LIDA101 Choosing a research topic

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This forum is part of the learning pathway to find and select open resources. Your search for open resources will be directed by the research topic you choose.

You are invited to share:

  1. Your draft research question
  2. Why you chose the topic
  3. Justifications why this is a good question for academic research

Feel free to reply to posts and offer support and/or advice to your peers.

Closed thread on research topic questions

I am considering the following research question:

How do digital literacies influence civic participation?

All feedback is welcome.


@megingle I think we are meant to be here in this pre-established forum page.


Likely to be a very interesting research topic. Are you thinking about agency or how lack of digital literacies deter civic engagement or both. The challenge with any research question is going too wide. The other issue is getting a sense of what published (and open access) literature is available on the topic.


I was thinking about how lack of digital literacies could deter civic engagement and understanding of the role of government. My partner’s response was that my initial question sounds like a topic for a PhD :joy:


We are living in the digital world. e-governance is playing a major role in administration. Educational institutions are using ICT tools in teaching, learning, research and evaluation. Media and entertainment organizations are using ICT. Transport and other departments are digitalized. There is no field which was untouched my ICT. There is a huge influence of digitalization on public.


@amareswaran yes, I absolutely agree. So full participation in modern society, including civic matters like voting or engaging with government, require digital literacies.


I’m also now thinking about “Can open online education reduce societal inequalities?”


That’s a sharper focus - you can expand when you tackle the PhD.


What about those who participate but don’t have digital literacies? What do they represent as a portion of the population? What do they do to the outcomes?


@vtaylor yes, those are good points — were you replying to my initial question about civic participation or the second question idea about open education and societal inequalities?


After thinking more, here are my thoughts/ideas.

  1. I have decided on the question: Can open online education reduce societal inequalities?

  2. I have chosen this topic because I am interested the topic and several related matters like the digital divide while still seeing the potential for open online education.

  3. I think it’s a good research question because I can find literature that argues yes, no, and maybe/not yet so I will be able to write a balanced analytical essay.



That’s a good research question. It has a clearly defined focus, you will be able to source credible published open access literature on the topic but more importantly it’s clearly a question that is of interest to you personally.

I look forward to reading and learning from your essay because it has meaning and interest beyond your own interests.


My question was addressing another possibility - lack of digital literacies and ACTIVE civic engagement without a good understanding of the role of government. Your initial question is good. Just thinking about other worst-case scenarios.


@vtaylor yes participating in civic activities without understanding the game—that’s a big problem too! We need better civics education - especially here in NZ.