PSYC12048 - Research Methods
Term 1 - 2017


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.

Overview

This unit has been designed to introduce students to preliminary concepts in research methodology employed in psychological research and the health, human and social sciences. The material covered in this unit will provide the necessary background for students who will do research as part of their undergraduate or professional careers, i.e., to be discerning researchers. The goal of this unit is to provide students with the skills to be aware of the range of methodologies available, and to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of these methodologies. It is a requirement of enrolment in the unit that students have access to the CQUniversity website and the Internet.

Details

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

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Successful completion of 24 credit points.

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).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Bundaberg
  • Distance
  • Rockhampton

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

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

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Portfolio 60%
2. Group Discussion 10%
3. Examination 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 Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

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 Source Recommendation
Echo file names should match the video file name Course evaluation It is recommended that the Echo video file directly match the video file name.
Group Assignment: some students would have preferred to complete the assignment on their own. Course evaluation While this assessment item can be completed on an individual level, it is important that students learn to work in teams to achieve their goals. Perhaps emphasising this point when explaining the assessment item in the lecture and workshop may be beneficial.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. critically evaluate basic research designs
  2. understand how the research design links with the research aims and/or hypotheses
  3. design studies to investigate phenomena within the human, health and social sciences
  4. demonstrate research report writing skills

The major aim of this unit is to provide an in-depth understanding of the methodology employed in social sciences research.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Portfolio
2 - Group Discussion    
3 - Examination    

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
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

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
1 - Portfolio      
2 - Group Discussion  
3 - Examination        

Corrections

Date Updated Information
07-Mar-2017 12:44

Please Delete under Schedule: Week 6 - Group Discussion Due Friday (21 Apr 17) 05:00 PM AEST - this needs to be deleted -

thank you

Prescribed Textbooks

Conducting research in psychology: Measuring the weight of smoke
Author/s: Brett W. Pelham and Hart Blanton Year: 2013
Edition: Fourth Publisher: Wadsworth
City: Belmont State: California
Country: United States of America
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop
Note: The fourth edition of the textbook is required.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
All submissions for this unit must use the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorMichele Lastella (m.lastella@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

Introduction to Research / Ethics in Research

1, 2

Week 2 13-03-2017

Writing in Psychology

McBurny & White, Ch. 4; Burton, Chs 1 & 3. (available online)

Week 3 20-03-2017

Validity, Reliability & Measurement

3

Portfolio Component 1 Due 5pm Sunday (end of Week 3)

Week 4 27-03-2017

Threats to Validity

5

Week 5 03-04-2017

Experiments

7

Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Quasi-Experiments

8

Group Discussion Due Friday (21 Apr 17) 05:00 PM AEST
Week 7 24-04-2017

Research Designs

9

Week 8 01-05-2017

Non-Experimental Research

6

Group Discussion assignment Due Friday - (end of Week 8)

Week 9 08-05-2017

Surveys

4

Week 10 15-05-2017

Data, Variables & Statistics 1

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

Week 11 22-05-2017

Data, Variables & Statistics 2

10; Neuman Ch. 9 (available online)

Portfolio Component 2 Due 5pm Sunday (end of Week 11)

Week 12 29-05-2017

Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Research

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

Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Portfolio

Assessment Title Portfolio
Task Description

Objectives:

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 three (2) brief 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.

Assessment Due Date Components are due by 5pm on Sunday at the end of weeks 3 and 10
Return Date to Students Each component will be returned within 2 weeks of the submission due date
Weighting 60%
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: Identify the constructs, describe variables to measure the constructs, construct a testable hypothesis
  • Due Date: 5pm Friday - end of Week 3
  • Component Weighting: 20%
  • Word Count Range: 400 – 500 words (max 500 words)

Component 2 – Experimental Design

For this component, you will need to choose one of the research questions from the list provided by your Unit Coordinator at the start of the unit. Your task is to design a true 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: Design statement, participants, materials, procedure, use of data
  • Due Date: 5pm Sunday - end of Week 10
  • Component Weighting: 40%
  • Word Count Range: 500 – 600 words (max 600 words)
Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. critically evaluate basic research designs

2. understand how the research design links with the research aims and/or hypotheses

3. design studies to investigate phenomena within the human, health and social sciences

4. demonstrate research report writing skills

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

8. 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 and with respect to learning objectives 1, 2 and 3 for this unit.

Details:

During Week 1, 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 world count range for the submission is 500– 600 words.

Assessment Due Date Week 6 Friday (21-Apr-2017) 05:00 PM AEST
The Group Discussion assignment will be due by 5pm on Friday at the end of week 6
Return Date to Students Week 8 Friday (05-May-2017)
The Group Discussion assignment will be returned within 2 weeks of the submission due date
Weighting 10%
Assessment Criteria

Grading of the Group Discussion assignment will be based on:

  • Group solution (80%)
  • Peer review of contribution (20%) [Each member of your group will assess your participation and contribution to the assignment. A peer review of contribution form will be available on the unit website and must be submitted by the due date].
Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online
Group submission

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. critically evaluate basic research designs

3. design studies to investigate phenomena within the human, health and social sciences

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

5. Team Work

6. Information Technology Competence

8. Ethical practice



Examination

Outline Complete an examination
Date During the University examination period
Weighting 30%
Length 120 minutes
Details Dictionary - non-electronic, concise, direct translation only (dictionary must not contain any notes or comments).
No Calculators Permitted
Closed Book
Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. critically evaluate basic research designs

2. understand how the research design links with the research aims and/or hypotheses

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

8. Ethical practice


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