MA Digital Technologies, Communication and Education / Course details
Year of entry: 2022
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Course unit details:
Engaging with Education Research
|Unit level||FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
Brief Description of this Unit’s Content
The sessions are grouped in relation to 4 overall themes.
Theme 1: What is educational research?
- Research design
- Reading qualitative and quantitative research
- Becoming critical
Theme 2: What kinds of topics can be researched in education?
- Learning about current research projects
- Developing topics in educational research
Theme 3: How can you review and critique the literature?
- Literature review purpose and practice
- Evaluating trustworthiness, validity, reliability, and generalisability
Theme 4: Why should education research be taken seriously?
- Engaging with theory
Impacts and uses of education research
To introduce expectations and practices around reading and reviewing educational research, and systematically processing and reporting on educational research.
Teaching and learning methods
Each theme will be discussed through lectures and seminars. Students will be expected to complete up to hree hours of preparatory work before each face-to-face session (including readings) and up to an hour of follow-up work. Each week students should expect to spend 3 hours of independent study time on this module. Students will be placed in study groups to gain support in completing these tasks and will be expected to work collaboratively within these groups.
Preparatory work is likely to include:
- Pre-recorded lectures or videos
- Interactive tutorials
- Short writings based on in class work
This course is aligned with the weekly PGT Study Skills workshops. It is expected that students will use these workshops as an opportunity to apply and develop the knowledge and skills introduced in this module, as appropriate to their needs.
Knowledge and understanding
- Demonstrate an understanding of literature sources and issues related to data retrieval and use.
- Have an enhanced appreciation of critical reading.
- Structure the writing and presentation of a small scale literature review.
- Critique research accounts;
- Understand key concepts of validity, reliability and trustworthiness in qualitative research.
- Process and present information in an appropriate format.
- Effectively contribute to debates about educational research in a range of different contexts and from different perspectives.
- Conduct a small scale literature review in a systematic manner
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Conceptual and analytical skills.
- Information handling.
- Group working.
The assignment is split over the two parts of the course unit.
Word Length or Equivalent
Weighting within unit
A critical review of an article draft.
A critical literature review
Assignment 1 (40%): a 1000 word critical review of a published research article. They need to critically evaluate the article by should examining its strengths and weaknesses and making recommendations for improving the research design.
Assignment 2 (60%): a 2,000 word critical literature review in relation to your area of interest. As well as providing a substantive review of the literature it should include an explanation of how sources were chosen and why - for example, what parameters were set and what search terms used and why. Critical reflections on lessons learnt about carrying out a literature review should be included within the assignment.
Students will receive feedback online on Blackboard
Ball, S.J., Bowe, R. & Gewirtz, S. (1996) School choice, social class and distinction: the realization of social advantage in education, Journal of Education Policy, 11:1, 89-112,
Evans, J. and Benefield, P. (2001) Systematic reviews of educational research: does the medical model fit? British Educational Research Journal 27, 527-41.
Hammersley, M. (2001) On ‘systematic’ reviews of research literatures: a ‘narrative’ response to Evans and Benefield. British Educational Research Journal 27, 543-54.
Robson, C. (1993) Real world research. Oxford: Blackwell.
Tooley, J. (1997) On School Choice and Social Class: a response to Ball, Bowe and Gewirtz, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 18:2, 217-230
Skrtic, T.M. (1985) Doing naturalistic research into educational organizations. In Lincoln, Y.S. (Ed.) Organisational theory and inquiry. London: Sage.
Wallis, M. and Wray, A. (2006) Critical reading and writing for postgraduates. London: Sage
|Jessica Gagnon||Unit coordinator|