EDS115 Introduction to Research Methods

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Elisabeth Molteberg

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Limits of class size:50. The course is taught only if a minimum of 5 students are enrolled.

Course frequency:Annuall. Course is not given autumn 2023.

Nominal workload:The total workload for the students is 250 hours.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel.

About this course

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, as a basis for 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 through carrying out a research project. The course covers all stages of a research process, from topic identification to research design, sample selection, data collection and management, analysis, and reporting results with appropriate source use and reference management. The quantitative research part of the course covers survey research design, the qualitative research part focuses on interview-based research.

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

  • 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, as students carry out a small research project.
  • 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.
  • Course grade basis:

    • two written reports on the research project, one on the quantitative part and one on the qualitative part. Each report consists of a section written by the group and a section written individually. Each report counts 40% towards the course grade.
    • Three multiple choice tests to be taken online. The overall result counts 20% towards the course grade.

    All these assignments must be passed to earn a passing grade in the course. All the assignments are given and submitted in ENGLISH ONLY. The course grade is released only to students who have handed in their signed plagiarism forms to Noragric (normally done during program introduction course).

    Students who fail to complete the course can pass remaining graded assignments the next time the course is given. All mandatory activities must however be passed during the same course period.

    Graded A-F

  • External examiner will be involved in formulation of assessment assignments.
  • Several mandatory hand-ins/presentations and a final presentation, all are group assigments related to the course research project. Attendance is required for 2/3 of classes. Approval of all mandatory activities is required for receipt of a course grade.
  • Around 50 hours of lectures including student assignment work - two double lecture hours per week spread over around 13 weeks.
  • Students of B-IEDS.
  • Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)