conference and to an unpublished research report respectively. Wood, D. (1980). Teaching the young child: Some relationships between social interaction, languageandthought.InD.R.Olson(Ed.),TheSocialFoundationsofLanguageandThought: EssaysinHonorofJeromeSBruner.NewYork:Norton.
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Wertsch,J.V.,McNamee,G.D.,McLane,J.B.,andBudwig,N.A.(1980).Theadultchilddyadasa problemsolvingsystem.ChildDevelopment,51,12151221. Garton,A.F.(1983).Children'slanguageuseincollaborativeandconflictpatternsofinteraction. Paper presented at Third International Conference on Social Psychology and Language, Bristol. Girotto, V. (1991). Children's performance in the selection test: Plausibility and familiarity. Unpublishedresearchreport,OpenUniversity,U.K. Note the use of the following conventions in the above examples: Entries should be single-spaced. Entries should be separated by double-spacing. The first line of each entry should start flush with the left margin. If the entry runs beyond one line indent the second and subsequent lines as shown in the examples above, i.e. 2-5 spaces further in. This is organised using the tab ruler in word processing. Capitals should only be used as shown. In particular, neither authors' name nor books, nor journals should be completely in capitals. Book titles and names of journals should have each word (except conjunctions, etc.) begin with a capital letter, and the titles of books and names of journals should be either underlined or italicised. Titles of journal articles and unpublished works should have no capitals except for the opening letter and any proper nouns. Quotation marks should not be used for any title except to pick out words so emphasised in the original. Place of publication should precede the publisher and be separated by a colon as shown. Following the name of a journal there should be: a comma, the volume number (the number only), the issue number, and the pages covered by the article. It is not strictly necessary to put 'vol.' for volume, or 'pp'. for pages. Part numbers or months, etc., of journal issues are not strictly necessary. Italicising


Using the reference examples given in the preceding section, note the following conventions in the use of italics.
Italicise only the titles of published books or the names of journals, newspapers, etc. Italicise titles of unpublished dissertations or unpublished work. Books


The following are examples of referencing for books, chapters in a book and conference proceedings. A book with two authors Donelson,K.L.,&Nilsen,A.P.(1997).LiteratureforToday'sYoungAdults.NewYork:Longman.

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A book with three or more authors Cachia, C., Mifsud, C., & Sammut, P, M. (1991). The Marine Shelled Mollusca of the Maltese Islands:PartOne,Archaeogastropoda.Marsa:Grima. In the text, the first citation will be Cachia, Mifsud and Sammut (1991) and subsequent citations will be Cachiaetal.(1991).Note that etal. is not in italics. Note that an ampersand (&) or and always precedes the last author. A sub-title, when one exists, should be stated. It is separated from the title proper by a colon and a space and always starts with a capital letter, as above. A chapter in an edited book Macdonald,D.andBrooker,R.(1999).Assessmentissuesinaperformancebasedsubject:Acaseof Physical Education. In P. Murphy (Ed.), Learners, Learning and Assessment. London: Paul Chapman. Note that the title of the book from which the chapter was taken is in italics. The title of the chapter itself is not in italics. A corporate author Workers' Participation Development Centre. (1992). Annual report for the years 1990 & 1991. Msida:MaltaUniversityPress. In the above example, the corporate author is an institute of the University of Malta. A corporate author can also be an organisation, a body, an association, etc., but is not usually a person. Editions following the first edition Blazek, R., & Aversa, E. (1994). The Humanities: A Selective Guide to Information Sources (4thed.).Englewood,CO:LibrariesUnlimited. The edition statement is placed in parentheses and follows the book title, as above. Conference Proceedings Gatt,S.(2000).ScienceinthePrimaryCurriculum.InJ.Giordmaina(Ed.)NationalCurriculumon its way: Proceedings of a conference of the implementation of the National Curriculum Malta.Msida:MinistryofEducation,EducationDivision,FacultyofEducation,Universityof Malta. 9.2.5 Dissertations, theses and conference papers

