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Education: Topic Game

This guide is designed to help students and faculty access credible resources related to the study of education.

Welcome

Follow the steps to brainstorm a random research topic! Apply strategies from class to ask questions about the topic and population you select after spinning the wheels below.

  • How can you connect the topic to a group of people?
  • What is a question you can ask about the topic and group?

Select a topic

Click on the spinning wheel to make a selection! (Ignore the options box.)

Wheel not working? Pick something from this list* of topic options:

  • living on Mars
  • quilting
  • Harry Potter
  • juvenile justice system
  • serial killers
  • zombies
  • food preservation
  • air pollution
  • Keto diet
  • cell phone addiction
  • women's rights
  • property taxes
  • bird migration patterns

*This list is just for fun! You can try this with a topic of interest instead, if you want!

Select a group of people

Click on the spinning wheel to make a selection! (Ignore the options box.)

Wheel not working? Pick something from this list* of topic options:

  • teenagers
  • senior citizens
  • college professors
  • your boss at work
  • college athletes
  • children
  • classical music enthusiasts
  • your classmates
  • doctors
  • parents
  • substitute teachers
  • local politicians

*This list is just for fun! You can try this with a topic of interest instead, if you want!

Share your questions!

There are some fun combinations here. Share what you come up with if you want!

To add: double click anywhere in the box, or use the plus sign in the bottom right corner.

Made with Padlet

Example of Topic Game

Topic: Climate Change

Group of people: Insurance Agents

Below are some brainstormed questions that could jump start a research project connecting the topic of climate change to insurance agents. Remember, this is just an activity to get you started- these are not polished research questions yet, nor would they be appropriate for all assignments!

Brainstormed questions:

  • Do insurance agents believe in the science of climate change?
  • Is the extreme weather caused by climate change impacting the work of insurance agents?
  • Are insurance agents receiving more weather-related claims in recent years?
  • Has the cost of homeowner's insurance gone up due to climate change?
  • Do insurance agents mention climate change in their policies?

Topic Development

  • Consider creating a concept map
  • Identify your key concepts
  • Brainstorm related terms

Stuck on writing a research question? Try to answer some of the following questions, which may give you a stronger focus or direction.

Five W’s Research Topic Brainstorming

Who

  • Is there a specific group of people who are affected by this topic? (Does the group of people most affected have a voice in policy, research, or other changes that could be made? Who does have the power?)
  • Who might be invested in researching this topic? Are there other disciplines or majors that would also be interested in this topic/question (political science, criminal justice, psychology, etc.)?

What

  • Are you familiar with the basic concepts and background of your topic/question?
  • Are there different positions or perspectives on this topic? What proof do the different sides offer?

When

  • How long has this been an issue/ problem/ concern/ occurrence?
  • When will information need to be published to be of value to your topic/question? When has it been studied in the past?

Where

  • Is there a specific geography or location that applies to this topic/question?
  • Where can you look (Google, library sources, professional organizations, local government or groups, etc.) for more information?

Why

  • What makes this topic/question worth exploring? What are the implications of finding an explanation/answer/ solution?
  • Why are you personally interested in this topic/question?
  • Why have others researched this topic/question?

How

  • How do you know what you already know about the topic? Personal experience, books, classes, magazines, social media, etc.?
  • How does this topic/question fit in to a larger context?
  • How might others have researched this topic before?