CQUniversity Unit Profile
PSYC12048 Research Methods
Research Methods
All details in this unit profile for PSYC12048 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

This unit will introduce you to key concepts in research methodology as employed in psychological research and the social sciences. The material covered in this unit provides the necessary background for you to conduct and/or appraise research as part of your undergraduate or professional careers. The primary goals of this unit are to a) provide you with an awareness of the range of methodologies available (both quantitative and qualitative) to researchers and to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches and b) design research studies to understand psychological phenomena, including writing sub-sections of research reports in APA style.

Details

Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 2
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 7
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Successful completion of 24 credit points.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 3 - 2021

Online

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Portfolio
Weighting: 55%
2. Group Discussion
Weighting: 15%
3. Take Home Exam
Weighting: 30%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Student feedback

Feedback

High level of support from lecturers.

Recommendation

Continue to engage with students by actively encouraging the use of online forums (and lecturer interaction and timely response to questions), in addition to email and phone communication with students as required.

Feedback from Student feedback

Feedback

Clearer instructions are required on expected writing style in take-home test.

Recommendation

Update take-home test information sheet with more detailed information on writing style. This should include the type of academic writing required in response to each section (e.g., methods sections of research reports).

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Evaluate basic research designs
  2. Design studies to investigate psychological phenomena
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts in research methods.
Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Portfolio - 55%
2 - Group Discussion - 15%
3 - Take Home Exam - 30%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Portfolio - 55%
2 - Group Discussion - 15%
3 - Take Home Exam - 30%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

Conducting Research in Psychology: Measuring the Weight of Smoke 5th (2018)

Authors: Brett W. Pelham and Hart Blanton
Sage
Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks , CA , United States of America
ISBN: 9781544333342
Binding: Paperback
Supplementary

Publication Manual of American Psychological Association 7th (2019)

Authors: American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
ISBN: 978-1-4338-3216-1
Binding: Paperback

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: American Psychological Association 7th Edition (APA 7th edition)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Brenton Williams Unit Coordinator
b.williams@cqu.edu.au
Cassy Dittman Unit Coordinator
c.dittman@cqu.edu.au
Darren Walker Unit Coordinator
d.j.walker@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1 Begin Date: 08 Nov 2021

Module/Topic

Introduction to Research

Chapter

1, 2 

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 2 Begin Date: 15 Nov 2021

Module/Topic

Validity, Reliability and Measurement

Chapter

3, 5

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 3 Begin Date: 22 Nov 2021

Module/Topic

Threats to Validity

Chapter

7

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 4 Begin Date: 29 Nov 2021

Module/Topic

Experiments

Chapter

9

Events and Submissions/Topic

Portfolio Component 1 Due: Monday (29 Nov 2021) 11.55 pm AEST

Vacation Week Begin Date: 06 Dec 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 5 Begin Date: 13 Dec 2021

Module/Topic

Quasi-Experiments

Chapter

10

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6 Begin Date: 20 Dec 2021

Module/Topic

Research Designs

Chapter

11

Events and Submissions/Topic

Vacation Week Begin Date: 27 Dec 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 7 Begin Date: 03 Jan 2022

Module/Topic

Writing in Psychology (focus on Methods section)

Chapter

13

McBurny & White, Ch. 4  (available online)

Burton, Chs. 1 & 3  (available online)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 8 Begin Date: 10 Jan 2022

Module/Topic

Surveys

Chapter

6

Events and Submissions/Topic

Group Discussion Due: Week 8 Tuesday (11 Jan 2022) 11:55 pm AEST
Week 9 Begin Date: 17 Jan 2022

Module/Topic

Understanding and Representing Data

Chapter

12

De Veaux, Vellman & Bock, Chs. 2, 3 & 4 (available online)


Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 10 Begin Date: 24 Jan 2022

Module/Topic

Non-experimental Research

Chapter

8

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 11 Begin Date: 31 Jan 2022

Module/Topic

Qualitative and Mixed Methods

Chapter

Richardson, Goodwin & Vine, Chs. 7 & 8 (available online)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Portfolio Component 2 Due: Monday (31 Jan 2022) 11.55 pm AEST

