RESEARCH METHODS FOR THE WORKPLACE

SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHN223787
Module Leader Christopher Smith
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
Trimesters
  • A (September start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)
  • B (January start)-C (May start)
  • C (May start)
  • C (May start)-A (September start)
  • S-C (May start)-A (September start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)-C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

The learner must be employed in a full time, part time or voluntary capacity.

Summary of Content

This module aims to allow the student to develop an understanding of research methods in the context of lifelong learning and and application of qualitative and quantitative research strategies in the work based learning research projects. The module seeks to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to understand and apply existing research and to assist students in planning a reliable new research project applicable in their workplace. It also aims to raise students' awareness of ethical and legal concerns related to research.

Syllabus

The syllabus of the module will cover the following issues: - The stages of the research project: research design, data collection, data analysis and writing research report; - Generating and clarifying a research question/hypothesis; - The methods of planning a critical literature review; - Qualitative and quantitative research strategies; - Ethics in research; - Validity, reliability and generalisability of research; - Preparing a work based learning research proposal; - Rules and regulations regarding writing a research report.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student should be able to:1. Critically reflect on the specific nature of work-based investigation and research.2. Demonstrate a capability to design a work-based project.3. Create a justified proposal for a work-based project (with respect to methodology and literature).

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Students will be expected to draw on academic theories and techniques, in order to frame and plan their analysis of an actual work-based problems. To this end, learning will involve not only formal, but informal learning strategies and assessment. The module utilises an interactive lecture programme where students are encouraged to participate and contribute. Students are required to undertake a programme of specified reading for independent learning, and reflect upon managerial practices within the workplace. The teaching and skills development programme will be supported via GCU Learn, which will also enhance the students' ability to utilise e-communication.

Indicative Reading

Advanced level texts in relevant fields. Research and Professional Journals in relevant fields. Recent conference papers (where available). Websites, electronic search engines, databases, etc. as appropriate. Bell, J and Waters, S (2014) Doing your Research Project: A Guide for First Time Researchers, 6 th Edition, Buckingham: Open University Press Biggam, J. (2014) Succeeding with Your Master's Dissertation: A Step-by Step Handbook, 3 rd edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press Blaxter L., Hughes C. and Tight, M. (2010) How to Research, 4 th edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2011) Business Research Methods, 3 rd edition, Oxford University Press Denscombe, M. (2014) The Good Research Guide for small-scale social research projects, 5 th edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press Grix, J (2010) The Foundations of Research, 2 nd edition, Basingstoke, Palgrave Nutbrown, C. (2012) A Student's Guide to Methodology, 3 rd edition, Sage Publications Ltd Punch, K. F. (2014) Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, 3 rd Edition, London, Sage Publication Rugg, G & Petre, M. (2007) A Gentle Guide to Research Methods, Maidenhead: Open University Press Thomas, G (2009) How to do Your Research Project: A Guide for Students in Education and Applied Social Sciences, Sage Publications Ltd Wilson, J. (2014) Essentials of Business Research: A Guide to Doing Your Research Project, 2 nd edition, London, Sage Publications

Transferrable Skills

Self-management: self-motivation, time management and critical self-reflection and evaluation of personal performance. Interpersonal Skills: an ability to work collaboratively and constructively with others on a complex group assignment. Communication skills, negotiation skills and presentation skills when participating in the group work and group presentation Peer assessment: skills in giving and receiving constructive feedback. Research skills: data gathering using secondary methods, and data analysis. C & IT skills: engaging in a virtual learning environment; using MS Powerpoint and MS Word packages for presentations and report writing; accessing and using industry databases such as FAME, MINTEL, KEYNOTE. Using Refworks software to develop referencing skills, and Turnitin software to improve writing style.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (PT) 40.00
Lectures (PT) 3.00
Seminars (PT) 12.00
Independent Learning (PT) 145.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 40% Minimum pass mark 40% - Typically consisting of a proposal with supporting project plan.