Develop your proposal

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1. Develop your project proposal

  1. Clarify the purpose of your project:
    • Why do you want to undertake this project? Why is it important? Why is it relevant? Who is it relevant to? Think about the dual expectations: employing organisation and the educational institution
    • What do you want to achieve? What is likely to be your ‘product'?
    • What size and scope should this project be and what are the implications for this?
    • What are your aims and how will you achieve them? (This will help you determine your objectives, that is the sequence of practical steps you will need to take to reach your outcomes)
    • What project framework will you need to use?
    • Who will you need to involve? (You may be doing the project single-handed but there should be other people at work aware of what you are doing and be able to assist you)
    • What deadlines at work must your project adhere to? Again, think of the dual expectations.
    • What resource implications are there
    • What constraints surround the project?
  2. Submit this to your facilitator for formative feedback and consider the feedback given. Ensure you discuss the size, scope and manageability of the project.

2. Issues and implications

  1. What do you need to consider as an insider researcher? What are the implications for yourself and for the people you work with, what issues might arise, what do you need to be mindful of, and how might you build this awareness into your project?.
  2. Discuss your proposal and any ethical concerns with your line manager at work, in particular, how you intend to access and use data, work colleagues and any other workbased resources.
  3. Find out if you need to submit an application to any professional ethics committees associated with your work and find out their requirements. Your line manager should be in agreement with what you aim to do.

3. Identify appropriate professional and academic mentors

  1. Identify and draw up a table of possible professional and academic mentors. It is more than likely that your project may well be transdisciplinary in nature, so think carefully about what learning it is you need and who might be the best person/people to support that robust learning.
  2. Against each person’s name, identify why you believe they might be appropriate, what they offer and bring to the relationship with you. Note also that some mentors might stay with you through your whole project, others might be people who you want to engage with for short focused aspects. Not all might work within your institution.
  3. Discuss these mentors with your course facilitator.

4. Develop the Learning Agreement

  1. Download and read the Learning Agreement template used at Otago Polytechnic.
  2. Populate the template for your project, keeping your writing in each section succinct and clear.
  3. Prior to going to your facilitator for feedback, seek reciprocal feedback from at least two other learners on the course, try to choose people who have a different world view to yours.
  4. Seek formative feedback from your facilitator. Respond to that feedback, and then submit your learning agreement to your facilitator.