What is research?

What is Research?

So just what exactly is research? in the broadest terms we do research whenever we gather information to inform a question or solve a problem. An investigation directed to the discovery of some; information, fact or facts by a careful case study of a subject.  Research tends to be a natural thing that we always do throughout life but may not realise. Within the education system we are nearly always given facts primarily within the school stages where as when we move more on to college or university a more independent style of learning is tackled. We are asked to look at a given topic and explore the possibilities of said topic compare and argue alongside depicting this within a piece of art as an example.

What we find ourselves doing is researching into these projects as well as within the education system research happens all the time within external lives such as reading, watching documentaries, looking up recipes or methods on how to go about activities. But why do we do research?

Well essentially knowledge is power, this isn’t just a phrase. From personal insight and examination knowledge is power is very true the more we know the less ignorant we become within our own ways of thinking new ideas form, we begin seeing change. This new gained knowledge from the research can then be used for development whether this be personal or within the community.

Key Terms for Research:


Research Methods:

There is a range of research methods that can be used to gain new knowledge;

Exploratory Research- Little or no prior knowledge of a phenomenon we go about looking for new information about a subject.

Descriptive Research- Describes a particular phenomenon, focusing on an issue that is happening,  looking into current events and finding out more information on the subject matter.

Explanatory Research- Research that is involved with explaining why something happens.

Predictive Research- This type of research is essentially forecasting future phenomena based on previous happenings and suggested by explanatory research. An example of this being how the banks can predict the stock market.

Pure and Applied Research- Takes place to explore and particular concept or issue as well as undertaken to solve a specific problem to a solution.

Theoretical Research-  Generally uses the findings from existing works to develop new ideas.

Empirical Research-  Supports the development of new ideas through the collection of data.

Qualitative Research-Based on peoples opinions.

Quantitative Research- Based on data we can measure.

When writing an essay the best method of approach for research would be to first locate and read a few academic articles from a field in which you feel comfortable with. Read the abstract articles first and when reading through books only scan them or look for chapters which you feel are going to be of interest for you. Identify with the question and objective think why did the researcher use the example that they did look into this if you feel it can be relevant, what methods did they use and what where their most important findings from this. Do not be too concerned with statistical analysis and finally be critical not objective; you need to observe your case study within the essay without being too bias and passionate about the concept. When you bring your own opinions in always contrast these with other idealistic or support your own with valid sources although all this must be quoted and referenced.

(developed notes from lecture at SAE Institute Liverpool)

Traditional Media Portfolio

Learning Styles

Learning Styles and Behaviour theories:

Within self reflection I have discovered that I work in a more hands on approach (kinesthetic) as well as a visual too meaning I learn from watching; demonstrations, tutorials and methods. There are four scientifically recorded learning style which can be simplified down into VARK (Visual, Audio, Reading and Writing finally Kinesthetic) with each style of gaining information being different and more suited to each individual person. This can be tricky in working and learning environments due to the range in ways people learn it can be hard to tailor to an entire class or workforce’s needs in order to teach and facilitates key information.

Two main ways of educating known and practiced within history would be Behaviourism and Cognitivism.


Behaviorism is based on the foundation of positive and negative reinforcement and can be shown within Pavlov’s dog experiment. Pavlov’s idea was in studying a dog and noting how it did not need to learn how to drool when seeing and smelling food this was an unconditioned reaction from birth. In 1902 Pavlov made a discovery in which when a dog observed something associated with the food they would start to salivate it was because of this discovery that he started to play with the idea of conditioning the dogs behaviour.

Within his experiment Pavlov was using a bell as a neutral stimuli along with the food the unconditioned stimulus repeating the ringing of the bell with the food and monitoring the production of the salivation.  Eventually the repetition had condition the dog to salivate more through the bell even without food making this a conditioned stimuli.


Cognitivists take on a more accepted modern day method  in believing that learning is an internal, mental process in which we build upon preexisting knowledge. Although not essentially known as a learning method and more so a development of understanding this is the more commonly practiced facilitating method within an educational environment.

This Scaffolding idea or Schema as it is more commonly known is a side branch of congitivism known as constructivism. Taking pre-existing knowledge and experiences and using new information to deter the equilibrium of knowledge in order to accomodate the new knowledge. This can be remembered simply through;


Learning Styles and Motivation:

As previously mentioned about various learning styles and VARK there are also motivational learning style. Extrinsic motivation followed by Intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is where a person is encouraged to engage within an activity for a reward such as going to school and gaining high grades. This is unlike Intrinsic motivation where a person will perform a behaviour or activity for personal gains and rewards.

Kolb had theorised that people learn best from experiences this would be known as experimental learning alongside his theory a cycle was developed;

  • Concrete experience
  • Reflective Observation
  • Abstract Conceptualisation
  • Active Experimentation

Similar to Kolb another theorist Gibbs came up with the reflective cycle Gibbs looked upon reflection from a more humanist perspective considering feelings and how this could affect the outcome. His cycle consisted of five steps;

  • Description
  • Feelings
  • Evaluation
  • Conclusion
  • Action

This is not only a very useful method in considering life decisions and future ways of tackling situations but also for evaluating work and practice.

Personal Introduction.

Personal Introduction

I am currently studying Game Art Animation at SAE Institute now within my first year of study. Having a great interest in both games for many years across all platforms and art for the most part of my life I felt that it would be appropriate for me to study this course.  As a person I like to see myself as a creative, caring and respectful individual with a few oddities. I have gained these traits throughout many key points within my life;  aside from being brought up in a way that taught me manners and how to treat people with respect I find that these have been expanded on during my time in college.

While in college I studied both a level 3 BTEC in Art and Design and a Foundation Diploma also in Art and Design. Both courses where orientated to prepare students for university and careers working to a strict deadline and to a professional standard, meaning tutors where treated as clients it was during this where I felt not only my creative skills expand but again the professional traits needed throughout all life situations.  For a brief period of time I also worked within a charity fundraising company as a door to door fundraiser this was for both Cruk (Cancer Research UK) and Action Aid during this period of working I had to deal with many different opinions and reactions, learning how to deal with these with a friendly approach.

Within the recent years I have considered many career options studying media and film studies and As Level I had the desire to become an animator although not gaining the skills needed during these courses for it I felt learning from an Art direction would be the best option for the first year of studies my mind was set on becoming a tattoo artist and in order to expand this i focused more on illustration and graphics although not forgetting about the animation aspiration.  Towards the end of my college studies I felt the need to head back down the animation route and therefore applied to study at SAE this was my only choice for university after attending a UCAS convention.

All previous works of mine have been uploaded to Instagram as well as more recent updates and methods that I continue to explore.  Alongside this I also have another WordPress Blog that was used for College if interested both links will be left below.