Dissertations, theses and conference papers are referenced as follows. Lawer, D. (1993). Libraries for the people: A comparative study of the organisation and management of public library services in Malta and Cornwall. Unpublished master's dissertation,UniversityofCentralEngland,England. Imber, A. (2003). Applicant reactions to graduate recruitment and selection. Unpublished doctoralthesis,MonashUniversity,Melbourne,Victoria,Australia. Wertsch,J.V.(1980).Semioticmechanismsinjointcognitiveactivity.Paperpresentedatjoint USUSSRConferenceontheTheoryofActivity,Moscow.
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Boweler, D. L. (1993). Employee assistant programs supervisory referrals: Characteristics of referral and non referring supervisors. Dissertation Abstracts International, 54, (01) 534B. (UMINO9315947) In the first three examples above, note that the titles of the dissertation, thesis and conference paper are in italics. In the Boweler example, note that for dissertations abstracted from the Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI), the title of the actual dissertation is not in italics. 9.2.6 Periodicals

Examples of referencing for articles in journals, magazines and newspapers are given below. Journal article in a journal paginated by volume Du Boulay, J. (1991). Strangers and gifts: Hostility and hospitality in rural Greece. Journal of MediterraneanStudies,1,3753. Note that the journal title and the volume number, not the article title, are in italics. The page numbers are not in italics. Journal article in a journal paginated by issue Stutte,H.(1972).Transculturalchildpsychiatry.ActaPaedopsychiatrica,38(9),229231. Note that the issue number is given in parentheses, but is not in italics. Magazines and Newspapers Cachia,T.(1988,October).Acivilisedwayoflife.Themonth,p.8. Cachia,T.(1988,October8).Acivilisedwayoflife.Theweek,p.12. Cachia,T.(1988,October8).Acivilisedwayoflife.Thedaily,pp.1718 Wood,M.(2001,December14).Maltaneedsasportschool.TheTimes,p28 The three references to the Cachia article A civilised way of life are fictitious, and were made up to illustrate the methods of referencing for different types of newspapers or magazines. Moving downwards from the first Cachia reference, they exemplify references to three articles with the same name and published in a monthly magazine, a weekly magazine and a daily newspaper respectively. 9.2.7 Electronic sources

Because of the rapidly changing environment within which electronic sources originate, it is expected that their citation and referencing will continue to evolve with the emerging technologies. If one is using APA style for the References section, the following basic information should be included where available: The author/editor's last name and first initial (if known); The date (Year, Month Day) "published" in parentheses: include as much of the date as is available, and use (n.d.) when no electronic publication date is available; The full title of the work, paper or article;
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The title of the complete work in italics; The edition of the work in parentheses if relevant; and

The date of retrieval (i.e. when accessed) and internet source (i.e. the exact URL address). Examples of referencing for different electronic sources are given in the following subsections.
A Sound/Audio Cassette Bennett,J.G.(Speaker).(1976).Guardjieff:Theman(CassetteRecordingNo.SS124).London: SeminarCassette. The name and, in parentheses, the function of the principal contributors (in this case, Bennett, the speaker are first specified. The medium following the title (in this case Cassette Recording) follows. If a number which is useful for identification accompanies the item, this is also included as in the example above, enclosed in parentheses. If there is no such number, include the name of the medium in square brackets, not parentheses, thus: [Cassette recording]. Note that recorded speeches/lectures/presentations/seminars that have not been published may not be used for referencing. This is because the speaker would not have had the opportunity to review/edit the speech for the sake of accuracy. A Video Cassette Jump,G.(Producer).(1983).Alcoholism:Thepitofdespair[Videocassette,VHSandBeta].New York:AIMSMedia. The principal contributor(s) is specified as in the preceding example. The system used for video recording is shown next. If the item has a number useful for identification, it should follow the name of the medium and both should be within parentheses rather than square brackets. When no date is available, (n.d.) is used instead of the date. Internet Sources The following are a few examples based on APA style:

Individual work/document/web page available on university programme or department website

Trapp,Y.U.(2005).Multipleintelligences:Thelearningprocessinourstudents.RetrievedJuly1, 2006, from Yale University, YaleNew Haven Teachers InstitutexWebsite: Web page that lists no author New child vaccine gets funding boost. (2001). Retrieved March 21, 2001, from When there is no author for a Web page, the title moves to the first position of the reference entry. The text citation would then just cite a few words of the title to point the reader to the right area of the reference list as in the example below: aremostatriskofcontractingthedisease("NewChild,"2001).
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Website material that has no author, no year, and no page numbers Stylelistforreferences.(n.d.).RetrievedJanuary1,2001,from


