The main aim of the module is to provide student with introductory level knowledge and skills of research methods in the social sciences. The research methods taught in this module will be applied to educational questions and contexts. This is essential for several reasons:
To develop further your research literacy skills so that students can read reports of educational research with more understanding and insight, and so that you are more able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of such research;
To help students develop knowledge and skills which are essential in a range of careers in education and in the social sciences more widely;
To help students to prepare for the Empirical Dissertation module which you will carry out research as part of your Year 3 programme in Educational Studies.
Module learning outcomes
After completing the module, students will:
Be familiar with a range of research strategies and methods, including both qualitative and quantitative methods;
Be able to use the common research techniques of questionnaires, interviews and observation.
Be aware of the strengths and limitations of each method of data collection;
Know how to analyse the data collected using each of aforementioned methods of data collection;
Have experience of using techniques for dealing with data;
Be aware of the characteristics of a good research report as a result of reading and analysing a number of reports of different research studies involving a range of research strategies and methods;
Have a clearer understanding of the characteristics of an ideal empirical dissertation;
Be able to plan a piece of research.
Academic and graduate skills
Students will develop their critical thinking, argumentation, and communication skills.
Specifically, students will engage in activities examining the relative strengths and weakness of different research paradigms, methods of data collection and methods of data analysis.
Further, students will complete a group research project and prepare a presentation based on that project to the whole group. As an additional skill, students will develop their IT skills by interacting fully with the VLE (Yorkshare).
Oral presentation/seminar/exam Group recorded presentation
In the Autumn term, students will receive feedback on a task designed to offer practice for the summative assessment.
In the Spring term, students will receive formative feedback on their group projects verbally during synchronous sessions, and through regular comments from the GTA on their group project work.
A feedback session, in which the most common difficulties will be discussed, will be held by the module tutors to provide feedback on the closed summative online assessment. Written feedback will be provided by tutors on the summative group presentations, and fellow students will be asked to provide further formative feedback to their classmates. Finally, individual written feedback reports, will be provided for the summative research proposals. The feedback is returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.
A wide range of reading is expected of students on the course. The keys texts for all terms are:
Babbie (2008). The basics of social research. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth
Bryman, A. (2008). Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Cohen, l., Manion, L., and Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education. London: Routledge