EDUC 7054 - Research Design

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course provides an introduction to designing a postgraduate research project including reviewing literature, identifying a research focus, constructing feasible research questions and proposing a project outline.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code EDUC 7054
    Course Research Design
    Coordinating Unit School of Education
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 1.5hr Lecture & 1.5hr Seminar per week
    Incompatible Educational Inquiry
    Course Description This course provides an introduction to designing a postgraduate research project including reviewing literature, identifying a research focus, constructing feasible research questions and proposing a project outline.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Michelle Picard

    Dr Michelle Picard

    Phone: 08 8313 0855


    Campus: North Terrace

    Rooms: Floor 11, Room 7, Nexus 10 Building,  10 Pultney Street, North Terrace

    Office hours: 2 – 4:00 Wednesdays
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Develop a research focus and convey research goals clearly in oral and written form

    2. Demonstrate self-evaluation skills through engaging in reflective practice and clearly articulating insights gained in oral and written form

    3. Access resources necessary for individual and group research projects

    4. Use print and electronic resources effectively to convey research goals

    5. Evaluate and synthesize written materials

    6. Critically review key research content in spoken and written form

    7. Interact and network effectively with peers

    8. Demonstrate ethical research considerations in both research practices and communication.

    9. Demonstrate an understanding of how ontology, epistemology, methodology and data collection and analysis methods work together in a well-designed research project (Education students only) 
    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. 1,3,4,6,8, 9
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2,3,4,5,6,8
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2,3,7,8, 9
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1,2,7,8
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3,4,8
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 3,6,7, 9
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 2,3,8,9
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 2, 8, 9
  • 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 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 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.

    1 x 1.5 hour lecture/ workshop per week average (x12) = 18 hours 
    1 x 1.5 hour seminar per week (average) or additional reading = 18 hours

    1x 4 hour reading per week (x12) =  48 hours 
    1 x 1 hour online discussion board/wiki participation per fortnight (x6) = 6 hours 
    6 hours preparation for single slide and seminar presentations = 6 hours 
    1 x 30 hours research and writing of reflective essay (x1) = 30 hours 
    1 x 30 hours critical review or research proposal (x1) = 30 hours 
    Total = 156
    Learning Activities Summary
     Week 1: 8 August
    Understanding the nature of research (All)
    Designing a group project question. Understanding the role of reflective practice in research (All)

    Week 2: 15 August
    The context of research and research project presentations (All)
    Downloading and/or entering information in Endnote (All)

    Week 3: 22 August
    Effective searches and caching of sources: databases, evaluating quality of sources (All)
    Research paradigms & causation (MEd, Hums & Social Sciences).

    Week 4: 29 August
    Reading for specific information and taking down clear notes (All).
    Introduction to validity & Reliability in Quantitative & Qualitative Research (MEd, Hums & Social Sciences).

    Week 5: 5 September
    Introducing a research focus through the literature (presentations of group projects introduction 3 slides: All)
    Critically examining discipline-specific texts, exploring document macro-structure, and conducting genre analysis (micro-level) on introduction stage of an article (All)

    Week 6: 12 September
    Overall research design (All)
    Planning of research paradigm, research design, data collection and analysis appropriate to research questions (MEd, Hums and Social Sciences)

    Week 7: 19 September
    Developing a theoretical framework and methodology: introduction to structure and language features (All)
    Selecting an appropriate methodology and methods in harmony with research paradigm: evaluating examples (MEd, Hums and Social Sciences)

    Week 8: 10 October
    Visit subject librarians and set up a search strategy/ reviewing literature update (All)
    Reliability and Validity (MEd, Hums and Social Sciences)

    Week 9: 17 October
    Ethics: integrity and good practice (All)

    Week 10: 24 October
    Completing ethics documentation, analysing case studies (All)
    Validity and reliability in quantitative and qualitative research (MEd, Hums and Social Sciences)

    Week 11: 31 October
    Presenting a seminar and developing a research proposal genre and analysis of assessment items (All)
    Participating in data collection and data analysis activities – reflection on fitness of purpose (MEd, Hums and Social Sciences)

    Week 12: 7 November
    Research presentations and feedback (All)
    Specific Course Requirements

    Note that attendance at seminars is compulsory.
  • 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
    Task: Reflective blogs & essay

    Word count: 3000 word+ blog entries and 1000 word essay based on application of selected session themes to student’s own field of research 
    Type of assessment: Formative and Summative
    Dates: Week 2- 9 (individual weekly blog reflections)
    Full journal Week 13 IF this option is selected
    Mark allocation: 40% or 20% for students doing alternative assessment
    Graduate Attributes: 1,3,4,6,7 and 9
    Task: Seminar presentation & participation

    Length: Short presentation (3 minutes minutes) of introduction to project (formative) 5%
    Full length proposal presentation (10 - 20 minutes) (summative) 15%
    (Formative & Summative)
    Dates: Weeks 4/5 and 13 
    Graduate Attributes: 1,2,4,5,7 and 8
    Critical review

    3000 word+ essay critically comparing/ contrasting 8-15 research articles on the same topic and leading to a research focus and question (Summative)
    Dates: Week 4/5 (notes), 5 (group introduction) & 13 (individual document)
    Mark allocation: 40%
    Graduate Attributes: 4,5 and 6,7,9

    Alternative to critical review: Research Proposal

    Lenth: 3000 - 5000 word research proposal following appropriate Faculty template (Summative) *
    Dates: Week 13
    Mark allocation: 60%
    Graduate Attributes: 4,5 and 6,7,9
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Students who are unable to provide justification for non-attendance will fail the course. 
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment details will be provided on introduction of each assignment.

    All assignments must be submitted electronically either as discussion posts or as email attachments to the lecturer by 12:00 midnight of the due date.
    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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