Focus Groups: Training Manual for Research Assistants

February 13, 2017

ra-training-manual-cover-001As the research project on academic integrity and plagiarism gets underway, I prepared a training manual for the research assistants I am working with.

This manual is an open source document and I am making it freely available as a .pdf for other scholars and research assistants.

Here is the link to the manual: ra-training-manual-focus-groups-2017-02-10

Here is the complete citation for the manual:

Eaton, S. E. (2017). Research assistant training manual: Focus groups. Calgary: University of Calgary. Retrieved from

The research team is grateful to the Office of Teaching and Learning, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, who awarded funding for this project under the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant, 2016-2017.

I have to give a special shoutout of appreciation to Yvonne Kjorlien, Research Facilitator, Werklund School of Education, and Benedict “Kojo” Otoo, Research Assistant, for their review of drafts of this manual and feedback for improvement.


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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

Job Opportunity: Summer Research Assistant – Specialist in Second Languages

June 2, 2011

June 15, 2011 – Update – This position has been filled. Thanks for the many responses and queries!


I have a project on the go that examines questions around second language education, L2 acquisition and language learning and pedagogy. I’m looking for a part-time research assistant / associate to collaborate on this project over the summer months. Here’s what I’m looking for:

Research Assistant / Associate (Term position)

Summary statement

The Research Assistant / Associate is responsible for assisting the Principal Investigator (PI) in the collection, formatting, analysis and reporting of information on topics relating to second and other language acquisition, language pedagogy and related topics.

Major Responsibilities

  • Plans, organizes and coordinates his or her own schedule to ensure that deliverables are met by due dates.
  • Liaises with the PI for the collection, formatting, analysis and reporting of information.
  • Conducts a literature review using primarily online academic, government and other databases.
  • Data entry of bibliographic information using Endnote.
  • Maintains electronic and hard copy data files and reports.
  • Maintains up-to-date documentation of work completed.
  • Produces written materials for research reports.
  • Proofreads and edits documents generated by the PI.
Meets with the PI on a regular basis to review the work in progress.
  • Deliver work completed on a weekly basis. These deliverables will generally consist of research articles, government reports, applied research articles and professional materials that can contribute to the research report.


Post-secondary degree. Candidates who are currently enrolled in a Master’s or PhD program will be given preference.

A background in second language learning or second language education is highly desirable.

Experience and Skills

  • Experience working with electronic research databases.
  • Previous research experience (e.g. conducting a literature review) is desirable.
  • High levels of personal motivation, self-management and detail-orientation. The incumbent will have the ability to take responsibility to meet deadlines and make progress with minimal supervision.
  • Strong spoken and written communication skills.
  • Rigorous research methods.

Other qualifications

  • You have access to academic research databases through the library of an accredited institution.
  • Strong existing technology skills with MS Word (or Pages), Endnote and general Internet and electronic communications.
  • You are comfortable navigating the Internet to conduct research.
  • You are able to meet face-to-face in the Calgary area on a regular basis or via Skype if you are not located in the Calgary area.
  • You have access to your own computer and the Internet.
  • Must be legally entitled to work in Canada and have a valid Social Insurance Number.

Position Details

Start date: Monday, June 13, 2011
End date: Friday, August 5, 2011

Hours: Generally flexible hours – 5 to 15 hours per week, with a minimum of 5 hours per week.

Wage: $25 / hour, to a maximum of 80 hours ($2000) during the term of the project. Wages are subject to the usual CPP and EI deductions.

Work site: You will work from your own home, on campus or anywhere the work can be completed.

To apply send a brief resume and cover letter via e-mail to:

Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton
Eaton International Consulting Inc.
sarahelaineeaton (at)

Applications are accepted until a suitable candidate is found.

Download a copy of this document for easy printing from:

View this document on Scribd


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