Week 12 Begin Date: 07 Feb 2022

Module/Topic

Bringing it all together and exam revision

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Take-home test Opens: Wednesday (9 Feb 2022) 9:00 am AEST

Exam Week Begin Date: 14 Feb 2022

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Take-home test Due: Exam Week Monday (14 Feb 2022) 9:00 am AEST
Assessment Tasks

1 Portfolio

Assessment Title
PORTFOLIO

Task Description

This assessment item will provide you with the opportunity to practice the skills and knowledge gained throughout the unit in an applied setting. The portfolio assessment will test your understanding of how to construct a testable hypothesis from a research question, how to design an experiment to test this hypothesis, and how to interpret experimental findings. The assessment task will also develop your research report writing skills and evaluate your understanding of fundamental concepts in psychological research. This assessment task closely relates to each of the unit learning outcomes.
Details:
During the unit, you will be required to submit two (2) components related to the research process and the
research report writing process. Each component will be submitted independently. The components are:
1. Constructs, Variables and Hypotheses
2. Experimental Design
Your unit coordinator will provide a list of research questions at the start of the unit to help you with each of the components. See Moodle for more detailed requirements


Assessment Due Date

Components are due by 11.55pm on Monday at the start of weeks 4 and 11


Return Date to Students

Each component will be returned within 2 working weeks of the submission due date.


Weighting
55%

Assessment Criteria

Component 1 - Constructs, Variables and Hypotheses

Your Unit Coordinator will provide you with a set of five research questions at the start of the unit. For each question, you will be asked to identify the constructs in the research question, describe a variable that could be used to measure the constructs that you have identified, and construct a testable hypothesis using the variables that you have described. Requirements/criteria: Identify the constructs, describe variables to measure the constructs, construct a testable
hypothesis (4 marks for each question). See Moodle for more details.

Due Date: 11:55pm Monday - start of week 4
Component 1 Weighting: 20%
Word Count Range: 500 – 600 words (max 600 words)

Component 2 – Experimental Design
For this component, you will need to choose one of the two questions from the list provided by your Unit Coordinator. Your task is to design an experiment to answer your research question. You will ‘write up’ your experiment in the form of an APA style methods section containing the following sections: design statement, participants, materials, procedure, and use of data.
Requirements/criteria: Design statement (5 marks), Participants (7 marks), Materials (10 marks), Procedure (10 marks), Use of data (3 marks). Marks per section will be awarded via a detailed criteria and feedback sheet available on Moodle. For example, to get a HD for the Design Statement, students would need "All of the major aspects of the design (including hypothesis, type of design, IVs, DVs) have been clearly described". Two sample exemplars from previous cohorts (different research topics to those set in 2021) will be given.

Due Date: 11:55pm Monday - start of week 11
Component 2 Weighting: 35%
Word Count Range: 700 – 800 words (max 800 words)


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Online files (MS Word preferred) in Moodle. Components 1 and 2 are submitted separately

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Evaluate basic research designs
  • Design studies to investigate psychological phenomena
  • Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts in research methods.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Ethical practice

2 Group Discussion

Assessment Title
Group Discussion

Task Description

Objectives:
Contributing to a group discussion provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate a functional knowledge of the issue under discussion and to apply the knowledge and skills learned throughout the unit in a practical setting reflecting the research process. Participation in a group discussion will further reveal the extent to which you have synthesised theory and practice associated with various issues within the field.
Details:
After Census Date (30th November 2021) you will assign yourselves into groups of four (4). The task for the Group Discussion will be posted on the unit website in Week 2. You will be required to discuss the task within your group and to submit a single group solution to the task in the form of a Wiki page. Briefly, the task requires your group to evaluate and comment on four (4) research designs. Private discussion forum spaces and private chat sessions will be provided to each group to assist with communication (although groups may choose any method of communication that they like). The word count range for the Wiki submission is 500 – 700 words. There is an individual contribution component where you need to evaluate the team-working skills of the other people in your group based on cooperation, participation and contribution


