- Class Number 4051
- Term Code 3230
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Nicholas Biddle
- Dr Nicholas Biddle
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 21/02/2022
- Class End Date 27/05/2022
- Census Date 31/03/2022
- Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
This course provides an introduction to the main empirical social science methods, types of data, and techniques for collecting social science data. The course will provide students with the skills to apply social science methods to the generation and analysis of data to inform policy, business and service delivery decisions.
Content will cover: overview of main social and behavioural theories (rational choice; nudge and behavioural insights; complexity theory), introduction to research design (observational designs; intervention and experimental designs and action research), techniques for collecting data (quantitative surveys; qualitative interviews; behavioural and experience methods), measurement issues, participatory approaches to research, vulnerable populations, and ethics and privacy considerations.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- discuss in broad terms the main social and behavioural theories and their evidence base;
- specify a research question that is answerable using empirical methods;
- propose a clear research design that can provide the information required to inform policy, business and service delivery decisions;
- understand the assumptions, strengths and limitations of the main techniques for collecting data; and
- comprehend the particular issues related to researching vulnerable populations.
This subject focuses on the core research methods used in the design of research and collection of data in the social sciences. The content taught in this subject provides the basis for understanding and critiquing research designs in social research.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- written comments
- verbal comments
- feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc
ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Introduction to social research|
|2||Developing research questions, Research concepts and conceptualisation|
|3||Quantitative Research Designs|
|4||Qualitative Research Designs|
|5||Qualitative data collection: Participant observation||Assessment One - Research question|
|6||Qualitative data collection: Interviews|
|7||Quality and sampling for qualitative research|
|8||Sampling for quantitative research|
|11||Survey administration and modes|
|13||Assessment Two – Fieldwork and Instrument Design|
|14||Assessment Three – Take home exam|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Learning Outcomes|
|Designing a research question||20 %||25/03/2021||1,2|
|Designing fieldwork and research instruments||50 %||23/05/2022||2,3,4|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.
Moderation of Assessment
Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
Students are expected to attend classes each week as a core requirement of this course.
There is a take-home examination in this class completed via Wattle
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
Designing a research question
Word limit (where applicable): 1200 words
Value: 20 percent of final grade
Due date: Friday 25th March 2022, 11.59pm, via Turnitin on Wattle
You are required to submit a written paper outlining a proposed research question relevant to a social research problem and an overview of the key concepts you wish to study. This paper should include the following:
- Clearly stated research question
- A brief review of literature/justification for your research question, theory/theories and hypothesis/hypotheses. (What do we know about the issues so far, what are main limitations in existing knowledge
- Identified theories and/or hypotheses related to the research question (for a quantitative project this might take the form of one main hypothesis and presentation of alternative plausible hypothesis/es OR a series of main hypotheses; for a qualitative project, it is more likely in the form of guiding questions)
- Identification of your dependent variables, independent variables and control/intervening variables. A conceptual diagram of the relationships between these variables is expected.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4
Designing fieldwork and research instruments
Value: 50 percent
Due date: Monday 23rd May 2022, 11.59pm
Details of task: Details will be provided through Wattle.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 3,4
Value: 30 percent
Due date: May 24th to June 6th 2022 (examination may be completed at any time during this period)
Details of task: Details will be provided through Wattle.
Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.
The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.
The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.
You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.
Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:
- Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.
Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.
Student work will be returned via Wattle.
Extensions and Penalties
Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Resubmission of Assignments
There is no resubmission of assignments in this course.
Distribution of grades policy
Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.
Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for students
The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Dr Nicholas Biddle