Referencing CD-ROMs and Computer Software

CD-ROM DorlingKindersley.(1995).WorldReferenceAtlas[CDROM].London:DorlingKindersley. Note the use of square brackets in denoting the medium, in this case CD-ROM. Computer Programme, Software, or Programming Language Brown, C. J. (1990). Library system software demo [Computer Software]. Brighton: Spiral Information. One can consult the following websites for more examples: APA style guide: Electronic Reference Formats (APA Style): Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):


The Reference List of a dissertation

The Reference List should only contain a list of those works cited in the text. If a work has been consulted but not cited, and is thought to provide an important background to the discussion, it should be noted in an addendum to the Reference List (e.g. Bibliography or Additional Readings), but not in the main Reference List. The presentation of Reference Lists must consistently follow one of the standard forms or accepted methods. Authors, books and journals must be listed accurately in the correct form. Names of authors, books and journals must only be listed if the material has been read. Errors will always lead to the suspicion that the student has not in fact consulted this source at all. 9.3.1 Common errors

Common errors in spelling and referencing in the Reference List are often referred to the student for correction following the examination of the dissertation. Word processing has a convenient spell check facility; however, this does not detect all typing errors (e.g. from instead of form), or misspelling of surnames. American spelling (e.g. color [American] vs. colour [British]) can pose a further problem. The word program may be accepted when used with computers or in programmed learning, but not elsewhere. It is wise to conform to British English for the purpose of the dissertation. There are common errors of usage for words, such as: affect-effect; data-date-datum; except-accept; homogeneous-homogenous; its-its; practice-practise; ones-ones; and advice-advise.
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The following are common errors that are often found in Reference Lists: Incorrect order of items in entry; Incorrect spelling of authors and titles; Listing of books not referred to in the main dissertation text. Omitting the title of a paper in a journal, or the name of the journal, or other detail; Incorrect indication of the volume number and page number of journal articles; Using abbreviations and not full titles of journals (unless the referencing system chosen allows for this); Generally inconsistent use of standard form. Many of these errors could be avoided by keeping a physical card-file or Excel file of accurate references compiled at the time of consulting the source. If these are kept in alphabetical order they can be extracted to make a Reference List at the end of the process. One can also make use of commercially available products such as EndNote available from 9.3.2 Example of a Reference List

