CQUniversity Unit Profile
SOCL19069 Social Research Methods
Social Research Methods
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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 familiarises students with the practice of researching and the collection of data. Through the development of core skills, students are introduced to both qualitative and quantitative methods. Links between theory and social research methods are investigated in an effort to understand the production and analysis of social research data. At the end of the unit students should be able to critically assess and analyse the application and use of appropriate research methods. Within this framework students should be able to devise and undertake a social survey, understand and explain the application of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and be able to use both quantitative and qualitative approaches to their research.

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

SOCL11055 Sociology of Australian Society

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 2 - 2017

Distance

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. Online Quiz(zes)
Weighting: 20%
2. Written Assessment
Weighting: 40%
3. Written Assessment
Weighting: 40%

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 'Have your say'

Feedback

The breadth of assessments was very worthwhile and maximised learning, overall a good course with a lot of learning. The course was well defined and easy to navigate. I thought it would be very boring, but it was actually quite engaging.

Recommendation

Continue with the format of the course, including the assessment tasks.

Feedback from Email

Feedback

Thank you for the semester, I really appreciated your feedback and insight. Perhaps we will meet again in my learning journey.

Recommendation

Continue providing a stimulating learning experience to students.

Feedback from 'Have your say'

Feedback

I found myself a little unsure in understanding the assessment explanations.

Recommendation

In addition to the assessment forums, students will be provided with tutorial sessions to clarify assessment requirements.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Apply a range of skills and competencies that critically evaluate the use and application of research methods and the analysis of data.
  2. Conduct a social survey.
  3. Explain and discuss both the benefits and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research and their appropriate contexts for application, while having and understanding of the constraints and concerns associated with undertaking and supervising a research project.
  4. Apply both qualitative and quantitative research techniques.
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 4
1 - Online Quiz(zes) - 20%
2 - Written Assessment - 40%
3 - Written Assessment - 40%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
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 - Online Quiz(zes) - 20%
2 - Written Assessment - 40%
3 - Written Assessment - 40%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

Social Research Methods 3rd (2013)

Authors: Walter, M.
Oxford University Press
South Melbourne South Melbourne , VIC , Australia
ISBN:
Binding: Paperback
Supplementary

Qualitative research methods for the social sciences 9th edn (2017)

Authors: Berg, BL & Lune, H
Pearson Education
Upper Saddle River Upper Saddle River , NJ , USA
ISBN: 9781292164397
Binding: Paperback
Supplementary

Research for Social Workers 3rd (2012)

Authors: Margaret Alston and Wendy Bowles
Allen& Unwin
SYDNEY SYDNEY , NSW , AUSTRALIA
ISBN: 9781742378893
Binding: Paperback

Additional Textbook Information

The supplementary texts are not compulsory but may assist students.

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: Harvard (author-date)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Susan Rockloff Unit Coordinator
s.rockloff@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1 Begin Date: 10 Jul 2017

Module/Topic

Module 1: Week 1 : What is research?

Chapter

Textbook:Walter 2013 Chs 1 & 2; Reading 1-1: Babie 2010 pp.2 -30

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 2 Begin Date: 17 Jul 2017

Module/Topic

Module 1: Week 2: What is quantitative research?

Chapter

Textbook: Walter 2013 Chs 5, 6 & 8

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 3 Begin Date: 24 Jul 2017

Module/Topic

Module 1: Week 3: What is qualitative research?

Chapter

Textbook: Walter 2013 Chs 10, 11 & 14

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 4 Begin Date: 31 Jul 2017

Module/Topic

Module 1: Week 4: The issue of ethics in research

Chapter

Textbook: Walter 2013 Ch 4; Reading 1-2: CRO - Glesne & Peshkin 1992 pp. 109-125

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 5 Begin Date: 07 Aug 2017

Module/Topic

Module 2: Week 5: Quantitative and Qualitative Research - Similarities and Differences

