Course Title: Research Design: Theory and Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Design: Theory and Practice

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


360H Education


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2006


City Campus


360H Education


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013


City Campus


360H Education


Sem 2 2013

Course Coordinator: Prof. Heather Fehring

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7840

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 220.3.04

Course Coordinator Availability: By Appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisites: Only the postgraduate requirements of entry to the relevant degree –

i) Master of Education MC039 by Coursework –and the old MEd Teaching; MEd Leadership & Management; MEd Workplace, and Master of Social Science (Careers).
ii) MEd (Research), MEd (Project), PhD, PhD (Project).

Course Description


This course OTED2098 Research Design: Theory and Practice will encompass areas such as the following:
 understanding and choosing a research paradigm
 developing a research methodology
 deciding on appropriate data gathering research methods/techniques/strategies
 understanding the Trustworthiness Process
 developing and writing a research proposal outlining the key features of a research investigation
 understanding and addressing the ethical implications of involving human beings in research investigations
 a series of modules covering a range of research methodologies and strategies.
Issues that will be covered are how to choose an appropriate research design for a study under investigation, how to choose the types of research strategies and methods which facilitate the data gathering and analysis process.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Postgraduate students will develop capabilitites that they will be able to apply in the work force. These capabilities will involve higher order thinking skills, synthesis of complex research design issues, the capability to critically anayse research reports in the public domain, capabilities which will enable them to understand the application of apprropriate research paradigms, research methodology and research methods to research project in educational environments, apply the approrpriate ethical considerations to facilitate  good research studies and design and plan, prepare writing  research reports for a public audience.

A student will be expected to be able to:

1. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding in relation to a personal philosophy about research methodology
2. demonstrate an understanding of a number of the major models of research design
3. demonstrate an understanding of the notion of research paradigms, research methodology and research methods
4. demonstrate an understanding of the kinds of research strategies/techniques that are used in different research studies
5. demonstrate an understanding of the ethical considerations surrounding research design issues
6. design and plan, prepare and write a research proposal setting out the key features required for First Review requirements of the RMIT University processes.

Overview of Learning Activities

  • Lecture/s
  • Student seminars
  • Group discussions
  • Community participation - off campus seminar attendance
  • Workshops
  • Expert mentoring
  • Online interaction

Overview of Learning Resources

Set Text

Title: Creswell, John, W. (2009). W. Research design. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. 3rd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Available from the RMIT Cooperative Bookshop Bundoora West. 


Overview of Assessment

 To gain a pass in OTED2098 students are required to submit all assigned tasks and obtain a satisfactory standard in all two pieces of work.

Assesment Overview OTED2098

Total assessment requirements are equivalent to approximately 5,000 – 6,000 words.

Assignment 1: Reflective Study Group Journal and Essay

Assignmnet 2: Critical Analysis of a Research Project , Presentation and Peer Review Assessment

Assignment 3: Written Research Design of Your Thesis Proposal OR Written Research Design of a Proposed Research Study