The specimen excerpt of a Reference List which follows should be studied carefully. Particular attention should be paid to the setting out and details. The following points must always be observed: Capital letters must only be used as illustrated. It is not good practice to put names (Surnames) in capitals. Each entry must be single-spaced. Double-spacing must be used between entries. Entries must be in strict alphabetical order. Note how the eight entries for Wertsch and others are listed. The alphabetical order of the second authors must be followed. Note that the 1985 entries for Wertsch are listed in the order they have appeared in the text. Titles of journal articles must be consistently shown in full and with as few capital letters as possible. Titles of book and journals must be consistently shown with most words initially capitalised. Articles, conjunctions and prepositions must not be capitalised, unless they occur as the first word. Dates, volume numbers and pages must be shown consistently. The use of commas, colons and full-stops must also be consistent throughout. Note. The reference system presented on the following pages is a model students are advised to adopt. Manguel,A.,&Stephenson,C.(1996,October).DangerousSubjects.IndexonCensorshipLost Words: The Stories They Wouldn't Let You Read. Retrieved August 7, 1996, from WarrenLeubecker, A., & Bohannon, J.N. (1982). The effects of expectation and feedback on speechtoforeigners.JournalofPsycholinguisticResearch,11,207215 Wellman,H.M.(1990).TheChild'sTheoryofMind.Cambridge,MA:BradfordBooks/MITPress.
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Wells, C.G. (1985a). Language Development in the Preschool Years. Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress. Wells, C.G. (1985b). Preschool literacy related activities and later success in school. In D.R. Olson, N. Torrance, & A. Hildyard (Eds.), Literacy, Language and Learning: The Nature and ConsequencesofReading.Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress. Wells,C.G.(1987).TheMeaningMakers.London:HodderandStoughton. Wells,C.G.,&Robinson,W.P.(1982).Theroleofadultspeechinlanguagedevelopment.InC. Fraser and K. Scherer (Eds.), The Social Psychology of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress. Wertsch,J.V.(1980).Semioticmechanismsinjointcognitiveactivity.Paperpresentedatjoint USUSSRConferenceontheTheoryofActivityMoscow. Wertsch,J.V.(1984).Thezoneofproximaldevelopment:Someconceptualissues.InB.Rogoff & J.V. Wertsch (Eds.), Children's Learning in the `Zone of Proximal Development`. San Francisco:JosseyBass. Wertsch, J.V. (1985a). Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UniversityPress. Wertsch, J.V. (Ed.) (1985b). Culture, Communication and Cognition: Vygotskian Perspectives. Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress. Wertsch,J.V.(1985c).Adultchildinteractionasasourceofselfregulationin children.InS.R. Yussen(Ed.),TheGrowthofReflectioninChildren.NewYork:AcademicPress. Wertsch, J.V., McNamee, G.D., McLane, J.B., & Budwig, N.A. (1980). The adultchild dyad as a problemsolvingsystem.ChildDevelopment,51,12151221. Wertsch,J.V.,Minick,N.,&Arns,F.(1984).Thecreationofcontextinjointproblemsolving.In B. Rogoff & J. Lave (Eds.), Everyday Cognition: Its Development in Social Context. Cambridge,MA:HarvardUniversityPress Wertsch,J.V.,&Rogoff,B.(1980).Editor'snotes.InB.Rogoff&J.V.Wertsch(Eds.),Children's Learninginthe`ZoneofProximalDevelopment'.SanFrancisco:JosseyBass. Wexler,K.,&Culicover,P.W.(1980).FormalPrinciplesofLanguageAcquisition.Cambridge,MA: MITpress. Whiten,A.(Ed.)(1991).NaturalTheoriesofMind.Oxford:BasilBlackwell. Wilcox,B.M.(1969).Visualpreferencesofhumaninfantsforrepresentationsofthehumanface. JournalofExperimentalChildPsychology,7,1020. Williams, E. (1987). Introduction. In T. Rogers & E. Williams (Eds.), Parameter Setting. Dordrecht:D.Reidal.
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Wood,B.(1976).ChildrenandCommunications:VerbalandNonverbalLanguageDevelopment. EnglewoodCliffs,NJ:PrenticeHall. Wood, D. (1980). Teaching the young child: Some relationships between social interaction, languageandthought.InD.R.Olson(Ed.),TheSocialFoundationsofLanguageandThought: EssaysinHonorofJeromeSBruner.NewYork:Norton. References Pumfrey, P., Jones, L., Lees, C., & Millar, S. (Eds). (1997). Form and Style in Writing Dissertations and Theses. University of Manchester, Faculty of Education. American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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Appendix 1: Faculty Policy regarding the Dissertation Study Unit.

FACULTY OF EDUCATION B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Committee Faculty Policy Regarding the Dissertation Study-Unit In The Bachelor of Education (Honours) Course
As approved by the Faculty Board on the 19th of December 2007 and amended following a Faculty Board decision taken on 11th March 2009

1. GENERAL 1.0 Rationale, aims and objectives:

Rationale: The rationale for the undergraduate dissertation study-unit is to introduce students to academic research and academic report writing in education. The main aims and objectives of this study-unit include the following (the list is neither comprehensive nor exclusive): Aims: Through this study-unit, the students will be guided to: conduct research to study a specific problem in the field of education in depth; carry out an investigation in an ethical, systematic and scientific manner; and produce a written academic report of the study. Objectives: Through this study-unit, the students will develop reflective and/or creative practice and analytic and academic writing skills. The main objective is for students to go through the following experiences and processes of academic investigation and writing: selection of area of interest within educational research; critical appraisal and acknowledgement of the relevant literature; identification of the research question/s; design of a research project that can address the question/s; selection of the appropriate research method/s; explanation of the reasons for taking up a research methodology/ies consideration of due and sensitive ethical issues; and production of a sound, clear and coherent academic written presentation of the research issues, literature review, methodology, results where applicable, discussion of the research and/or product and a conclusion. 1.1 In this Faculty Policy, unless the context otherwise requires

