The module will enable students to develop a critical understanding of research as a form of academic practice, working together with a supervisor to conduct an exploratory project and write a research report focused on a topic of personal and/or professional relevance to the student. One key aim of this module is that the experience helps prepare the student for undertaking their later Research Dissertation. Formulating the small-scale research project will therefore involve the student in discussions with their allocated supervisor about their research interests and ongoing trajectory and how undertaking this project can support the student's development within the programme.
Examples of suitable independent study projects might involve small-scale data gathering, including the designing or testing of research instruments; or conducting a literature review for the purposes of identifying potential points of contribution that the student might make with regard to a chosen topic of their interest. Crucially, students agree a study plan early in the module period with their assigned supervisor, and then work with their supervisor to refine the scope of the study, formulate appropriate research questions, design and implement a methodological approach, and formulate the research report. Students will be encouraged to revisit the materials from the ED.S831 module and reflect on those throughout this process.
Students will develop knowledge of how to understand the different roles, types and purposes of educational research; how to define the scope of a research project and find existing literature based on that scope; how to evaluate and synthesise research evidence; and how to write a research report report that takes into account particular audiences (such as researchers working within a specialist field, research generalists, or practitioners).
The module will comprise a short initial orientation period and an online discussion space. However, most of the period of the module will invovle students working on their projects under bilateral supervision.
The module will provide students with the knowledge and skills to gather, synthesise and report upon a range of evidence to further their own understanding of topics of relevance to them and their professional practices, and communicate that understanding to others.