Final year projects defense before an academic panel often throws a ball of challenge to finalists. After the research hustle, project defence is usually the final phase which seems to be the toughest. Reason is that your entire undergraduate research may either be approved or annulled at the end of the defence. It can also be marked for corrections which could be quite tedious and demanding at times. The reasons we will discuss some other time; for now, we will be revealing possible project defence questions you should expect from the panel of academics.
In less than 30mins, before the defence panel and colleagues , you will give an apt summary of your project and as well, expected to have answered all the questions thrown at you. The questions are what you would know; just that you don’t know which one comes first or in what nature it will emerge. So this situation is meant to throws you off balance, test you confidence, your public speaking skills and get you confused and almost clueless. But this is to guide you through a successful project defence.
The first approach to defending your project when called upon
There are various approaches to project defence in institutions but I suppose the finalists have to give the defence panel what questions to ask about. How?
Appearing before the defence panel, you should ofcourse hand-on some copies of your research to each of them. While leaving them to scan through your research, you are given a chance to run through your entire research. In the end, they await you with questions drawn from what you had said and written in your research paper.
Here are key sections of your research you should discuss quickly and briefly;
· State your project topic clearly
· State the purpose of the research, often pegged ‘statement of the problem'
· State the specific objectives of the research
· Go ahead to discuss the research Methodology i.e. The research technique, the research population, the sample size, the sampling procedure and instrument for data gathering.
· Go ahead and discuss briefly the procedure for data analysis.
· Without any attempt to table-read your analysis, discuss the research findings briefly.
· Go ahead and state the research conclusion without which the research is incomplete.
· Take a bow and ready for their questions.
You have to be time conscious and at the same time touch these key areas. So, back to stage at the panel;
Possible project defence questions to expect
What inspired your project topic?
This question aims to test your understanding of your research purpose – ‘statement of problem’. Which in essence is the underlying situation which your research either want to find solutions to, reasons or causes and effects.
How much of the research objectives is your research able to achieve?
Nobody sets a goal he cannot achieve, atleast not in research. The only traceable evidence of your research objectives is the research findings.
So to answer this question, refer quickly to your research findings. Follow the numbers respectively, matching the objectives and the findings. At this point, feel free to call the panel’s attention to the pages where it is recorded.
Why did you choose this research Methodology?
This is to understand your knowledge of research methodology you actually chose and the complementary procedures to reach the desired outcome. As much as you can go through your research procedures in details and with apt reasons why you choose that procedure
What value does your research add to academic and societal knowledge?
To ask this question in another way, one can say – what is the significance of your research conclusion? Or What does the conclusion of this research mean to the society at large?
In response, all you need do is give a practical application if your research findings in the real world or the population of your research.
How and why did you choose your research sample size.
The major reason, (the why) of choosing a certain number of sample size is to make the research data manageable. The ‘how' of choosing a sample size is either purposive or not. That is you either deliberately choose a certain number of sample size or rely on statistical analysis for your accurate sample size.
Did you encounter any major challenge in the course of your research?
I guess the question sounds a little easy. You may have the floor to pour out your grievances over the months including the financial issues, resource materials et all.
But note very importantly some challenges you should bring to table
· The instruments for data gatherings you couldn’t retrieve. Eg. Questionnaire.
· The level of truth in the responses gathered in cases of survey
· The limited size of research. Ofcourse its an undergraduate research and sampled a very little portion of a research population
All these limits the accurate generalization and application of this research outcome. That is one major challenge; you can note that if you may.
Can you make recommendations for further research
If need be, you can. You probably didn’t cross the line because of the limited nature of undergraduate research and the scope of yours, you could recommend further research with stated specific areas.
There are more questions, but these are enough to prepare your mind for the best project defence.