Dissertation means the final work submitted to and approved by the Dissertation Committee for the fulfilment of the study-unit EDU 4205 regulated by this policy-document; Dissertation Committee means the Dissertation Committee appointed by the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Education to co-ordinate the process of the dissertation study-unit for the B.Ed. (Hons) course; Supervisor means the person appointed by the Faculty Board on the recommendation of the Dissertation Committee who shall guide and assist the student in all the phases of the
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dissertation. The supervisor will tutor the students work, keep records of students progress and examine the dissertation; Advisor means the person appointed by the Faculty Board on the recommendation of the Dissertation Committee who shall assist the supervisor, and/or guide and assist the student in the various phases of the dissertation as deemed necessary. The Advisor will examine the dissertation; Student means the B.Ed. (Hons) undergraduate, who is fully responsible for completing and presenting the dissertation by the set deadline. The student is expected to request appointments for tutorials with the Supervisor/Advisor and to attend any meetings called by the Supervisor/Advisor. Examination Board means the Examination Board appointed by the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Education on the recommendation of the Dissertation Committee. 1.2 1.3 All B.Ed. (Hons) students are to submit a dissertation, which may either be an individual or joint project with the work value of twelve (12) credits. The Dissertation study-unit is co-ordinated and regulated by the Dissertation Committee.

1.4 The Dissertation Committee establishes and follows its own procedures. 1.5 The topic of the dissertation may be chosen from any area pertaining to education, where education is understood to incorporate a broad range of subjects. Topics should usually fall within the range of topics indicated in the list of areas of interest of Supervisors and Advisors, or within their area/s of specialisation recommended as published by the Dissertation Committee. The Dissertation study-unit will be carried out under the supervision of a recommended Supervisor. The work shall be presented, in terms of time and format, in conformity with the guidelines established by the Faculty of Education. Recommended Supervisors and Advisors should preferably be full-time or part-time staff of the University of Malta with formal teaching and/or research duties, in possession of a Masters Degree, or its equivalent, or a higher degree. In exceptional circumstances, the Dissertation Committee may approve ad hoc Supervisors and Advisors on the basis of their expertise and/or relevant professional qualifications. The Dissertation Committee is responsible for updating the list of recommended Supervisors and Advisors, and their areas of interest. Supervisors and Advisors shall ensure that there is no conflict of interest in the supervision of the dissertation. A conflict of interest exists when it can be reasonably determined that a supervisors / advisors personal and/or financial concerns could directly and significantly influence the design, conduct, or reporting of research activities.



1.8 1.9

1.10 A change of Supervisor and/or Advisor can be effected by the Dissertation Committee at the request of the Supervisor, Advisor and/or the student/s.

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2. PROCEDURES 2.0 The Dissertation Committee will hold a briefing meeting for B.Ed. (Hons) students early in the second semester of their second year of studies. 2.1 Without prejudice to any other documents that students may be required to refer to, during this briefing meeting, students will be referred to an information pack containing the following items: the Dissertation Proposal Form; the List Of Areas Of Interest offered by Supervisors and Advisors, Faculty of Education Policy regarding the Dissertation Studyunit, the Dissertation Guidelines, the Dissertation Progress Diary, the Guidelines of the University of Malta Research Ethics Committee, the Research Ethics Form of the University of Malta Research Ethics Committee and the Faculty of Education Consent Form. 2.2 The student shall be responsible to propose a topic for the dissertation together with the endorsement of a prospective Supervisor to the Dissertation Committee.

2.3 The Supervisor, in consultation with the student, may ask for the assistance of an Advisor. 2.4 In compliance with Research Ethics requirements of the University of Malta, students will be advised on issues related to ethics in the process of research, in the first instance, by their Supervisor. The Dissertation Committee and the Research Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Education will liaise as necessary with the University Research Ethics Committee and notify the students on the relevant Research Ethics issues and requirements.

