Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Social Research Methods (REDU11078)
|School||Moray House School of Education and Sport
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Course type||Online Distance Learning
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course will give students the framework and contextual knowledge they need in order to plan, design and execute a programme of independent research for the dissertation element of the MSc in Digital Education. The course will enable students to formulate a research question and an outline project plan. It will give them key skills in research design and enable them to position their own programme of research within the broader context of social science enquiry. It will introduce them to data collection and analysis and to key methods for analysing both quantitative data and qualitative research texts.
This course will give students the framework and contextual knowledge they need in order to plan, design and execute a programme of independent research for the dissertation element of the MSc in Digital Education. The course will enable students to formulate a research question and an outline project plan. It will give them key skills in research design and enable them to position their own programme of research within the broader context of social science enquiry. It will introduce them to data collection and analysis and to key methods for analysing both quantitative data and qualitative research texts. Assessments will allow students to complete the course with 20 Credits at SCQF Level 11.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 2,
Online Activities 25,
Formative Assessment Hours 6,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
Part 1 (30%): Participants will work with an existing set of either qualitative or quantitative data, chosen from a range of possible sets. They will perform some simple analysis and/or interpretation directed towards answering a series of questions posed about the data. Results of the analysis will be written up as a brief report (1000 words). This will present the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge that lead directly to assessment part 2, with feedback from tutors serving as feedforward for part 2.
Part 2 (70%): Presentation of a research proposal for the dissertation, including the research question to be addressed, critical discussion of the methodology to be used, and an outline of how data will be collected and analysed (if relevant). The proposal will also include a provisional project plan outlining key milestones and timescales for the various stages of the project. (3000 words)
||As described in the above, the two elements of the assessment allow for formative feedback from tutors. This is also staged throughout the course in non-assessed activities to allow feedback to develop student understanding, and enhance subsequent submissions.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate critical awareness of key aspects of epistemology, validity and ethics as they relate to social science and digital education research
- Locate and critically analyse published research
- Engage critically with a range of data collection and analysis methods and approaches
- Effectively plan a programme of research, identifying appropriate research questions and how they might be addressed by particular methodological approaches
- Demonstrate an awareness of academic conventions in the presentation of research
Arthur, J., Waring, M., Coe, R. and Hedges, L. (eds) (2012).áResearch Methods and Methodologies in Education. London, Sage.
Bayne, S (2008) Higher education as a visual practice: seeing through the virtual learning environment. Teaching in Higher Education, Vol. 13(4), pp. 395-410.
Gatson, S and Zweerink, A (2004) Ethnography online: 'natives' practising and inscribing community. Qualitative Research, 4(2), 179-200.
Gillen, J (2009) Literacy practices in Schome Park: a virtual literacy ethnography. Journal of Research in Reading, 32/1, 57-74.
Pickering, J., Kintrea, K. and Bannister, J. (2011). Invisible Walls and Visible Youth: Territoriality among Young People in British Cities. Urban Studies, 49/5. 945-960.
Rose, Gillian (2007) Researching visual materials: towards a critical visual methodology, chapter 1 of Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials. London: Sage. pp.1-27.
Rose, G., 2014. On the relation between ┐visual research methods┐ and contemporary visual culture. The Sociological Review, 62(1), pp.24-46.
Rovai, A., Wighting, M., & Lucking, R. (2004). The Classroom and School Community Inventory: Development, refinement, and validation of a self-report measure for educational research. The Internet and Higher Education, 7(4), 263-280.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||A. Research and Enquiry
To be able to identify, define and analyse conceptual and/ or practical problems in Digital Education through the critical appraisal of existing evidence.
To be able to generate creative and innovative approaches to research appropriate to the broader context of Digital Education.
B. Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
To be able to exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in the identification and execution of their intended learning activities.
To be independent learners able to develop and maintain a critical approach to issues in Digital Education.
To be make effective use of the multimodal capabilities of digital technologies to communicate appropriate knowledge and understanding of emerging concepts and practices in Digital Education.
D. Personal Effectiveness
To be able to recognise and respond to new opportunities for learning and development.
To be able to work effectively with others in diverse digital environments for learning.
|Keywords||research methods,social science research,digital education,online education
|Course organiser||Dr Alistair Ewins
Tel: (0131 6)51 4789
|Course secretary||Ms Shannon Payne
Tel: (0131 6)51 1196