LSMDDI-Research Design and Dissertation

Module Provider: English Language and Applied Linguistics
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Michael Daller

Email: m.daller@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module comprises a taught component on research design and methodology which then leads to preparation of the dissertation. The module aims to describe and exemplify the nature of academic research in general, and to outline different approaches to research in the field of applied language studies. The module presents principles of design, data-gathering and analysis in both quantitative and qualitative research, and an introduction to some basic principles and techniques in descriptive and inferential statistics. Students are introduced to some key ethical questions in relation to the conduct of research, and consider key aspects of the dissertation-writing process.

Aims:
This module comprises a taught component on research design and methodology which then leads to preparation of the dissertation. The module aims to describe and exemplify the nature of academic research in general, and to outline different approaches to research in the field of applied language studies. The module presents principles of design, data-gathering and analysis in both quantitative and qualitative research, and an introduction to some basic principles and techniques in descriptive and inferential statistics. Students are introduced to some key ethical questions in relation to the conduct of research, and consider key aspects of the dissertation-writing process.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this course students should be able to:

  • appropriately frame research questions and hypotheses in relation to research questions, and identify the functions of variables within a research study;
  • conduct a wide-ranging literature search relevant to a primary or secondary research study; summarise and evaluate the findings from that search;
  • select an appropriate source of data and appropriate data-gathering procedures for an empirical investigation in an applied linguistic field;
  • summarise appropriately the results of a primary or secondary research study; and where appropriate select suitable statistical tools for assessing the significance of results of a research study;
  • critically evaluate the results of a primary or secondary research study and indicate relevance to the field of applied linguistics and to pedagogy;
  • produce an organised and clear written research proposal and produce a dissertation which:
a) describes a research study which is well-grounded in professional needs and previous research; has a clearly focused purpose; has been carefully designed and conducted; is clearly and concisely reported; is thoughtfully discussed and evaluated,
and
b) is well-written and well-presented, in accordance with appropriate academic conventions.

Additional outcomes:
The module will promote the development of autonomous learning skills through engagement with distance study module materials. Students should have developed the skills needed to conduct an extended piece of research, including time management, and written communication skills. Online interaction skills?

Outline content:
The topics to be covered during the module are as follows: Research: definitions, and types. The research process: starting-points and general requirements. Techniques (1): Outside and inside: Observation and introspection. Techniques (2): Elicitation: surveys and language samples. Statistics (1): Descriptive statistics. Statistics (2): Inferential statistics and probability. Organising and writing a dissertation.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
During the taught phase of the module, content will be conveyed by distance study materials and online discussion via the discussion board and e-mail contact with the module tutor. Towards the end of, and after, the taught phase, each student will be guided in online tutorials by a supervisor.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
       
Total hours by term
       
Total hours for module

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 10
Dissertation 90

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Dissertation of 15,000 words

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A grade of at least 50% in the dissertation

Reassessment arrangements:
Following a failure (or a failure to submit) the dissertation, the candidate has one year in which to re-submit (or submit) the dissertation.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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