EDUC 2002 - Research as Teaching Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

This course enables students to evaluate educational research methods. Students will examine a range of methodologies and analyse research studies that inform understandings about issues in curriculum and pedagogy and design an action research project to inform their own practice. The course also provides background skills, techniques and methods which support teacher's use of research by junior and senior secondary students in South Australian secondary schools. All Bachelor of Teaching (Middle) and Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) students commencing from 2019 will participate in the School of Education's eLearning Program, that requires students to own an iPad with pencil and keyboard. The University of Adelaide will assist students with procurement upon enrolment.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code EDUC 2002
    Course Research as Teaching Practice
    Coordinating Unit School of Education
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites EDUC 1100, EDUC 2001
    Assumed Knowledge EDUC 1001
    Restrictions Available to Bachelor of Teaching, Bachelor of Teaching (Middle) and Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) students only
    Course Description This course enables students to evaluate educational research methods. Students will examine a range of methodologies and analyse research studies that inform understandings about issues in curriculum and pedagogy and design an action research project to inform their own practice. The course also provides background skills, techniques and methods which support teacher's use of research by junior and senior secondary students in South Australian secondary schools.

    All Bachelor of Teaching (Middle) and Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) students commencing from 2019 will participate in the School of Education's eLearning Program, that requires students to own an iPad with pencil and keyboard. The University of Adelaide will assist students with procurement upon enrolment.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr John Willison

    Location: Room 8.08
    Level 8 
    School of Education, 
    Faculty of the Professions
    10 Pulteney Street, Adelaide, 5005
    Phone: 83133219
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Lecture attendance: 40 minutes per week
    Tutorial attendance: 100 minutes per week
    On-line activity: 40 minutes per week
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to: APST (Graduate)
    1 Identify the major research methodologies used in educational investigations 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    2 Describe the main differences between quantitative and qualitative research 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    3 List the specific types of research that fall into the broad categories of quantitative and qualitative research 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    4 Give examples of research problems that might be investigated by either approaches 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    5 List the steps involved in the research process 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    6 Engage in reflective and self-directed practice as stated in APST Standard 6: Engage in Professional Learning 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4
    7 Evaluate educational research on various dimensions 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    8 Plan and conduct small scale educational research 1.1, 5.4, 5.5
    9 Plan how to facilitate the Personal Research Project in South Australian High Schools 1.1, 2.1, 2.2
    10 Explore the importance of undertaking research, as teachers, to inform practice, for continual professional learning and development and for improvement of student learning 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 4
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    3, 8, 9
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3, 6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 5
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1, 3, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Kervin, L., Vialle, W., Herrington, J., & Okely, T. (2016). Research for educators (2nd Edition). Cengage Learning Australia,Melbourne.

    Available online through the University library.
    Recommended Resources

    Available online
    Feldman, A., Altrichter, H., Posch, P., Somekh, B., (2018). Teachers investigate their work: An introduction to Action Research. Routledge. (through library)

    Grellier, J. & Goerke, V (2018). Communicatons toolkit (4th Edition). Cengage Learning Australia, South Melbourne, Victoria. Text Book. Communicatons toolkit (4th Edition). (through library)

    Kervin, L. et al (2016). Research for Educators. Cengage Learning Australia, South Melbourne, Victoria. (through library)

    Willison, J. (2020). The Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching: Connecting Sophisticated Thinking from Early Childhood to PhD. Springer.

    Hard Copy
    Ary, D., Jacobs, L., Sorensen, C. (2010). Introduction to Research in Education. Wadsworth Cengage. (3 hour loan, Barr Smith Library).
    Online Learning
    Students will be expected to participate in online activities on a weekly basis in preparation for weekly tutorials.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    There is one pre-recorded lecture, one 100 minute tutorial and one on-line activity each week. Successful completion of the course is dependent on attendance at turorials each week. Any absences will need to be supported by a medical certificate or appropriate documentation.  Scholarly contributions to each tutorial and online activity will be given value in assessments of this course.
    The program for the Semester will be available on Myuni one week before the course commences.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Professional Placement: 10 days
    Lecture: 40 minutes per week
    Tutorial attendance: 100 minutes  per week
    On-line activity: 40 minutes per week
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course consists of pre-recorded lectures, tutorials and online work.
    Each week you need to prepare, so that you may engage in high-level interaction and application in tutorials: (a) read the required readings, (b) complete a Discussion Board post, (c) respond to another's post, (d) watch the online lecture and (e) complete the online activity.
    Some people will have completed their Professional Experience placement by the end of Week 1, some people will be completing this in Week 10 or later. Either way, your Professional Experience will be a key source of inspiration for Research as Teaching Practice.

