Course code EDS115

EDS115 Introduction to Research Methods

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2016 - 2017 .

Course responsible: Elisabeth Molteberg
Teachers: Lars Kåre Grimsby, Ian Bryceson, Esben Leifsen, Mary Gorret Nantongo
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
50 students
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2006-2007
Preferential right:
Students of B-IEDS.
Course contents:
This course provides a broad and basic presentation of qualitative and quantitative research strategies and methods relevant to the bachelor program. It deals with the philosophical underpinnings of the strategies, and discusses similarities and differences between them. Course topics will include introduction to different research strategies and approaches, the stages of the research process from topic identification to reporting, the use of various methods for qualitative and quantitative sampling, data collection and analysis, interdisciplinarity, research ethics, and secondary source use and reference management. Topics addressed concerning statistics include understanding basic statistics, statistical inquiry, collecting and managing data, sampling, descriptive statistics, and bivariate analyses. The course is built around practical assignments on sampling, data collection, analysis, and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data. This is an introductory course, which does not require a strong background in mathematics, statistics, or research methods.
Learning outcome:

Students acquire basic knowledge of research and of the characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research. Theoretical knowledge and practical skills are taught in tandem, as students carry out exercises in research design, sampling, data collection and analysis, including basic analysis of quantitative data, as well as presentation of results. Students familiarize themselves with basic research theory, with a focus on critical reading and interpretation of data and research results. They discuss topics like standards of good research practice, research ethics, the role of research in society, and interdisciplinarity in light of their own experiences with course exercises, and with referene to development and environment studies.

The course is oriented towards practice, with a strong emphasis on group exercises and discussions. The aim is to turn the students into more competent academics by strengthening their understanding of what knowledge is, and how it is generated, and to apply this understanding to their studies and academic practice in general. Thee course aims to enhance their ability to reflect on their handling of and engaging with both academic and general information.

Learning activities:
Course contents are conveyed through lectures combined with group and individual assignment work, with a strong emphasis on discussion and exercises.
Teaching support:
Classes have a lot of time set aside for teacher contact and guidance. Information and other communication through Fronter or e-mail. Appointments for additional teacher contact can be made if needed.

Walliman, Nicholas (2006). Social research methods. London: SAGE (later editions are also acceptable).

Healey, Joseph (2012). The essentials of statistics: a tool for social research. Belmost, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning (2007, 2010 prints are also acceptable). Chapters 1-5.

Additional course readings will be made available on Fronter by the start of the course.

Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Mandatory hand-ins/presentations. Attendance is required for 2/3 of classes.
The course grade is based on individual assignments (50% of grade) and final written exam (50%). All written assignments, including the exam, are given and submitted in ENGLISH ONLY. Approval of all mandatory group and individual activities is a prerequisite to receiving a course grade.
Nominal workload:
The total workload for the students is 300 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Type of course:
48 hours of lectures including student assignment work - two double lectures per week spread over 12 weeks. In addition, a double datalab per week most weeks.
External examiner will be involved in evaluation of written exams.
Allowed examination aids: Calculator handed out, no other aids
Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått