RSCH20001 - Fundamentals of Research
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for RSCH20001 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 aims to provide masters by research and doctoral course students with the knowledge and skills necessary to apply the scientific method and to design research projects in their chosen discipline. Students will become familiar with the language and process of research and a range of research tools and methodologies. The assessment in this unit will enhance their written skills in relation to research. The assessment takes students through the process of producing a research proposal which forms the basis for commencing a research course. Students who have taken COIS20079 Research Methods cannot take this unit.

Details

Career Level Postgraduate
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

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
  • Distance

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 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.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 5%
2. Written Assessment 10%
3. Written Assessment 15%
4. Written Assessment 70%

This is a pass/fail (non-graded) unit. To pass the unit, you must pass all of the individual assessment tasks shown in the table above.

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
It is very useful course to take to improve research skills. The regular communications about the given study materials and other information that was provided were very helpful and well explained. Course evaluations Continue to provide regular posts on the News Forum to explain my expectations of the students and what they need to do to successfully complete this course.
The course materials and assessment are well structured and well managed. They very clearly relate to the RHD requirements and they serve to improve the research capabilities of individual students. Course evaluations Continue to improve the resources available on the Moodle course website.
The feedback on assessment was very clear, detailed and focussed. It allowed students to make necessary improvements as they progressed through the course. Jo understands the difficulties faced by students and works with you to achieve a successful outcome. Course evaluations Continue to provide constructive feedback on assessment and work wtih the students and their research supervisors to assist students to achieve to their potential.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Select the research method appropriate to a specific problem.
  2. Use a range of practices and skills that are needed when doing research and project work.
  3. Critique common methodologies used in research studies and production of artefacts.
  4. Manually and electronically locate and utilise research literature, resources and databases.
  5. Apply critical and analytical skills to project design and dissertation/thesis writing.
  6. Review a specific knowledge domain and identify gaps worthy of research.
  7. Design and commence thesis writing.
  8. Understand ethical issues and be able to incorporate ethical consideration in a research proposal.
  9. Provide appropriate written documentation required for a post graduate research proposal.
  10. Prepare a research proposal or a project proposal as necessary.


Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Written Assessment                  
2 - Written Assessment                
3 - Written Assessment        
4 - Written Assessment

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Professional Level
  • Advanced Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1. Knowledge  
2. Communication  
3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills  
4. Research  
5. Self-management    
6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility        
7. Leadership          

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Professional Level
  • Advanced Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment
4 - Written Assessment

Prescribed Textbooks

The Foundations of Research
Author/s: Jonathan Grix Year: 2010
Edition: 2 Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
City: Basingstoke State: Hampshire
Country: United Kingdom
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop
Note:

Note: It is imperative that you purchase this textbook. This textbook is a clear and practical guide to the research process. It is a well-written introduction to the foundations of research that you will be able to use long after you complete this unit.

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 Harvard (author-date) referencing style (details can be obtained here), OR American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorJo Luck (j.luck@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

Research foundations:

Topic 1 - The language of research

Preface, Introduction, Chapters 1 & 2 and Appendix 2

Week 2 13-03-2017

Research foundations:

Topic 2 - Information literacy

Unit readings

Preliminary research topic Due Friday (17 Mar 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 3 20-03-2017

Research foundations:

Topic 3 - Literature review

Chapter 3 plus unit readings

Week 4 27-03-2017

Research processes:

Topic 4 - Research paradigms

Chapters 4 & 5 plus unit readings

Week 5 03-04-2017

Research processes:

Topic 5 - The role of theory

Chapter 6 plus unit readings

Annotated bibliography Due Friday (07 Apr 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Vacation Week 10-04-2017 Non-teaching week
Week 6 17-04-2017

Research processes:

Topic 6 - Research design

Chapter 7 plus unit readings

Week 7 24-04-2017

Research processes:

Topic 7 - Analysis of data

Unit readings

Week 8 01-05-2017

The research thesis:

Topic 8 - Academic standards & Ethics

Chapters 8 & 9 plus unit readings

Week 9 08-05-2017

The research thesis:

Topic 9 - Structure of a thesis

Topic 10 - Project planning and management

Appendix 1 plus unit readings

Research design Due Friday (12 May 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 10 15-05-2017

The research thesis:

Topic 11 - The research proposal

Unit readings

Week 11 22-05-2017

Work on Confirmation of Candidature (Section A)

Week 12 29-05-2017

Work on Confirmation of Candidature (Section A)

Complete unit feedback survey in Moodle - the red "Have your say" button.

Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017

Finalise and submit Confirmation of Candidature (Section A)

Confirmation of Candidature (Section A) Due Friday (09 Jun 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Exam Week 12-06-2017

Unit Coordinators contact details:

Dr Jo Luck
Email: j.luck@cqu.edu.au
Telephone: 07 4930 9550
Skype: jo.luck

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Preliminary research topic
Task Description
In this assessment item you need to complete the proforma provided in the assessment details on the Moodle unit website. It is designed to provide an overview of your proposed research topic.
Please note: you need to ask your research supervisor(s) which referencing style you should be using when writing your thesis. Use that referencing style for all your written submissions in this unit. Two common referencing styles are Harvard (author-date) and American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style but some research discipline areas will require a different referencing style. For more information about common referencing styles used at CQU see the CQUniversity referencing guides.
Assessment Due Date Week 2 Friday (17-Mar-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 3 Friday (24-Mar-2017)
Weighting 5%
Assessment Criteria
This first assessment item is a one to two page proforma designed to collect information about your proposed research topic. It will be assessed as Pass or Fail. More details are available on the Moodle unit website.
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date) or American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Upload onto the Moodle unit website.

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

6. Review a specific knowledge domain and identify gaps worthy of research.

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

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management

6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility

7. Leadership



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Annotated bibliography
Task Description
An annotated bibliography is a list of reference materials that includes a summary of the main ideas presented in each reference and evaluates how useful the reference is for your purposes. Each entry is comprised of basic bibliographical information presented in a standard referencing style (e.g. Harvard, APA) followed by a brief note or "annotation". The annotation usually provides a summary of key points and an evaluation or critique of the ideas discussed in the reference. In addition, you should state how it relates to your proposed research topic.
Annotated bibliographies can vary in style depending on the purpose and the referencing style used. They are usually arranged in alphabetical order by author.
You were required to chose a (preliminary) research topic by the end of Week 2 in consultation with your research supervisor(s). Prepare an annotated bibliography of 10-15 journal articles and/or books closely related to your proposed research topic. Use the standard referencing style for your research discipline area as advised by your research supervisor(s).
Assessment Due Date Week 5 Friday (07-Apr-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 7 Friday (28-Apr-2017)
Weighting 10%
Assessment Criteria

The annotations must not simply be a review of the content. You need to demonstrate your ability to critically evaluate and analyse the literature and explain how it is relevant to your proposed research topic. It would be expected that the literature discovered in this assignment would also be relevant to assessment items 3 and 4 in this unit.

Overview of the assessment criteria:
  • introduction linking annotated bibliography to the proposed research project;
  • clear, concise summary of each reference;
  • evaluation of author(s)' credentials;
  • linking the annotations to your proposed research topic;
  • critical analysis of the references;
  • use of an appropriate referencing style;
  • correct spelling and grammar.

The full descriptions of the assessment details and assessment criteria are available on the Moodle unit website.

It will be assessed as Pass or Fail.

Referencing Style Harvard (author-date) or American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Upload onto the Moodle unit website.

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

4. Manually and electronically locate and utilise research literature, resources and databases.

6. Review a specific knowledge domain and identify gaps worthy of research.

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

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management

6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility

7. Leadership



3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Research design
Task Description

This assessment item requires you to build on the research foundations, research processes and research methods and practices that you have explored in this unit. It is expected that by this time you will have a clearly defined research project in consultation with your research supervisor(s). Guided by theory and your examination of the research methodologies used by authors in the references you have analysed, you should be able to formulate a research design for your proposed research project.

This assessment item requires you to describe the overall research strategy that you will employ to integrate the various components of your proposed research project in a logical and coherent manner. The research design must ensure that you will effectively address the research problem you have identified. It must include an outline of the research questions and/or hypotheses you propose to answer and the research methodology, research methods and techniques you intend to use to collect and analyse data. You should identify one or two research questions and/or hypotheses, and two or three research methods/techniques that you intend to utilise to collect and analyse data for your proposed research project.

Some references annotated in Assessment item 2 may be further analysed in terms of the research design, methodology and methods/techniques that were utilised to collect and analyse data. This not only helps you to select the most appropriate research design for your proposed research project, it also allows you to track the research frontier in a specific area of research.

