PSYC12048 - Research Methods

General Information

Unit Synopsis

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

Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 1
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).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2021

Term 1 - 2021 Profile
Adelaide
Bundaberg
Cairns
Online
Rockhampton
Townsville
Term 3 - 2021 Profile
Online
Term 2 - 2022 Profile
Adelaide
Bundaberg
Cairns
Online
Rockhampton
Townsville

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).

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.

Assessment Tasks

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

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

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2020 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 32.17% response rate.

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.

Source: Student feedback
Feedback
High level of support from lecturers.
Recommendation
Continue to offer good support and where possible continue to adopt a team teaching approach.
Action Taken
Good support was offered, but only one lecturer delivered live core material in 2020.
Source: Student feedback
Feedback
Students appreciated the depth and breadth of research experience the teaching team had.
Recommendation
Ensure that research led teaching experience is incorporated into lectures and tutorials.
Action Taken
This was maintained.
Source: Student feedback and self reflection
Feedback
Some students not taking the group task seriously enough and not enough marks for personal contribution.
Recommendation
Retain group task as it imparts transferable graduate skills. Look to allocate some marks for personal contribution over and above current peer ratings.
Action Taken
Group task retained. Personal contribution was assessed via peer ratings of team members using set criteria for teamworking and communication skills to arrive at a numerical score.
Source: Student feedback and self reflection
Feedback
Section A of the exam could be an in-class quiz, or even remove the exam and add a piece of coursework.
Recommendation
The exam will be retained in 2020 and section A will continue to assess breadth of knowledge. But, the four separate short answer questions (section B) will be replaced by one longer answer question that requires drawing on material from multiple lectures and relating to a real-world research scenario. This will assess depth of knowledge and integrate better with the coursework assessments.
Action Taken
Exam changed to multiday take home format. Section A comprised 21 short-answer questions. Section B was a real-world research scenario requiring a longer answer. Here, students had to demonstrate knowledge of quantitative survey design and qualitative interviews.
Source: Student feedback
Feedback
Component 2 of Portfolio task (Methods section) needs a narrower focus.
Recommendation
Provide more guidelines, whilst still requiring students to think critically and allowing some novel input for the final assessment piece.
Action Taken
Focus was narrowed and assessment guidelines were made more explicit.
Source: Student feedback and self-reflection
Feedback
Textbook was not concise enough.
Recommendation
Retain main textbook for 2021 delivery, but signpost relevant material more clearly.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Student feedback
Feedback
Lectures were a little long and needed more interaction.
Recommendation
Make pre-recorded material more concise and live lectures more interactive.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Student feedback
Feedback
Variety of resources to support learning was good, especially formative quizzes.
Recommendation
Maintain existing resources, updating where appropriate.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Student feedback
Feedback
Weekly seminar with discussion topics aided learning.
Recommendation
Maintain smaller seminars in addition to larger lectures.
Action Taken
Nil.
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 Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Portfolio
2 - Group Discussion
3 - Take Home Exam
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
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
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Portfolio
2 - Group Discussion
3 - Take Home Exam