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PSYC20038 - Positive Psychology: Research Methods

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit will introduce you to the various methodological approaches to research and evaluation as they relate to positive psychology. You will develop a critical understanding of the research process, and gain knowledge of the theoretical and empirical traditions in positive psychology research and assessment. The unit will help you to become familiar with valid and ethical processes for collecting and analysing data, the importance of data-driven decision making, and measuring the impact of interventions, and evaluating programs, using a range of methods specific to positive psychology research. In this unit you will be encouraged to question why and how research contributes to best practice (and vice versa). You will learn the skills of engaging with research in a critical manner, and consider the ways research can be used to guide design and procedure for interventions. There will be an overarching focus on being a critical consumer and user of research - to inform the formulation of research questions and intervention designs - whilst also recognising the key research foci, drivers, and interests in this domain.

Details

Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 8
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

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 3 - 2019

Term 2 - 2020 Profile
Online
Term 2 - 2021 Profile
Online
Term 2 - 2022 Profile
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).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate 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. Research Assignment 25%
2. Essay 20%
3. Online Test 5%
4. Critical Review 50%

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 2 - 2020 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.5 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 44.74% 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 Emails and Student Evaluation responses.
Feedback
A number of students indicated that they felt engaged with the assessment tasks because the tasks allowed them to choose their own area of interest to focus upon.
Recommendation
Continue to allow student choice of topic area in assessments tasks.
Action Taken
This strategy was continued in the unit assessment tasks.
Source: Student Emails and Student Evaluation responses.
Feedback
Students appreciated timely communication and support from the Unit Coordinator.
Recommendation
Continue to use this communication approach in the unit.
Action Taken
This communication approach was maintained in the Unit.
Source: Student Evaluation responses.
Feedback
Some students stated more instructional tips and tools for the critical essay could be useful.
Recommendation
Revise and update the assessments section of the Moodle site as necessary with additional instructions/tip sheets/videos.
Action Taken
Additional instructions, tip sheets, resources and videos were provided for the critical review, and these were well-received by students.
Source: Student Unit and Teacher Evaluation responses.
Feedback
Many students valued the full availability of the unit content from the beginning of term, and the downloadable resources provided, which enabled them to work through the content at their own pace.
Recommendation
The Unit Coordinator will continue to make unit content and downloadable resources available from the start of term.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Student Unit and Teacher Evaluation responses and student emails.
Feedback
Many students appreciated the constructive and thorough feedback received on their assessment pieces, and the opportunities given to obtain formative feedback that supported future learning.
Recommendation
The Unit Coordinator will continue to provide constructive and thorough assessment feedback, and formative feedback opportunities.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Student Unit and Teacher Evaluation responses.
Feedback
Many students praised the nested structure of the assessment pieces, with each assessment building on the previous one and leading to a final challenging assessment that required use of the learning gained from earlier assessments.
Recommendation
The Unit will continue to use this nested structure to the assessment pieces, where each assessment builds on the previous ones.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Student Unit and Teacher Evaluation responses and in tutorials.
Feedback
Several students indicated that they found the zoom tutorials and drop-in sessions helpful, with a few students suggesting that these be increased in length/frequency to allow for more interactive discussion and guidance.
Recommendation
The course team will consider additional opportunities to foster greater online interaction (e.g., longer tutorials with breakout room activities, more drop-in sessions).
Action Taken
Nil.
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Contrast instruments to evaluate the effectiveness of a range of relevant positive psychology, resilience, and wellbeing interventions
  2. Evaluate ethical methods in conducting research and evaluation of positive psychology, resilience, and wellbeing interventions
  3. Locate appropriate peer-reviewed and industry-based empirical research relevant to the positive psychology, resilience, and wellbeing domains
  4. Interpret contemporary research literature relevant to positive psychology, resilience, and wellbeing
  5. Critique current research literature, including why and how this knowledge can inform best practice
  6. Discern and communicate research gaps, future directions, and strategies, to enhance the body of knowledge in the positive psychology, resilience, and wellbeing domains.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Research Assignment
2 - Essay
3 - Online Test
4 - Critical Review
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Research Assignment
2 - Essay
3 - Online Test
4 - Critical Review