Assessment Due Date

Week 8 Tuesday (11 Jan 2022) 11:55 pm AEST

The task is due by 11.55pm Tuesday of week 8


Return Date to Students

The group task will be returned within 2 weeks of submission


Weighting
15%

Assessment Criteria

Grading of the Group Discussion assignment will be based on:
Group solution (10 marks).
Identify which type of validity is threatened. Explain how/why you think validity is threatened. Explain how the design could be changed to eliminate/reduce the threat. (2.5 marks for each design)

Evaluation of teamworking skills individual task (5 marks). Each member of your group will assess your participation and contribution to the assignment. An individual evaluation of the teamworking skills (of other group members) form will be available on the unit website and must be submitted by the due date. 


Referencing Style

Submission
Online Group

Submission Instructions
The group component requires producing a Wiki page in Moodle. The individual contribution component requires submitting an online file (MS Word preferred) in Moodle.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Evaluate basic research designs
  • Design studies to investigate psychological phenomena


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Team Work
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Ethical practice

3 Take Home Exam

Assessment Title
Take-home test

Task Description

Task Description

Format:

There will be a take home exam, comprising of two parts. Part A will be a series of 'fill in the blank' (unseen) questions and a short answer question (one from a choice of three seen in the term). Part B will be an applied research scenario with separate questions. Students will have seen a similar scenario prior to the exam but will have to adapt their answers to fit the specific example given. Thus, the exam has seen, and unseen elements as indicated above and a guidance template will be supplied during the term. 


Restrictions:

You have to complete the take home exam within a working week. Only one attempt is allowed. The assessment is to be done individually and submitted via Moodle using Turnitin. 

Dates:

The exam will open on Wednesday of Week 12, 9am AEST, and will close on Monday of Week 13, 9am AEST. As the time allowed to complete the take-home exam is comfortably more than is needed (if students have prepared throughout the term) there will no extensions given. Students with documented evidence of being unable to start the assessment at the required time or experiencing problems (e.g. medical) during the assessment will be required to sit a new paper at a later point in time. This may delay conferral of grades for the unit. 

Note: Responses after the close time will not be counted by the system. 

Weighting:

The take-home exam counts for 30% of your final grade.


Assessment Due Date

Exam Week Monday (14 Feb 2022) 9:00 am AEST

The take home exam will open on Wednesday of Week 12, 9am AEST, and will close on Monday of Week 13, 9am AEST.


Return Date to Students

Take home test marks will be available after the assessment board. There will be no detailed individual feedback given.


Weighting
30%

Assessment Criteria

Examinable Topics:

All topics covered in this unit are examinable.

Marks will be awarded as follows:

Section A - ‘fill in the blank’ questions will be worth 1 mark each, 20 question = 20 marks. Short answer question = 10 marks. Total = 30 marks.

Section B – part a (short answer) = 10 marks; part b (short answer) = 10 marks; part c (short list) = 5 marks; part d (short list) = 5 marks. Total = 30 marks.

Note: short answer questions will be evaluated using the generic CQU grade descriptor. For example, for a HD grade we would typically require – “Demonstrates imagination, originality or flair, based on proficiency in all the learning outcomes of the unit; work is interesting or surprisingly exciting, challenging, well-read or scholarly” ; whereas a P grade would typically require – “Demonstrates the learning outcomes of the unit, such as knowledge of fundamental concepts and performance of basic skills; demonstrates sufficient quality of performance to be considered satisfactory or adequate or competent or capable in relation to the learning outcomes of the unit. Unlike a coursework assignment during the 12 week term, detailed written feedback will not be given on each submission. 

Examinable Materials:

Weekly videos/lecture notes, tutorials, & textbook.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Online file (MS Word preferred) in Moodle.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts in research methods.


Graduate Attributes
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?