GSSA 2110 - Social Research: Working Skills for Social Sci

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

The aim of Social Research is to develop students' knowledge and understanding of research - how and why it is done - and to expose students to different theoretical perspectives and methodologies employed by researchers in conducting social research. Students will learn new skills: formulating a research question; designing a survey and interview schedule; participant observation; conducting focus groups; content analysis and discourse analysis; and interpreting information. Students will also be taught about ethical considerations in social research and how the research findings inform change. Students will also learn how these research skills are increasingly and widely applicable in the workplace

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GSSA 2110
    Course Social Research: Working Skills for Social Sci
    Coordinating Unit Gender Studies and Social Analysis
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 undergraduate study
    Incompatible GWSI 2015, GWSI 3015, GWSI 2110
    Course Description The aim of Social Research is to develop students' knowledge and understanding of research - how and why it is done - and to expose students to different theoretical perspectives and methodologies employed by researchers in conducting social research. Students will learn new skills: formulating a research question; designing a survey and interview schedule; participant observation; conducting focus groups; content analysis and discourse analysis; and interpreting information. Students will also be taught about ethical considerations in social research and how the research findings inform change. Students will also learn how these research skills are increasingly and widely applicable in the workplace
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Dee Michell

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand the purpose of social research and its potential to investigate contemporary
    social issues through both quantitative and qualitative approaches.
    2 Identify the range of methods, techniques and skills used in contemporary social research and their capacity to solve specific social problems.
    3 Demonstrate skills in social science methods including the ethical and practical aspects of researching social problems, critical reading, reflection and analytical
    writing.
    4 Work with others in the exploration of ideas and to collectively develop arguments and negotiate solutions to problems.
    5 Undertake a research project including formulating a research problem and its key questions, investigating the problem and analysing the results.
    6 Present research findings in a coherently argued written report and engage in critical debate.
    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, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4, 5, 6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 2, 3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Walter, M (2010) Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Recommended Resources
    Gray, D. (2009) Doing research in the real world. London: Sage.

    Crotty, M. (1998) The foundations of social research. Meaning and perspective in the research process. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

    Ezzy, D. (2002) Qualitative analysis: Practice and innovation. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

    Neuman, W. (2006) Social research methods. Boston: Pearson International.
    Online Learning
    Lectures, handouts, links to further readings, websites and updates will be posted to the MyUNi course site available via the MyUni link.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures supported by problem-solving workshops 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 1-hour lecture (or equivalent) per week 12 hours per semester
    1 x 2-hour workshop (or equivalent) per week 24 hours per semester
    3 hours assignment preparation per week 36 hours per semester
    7 hours reading/research per week 84 hours per semester
    TOTAL WORKLOAD 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    1 Introduction to the course
    2 Definitions and beginnings
    3 Participant observation
    4 Analysing texts
    5 Surveys/questionnaires
    6 Analysing quantitative data
    7 Why's and wherefore's of doing interviews
    8 Innovative methods with children
    9 Focus groups
    10 Analysing qualitative data
    11 Using social theory: the 'so what' question
    12 Research translation
    Specific Course Requirements
    Not applicable
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Weekly workshops provide opportunities to put new knowledge and skills into practice in fun and meaningful ways. Activities in workshops are group based.
  • 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
    Group activities (inc workshop attendance, participation and online tasks) Formative and Summative 30% 1-6
    1000 word research exercise Formative and Summative 40% 1-6
    2000 word discourse analysis Formative and Summative 30% 1-6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students are required to complete all assessment tasks to be eligible to pass this course.
    Assessment Detail
    Workshops: Participation in workshops is a key feature of this course as they provide opprotunities to explore ideas, theories and examples in the readings and lectures.

    Assignment 1: This is a research exercise to put into practice a research skill that you have learnt in the first few weeks of the course. This includes an activity on campus, where you conduct a participant observation exercise, and write this up as a short report.

    Assignment 2: In this assignment you can choose an issue or controversy and explore the way it is represented in the media over a period of time.  This is an independent learning project, where you will be supported to conduct your own textual analysis.
    Submission
    Your written assignments for this course will be submitted online via the relevant MyUni course site.
    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 (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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