PSYCHOL 6501OL - Research Methods, Design and Analysis

Online - Online Teaching 1 - 2021

How do we make well-founded discoveries about the mind and behaviour? This course will uncover key techniques and tools used to do research in psychology. Students will develop the skills needed both to critically evaluate and to conduct research into why people think and act the way they do.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PSYCHOL 6501OL
    Course Research Methods, Design and Analysis
    Coordinating Unit Psychology
    Term Online Teaching 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Online
    Units 3
    Contact 1 to 2 hour online tutorial
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to Graduate Diploma in Psychology(OL) students only
    Course Description How do we make well-founded discoveries about the mind and behaviour? This course will uncover key techniques and tools used to do research in psychology. Students will develop the skills needed both to critically evaluate and to conduct research into why people think and act the way they do.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Josiah Krieg

    Course Timetable

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

    Full details of each week's activities can be found in MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1.  Apply key principles of research design and methodology in psychology.
    2.  Synthesise quantitative evidence to address psychological research questions and hypotheses.
    3.  Explain the core theoretical concepts that underlie common quantitative and qualitative data-analysis techniques
         in psychological research.
    4.  Use statistical software to explore and analyse basic types of quantitative data.
    5.  Explain basic methods of conducting qualitative research in psychology.
    6.  Communicate research findings in a style that is suitable for technical reports
    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
    This is a fully online offering. Students will require access to the internet to access course content and to engage in online tutorials. Students will need to install a free, open-source, cross-platform package for statistical analysis (JASP) on their computer.( Required readings will be available through MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Passer,M.W & Smith, R.E. (2019). Psychology: the science of mind and behaviour. 3rd Ed. McGraw-Hill, Sydney.

    Navarro,D.J., Foxcroft, D.R & Faulkenberry.T.J Learning Statistics with JASP: A Tutorial for Psychology Students and Other Beginners.
    Online Learning
    This is a fully online offering. Myuni will be used for all course materials, communication, links to curated resources, online tutorial support and assignments including submissions, feedback and grades.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Engagement with course content is facilitated by online lectures, interactive online activities, curated readings and resources, and self directed study supported by weekly online tutorial sessions. There are 6 Weekly Modules with learning scaffolded across the modules to ensure that students develop deep discipline knowledge in research methods as well as the academic literacy and numeracy skills that are prerequisites for the 8 advanced level courses in the Graduate Diploma in Psychology.


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

    This course is a 6-week intensive, accelerated learning offering. Students should expect to spend around 24-25 hours per week engaging with the online content, in private study, attending online tutorials and completing the assignments for this course.

    Hours per Week:
    1.5 Hours - Tutorial
    1 Hour - Tutorial Preparation
    9 Hours - Assessment related tasks
    10 Hours - Engaging with online content including video presentations, podcasts, directed research activities, discussions, interactive tasks
    3 Hours - Readings
    Learning Activities Summary
    The modules covered in this 6-week accelerated course are:

    1. Quantitative research design and methods
    • Why are quantitative research methods important?
    • Operationalisation and measurement
    • Reliability and validity
    • Research designs
    2. Descriptive statistics, plots and correlation
    • Introduction to JASP
    • Measures of central tendency and variability
    • Histograms and boxplots
    • Scatterplots and correlation
    3. Statistical theory
    • Probability and statistics
    • Samples and populations
    • Estimation and confidence intervals
    • Null hypothesis significance testing
    4. Comparing two groups
    • Choosing the right statistical test
    • Standard scores and the one-sample t-test
    • Independent samples t-test
    • Paired samples t-test
    • Checking t-test assumptions
    5. Comparing more than two groups
    • Decision tree of tests
    • Independent one-way ANOVA
    • Multiple comparisons and post-hoc tests
    • Assumptions of one-way ANOVA
    • Repeated measures one-way ANOVA
    6. Qualitative research 
    • Quantitative versus qualitative research
    • Beginning your qualitative analysis: coding
    • Introduction to qualitative analysis: thematic analysis and content analysis
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
  • 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 Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Weekly Quizzes 

    Formative and Summative

    Sun Weeks 1-5

    6% each, total 30% 1,2,3,4,5,6
    Assessment 2: Problem set 1 Summative Sun Week 3 30% 1,2,4,6
    Assessment 3: Problem set 2 Summative Sun Week 6 40% 3,4,5,6

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Submission via Turnitin. All assignments are due by 11:59pm on the Sunday at the end of the week in which they are due. A penalty of 5% per day applies for late submissions.

    Extensions are granted on medical, compassionate or other special circumstances recognised under the University’s Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy. The completed extension application form and any documentation (such as a medical or counsellor's certification) should be emailed to the course coordinator and submitted before the due date. The course coordinator will consider the request in the light of the case made and University deadlines, and may grant an extension of up to three days.
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1: 5 X Weekly MCQ (6% each - total 30%)

    15 questions for each weekly assessment task plus non-graded formative MCQs to check understanding of content each week. Weekly completion of the summative MCQs is required.

    Assessment 2: Problem Set 1 - research design and descriptive statistics (30%)

    This Problem Set consists of a set of short-answer questions that direct you to design an experiment, then generate and interpret descriptive statistics, plots, and correlations for a dataset that will be provided to you. You will use JASP to do the analysis. Due end of week 3

    Assessment # 3: Problem Set 2 – inferential statistics and qualitative data analysis (40%)

    This Problem Set consists of a set of short-answer questions that direct you to generate, interpret and report t-tests, ANOVAs and confidence intervals for a dataset that will be provided. You will use JASP to do the analysis. A final part of the assessment requires you to conduct and report a qualitative analysis from text extracts that will be made available to you. Due end of week 6.
    Fully online course with e-submission and marking
    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 ( 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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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