EDUC 7054 - Research Design

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

This course provides an introduction to all elements of designing a research project from developing a researchable question to ethical issues. It supports students in becoming critical consumers of research and provides strategies for searching for and critiquing literature. It also provides guidance on writing a research proposal.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code EDUC 7054
    Course Research Design
    Coordinating Unit School of Education
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible EDUC 7001 Educational Inquiry
    Assessment Research proposal (60%), Reflective blogs (20%), Seminar presentation 20%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Edward Palmer

    Dr Fizza Sabir
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the end of this course successful students will be able to

    1. Evaluate and synthesize research materials to identify relevant areas for research
    2. Convey research goals clearly in a variety of formats
    3. Interact and network effectively with peers in a team environment 
    4. Demonstrate an understanding of ethical research considerations
    5. Demonstrate an understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies

    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)
    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
    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
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    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
    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
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no compulsory textbook for this course. Rather students will be required to read selected literature on key research design processes covered in the course and disciplinary texts as appropriate. Key texts will be available on MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Education/Social Sciences students are encouraged to purchase the following textbook for the course and their future development:

    Cohen, Manion & Morrison (2011), Research Methods in Education 7th Edition, Routledge.

    Additional resources for Education/Social Sciences students are also available at the website for this book:
    Online Learning
    An online version of the materials is provided in modular form on MyUni along with additional resources.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course is built around a series of lectures covering the fundamental research design processes. These are complemented by seminars addressing the practical application of these processes. Related assignments are designed to consolidate the learning of key principles and development of skills in the appropriate research design processes.

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

    Workload Total Hours
    1 x 2-hour lecture/workshop per week 24 hours per semester
    1 x 2-hour seminar per week or additional reading 24hours per semester
    1 x 3 hours reading per week 36 hours per semester
    Blog writing and interactive online activities 10 hours per semester
    Preparation for formative and summative seminar presentation 20 hours per semester
    Research proposal reading and writing 42 hours per semester
    Total = 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Lecture Topic Seminar Topic
    1 Understanding the nature of research. Research Design components (all) Designing a group project question. Understanding the role of reflective practice in research. Research Design components (all)
    2 Reviewing literature and searching strategies (all) Research Paradigms (Education & other Arts only)
    3 Taking effective notes and categorizing literature (all) Endnote workshop (all)
    4 Writing and presenting introductions (all) Causation, validity and reliability (Education & other Arts only)
    5 5 Slide, 5 minute Introduction to the Issue, Research and Gap (all) 5 Slide, 5 minute Introduction to the Issue, Research and Gap (all)
    6 Research focus, questions/aims and objectives (all) Inductive & Deductive Reasoning, Grounded theory as an extreme inductive methodology (Education & other Arts only)
    7 Systematic Reviews/Meta-Analysis as a Methodology (all) Extreme Deductive Reasoning, Experiments & Questionnaire examples (Education & other Arts only)
    8 Ethics and integrity general module (all) Methodology definitions and their relationships with paradigms (Education & other Arts only)
    9 Writing ethics applications (human and animal) (all) Presenting on different methodologies, historical and documentary research (Education & other Arts only)
    10 Writing up research methodologies example presentations (all) Action research and observations (Education & other Arts only)
    11 Presentations (all + additional appointments) Interviews and focus groups (Education and other Arts)
    12 Putting it all together example PhD projects (all) Presentations and example proposals assessed (all)
    Specific Course Requirements
    Note that at least 80% attendance at seminars is compulsory and that students must complete at least 3 assessment items (i.e. the presentation of the research proposal (group or individual), critical review OR research proposal AND reflective essay.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    This class focusses entirely on research skills development. Students meet twice at least in small groups to receive individual and peer feedback on their research proposals. Numerous small group activities with the Senior research active academic are included throughout the course.
  • 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
    Research proposal Written proposal in three parts:
    1) Introduction and Literature Review (including research question(s))
    2) Design (including paradigm, theory, overall design/methodology, data collection and analysis methods, validity & reliability
    3) Ethics
    50% 1-5
    Seminar presentation Oral presentation (submitted online) 30% 1-3
    Discussion Forums Peer feedback, reflection, and discussion of concepts 20% 1-5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students who are unable to provide justification for non-attendance will fail the course. Also completion of AT LEAST the group seminar presentation and either the critical review and reflective essay OR the research proposal are mandatory.
    Assessment Detail
    Reflective Journal
    Students will produce 2 blog entries and take part in interactive activities online  (Formative & Summative)
    Due Date: Week 2- 11
    Weighting: 20%
    Learning Objectives: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8

    Seminar Presentation & Participation
    Short presentation of a critique on selected readings and a final presentation of the research proposal. (Formative & Summative)
    Due Date: Weeks 5, 11 & 12 (activities)
    Weighting: 20%
    Learning Objectivities: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9

    Research Proposal
    4000 word research proposal following appropriate Faculty template. This can be done in three parts as described above.  
    Due Date: Week 13
    Weighting: 60%
    Learning Objectivities: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9
    All assignments must be submitted electronically either as blogs or as email attachments to the lecturer by 12:00 midnight of the Friday of the due week.
    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.

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    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.

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