3. PROPOSALS 3.0 Students' proposals should be submitted by the end of the third week of May of their 2nd year of study. Students on exchange visits have to ensure that they also submit their proposal by the same date. The exact date will be communicated through the official channels of the University. Students who have difficulty finding a Supervisor to supervise their dissertation will inform the Dissertation Committee by not later than the end of April of their 2nd year of study. Failure to hand in the proposal by the deadline of the first semester of the 3rd year will be penalised by a 5% reduction of the dissertations final mark. The proposal is to be submitted on the official Dissertation Proposal Form of the Faculty of Education, and shall include as appropriate: a provisional title; the date, course year and proposal number (i.e. 1st, 2nd proposal); the name of the student/s who is/are submitting the proposal; a brief description of the topic and objectives of the dissertation; a brief overview of the main issues in the area of research; an indication of the research method/s which will be used, including description/s and size of sample; the language / languages of writing the dissertation; a list of 3-6 keywords; the name, contact details and signed approval of the Supervisor, and, where applicable, that of the Advisor; and the Research Ethics Form of the University of Malta Research Ethics Committee. 3.4 The Faculty of Education Research Ethics Committee will establish the date by which students are to forward to it all relevant documents required in conformity with the

3.1 3.2 3.3

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Research Ethics Form (request for approval of Human Subjects Research) of the University of Malta Research Ethics Committee. 3.5 3.6 3.7 The Dissertation Committee shall meet to review and approve the dissertations proposed to it. Supervisors and students shall be notified when proposals have been approved. The final approved proposal will be presented to all the members of the Examination Board. The Dissertation Committee may refer proposals back to the Supervisor and students concerned for amendments and/or resubmissions.


4.0 Supervisors and Advisors are to note students progress in writing on the official Faculty of Education Dissertation Progress Diary. In the case of dissertations involving more than one student, the Supervisor and Advisor should sign the Dissertation Progress Diary of every student. The Dissertation Committee may consult such Dissertation Progress Diary while the study-unit is still on-going. The Dissertation Progress Diary is to be submitted by the students to the Dissertation Committee upon submission of the dissertation. Supervisors and/or students shall inform the Dissertation Committee as a matter of urgency if a major difficulty arises which in their opinion might prejudice the presentation of the dissertation according to established procedures. A student, with the consent of the Supervisor, shall submit a formal letter to the Dissertation Committee in order to request consideration for approval of any major change in the topic or scope of the dissertation. Change will be allowed in the proposed topic/scope of the dissertation only in exceptional circumstances, and normally, not after the end of June of the third year.



4.3 The Dissertation Committee will advise the Dean on the appropriate course of action should a situation develop which in the opinion of the Dissertation Committee makes a change of Supervisor necessary.


5.0 Dissertations shall be presented in conformity with the standards of the subject area and the particular methodology adopted in the field of study. Referencing shall follow established academic procedures normally followed by the relevant discipline (e.g. American Psychological Association [APA], Harvard Referencing System, Chicago Manual of Style and others). The title, including any subtitle of the dissertation, should normally not exceed 15 words. Students will normally be required to submit the final title of their dissertation on the official Exact Title Form by the end of February of the 4th year of studies. The main text of the dissertation, including all footnotes, shall be between 10,000 and 13,000 words in length. For the purpose of the word limit, references and bibliographies, ethnographic field-notes, verbatim transcripts of discourse, tables, graphs, worksheets, programme listings and other media or curriculum material will not be considered. The work of two students shall be between 14,000 and 16,000 words in length.



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5.3. The Dissertation Committee, will establish a word limit or the amount of work required following the criteria established in 5.2. Mutatis mutandis in the case that more than two students are working on a write-up or in the case of a project. 5.4 In exceptional cases the Dissertation Committee may, after considering a recommendation from the Supervisor, allow the presentation of a longer dissertation, and or an extension in time. Applications for word/time extensions must be made on the official forms of the Faculty of Education which have to be handed in at the latest, four weeks prior to the submission date. The dissertation can be written in any language, subject to the approval of the Dissertation Committee at the proposal stage. Irrespective of the language in which the dissertation is written, an Abstract in English must be included. The dissertation shall be word-processed and must be printed on white A4 paper. Each page should normally have top and bottom margins of not less than 2.5cm while it is suggested that the left margin will be of 4cm and the right margin of 2.5cm (to allow for trimming of paper and binding) Appendices, indices and related material shall normally be bound with the main text of the dissertation. When they are unsuitable for binding within the main text of the dissertation the Supervisor shall consult with the Dissertation Committee as to the appropriate format for their presentation.