Chapter

Textbook: Walter 2013 Chs 2 & 3; Reading 2-1: CRO - Neuman 2004 pp. 149-178

Events and Submissions/Topic

Vacation Week Begin Date: 14 Aug 2017

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6 Begin Date: 21 Aug 2017

Module/Topic

Module 2: Week 6: Quantitative Research - Constructing and Conducting Surveys

Chapter

Reading 2-2: CRO-McNeill TBA CRO - Nardi 2003 pp. 66-106

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online Quiz Due: Week 6 Friday (25 Aug 2017) 10:00 pm AEST
Week 7 Begin Date: 28 Aug 2017

Module/Topic

Module 2: Week 7: Quantitative Research - Analysing the Data

Chapter

Reading 2-3: CRO - Steinberg et al. 2000 pp. 198-211

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 8 Begin Date: 04 Sep 2017

Module/Topic

Module 2: Week 8: Quantitative Research - Presentation of Survey Results

Chapter

Reading: 2-4: CRO - Bryman 2008 pp. 660-688, 2-8: CRO - Lunsford & Ede 1986 pp. 71-81

Events and Submissions/Topic

Social Survey Due: Week 8 Friday (8 Sept 2017) 11:45 am AEST
Week 9 Begin Date: 11 Sep 2017

Module/Topic

Module 3: Week 9: Qualitative and Quantitative Research - Differences and Similarities

Chapter

Reading: 3-1: CRO - Griffin & Phoenix 1994 pp. 287-298 ; 3-2: CRO - Sandelowski 2000 pp. 246-255

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 10 Begin Date: 18 Sep 2017

Module/Topic

Module 3: Week 10: Qualitative Research - In-Depth interviewing methods

Chapter

Reading: 3-2: CRO - Minichello et al. 1995 pp. 61-75 ; 3-4: CRO - Holstein & Gubrium 1997 pp. 113-129

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 11 Begin Date: 25 Sep 2017

Module/Topic

Module 3: Week 11: Qualitative research - Analysing the Data

Chapter

Reading: 3-3: CRO - Mason 1996 pp. 135-163; 3-6: CRO - Huberman & Miles 1998 pp. 179-210; 3-7: Coffey et al. 1996 available on-line

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 12 Begin Date: 02 Oct 2017

Module/Topic

Module 3: Week 12: Qualitative Research - Writing Up the Data

Chapter

Textbook: Walter 2013 Ch 16; Reading: 3-4: CRO - Liamputtong 2009 pp. 316-330

Events and Submissions/Topic

Interviewing and Analysis Due: Week 12 Friday (6 Oct 2017) 11:45 pm AEST
Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 09 Oct 2017

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Exam Week Begin Date: 16 Oct 2017

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Tasks

1 Online Quiz(zes)

Assessment Title
Online Quiz

Task Description

Multiple choice quiz - The quiz will be made available on Friday 25 August 2017 between the hours of 7.00 am and 10.00 pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time). Start the quiz a least 20 minutes before it closes or else you will be shut out of the quiz before you have completed your allotted time. The quiz will appear under 'Quizzes' in the 'Assessment' box, on the top left-hand side of the Moodle site for this unit; just click on the link, 'On-Line Quiz'. There are 20 questions, and each question is worth 1 mark. There is only one correct or best answer for each question. There are no penalties for incorrect answers. You will have 20 minutes to complete this quiz. You will only have one chance to complete the quiz. You cannot stop and resume the quiz later. To answer the question, simply click inside the circle next to the answer which you think is correct (a, b, c or d). For example: The current Prime Minister of Australia is:


o a. Julia Gillard

o b. John Howard

o c.Tony Abbott

o d. Malcolm Turnbull

If you experience any problems accessing the quiz or completing the quiz please contact the Unit Co-ordinator BY EMAIL.

Do not panic.


The Unit Co-ordinator will be handling all student enquiries and will be available throughout the duration of the quiz.


