PSYCHOL 6501OL - Research Methods, Design and Analysis

Online - Online Teaching 5 - 2022

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 5
    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: Nylanda Ma

    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.

    2, 4

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • 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 ( Installing the latest version is recommended where possible, but the earliest version suitable to complete the course is JASP version 0.14.1. Required readings will be available through MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    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
  • 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, 2, 4 & 5

    7.5% 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: 4 X Weekly MCQ (7.5% 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%)
    Assessment 3 consists of part A (Misinformation Data Analysis), part B (Therapies Data Analysis), and part C (Qualitative Analysis).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. Part C of the assessment requires you to conduct and report a qualitative analysis (750 words +/- 10%) from text extracts that will be made available to you. Due end of week 6. 

    Fully online course - esubmission 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

    Counselling for Fully Online Postgraduate Students

    Fully online students can access counselling services here:

    Phone: 1800 512 155 (24/7) 

    SMS service: 0439 449 876 (24/7) 


    Go to the Study Smart Hub to learn more, or speak to your Student Success Advisor (SSA) on 1300 296 648 (Monday to Thursday, 8.30am–5pm ACST/ACDT, Friday, 8.30am–4.30pm ACST/ACDT)

  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.