6.0 Dissertations shall be submitted by a date to be determined by the Dissertation Committee, normally by the Friday of the first week of May of the 4th year of studies. Dissertations submitted within two weeks after that date will incur a penalty of 15% of the mark allotted to it. No dissertation will be accepted after the end of the two week concession. Three loose copies of the dissertation must first be presented and registered at the Faculty of Education before the end of normal office hours of the submission date established. Where there is an Advisor as well as a Supervisor four loose copies of the dissertation must be presented. A copy of the final approved proposal shall be included with the dissertation copies when the latter are submitted for examination. By mid-June, the three (or four) unbound copies will be returned to the student/s together with a copy of the official Examination Report. Depending on the official Examination Report, the student may be required to effect corrections and/or amendments to the dissertation before bound copies are handed in. One bound copy (where there is an Advisor two bound copies); and three copies of the dissertation on CD-ROM in the stipulated format are to be submitted to the Faculty by midJuly. Bound copies will be forwarded to the Supervisor and Advisor. A read-only soft copy of dissertations awarded grade C+ or higher will be forwarded to and made available at the University Library. Two read-only copies of all dissertations recorded on CD-ROM will be kept at the Teachers Resource Centre. One will be kept for reference only, and the other will be available on loan. Read-only soft copies of dissertations awarded less than grade C+ will be kept at the Teachers Resource Centre, for reference only.


6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5

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6.6 6.7

The Faculty of Education reserves the right to publish the Abstract in any form it deems necessary. On the request of the student a Supervisor may make a recommendation to the Dissertation Committee to close access to the dissertation for a period of time, only if the reason for doing so is deemed acceptable by the Dissertation Committee. In such cases, the dissertation Abstract will be included in the Faculty of Education and the University Library databases, showing that access to the dissertation is denied for a specific period of time. Closed dissertations shall be sealed and stored at the University Library in a manner determined by the Dissertation Committee. The date of open access shall be written on the sealed material and on the relevant entries in lists and catalogues of dissertations.


7.0 The dissertation shall be examined by an Examination Board composed of a Chairperson, preferably chosen from among the members of the Faculty of Education staff, the Supervisor, and one or more members. In the case where an Advisor has been appointed to assist in the research, the Advisor is to be part of the Examination Board in addition to the Chairperson and the other two members. The Examination Board for each dissertation shall be appointed by the Faculty Board on the advice of the Dissertation Committee. The award of the grade and any revision of a grade will follow the University of Malta Undergraduate Regulations 2004 (article 36) or any other regulation approved for the purpose by Senate. The Chairperson shall call a meeting of the Examination Board. He or she is responsible for drawing up the official Examination Report that contains the agreed conclusions and grade reached by the Examination Board. The official Examination Report needs to be signed by all the members of the Examination Board. Length of text which, in the opinion of the Examination Board, unjustifiably exceeds the recommended word limits may be penalised by the same Examination Board. The Examination Board may refer a dissertation for corrections and amendments. The Examination Board shall specify what corrections and amendments the candidate/s concerned is/are required to make. In this case, the Supervisor shall give the list of required corrections and amendments to the candidate/s. The Examination Board shall recommend to the Dissertation Committee a time limit by which the dissertation must be submitted, normally not later than mid-July of the year of examination. A dissertation may be referred for amendments and corrections, if, in the opinion of the Examination Board any of the abbreviations, notations, references and bibliographical entries diverge unnecessarily from accepted conventions, or if they are inaccurate, incomplete, insufficient or inconsistent. A dissertation may be referred for amendments if in the opinion of the Examination Board the appendices are excessively lengthy or irrelevant to the dissertation. In cases of a potential F [Fail], the Examination Board may require the candidate/s concerned to submit to a viva voce examination before at least three (3) members of the Examination Board.



