Course code EDS115

EDS115 Introduction to Research Methods

Norsk emneinformasjon

Search for other courses here

Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Elisabeth Molteberg
Teachers: Lars Kåre Grimsby
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
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:

The course provides a presentation of qualitative and quantitative research strategies and methods relevant to B-IEDS as an interdisciplinarity bachelor program. The aim is to help the student to develop academic competence and skills such as precision in thinking and expression, and critical evaluation of scientific and other claims. We examine and consider what knowledge is and how it is generated, from methodological, philosophical, ethical, and sociological perspectives. Through practical experience, discussions, and course readings, students are introduced to qualitative and quantitative research strategies. The course covers all stages of a research process, from topic identification to sample selection, data collection and management, analysis, and reporting results with appropriate source use and reference management. Topics addressed concerning statistics include survey research design, collecting and managing data, sampling, and descriptive and associative statistical methods.  The qualitative research section focuses on interview-based data.

This is an introductory course, which does not require a background in mathematics, statistics, or research methods extending beyond general knowledge.

Learning outcome:

Knowledge, competence:

The student is able to describe/explain

  • the characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research questions and design, and the similarities and differences in the logic underpinning each of these strategies
  • the possibilities and limitations of different qualitative and quantitative methods of sampling, data collection, and analysis
  • the quality criteria of qualitative and quantitative research, and how they are linked to good research practices

The student is able to describe/discuss

  • methodological issues related to interdisciplinarity and mixed-strategy research
  • ethical considerations and challenges related to research, particularly research involving humans

Skills: The student is able to

  • formulate research questions and hypotheses on a given topic
  • design a basic qualitative and quantitative study, selecting suitable methods and justifying choices made
  • find, review, and incorporate relevant literature into the study; critically read and interpret texts, assess claims made and their basis in evidence

Attitudes: The student is able to reflect on quality, ethical, and social challenges and obligations related to understanding and engaging with academic and general knowledge claims, e.g. related to own use of sources for study activities in general

Learning activities:
The course is oriented towards practice and has a blended learning format. Course contents are conveyed through readings and pre-recorded and in-class lectures, combined with group and individual assignment work. Classes have a strong emphasis on discussion and exercises simulating activities involved in a research process.
Teaching support:
A lot of time is set aside for teacher contact and guidance during classes. Information and other communication through Canvas or e-mail. Appointments for additional teacher contact can be made if needed.
The list of course readings will be made available on Canvas by the start of the course.
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Several mandatory hand-ins/presentations and a final presentation. Attendance is required for 2/3 of classes and data labs.

The course grade is based on two group/individual assignments (each counts 40% towards course grade) and three quizzes/multiple choice tests to be taken in designated classes (average result counts 20% towards course grade). All graded assignments and quizzes must be passed to earn a passing grade in the course. All assignments are given and submitted in ENGLISH ONLY. Approval of all mandatory group and individual activities is a prerequisite to receiving a course grade. The course grade is released only to students who have handed in their signed plagiarism forms to Noragric (normally done during program introduction course).

Graded A-F

Nominal workload:
The total workload for the students is 250 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Type of course:
Around 50 hours of lectures including student assignment work - two double lecture hours per week spread over around 13 weeks.
External examiner will be involved in assessment of a selection of graded assignments submitted.
Allowed examination aids: C3 All types of calculators, all other aids – including digital aids
Examination details: Portfolio: Letter grades