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Module JXH-4020:
Research Methods

Module Facts

Run by School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Tim Woodman

Overall aims and purpose

This double module focuses on various aspects of research skills (including research design, qualitative and quantitative analyses) relevant to sport, health and exercise. The module will prepare students to complete their Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation modules.

Course content

The module comprises three parts: Part A of this module covers quantitative research design. Using an experiential and flipped teaching format, students will read a series of scientific papers to develop their critical understanding of research design, including formulating a question, generating a hypothesis, study designs, sampling methods, ensuring validity and reliability, and good dissemination practices. Both original investigations and review studies will be included.

Part B of this module covers computational statistics. More specifically, this section will cover single-factor ANOVA, Two factor ANOVA, Repeated Measures ANOVA, and regression.

Part C of this module covers qualitative research methods and analysis. The qualitative part of the module will address the different philosophical positions underpinning quantitative and qualitative research; qualitative research data collection methods, including interviews, focus groups and observational methods; and qualitative data analysis, including thematic content analysis, grounded theory and discourse analysis.

Assessment Criteria

good

For Parts A&C: Demonstrates a good understanding of qualitative and quantitative research design. Is able to recognise research designs, validity and reliability threats. Few inaccuracies or misconceptions.

For Part B: In order to obtain a good level in this examination, students will demonstrate an acceptable understanding of the analyses. These analyses will typically include the more basic analyses (e.g., single-factor ANOVA) with perhaps an attempt at explaining one of the more complex analyses (e.g., two-factor ANOVA, multiple regression). The explanation of the more straightforward analyses will be fairly comprehensive while any coverage of more complex analyses will be largely descriptive. The student will demonstrate an acceptable working knowledge of the main analyses albeit with some gaps in the underlying intricacies (e.g., assumptions, follow-up analysis considerations, decisions with regard to unequal group sizes, etc.). The explanations will be somewhat confused at times with some errors and superficiality, most of which will be remedied with some prompting. The student will be rather reliant on the portfolio. The student will answer questions in a somewhat superficial manner at times and the verbal communication style will sometimes be somewhat unclear and unnecessarily verbose.

excellent

Parts A & C: A thorough understanding of qualitative and quantitative research design. Demonstrates a consistent ability to recognise research designs, validity and reliability threats. Be able to propose solutions to threats to research design.

Parts B: In order to obtain an excellent level in this examination, students will demonstrate an in-depth understanding of each of the analyses. These analyses will typically include at least one more complex analysis (e.g., two factor ANOVA) with the more straightforward analyses (e.g., one-way ANOVA) covered in a comprehensive manner. The student’s explanations will be concise and precise, demonstrating an integrated knowledge of the different analyses and their various intricacies (e.g., assumptions, follow-up analysis considerations, decisions with regard to unequal group sizes, etc.). The student will use the portfolio only to the extent that it supports his/her well-integrated understanding. The student will answer questions in a concise and accurate fashion. The verbal communication style will be clear and concise.

threshold

For Parts A & C: Basic understanding of qualitative and quantitative research design. Some ability to recognise research designs, validity and reliability threats. Inaccuracies and misconceptions evident.

For Part B: In order to obtain a threshold level in this examination, students will demonstrate a barely acceptable understanding of the analyses. The explanations will include only the most basic analyses (e.g., single-factor randomised ANOVA, simple regression). The explanations will either not include the more complex analyses or any attempt to do so will be very descriptive and confused. The student’s explanations of most analyses will be confused in places, demonstrating only a barely acceptable working knowledge of each of the analyses with some fairly serious gaps with regard to their intricacies (e.g., assumptions, follow-up analysis considerations, decisions with regard to unequal group sizes, etc.) combined with a number of errors and inconsistencies, reflecting an overall superficial understanding. The student will be heavily reliant on the portfolio and will answer questions in a largely superficial or confused manner. The verbal communication style will be somewhat unclear and unnecessarily verbose with the need for much prompting.

Learning outcomes

  1. Part A
    Be able to criticise and defend the experimental and quasi-experimental research designs that are often utilised in sport science studies

  2. Part B 1 Demonstrate an understanding of the principles underlying variance testing (e.g., ANOVA) and regression (simple and multiple regression) 2. Critically evaluate statistical procedures used by researchers

  3. Part C Be able to critically evaluate the qualitative designs and associated analytical procedures that are used in sport science.

  4. Part A Be able to demonstrate and apply the basic concepts of sample size estimation

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Part A Sample 0
Quantitative Presentation 25
Part C Critique 25
Part B Viva 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study

Part B: Reading (2 hours/lecture) = 22 hours; Developing portfolio and notes (e.g., annotating papers and outputs, running analyses, submitting formative assessments for feedback; 3 hours/week) = 33 hours; Examination revision and examination = 23 hours.

78
Lecture

Part A: 5 x 2 hr flipped lectures 5 x 1 hr shadow class.

Part C: 3 x 4 hr workshops 3 x 1 hr shadow class

27
Private study

Reading for each Part A flipped lecture (5 x 2 hours) = 10 hours; Reading for each Part C workshop (3 x 3 hours) = 9 hours; Preparing for each Part A flipped lecture (e.g., reading slides, papers, and completing Blackboard tasks, 5 x 2 hours/week) = 10 hours; Preparing and completing Part A viva = 23.5 hours; Preparing and completing Part C assignment = 20.5 hours.

73
Lecture 22

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • critically assess and evaluate data and evidence in the context of research methodologies and data sources
  • describe, synthesise, interpret, analyse and evaluate information and data relevant to a professional or vocational context
  • develop a sustained reasoned argument, perhaps challenging previously held assumptions
  • demonstrate effective written and/or oral communication and presentation skills
  • work effectively independently and with others
  • take and demonstrate responsibility for their own learning and continuing personal and professional development
  • recognise and respond to moral, ethical, sustainability and safety issues that directly pertain to the context of study including relevant legislation and professional codes of conduct
  • demonstrate an understanding of the philosophical basis of scientific paradigms
  • demonstrate evidence of competence in the scientific methods of enquiry, and interpretation and analysis of relevant data and statistical outputs.
  • develop transferable skills of relevance to careers outside of sport, health and exercise sciences.
  • communicate succinctly at a level appropriate to different audiences.
  • accurately interpret case study data

Resources

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: