COMP SCI 7415OL - Research Methods

Online - Online Teaching 1 - 2022

This course will prepare students for advanced research by examining how to plan, conduct and report on data driven investigations. The course will cover techniques applicable to each of the steps of a research project, including formulating research questions, framework building, data analysis (using both qualitative and quantitative methods), building evidence, assessing validity, and reporting and disseminating research outcomes.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMP SCI 7415OL
    Course Research Methods
    Coordinating Unit Computer Science
    Term Online Teaching 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Online
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Master of Data Sci (Applied) OL
    Assessment Assignments
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Rita Garcia

    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:

    1. Understand and be able to explain and apply the philosophy of science as it applies to research methods
    2. Be able to explain principles of research design
    3. Be able to apply principles of research design for a variety of projects
    4. Understand and be able to explain research ethics and their implications
    5. Understand and be able to apply a range of techniques, including, but not limited to: qualitative methods, quantitative methods, survey methods, case studies, interviews
    6. Understand and be able to explain the important of data replication and the management of bias
    7. Be able to design and implement research studies that meet the above requirements
    8. Demonstrate the ability to produce written records of research work that are of a submittable standard
    9. Demonstrate the ability to critique and review work in order to identify where research methodological principles have been followed well or could be improved, including the written presentation of the review to a professional standard

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5
    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.

    5, 7, 9

    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.

    2, 4, 9

    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.

    3, 5, 7, 9

    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 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.

    7, 8, 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The course has no text books but readings will be provided throughout the course and may be accessed through the on-line teaching portal.
    Recommended Resources
    There are no recommended resources.
    Online Learning
    All materials will be availabe from MyUni, myuni., Canvas Learning Management System. Online learning materials are likely to include podcasts, video recordings, electronic documents and on-line quizzes to verify knowledge. Students may also interact with the Mahara portfolio system as part of their coursework.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will require students to carry out pre-reading and attend discussion sessions each week. It is essential that students are prepared before attending. 

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

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

    Students will be expected to undertake 3-4 hours of reading and preparation each week, with one two-hour face-to-face session every week. Course assessment activities will take approximately 4 hours a week on average.
    Learning Activities Summary
    This course will prepare students for advanced research by examining how to plan, conduct and report on empirical investigations. The course will cover techniques applicable to each of the steps of a research project, including formulating research questions, theory building, data analysis, building evidence, assessing validity, and publishing. It will particularly focus on research involving data science, developing statistical tools to measure performance and the ways in which people interact with data science tools and visualisations.
  • 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

    Methodology Critique: 30%
    Research Proposal: 30%
    Research Paper: 40% 
    Assessment Detail

    The detailed assessment breakdown is:
    1. Produce a Methodology Critique. 30%
        Due: End of Week 3, Sunday 11:59pm
        In this assessment, you will be required to apply critical thinking to the description of a research method and create a plan for a better research design.

    2. Research Proposal. 30%
        Due: End of Week 4, Sunday 11:59pm
        In this assessment, you will be required to prepare a written description of a research methodology to answer a valid work-related research question. 

    3. Research Paper. 40%
        Due: End of Week 6, Sunday 11:59pm
        In this assessment, you will be required to execute a small research project and submit a research paper detailing the research design, results, and students’ interpretation.

    All submissions must be made through MyUni. Follow the assessment links for each assessment item.
    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.