Research method that emphasizes information problem-solving and positions students as information producers (versus information consumers). Students repeatedly revisit stages in the research cycle as they refine data gathering processes.
The research cycle was developed by Jamie McKenzie in 1995. Emphasis is given to the initial development of questions to clarify and establish subsequent steps in the research process.
The research cycle is composed of seven stages:
- Questioning: student clarifies information needed and leads to elaborating questions
- Planning: student identifies likely sources of information
- Gathering: student collects pertinent information for consideration
- Sorting & sifting: student sorts and sifts in search of information that contributes to understanding
- Synthesizing: student arranges and rearranges information in search of patterns and/or a clearer picture
- Evaluating: student determines what information might be missing and repeats earlier stages of the research cycle in search of better, clearer information
- Reporting: student reports findings or recommendations.