GEOG 5001 - Research Design and Methods

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

This course will provide students with a strong foundation in the conceptualisation and operationalisation of research, how to design a research project and 'hands-on' skills in the utilisation of different research methods. Students will be exposed to a wide range of research methods and will learn key principles of research design. Topics to be covered in detail include sampling, surveying, interviewing, case study analysis, focus groups, interviewing and analysing and presenting data. Intellectual and methodological debates will be discussed in order to assist students to develop informed opinions and a critical appreciation for other's research. The imperative for ethical research practice will be presented. Students will be equipped with the knowledge and ability to undertake methodologically sound, original research projects and will develop a set of transferable workplace skills.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 5001
    Course Research Design and Methods
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Incompatible GEST 5001
    Course Description This course will provide students with a strong foundation in the conceptualisation and operationalisation of research, how to design a research project and 'hands-on' skills in the utilisation of different research methods. Students will be exposed to a wide range of research methods and will learn key principles of research design. Topics to be covered in detail include sampling, surveying, interviewing, case study analysis, focus groups, interviewing and analysing and presenting data. Intellectual and methodological debates will be discussed in order to assist students to develop informed opinions and a critical appreciation for other's research. The imperative for ethical research practice will be presented. Students will be equipped with the knowledge and ability to undertake methodologically sound, original research projects and will develop a set of transferable workplace skills.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Andrew Beer

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    • To locate, analyse and synthesise information about the diversity of research approches
    • Develop ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions to research problems via use of problem solving and critical thinking exercises in research case studies, develop teamwork and interpersonal skills in negotiating research programs
    • To critically evaluate the efficacy of virtual means of delivering or developing research strategies
    • To encourage and develop skills that will enhance the fulfilment of ongoing and continuous learning and intellectual curiosity via independent learning exercises
    • To demonstrate, by use of role model examples, how research can help support leadership functions within community
    • Develop understanding of cross cultural contexts and nuances/implications of cross cultural research
    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2, 3
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1-6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 4, 5
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 5
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Lecture recordings:
    Please note that lectures for this course will not be recorded.

    Suggested texts:
    Students are not required to read any particular core text. However, it is expected that readings provided will be read prior to class, and that students will undertake their own research and reading as relevant to course themes.

    A good overall text is:
    · Patton, M (2002 or any edition) Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods
    · Anything by Denzin and Lincoln is excellent.
    · For work on cross cultural or decolonised methodologies, see Smith, Linda, T (2000) Decolonising methodologies: research and Indigenous peoples
    Some good journals re:
    · Qualitative research
    · Field Research
    · Action Research
    · Qualitative Inquiry
    All of these journals have relevant articles in them.
    Recommended Resources
    Students will receive a reading list upon commencement of the unit.
    Online Learning
    The MyUni website for the course will provide you with access to the following features to help manage your study:
    · Announcements
    · Powerpoint slides
    · Course readings
    · Course outlines; and,
    · Any additional materials

    You are advised to regularly visit the MyUni website for the course to receive course announcements and reminders.


    You will need the following to access MyUni:
    ·  a computer with an Internet connection; 
    · a PC running Windows 95 or higher or a Mac running Mac OS 8.6 or higher;
    · a JavaScript enabled web browser (Netscape Navigator 4.7 or higher Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher);
    ·  the Adobe Reader software (download from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html );
    ·  your University of Adelaide username and password.

    · To reach the MyUni website for the course follow the links from the University of Adelaide's Homepage http://www.adelaide.edu.au/  to Login to MyUni https://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/webapps/login.  When you open the course website you will find material related to the course. You will need to enter a username and password to enter the MyUni website.
    · If you have difficulty accessing MyUni contact the Help Desk at 831 33335 or send an e-mail to myuni.help@adelaide.edu.au
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    1 To locate, analyse and synthesis information about the diversity of research approaches.
    2 Develop ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions to research problems via use of problem solving and critical thinking exercises in research case studies, develop teamwork, and interpersonal skills in negotiating research programs.
    3 To critically evaluate the efficacy of virtual means of delivering or developing research strategies.
    4 To encourage and develop skills that will enhance the fulfilment of ongoing and continuous learning and intellectual curiosity via independent learning exercises.
    5 To demonstrate, by use of role model examples, how research can help support leadership functions within community.
    6 Develop understanding of cross cultural contexts and nuances/implications of cross cultural research.
    Workload

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

    The expected commitment for this course is 3 hours face-to-face and 3–4 hours study per week.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The semester schedule is as follows:
    Schedule
    Week Research Design and Methods
    Week 1 Course overview: What is research? One hour lecture only.
    Week 2 Literature reviews and data base searches
    Week 3 Writing workshop Online activity this week Formative Writing task
    Week 4 Research Ethics and Engaging Cultures Writing an ethics application
    Week 5 Theoretical Approaches – No tutorial
    Week 6 Qualitative Methods 1
    Literature review due
    Week 7 Qualitative Methods 2
    Quantitative Methods 1
    Week 8 Quantitative Methods 2 – Dr Laurence Lester
    Week 9 Research Analysis
    Online methods: Using survey monkey
    Using NVIVO Using Endnote
    Week 10 Journal due
    Week 11 How to write up a research project (eg. Dissertation)
    Week 12 Group Verbal Presentations on research proposals
  • 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
    Item Weight Due Date
    Seminar Journal (based on in class activities) 30%
    Attendance 10%
    Literature review (incl writing task @ 10%) 35%
    Group verbal presentation of research proposal plus written proposal brief 25%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    In order to pass the course, it is necessary that students attend all sessions.
    Assessment Detail
    Task 1: Assessed seminar exercises and activities, including attendance. Activities and tasks will include ‘homework’ tasks that will be preparation for in class activities the week following (such as developing an online survey via NVIVO), as well as a number of in class activities (i.e. giving and taking interviews). Students that miss the in class activities will forfeit the assessment weighting that will be allocated to that task.
    Weight: 30%
    Attendance
    and participation: 10%

    Task 2: Literature Review: Students will develop a literature review on a research problem/topic. A list of topics will be given to students but you will be able to choose your own in consultation with the convenor. This includes a preparatory exercise due on the 16th March.
    Weight: 35%

    Task 3: Verbal (group) presentation. In groups you will be expected to develop a research program for one of the case studies set. Case studies will be drawn for student ideas for projects developed in the first two weeks. Presentations will be in the format of a group/research team bid to get research dollars from a funding institution.
    Weight: 25%
    (20% for individual presentation within group, and 5% for how well that presentation coheres to the whole)
    Submission
    Students may submit their work in hard copy to the Course Coordinator, via email or via MyUni.

    NOTE: When submitting via MyUni, you must convert your assignment file to PDF before submission - for assistance in converting your assignment file to PDF, please see http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/tutorials/content/ICC_Printed_Assignment_PDF_creation.html

    For guidance on how to submit your assignment electronically via MyUni, go to http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/tutorials/ and click on the “Submit an Assignment” tutorial.


    For more assistance on submitting your PDF assignment file to MyUni, please telephone the Service Desk on 831 33000, 8am–6pm, Monday to Friday or
    email servicedesk@adelaide.edu.au

    Students who do not request an extension will forfeit assessment marks at 5% for every working day it is late. 
    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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.

  • 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.