7.3 7.4


7.6 7.7

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In exceptional circumstances, the Examination Board may consider awarding different marks and grades to candidates working on the same project. In such cases, each candidate will be required to submit to a viva voce examination before at least three (3) members of the Examination Board. Each candidate will eventually receive a separate official Examination Report. In the cases described in 7.7 and 7.8, the candidates shall be given one week's notice that they are required to attend a viva voce examination at a certain date, time and place by means of an official notice to this effect issued by the Examination Board.


7.10 The Supervisor will monitor amendments and changes submitted. The student and the Supervisor are to sign a declaration that the alterations required have been completed in the final version of the dissertation. 7.11 Failed referred work must be resubmitted before the end of April of the following academic year. Those dissertations that are referred for failed, unsatisfactory or incomplete work will, if successful, be marked at the pass mark D (45). 7.12 A dissertation may not be referred more than once except for very minor typographical corrections and with the approval of the Dissertation Committee. In such cases the dissertation may be referred for a maximum of one week. 7.13 Cases of plagiarism and other intellectual dishonesty will be penalised according to the University of Malta regulations regarding plagiarism and malpractice. 7.14 The official Examination Report and the final mark and grade will be communicated to the Dissertation Committee. A list of the final results will be communicated to the Faculty Office for the publication of results.

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Appendix 2: Sample Outlines for the Report on Different Dissertation Types

The following are possible outlines of the presentation of the written report for 3 common dissertation types. 1. Literature based study Chapter 1. Introduction Standard Components Purpose of Research Significance of Research and what has led you to choose this subject Research question Description of the dissertations structure 2. Context Presentation of the theoretical framework An account of context related to the Research. This may include an account of the historical/socio-political/cultural context or biographical details 3. Major contribution 4. Application to the context Outline and discussion of major concepts/issues raised through the Research question Exploration of major concepts/issues in particular contexts Discussion of implementation of suggested strategies 5. Conclusions Summary of key issues, arguments and suggestions Limitations Conclusions References List of all documents and sources referred to in the main text

2. Investigative Style

Chapter 1. Introduction 2. Literature Review

Standard Components Purpose of Research Statement of the Research issues Compiling current academic research Primary and secondary sources indicated clearly Building a research argument for the study Statement of the research questions

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Chapter 3. Methodology

Standard Components Choice of methodology supported by literature Method (qualitative and/or qualitative) Research design Sample Research tools Pilot study Collection of Data System of analysis Limitations of the study Ethical Issues Comprehensive presentation of findings Text supported by clear and accurate graphical/tabular representations Results analysed in the light of existing literature Realistic and insightful interpretation of results Summary of key results Limitations Linked and feasible recommendations (including recommendations for further study) List of all documents and sources referred to in the main text

4. Results 5. Discussion 6. Conclusions


3. Projects

Chapter 1. Introduction 2. Literature Review

Standard Components Purpose of project Statement of educational value of project Address the topic of the project and pedagogical issues Critical Review of current academic research and any similar projects Synthesis linked with project idea Analysis of current resources Design (including description/results of any form of needs assessment or analysis) Implementation Pedagogical application: Aims, objectives, age groups, ability, using the resources (rules, guidelines, instruction) Methodology Sample Outcome of Evaluation Summary of key results Limitations Linked and feasible recommendations (including recommendations for further study) List of all documents and sources referred to in the main text

3. Production

4. Trialing and Testing 6. Conclusions


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Appendix 3: List of Documents available from Student Downloads in FoE website

1. Areas of Interest Offered by Supervisors and Advisors 2. Faculty Policy Regarding the Dissertation Study-Unit 3. Dissertation Guidebook 4. Step-by-Step Guide to Create a User Friendly Digitized Dissertation 5. The Guidelines of the University of Malta Research Ethics Committee 6. How to Avoid Plagiarism

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Appendix 4: Forms for students

The following Forms can be found on the website of the FoE in Student Downloads. 1. B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Proposal Form 2. B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Progress Dairy 3. Request for Approval of Human Subjects Research 4. Faculty of Education Consent Form 5. B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation Exact Title of Dissertation 6. B.Ed. (Hons) Dissertation - Application for Extension of Word Length /Time Form

The following forms are to be obtained from the relevant authorities, or downloaded, when possible. 7. Request for Research in State Schools 8. Request for Research in Private Schools 9. Request for Research in agencies (children, young persons, adult learners)

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