    Tutorials will be held weekly.
    Week Lecture/Tutorial Details Learning Outcomes APST (Graduate)
    1 Lecture:

    Tutorial &  Online Activity
    Issues in Educational Research

    How does research connect to teaching practice?
    Identifying a capability focus for action reseach.
    1 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    2 Lecture: 

    Tutorial & Online Activity
    The Research Process  

    What steps are involved in the research process?
    How does research differ from reflection?
    Understanding media vs research role in policy processes.

    1 3.6


    Tutorial &

    Online activity
    Different Research Approaches   

    Distinguishing between quantitative and qualitative research.
    How is educational practice influenced by research?
    Understanding educational responses to representations of the issue.
    2,3,4 3.6
    4 Lecture:

    Tutorial & Online activity
    Analysis of completed research study

    Preparation for assignment. Evaluating a research study related to the issue.

    6 5.4;5.5
    5 Lecture:

    Tutorial & Online activity
    Initiating Action Research

    How do we select an action research topic?
    How do we conduct a literature review?
    How do we develop research questions and hypotheses?
    Locating a research problem in the subject you teach: From individual action to whole school concern to literature in your teaching area.
    Action Research is introduced as a topic and further discussed and practised in subsequent tutorials.

    7,6,9 3.6; 6.1
    6 Lecture:

    Tutorial & Online activity
    Initial Stages in Research

    Focus: From research problem to action

    Explore and demonstrate understanding of continued professional learning and the implications for improved school student learning.
    This includes creating and maintaining professional relationships with teacher-colleagues and school leaders. The implications for professional learningfor improved student learningispracticed when PSTs formativelyupload their professional learning plan in their ePortfolio.

    5 3.6, 5.4
    7 Lecture:

    Tutorial & Online activity
    Planning Research  

    Focus: Setting the conditions for action

    The uses of quantitative research
    The uses of qualitative research.
    Designing an  intervention in a squence of learning, using an action research approach.

    5,7,8 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    8 Lecture:

    Tutorial & Online activity
    Collecting Data  

    Focus: Generating data from my  teaching sequence

    What do we mean by data?
    How do we collect data for quantitative and qualitative research?
    What do we need to do as we prepare to gather data?
    What do we need to do as we gather data?
    How do we determine the trustworthiness of the data?

    6 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    9 Lecture:

    Tutorial & Online activity
    Making Sense of Data  

    Focus: Preparing data for analysis

    What does data look like?
    How can data be organised?
    How do we organise and prepare data for analysis?
    6,7 1.1, 3.6, 5.4
    10 Lecture:

    Tutorial & Online activity
    Data Analysis Techniques  

    Focus: Approaches to analysing data from my proposed teaching sequence

    How do we analyse qualitative data?
    How do we analyse quantitative data?
    Share your knowledge about action research in a tutorial setting, including:
    How, through action research, a teacher could not only improve their own
    classroom practice, but also influence whole school improvement?
    What are the advantages and disadvantages of action research
    for teachers?

    5,6 1.1, 3.6, 5.4


    Tutorial & Online activity
    Publicising The Research

    Focus: Synthesising my argument and disseminating my research

    Writing  up my  proposed action research as an abstract.
    What are some of the main ways we can publicise our research findings?
    What should a first rate research report contain?

    7,9 5.5, 6.1


    Tutorial & Online activity

    Improving The Research

    Focus: Spirals of action that add rigour, breadth and sophistication

    How can we add riour to Action research over time?
    Based on the subjects you will teach, develop an action research project that assists you to teach one of these subjects more effectively. This exercise requires PSTs to map out how they would conduct this research and the issues and problems that would be encountered. What would be the expected benefits to the teacher, their students, the school and the subject of the proposed research?
    What next?


    6.2, 6.4
    Specific Course Requirements
    Professional Experience- School Placement
    It is vital that you are able to apply educational theory and research to your teaching. Therefore, satisfactory completion of Professional Experience (10 days in school) is an assessable hurdle requirement for this course. If you do not satisfactorily complete the Professional Experience component of the course, you will be awarded a Fail grade for the course.

    Knowledge of course requirements
    It is a student’s duty to acquaint himself/herself with course requirements. Ignorance of course requirements due to a student’s non-attendance at lectures or seminars is not an acceptable reason for non-fulfilment of any requirements.

    Students attending lectures and seminars should note that behaviour which interferes with the conduct of the lecture or seminar may result in a student being asked to leave the class and may result in suspension from the unit. In particular mobile phones must be turned off and placed in students’ bags before the commencement of lectures and seminars. Students are not to have mobile phones out during seminars and this includes texting under desks and sitting in seminars with mobile phones messaging others will result in you being asked to leave the seminar.


