Learning, Training and Teaching Activities
The Research Methods Course team met at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna from 21st to 23rd June 2022.
The Introduction to Research Methods Course is composed of 10 modules which together provide a comprehensive and innovative way of coaching and enabling students to design a master’s level research project. The course is designed around the concept of co-design, given that today’s students navigate experiences in new ways and from new places, often with greater independence, and the need for students to take ownership for learning is heightened. More than ever, a shift from educator-designed experiences to co-designed learning matters. When we talk about co-designing learning with students, we are not abandoning the role of the teacher, of thoughtful planning, or of established curricula. Co-designed learning means that students are equipped with the environment, skills, and structures for taking active, empowered roles in working towards relevant learning targets. We trust that students know themselves as learners, know their interests, and know how to best strategically pursue their own learning pathways.
The course takes its starting point in a number of lectures where the students are introduced to concepts and approaches regarding evidence, knowledge and data in research. The focus is on developing a critical stance to outcomes and how methods, data and approaches must be related and validated to deliver excellence in research.
The course has a broad set of outcomes, they complement each other and focus on developing the student’s professional role as researchers to:
- Define research; explain and apply research terms; describe the research process and the principal activities, skills and ethics associated with the research process.
- Explain the relationship between theory and research.
- Acquire the knowledge of the field of evidence, knowledge and related theories, methods and approaches and how it impacts decision making and outcomes.
- Critically discuss research, its basis, methods and validity to be able to judge relevance.
- Present their own stance on the terms evidence, data, relevance, presenting their own understanding of their epistemology, and consequences thereof.
- Describe and compare the major quantitative and qualitative research methods in health services and social sciences research.
- Understand the importance of research ethics and integrate research ethics into the research process.
- Assess and critique published journal articles that use one of the primary research methods in the field.
- Learn to employ a lead reference format (i.e, such as the American Psychological Association (APA) format) for citations of print and electronic materials.
The meeting in Vienna provided an opportunity for the Professors from the four ATHENA grant universities to meet in person, align their respective approaches, and grow a community of practices including young colleagues. The meeting was useful to share pedagogical resources including slide shows, cases studies, illustrations and key references.