Course Title: Transformative Research & Evaluation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Transformative Research & Evaluation

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Course Coordinator: Laurel Mackenzie

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3396

Course Coordinator Email: laurel.mackenzie@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Location: 37.2.7

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

N/A


Course Description

There is increasing recognition in the human services and other sectors of the need of practitioners to be conversant with research-based understandings of social issues so as to effectively inform broad-based solutions.  These understandings include the competing discourses in human services that shape the assumptions underlying research approaches and the interpretations of the data, notions of appropriate links between research and program implementation and appropriateness of program evaluation models.  

This course will teach you the key skills necessary to critically evaluate research methods and methodologies—not just interpreting data but also evaluating the ways the data are arrived at.  You will develop a critical understanding of the links between underlying assumptions and resulting research arguments.  With these understandings you will begin to develop a sense of how and where methods and methodologies might best be applied to support and facilitate transformative social programs. 


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Understand and apply critical qualitative understandings and practices in research and program delivery
  • Engage with qualitative interpretive and critical research methodologies, allowing a comparison of methods and evaluative frameworks.
  • Critically evaluate existing research, analysing arguments, gaps, and ground for future research. You will move from an interpretive understanding of results to a critical evaluation of the research design itself.
  • Develop research and programs proposals that demonstrate engagement with ethical practice.
  • Apply critical and transformative understandings to analyse and evaluate program delivery in sector.


In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Apply logical, critical and creative thinking from the psychological and the social sciences to respond effectively to a range of issues associated with changing social, cultural and political contexts.
  • Design, conduct and critically evaluate evidenced-based ethical research projects in the psychological and social sciences.

In the course you will develop the following graduate capabilities:

  • Critical analysis and problem solving
  • Professional communication
  • Research literacy


Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities will include interactive workshop activities focusing on group-based discussion and problem solving tasks. Course learning materials will be made available in a range of formats, which may include lectures, guest speakers and online media. In workshops you will also develop academic skills including analytical reading and academic writing. 

In order to develop your knowledge and skills, you will be expected to participate in interactive discussions and activities and to critically engage with the reading materials. The workshops offer a supportive learning environment where you will have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences, and to learn from the knowledge and experience your peers. This peer-based learning may take place through small-group discussions, collaborative work on activities and assessments and/or peer reviewing of research, written work and/or oral presentations.


Overview of Learning Resources

You will be given access to a wide range of resources through a Course Reader or core textbook and also will be able to access to a wide range of online learning tools and content for your course from the student portal, myRMIT, and RMIT Library resources. These resources will include book chapters, journal articles, media articles, lecture notes, bibliographies for supplementary reading, video, and links to external websites.


Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.

 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

 

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

 

A student charter http://www.rmit.edu.au/about/studentcharter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: http://www1.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=c15i3ciaq8ca

 

Assessment Tasks:

 

In this course there are three assessments.  It is essential that you participate fully in the course activities as they have been designed to prepare you for assignments and to meet the intended learning outcomes of the course.  The assessments are comprised of:

 

  • Group presentation [25%]

Together in a small group with co-students you will lead the tutorial on the weekly topic based upon selected readings.  First in a presentation not exceeding 10 minutes you and your team will identify the key themes, arguments and points of contention on a specified topic or readings.  you will then lead small groups in a discussion of the issues you have raised.

  • Analysis of transformative research and evaluation literature [25%]

You will provide an analysis of the various approaches to transformative research, identifying the areas of comportment and contrast.  The goal of this task is to demonstrate your understanding of the implications of various research and evaluation perspectives. .

  • Research and evaluation proposal [50%]

You will select one topic/scenario from the list provided in the first week of class—or as negotiated with your instructor—and present a considered transformative research and evaluation proposal.  The proposal will include arguments for the appropriateness of the perspectives/theories/models presented.  You must refer to at least ten readings from the course reader or from your own research.  Your essay must be fully referenced with in text references or footnotes, and a reference list.