    Viewing of pre-recorded  lectures is expected and on the basis of the research evidence is highly profitable. (See Woodfield, et al., 1-22, in Studies in Higher Education, 31, 1, 2006 and Rodgers and Rodgers, 2003, 27-41, in Education Research and Perspectives, 30, 1, 2003).


    Indicate the overall scope of the subject,
    Emphasise essential points,
    Provide a starting point for private study,
    Give explanations of certain difficult points ,
    Give examples relevant to the particular course area,
    Provide a preliminary map of difficult reading material,
    Suggest sources of further information and reference,
    Stimulate student thinking and provide guidelines for thoughts assisting to develop a critical interest in the subject (RMIT Counselling Service, 1969)

    Attendance and whole hearted and spirited participation is expected. 

    Special Consideration
    Students who wish to seek special consideration because of illness or special circumstances should follow Faculty of Arts guidelines and apply to the lecturer in charge with relevant documentary evidence. This is usually a doctor’s certificate. For both special consideration and extensions you need to complete well beforehand the Application Form – Assessment Task Extension or Replacement Examination due to Medical and Compassionate Circumstances and/or Application Form – Extenuating Circumstances Application Form. These along with relevant information and instructions are on the university web site.

    Extensions and deadlines
    If due to illness or other valid reasons, a student is unable to meet a deadline, he/she must follow Faculty of Arts guidelines for applying for an extension and contact the lecturer before the deadline in order to seek an extension (which may or may not be granted). Students are required to produce original documents to support their application for an extension. Any assignment handed in late, without authorised extension, will be penalised at a rate of 10% of the assigned mark per 24-hour period late, to a maximum of 7 periods. Assignments handed in more than seven periods late, without authorised extension, will not be marked and an automatic fail grade for that piece of assessment will be recorded.


    Plagiarism is “the reproducing of someone else's intellectual work and representing it as one's own without proper acknowledgment”. Examples of plagiarism include: direct copying or paraphrasing of someone else’s words without acknowledging the source; using facts, information and ideas directly derived from an unacknowledged source; and producing assignments which are the work of other people.

    Students have a responsibility to:
    Access and use available information provided by the University to avoid plagiarism;
    Declare sources in their work submitted for assessment, from which they obtain material or ideas: Retain drafts, notes and copies of all assignments submitted for assessment;
    Ensure that you do not make your work available to other students in any form for the purposes of plagiarism;
    Discuss any questions you may have about plagiarism with your kindly and supportive lecturer.

    Specific Requirements
    Students should write their assignments independently. Students are expected to produce their own work. This might involve students choosing, analyzing, summarizing and interpreting the (often competing) ideas of others, and developing arguments and drawing conclusions. Students can: discuss assignments with other students and their tutors; communicate with one another in constructive ways about the learning process; and assist each other, e.g. by discussing the approaches that might be taken to assignment topics, or helping with the availability of reading materials.

    Students must acknowledge an original author/creator for the ideas and concepts used in their work by providing a reference or citation. A reference is the written detail of the original source for ideas, which may be referenced within, and at the end of the assignment in the form of a reference list.

    You may use quotations: exact words of an original author in written work. The quotation (exact words) should be placed in quotation marks and be accompanied by a reference. If paraphrasing (rewrite completely another author's words or ideas with the intention of presenting the author's ideas), it is vital that the passage is fully rewritten, including the sentence structure. Any short phrases or key words that are used should be handled as quotes. The source must always be referenced.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will be expected to work in groups.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome APST (Graduate)
    Professional Experience (School Placement) Hurdle Requirement


    Satisfactory completion required to pass the course 9 1.1,2.1,2.2,3.6, 5.4, 5.5, 6.1,6.2,6.3, 6.4
    Assignment 1: Discussion Board post on Reading with response to another student

    each week

    20% 1,2,3,5 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    Assignment 2: Team Funding Pitch Based on
    Research Translation

    Summative Mid-semester


    1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4

    Assignment 3: Action research design
    Summative End of Semester

    40% 7,8,9 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4

    Please note transition placement arrangements will apply to students who commenced a Bachelor of Teaching double degree prior to 2019.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The overall mark required to pass is 50%. Students need to attempt and pass each of the three assessments.

    Assessment Detail
    Assignment 1: Discussion Board Contribution and Response (20%)
    Prior to tutorials, students post on the Discussion Board about connections between specified readings and classroom practice. 10% for 10 weekly posts with a quote from the reading, citation, reference and connections to practice. Students comment on another's post whci amplifies or critiques it; 10% for ten weekly responses.