Assessment Due Date Week 9 Friday (12-May-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 11 Friday (26-May-2017)
Weighting 15%
Assessment Criteria
Overview of the assessment criteria:
  • clear description of your proposed research project, aims and objectives;
  • appropriateness of your research questions and/or hypotheses;
  • linkage between the proposed research topic and the research design, methodology and methods;
  • analysis of research methods/techniques;
  • rational for your research design;
  • justification of the suitability of the methods/techniques to the proposed research project;
  • conclusion accurately sums up your research design;
  • use of an appropriate referencing style;
  • academic writing style suitable to a RHD thesis;
  • correct spelling and grammar.
The full descriptions of the assessment details and assessment criteria are available on the Moodle unit website.

It will be assessed as Pass or Fail.

Referencing Style Harvard (author-date) or American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Upload on the Moodle unit website.

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

1. Select the research method appropriate to a specific problem.

2. Use a range of practices and skills that are needed when doing research and project work.

3. Critique common methodologies used in research studies and production of artefacts.

4. Manually and electronically locate and utilise research literature, resources and databases.

5. Apply critical and analytical skills to project design and dissertation/thesis writing.

7. Design and commence thesis writing.

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

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management

6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility

7. Leadership



4 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Confirmation of Candidature (Section A)
Task Description
This assessment item requires you to draft Confirmation of Candidature (Section A) for your proposed research project. You should draw upon work undertaken in Assessment items 2 and 3 to assist in writing this assessment item. The Confirmation of Candidature (Section A) assessment aligns with the requirements for the Confirmation of Candidature submission as per CQUniversity's Confirmation of Candidature Procedure. The level of detail required in the Confirmation of Candidature (Section A) assessment will depend on both the nature and level of the research project you are undertaking (ie, Masters by coursework, Masters by research, Professional Doctorate, or Doctor of Philosophy) and other specific requirements required by your research supervisor(s) and university policies.
The Confirmation of Candidature (Section A) assessment should be approximately 5,000 words and contain:
• A Thesis Title, of no more than 25 words, which should be descriptive and unambiguous;
• A Thesis Abstract of no more than 250 words;
• A Table of Contents;
• An Introduction;
• A statement describing the Aims, Objectives and Research Questions and/or Hypotheses;
• A Review of Literature, which should be conducted within an appropriate analytical framework to provide new knowledge (for example, a systematic, integrative or meta-analysis review), rather than a descriptive summary;
• A statement of the candidate’s proposed contribution to the field of research (appropriate to the degree being sought);
• A description of the project methodology, methods and/or research design;
• A thesis plan (chapter outline and identification of prospective publications arising);
Conclusion; and
References.
You are encouraged to frequently discuss issues encountered during the development of your Confirmation of Candidature (Section A) with your research supervisor(s). You should also consult University policies and procedures regarding the requirements for the degree in which you are enrolled.

Assessment Due Date Review/Exam Week Friday (09-Jun-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students The Confirmation of Candidature (Section A) will be returned via the Moodle unit website. It will be released at the Certification of Grades.
Weighting 70%
Assessment Criteria
Overview of assessment criteria:
  • abstract accurately summarises the proposed research project;
  • table of contents contains the main headings and sub-headings;
  • introduction clearly introduces the proposed research project;
  • realistic aims and objectives linkages to your anticipated outcomes;
  • research questions and/or hypotheses will address the research problem;
  • critical analysis of the literature;
  • research design is clearly articulated and justified;
  • appropriateness of the research design/methodology, methods;
  • realistic thesis plan;
  • conclusion summarises the main points;
  • use of an appropriate referencing style;
  • correct formatting and layout (including Title Page and electronically generated Table of Contents);
  • academic style, correct spelling and grammar.
The full descriptions of the assessment details and assessment criteria are available on the Moodle unit website.

It will be assessed as Pass or Fail.

Referencing Style Harvard (author-date) or American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Upload onto the Moodle unit website.

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

1. Select the research method appropriate to a specific problem.

2. Use a range of practices and skills that are needed when doing research and project work.

3. Critique common methodologies used in research studies and production of artefacts.

4. Manually and electronically locate and utilise research literature, resources and databases.

5. Apply critical and analytical skills to project design and dissertation/thesis writing.

6. Review a specific knowledge domain and identify gaps worthy of research.

7. Design and commence thesis writing.

8. Understand ethical issues and be able to incorporate ethical consideration in a research proposal.

9. Provide appropriate written documentation required for a post graduate research proposal.

10. Prepare a research proposal or a project proposal as necessary.

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

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management

6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility

7. Leadership




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