Number of Quizzes

1


Frequency of Quizzes

Other


Assessment Due Date

Week 6 Friday (25 Aug 2017) 10:00 pm AEST

The quiz will be open from 7.00am - 10.00pm on the day


Return Date to Students

Results are immediately available on submission of the quiz


Weighting
20%

Minimum mark or grade
To pass this unit you must complete and submit all pieces of assessment and achieve an aggregate mark of 50% or better

Assessment Criteria

Questions from the term's reading until the end of week 6 will be assessed by the quiz.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Apply a range of skills and competencies that critically evaluate the use and application of research methods and the analysis of data.
  • Conduct a social survey.
  • Explain and discuss both the benefits and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research and their appropriate contexts for application, while having and understanding of the constraints and concerns associated with undertaking and supervising a research project.
  • Apply both qualitative and quantitative research techniques.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice

2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Social Survey

Task Description

Word limit: 2500 words

In this assessment students are required to: 1) select a sociological topic of interest from the list below; 2) explore the literature in this area; 3) identify a research question; 4) explain the significance/importance (justification) of this question; 5) explain and discuss the benefits and limitations of quantitative research; 6) compose the survey questions. Please note that you are not required to conduct a survey.

Research topics:

  1. Refugees to Australia
  2. Australian Indigenous people being added to the Constitution
  3. University student funding in Australia
  4. Complementary and alternative medicine
  5. Elder abuse
  6. Support for people with disability
  7. Drug abuse


Assessment Due Date

Week 8 Friday (8 Sept 2017) 11:45 am AEST


Return Date to Students

Week 10 Friday (22 Sept 2017)


Weighting
40%

Minimum mark or grade
To pass this unit you must complete and submit all pieces of assessment and achieve an aggregate mark of 50% or better

Assessment Criteria

At the completion of assessment 2, students should be able to: Apply a range of skills
and competencies that critically evaluate the use and application of research methods
and the analysis of data; construct a social survey; explain and discuss the benefits and
limitations of quantitative research and the constraints and concerns associated with
undertaking and supervising a research project; and apply quantitative research
techniques.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Apply a range of skills and competencies that critically evaluate the use and application of research methods and the analysis of data.
  • Conduct a social survey.
  • Explain and discuss both the benefits and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research and their appropriate contexts for application, while having and understanding of the constraints and concerns associated with undertaking and supervising a research project.
  • Apply both qualitative and quantitative research techniques.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice

3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Interviewing and Analysis

Task Description

Word limit: 2000 words

Your task is to develop a set of in-depth, open ended questions about your chosen topic and use the questions to conduct an interview. Students need to demonstrate that they have given some thought to ethical considerations when conducting their interviews. The data you collect from the interview will then form the basis of a discussion and rationale for the choice of in-depth interview questions included in your interview schedule. An explanation of how your in-depth questions are intended to collect the required data should also be included in your assignment. In addition, you need to explain and discuss the benefits and limitations of qualitative research and their appropriate contexts for application. The assessment write up should consist of all the usual assignment items (cover sheet, synopsis, table of contents, references, etc.). Please include a copy of your in-depth open ended questions (and answers) in an Appendix. The Appendix is not included in the word count.

As with the first assignment, you can choose from the list below -

Research topics:

  1. Refugees to Australia
  2. Australian Indigenous people being added to the Constitution
  3. University student funding in Australia
  4. Complementary and alternative medicine
  5. Elder abuse
  6. Support for people with disability
  7. Drug abuse

You are allowed to choose the same topic you selected for assignment one.

Please only interview an immediate family member or close friend for this piece of assessment.

If in doubt, please check with the unit co-ordinator.


Assessment Due Date

Week 12 Friday (6 Oct 2017) 11:45 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Exam Week Friday (20 Oct 2017)


Weighting
40%

Minimum mark or grade
To pass this unit you must complete and submit all pieces of assessment and achieve an aggregate mark of 50% or better

Assessment Criteria

At the completion of assessment 3, students should be able to: apply a range of skills
and competencies that critically evaluate the use and application of research methods
and the analysis of data; explain and discuss the benefits and limitations of qualitative
research and their appropriate contexts for application, while having an understanding
of the constraints and concerns associated with undertaking and supervising a research
project; and, apply qualitative research techniques


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Apply a range of skills and competencies that critically evaluate the use and application of research methods and the analysis of data.
  • Conduct a social survey.
  • Explain and discuss both the benefits and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research and their appropriate contexts for application, while having and understanding of the constraints and concerns associated with undertaking and supervising a research project.
  • Apply both qualitative and quantitative research techniques.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice

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?