Research: A Few Notes from Dr. George Veletsianos

It is a curious endeavour, listening to experts share understandings. A requisite to this listening is open-mindedness undoubtedly, but it is also a matter of reciprocity. If I am able to absorb the content shared with me and recognize its value, I may in turn produce a meaningful byproduct. A student listening to a professor speak their expertise begs a curious question of inevitably: how do I not incorporate this value into my construct of knowledge in this subject matter? The expertise can either affirm prior knowledge, or it can provide new insights, both benefiting the listener.

In our LRNT 522 course conclusion, students were given the opportunity to seek understandings from Dr. George Veletsianos through a set of interview questions. The responses are honest and they engender considerations for action. Here are my takeaways from Dr. Veletsianos (G. Veletsianos, personal communication,  August 11, 2021):

    1. Stay true to yourself: Focus on what interests you.
    2. Make sure what you’ve chosen to focus on is applicable (social benefit).
    3. Discover what others have said, and be informed by what has come before you (scope).
    4. Try to answer your research question by what others have said; how do you add value to what is already out there? (depth)
    5. Literature Review: consider it as a meaningful review of literature that relates to your topic, as an exercise in how your topic compliments what has been researched.

These five points are but a few of the key ingredients that make up the ever-evolving journey of a MALATian, students in the Master of Arts Learning and Technology program.

What Makes a Good Research Question?

A research question forms out of a necessity to delve deeper into a subject matter and becomes the foundation for a study. A good research question “…aims to explore an existing uncertainty in an area of concern and points to a need for deliberate investigation” (Ratan et. al., 2019, p.15).

A good and effective research question should be:

      • specific, well-conceived, and define what you will examine
      • clear and concise, yet open to interpretation and argument
      • based on good research and evidence

A good research question will:

      • be relevant, addressing a problem that has yet to be unpacked
      • guide the study design through an applicable methodological approach
      • utilize the FINERMAPS acronym: feasible, interesting, novel, ethical, relevant, manageable, appropriate, potential value, publishability, and systematic (Ratan et. al., 2019).

Developing a research question requires time and thoughtful consideration. Remember the acronym for the characteristics of a good research question: FINERMAPS, feasible, interesting, novel, ethical, relevant, manageable, appropriate, potential value, publishability, and systematic. Incorporating these considerations will allow for the creation of a strong and impactful research question.


Ratan, S. K., Anand, T., & Ratan, J. (2019). Formulation of Research Question – Stepwise Approach. Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, 24(1), 15–20.