    Assignment 2: Team Funding Pitch Based on Research Translation (40%)
    Part A (30%): Work in groups to collaboratively create a multimedia presentation that  (1) synthesises policy, media and educational responses to an educational issue which is pertinent to a General Capability and (2) evaluates others’ research (one
    article) on the issue and discusses that article through the perspective of other research articles.
    Part B (10%): Reflect on your role in the group and the groups efficacy to engage in research.

    Assignment 3: Action research design (40 %)

    Design and justify action research that responds to an aspect of their classroom practice which relates in some way to a systemic and/or whole school concern and general capabilities. You will need to reflect, plan, implement, observe and explore types of data (e.g., quantitative.)
    In this assignment PSTs are asked to design and justify action research that responds to an aspect of practice. Action research design needs to relate in some way to a systemic and/or whole school concern with one of the Australian Curriculum General Capabilities e.g., Literacy, Numeracy, ICT, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding and Intercultural Understanding. A key focus for the assignment is to build pedagogy in a subject that PSTs intend to teach through an action research design.

    Professional Experience  (10 Days placement in a school- Hurdle Requirement)

    It is vital that you are able to apply educational theory and research to your teaching. Therefore, satisfactory completion of Professional Experience (10 days in school) is an assessable hurdle requirement for this course. Placement completion is determined by School Mentor Teachers in collaboration with the School of Education.

    If you do not satisfactorily complete the Professional Experience component of the course, you will be awarded a Fail grade for the course.

    Where there are Medical, Compassionate or Extenuating circumstances as defined in the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment (MACA) Policy, you may apply for an Assessment Extension in the form of an additional Professional Experience placement. Upon approval, the School of Education will endeavour to provide an additional Professional Experience at a time to be negotiated with a school.

    Where the additional Professional Experience occurs after relevant grading deadlines, a Result Pending grade will be assigned. The additional Professional Experience must be completed prior to the date that a Result Pending grade is automatically converted to a Fail grade as outlined in Policy.

    1. Double space the lines. Use at least 12 point and a clear and legible font. This makes it easier for the maximum grade to be awarded by staff that wear multifocal spectacles but are otherwise kind and caring, full of compassion, slow to anger and rich in justice.
    2. Leave a margin of at least one inch on the left hand side of the paper.
    3. Use a footer or header with your name,courseand page number.
    4. A title page should be placed at the front of the assignment. This should contain your name, the subject, the title of the assignment, the name of the lecturer concerned, and the date. All assignments must be accompanied by an Essay Cover Sheet, which includes a Statement of Authorship
    5. Students who wish to submit assignments via the postal system must ensure the envelopes are post marked no later than the due date for submission and are sent by registered mail. Students are advised that the School of Education takes no responsibility for assignments sent by post.
    6. Assignments will not be accepted for marking after other work in that subject has been returned unless a special consideration request has been approved.
    7. The completed assignment should be stapled or fastened in the top left hand corner. Please do not use manila or other forms of folders and please do not under any circumstances place each separate page in a separate plastic envelope.
    8. Keep a hard copy of your essay and other submitted work. Sometimes accidents do happen, mail fails to arrive or computers crash. 
    Note: Failure to follow these prescriptions will result in a lower mark on the essay.

    Assignment Grading
    Your assignment provides you with an opportunity to comprehend research material criticize it and create an argument of your own. Your papers will be assessed on the basis of the following which appear in detail in both the Assignment Grading Templates. Please note all of these especially the previously noted stricture on the judicious use of quotations.
    (a) the depth and scope of the research. Has the student used at least 3-5 different sources (excluding newspaper and popular press material)? Has the student simply restated the sources or made an attempt to evaluate these sources and create an argument of her/his own?
    (b) the quality of the ideas and the soundness of argument. Is the essay a critical exposition as opposed to a listing and reproduction of the research?
    (c) the organization of ideas within the paper. Is the essay logically organized and well structured?
    (d) the style of writing including appropriateness of language, clarity of expression, sentence structure, etc.
    (e) length, etc. Are there glaring errors of expression, spelling etc? Errors in this area will mean that an essay is very unlikely to obtain more than a P grade.
    (f) the quality of presentation, including attention to grammar, punctuation, spelling, legibility and very importantly consistency and correctness in matters of referencing and bibliography. Unless these latter matters are near to perfect then it would be unlikely that an essay would be graded higher than a P grade. 

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the university grading scheme and due to the large numbers a distribution on the normal curve will be expected.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    As a result of SELTs  feedback and other feedback provided by students the following changes have been made:

    1. More convenient class times for students and different location of tutorials
    2. Shorter lectures
    3. Continuing emphasis on the relation between research and teacher's work
    4. Modification to assessments 
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.