GEOG 5010 - Research Methods

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

The aim of this course is to develop students' knowledge and understanding of the role and conduct of quantitative and qualitative research methods in planning [and urban design]. 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. The course equips students with the skills to review and conduct methodologically sound research as a part of their professional work. Students develop the skills to recognise and reflect on the strengths and limitations of different research methodologies, understand the links between theory and practice, critically assess research, and address ethical and practical issues. The course takes a step-by-step approach to the design and implementation of quantitative and qualitative techniques including case study and precedent studies, surveys, interviews, focus groups, participant observation, textual and media analysis. How to manage and analyse data (including computer assisted), and how to write up and present findings are core components of this course. Students will be equipped with the knowledge and ability to undertake original research projects and develop a set of transferable workplace skills.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 5010
    Course Research Methods
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 contact hours
    Incompatible GEST 5001, GEST 5010
    Restrictions Available to MPlanning & MPlan(UrbDes) students only
    Course Description The aim of this course is to develop students' knowledge and understanding of the role and conduct of quantitative and qualitative research methods in planning [and urban design]. 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. The course equips students with the skills to review and conduct methodologically sound research as a part of their professional work. Students develop the skills to recognise and reflect on the strengths and limitations of different research methodologies, understand the links between theory and practice, critically assess research, and address ethical and practical issues. The course takes a step-by-step approach to the design and implementation of quantitative and qualitative techniques including case study and precedent studies, surveys, interviews, focus groups, participant observation, textual and media analysis. How to manage and analyse data (including computer assisted), and how to write up and present findings are core components of this course. Students will be equipped with the knowledge and ability to undertake original research projects and 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
    1 To locate, analyse and synthesise information about the diversity of research approaches
    2 Develop an ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions to research problems
    3 Develop teamwork, and interpersonal skills in negotiating research programs via use of problem solving and critical thinking exercises in research case studies
    4 Critically evaluate the efficacy of virtual means of delivering or developing research strategies
    5 Encourage and develop skills that will enhance the fulfilment of ongoing and continuous learning and intellectual curiosity via independent learning exercises
    6 Demonstrate, by use of role model examples, how research can help support leadership and better decision making within the community and in the public and private sectors
    7 Develop an understanding of cross cultural contexts and the 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. 4, 6, 7
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 2
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2, 3
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 2, 4, 5, 6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 2, 5, 7
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 6, 7
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 7
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures supported by problem-solving tutorials developing material covered in lectures.
    Workload

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

    1 x 3-hour lecture per week 72 hours per semester
    12 hours reading per week 144 hours per semester
    4 hours research per week 48 hours per semester
    4 hours assignment preparation per week 48 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Week 1 Course Overview: What is research?
    Week 2 Literature Reviews and Data Base Searches
    Week 3 Communicating Research Outcomes
    Week 4 The Role of Theory in Research Design and Delivery
    Week 5 Research Ethics and Engaging Cultures
    Week 6 Qualitative Methods 1
    Week 7 Qualitative Methods 2 and Qualitative Methods 1
    Week 8 Qualitative Methods 2
    Week 9 Research Analysis
    Week 10 How to Write up a Research Project
    Week 11 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
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Seminar Journal (based on in-class activities) Summative 30% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Attendance Formative and Summative 10% 3, 5, 6, 7
    Literature Review Formative and Summative 35% 2, 4, 6
    Group Verbal Presentation Formative and Summative 25% 1, 2, 3, 4
    Assessment Detail

    Seminar Journal based on in-class activities.  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, as well as a number of in-class activities.  Students that miss the in-class activities will forfeit the assessment weighting that will be allocated to that task - weighting 30%

    Attendance and Participation - weighting 10%

    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 - weighting 35%

    Group Verbal Presentation of research proposal plus written proposal brief.  In groups you will be expected to develop a research program for one of the case studies set.  Case studies will be drawn from student ideas for projects developed in the first two weeks - weighting 25%

    Submission
    Students should submit their work to the Course Coordinator via email or MyUni.  NOTE. Assignment files must be converted to A4 size PDF before being submitted to MyUni.

    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.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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