EDUC 7054 - Research Design

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

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
    Assessment Research proposal (60%), Reflective blogs (20%), Seminar presentation 20%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Julie Matthews


    Associate Professor Julie Matthews
    Telephone: (08) 8313 1561
    Level 8 Office 15
    Nexus 10 Tower
    North Terrace

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to: APST (Graduate)*
    1 Evaluate and synthesize research materials to identify relevant areas for research 6.4, 7.4
    2 Convey research goals clearly in a variety of formats 6.4
    3 Interact and network effectively with peers in a team environment 6.3
    4 Demonstrate an understanding of ethical research considerations 7.1
    5 Demonstrate an understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies 6.4
    *Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Graduate Level). Relevant only to Initial Teacher Education program students
    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:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Session Learning Outcomes
    1 Introduction: The nature of research 1
    2 Research problems, questions and hypothesis 1,2
    3 Qualitative, quantitative and mixed research approaches  1,4,5
    4 Ethics 1,4
    5 Library workshop 1
    6 Presentations 2
    7 Proposal development 1,2,3
    8 Literature reviews and abstracts 1
    9 Ensuring validity and reliability  5
    10 Proposals  3
    11 Generating data 1,4,5
    12 Analysing data 5
    Please note – all activities in this schedule will be addressed, but due to the interactive nature of this class some activities may be shifted to other sessions.
    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 APST (Graudate)
    1. Group presentation Summative 30% 1, 2, 4 6.3, 6.4, 7.1
    2. Discussion & Reflection Summative 20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 6.3, 6.4, 7.1, 7.4
    3. Research Proposal Summative 50% 3, 4, 5 6.4, 7.1
    *Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Graduate Level). Relevant only to Initial Teacher Education program students
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1: Group presentation (30%)          
    • In small groups chose a research problem and design a research proposal presentation using powerpoint, prezi or alternative presentation format. The purpose of this assignment is to gain feedback on a research concept or idea. Your presentation will include 5-6 slides and run for 15-20 minutes.
    • Slide suggestions :1) Title and group members, 2) background / current knowledge, 3) research questions and/or hypothesis, 4) proposed methods of data collection and analysis, 5) ethical issues.
    • You will have in class time to work on and receive feedback on your presentations.
    Assessment 2: Discussion & Reflection (20%) 1,000 words
    This is a reflective discussion of the experience of working in collaborative research teams. Please address the following points:
    1. List group members.
    2. How did your team decide on a research topic? What roles were adopted, how did you allocate tasks, divide workloads and organise meetings?
    3. What challenges and issues did you experience as a team? 
    4. What were the strengths of your team?
    5. How would you do things differently?
    6. What were the strengths and weakness of the presentation?
    7. What was your most significant contribution?
    8. Should all members of the team receive the same grade? Explain in relation to ethical issues? 
    Assessment 3 Research Proposal: 2,000 words (50%)
    • Title: short and explanatory, avoid acronyms and quotation marks.
    • Background: project rationale, context, and the significant problem the research addresses (300 words).
    • Research questions, hypothesis, aims and objectives: aims identify the overall purpose of the study; objectives detail the means by which you will achieve those aims (200 words)
    • Literature review: synthesises the literature to detail progress in this field of research, identify a need for the research (800 words)
    • Methodology: outlines the conceptual/theoretical framework, design and methods. Explains your methods, the funds and resources you will need and any ethical issues (700 words).
    Write clearly and in plain English, use approximately 15 references (not included in word count).


    No information currently available.

    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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  • Policies & Guidelines
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