Horticultural Research II

Horticultural Research II

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100 Hours

Horticultural Research II


There are 7 lessons in this module as follows:

  1. Identifying research issues and determining research priorities

  2. Acquisition of technical information

  3. Specialised research techniques

  4. Research planning and designing

  5. Statistics

  6. Conducting research

  7. Writing reports.

What to Research?

Research can be valuable, contributing to our understanding of what factors are influencing observed outcomes, which need changing, and what specific changes may be needed. On the other hand, irrelevant or needless research, no matter how well done or how detailed, can waste time, energy and money that could have been much better applied elsewhere.

Therefore, the first step in doing relevant, worthwhile research is to identify areas, social groups, markets, or organisations that might benefit from research, and the kind of information that might be useful. This is a vital step as much of the governmental and private funding today is tied to these constraints.

The second step is to arrive at a specific topic for research, one that clearly articulates the aim of the research, and defines the focus for the research. It defines clearly the goals: what are we doing the research for?

The third step is to consider whether the proposed research is realistic. This is a necessary step on the analysis as it will help determining the strategies, how we will approach and study the problem. Can it be done in a realistic time frame? Has it already been thoroughly researched by someone else? Are there still important questions to be asked? Is there enough information? Steps two and three may need to be repeated several times before the final research topic is identified.


  • Determine areas where there is a valid need to research processes relevant to horticultural research in today’s social, economic, political and environmental context.
  • Acquire and demonstrate skills in locating and reviewing scientific and technical information.
  • Develop and explain alternative research and observational techniques for a particular Horticultural research study.
  • To design a quality and focused research project addressing a social, technological, environmental and/or economic issues that impact on Horticulture today. The research component must allocate resources needed (time, financial and human resources).
  • Demonstrate and explain basic statistical knowledge used for research with emphasis on your ability to present and monitor given data.
  • Conduct a quality and focused research project addressing a social, technological, environmental and/or economic issue that impact on Horticulture today.
  • Demonstrate skills in report writing

What is in each lesson?

1. Identifying Research Issues and Determining Research Priorities
Introduction: first, second, third steps
Finding research ideas
Steps to brainstorming Mind maps
How to mind map
Concept mapping
Determining research priorities
Beginning your research
Formulating a research topic
Is the research feasible
Formulating a hypothesis

2. Acquisition of Technical Information
Literature review
Research methods
Basic methods of collecting information: experimental, correlation, questionnaires, surveys, tests, document review
Naturalistic observation
Focus groups
Case studies

3. Specialised Research Techniques
Selecting a research method
Fishbone diagrams
Applications for cause and effect diagrams
Lateral thinking
Lateral thinking techniques
Pareto analysis
Root cause analysis

4. Research Planning and Designing
Project planning
Defining the problem, possible solutions and objectives
Problem tree analysis tool
SWOT analysis
Prioritise objectives and define activities
Allocate resources
Results and assessment

5. Statistics
Data presentation
Measures of central tendency

6. Conducting Research
Collecting and logging data
Developing a data base structure
Data transformations
Analyzing data
Managing data
Analytical procedure

7. Writing Reports
Reporting results
Report structure
Contents of a research report (example)
Pitfalls to avoid

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