Research Methods II
Full course description
Research is “creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge […]”. This goal can be achieved in a wide variety of ways. We can count “things”, add them up, calculate statistics about them, and get a reliable overview of “things”. We can also describe those “things” in great detail and question why they are the “things” that they are, and what that means in the context of those “things”. Which approach is better? The answer is that this depends on what you want to learn about those ‘’things”. In other words, if we want to “increase the stock of knowledge”, it partly depends on which knowledge you are interested in increasing (your “puzzle’’ and specific questions), and partly also on what you consider “knowledge” to be in the first place. In Research Methods I, we will address these issues in great detail, and we will go into how a research project can be set up in alignment with the answers to these questions.
Research Methods I (SKI1004), Research Methods II (SKI1005), and the Research Project (PRO1012) form one coherent semester-long block of courses in which you will start from scratch and end with your own finished research project. Along the way, we will discuss a wide variety of research approaches frequently used in the humanities, social sciences, and the sciences. Another goal of this sequence of courses is for UCM as an academic community to further develop its multi/interdisciplinary character, and for students to be able to reflect and comment on each other’s work, no matter how diverse that may become in the course of the next three years.
In Research Methods II, we will build on the foundation laid out in Research Methods I to work towards your own research proposal at the end of this course. Along the way, we will work on designing a research project that is feasible with limited resources in terms of time and money, but more importantly, we will work on some specific skills and techniques that will allow you to actually go out and do research. In the research methods Project in period 3 or 6 you will execute that proposal and finish with a paper presentation about your findings.
After taking Research Methods II, you will know about:
- Designing a realistic research project.
- Interviewing techniques and conducting basic qualitative research.
- Designing and executing a basic survey.
- Presenting your ideas in a poster format.
- Basic methods in the sciences, and how a lab works.
- Intermediate statistics, sampling strategies, and intermediate commands in SPSS.
SKI1004 Research Methods I.
- Gray, D. E. (2014). Doing Research in the Real World (Third ed.). London: SAGE Publications.