Research methods, i

A doctoral course for those struggling with the shift from studentship to scholarship in different phases of research and thesis.

During doctoral studies, we often find ourselves struggling with shifting from studentship to scholarship, as we need to make informed decisions about data collection and analysis methods and approaches, what literature to review and improve, what theories to support or challenge. Becoming a researcher and a scholar requires a solid ontological basis to eventually match purposes and results, address interested audiences and draw powerful, well-grounded conclusions. Nowadays, doctoral researchers need to take an agentic stance and get involved with the groups, networks, societies and collectives whose scope and mission intertwine with the scholarly pathways. Building therefore a profile as activist researcher is necessary.

Considering these requirements, the course aims to offer doctoral students the opportunity to critically reflect on their scientific thinking, ongoing research and thesis work. To this end, the focus of the syllabus, course meetings, discussions and assignments will be on the advancement of methods of analysis with an emphasis on ontological orientations and reflexive processes. This will involve methodological support for qualitative and mixed research methods from the viewpoints of narrative, critical, interpretive, participatory and other approaches.

Enrol
11.2.2020 at 09:00 - 4.3.2020 at 23:59

Timetable

Course sessions will take place during Period IV/2020. There will be 8 contact meetings / sessions. Session 1, 2, 4 & 7 will be 2-hour long. Sessions 3, 6 & 8 are four-hour sessions. Session 5 is for autonomous, peer work.
Deadline for final assignment submission is 25.05.2020

DateTimeLocation
Tue 25.2.2020
10:15 - 11:45
Wed 11.3.2020
10:15 - 11:45
Wed 18.3.2020
10:15 - 13:45
Wed 25.3.2020
10:15 - 11:45
Wed 1.4.2020
10:15 - 11:45
Wed 22.4.2020
10:15 - 13:45
Wed 29.4.2020
10:15 - 11:45
Wed 6.5.2020
10:15 - 13:45

Material

Below you can find links to the course blog with questions for you to respond to. These Q&As aim to take you to the completion of tasks and assignments by sharing views with your peers and teachers about research.

Tasks

Assignment 1: Purpose statement

What is your reason and purpose behind your doctoral research? What is your mission?, why is your research important?, if all of your research questions are answered, why would the world be a better place?
State your purposes in one page, including a few key references.

Assignment 2: Audiences & personal relevance

A. Students interview a scholar and produce a podcast about audiences. Suggested questions: To whom does your research have meaning? Who do you hope to influence? What do you want your readers to know, feel, or do differently as a result of reading your research conclusions? One page, including a few references.

Alternatively:

B. Personal relevance. A successful scholar needs to demonstrate personal relevance and association with a topic. What is your personal stake in the research you are doing? What experience, knowledge, attitudes, actions or convictions draw you to the topic? Why should your audience believe the topic is important to you? Why should the audience believe you are well-suited to pursue such a topic? One page, including references of authors who have influenced you.

Conduct of the course

Completion & evaluation
The course will consist of a lectures, individual reflection, group work and participant presentations. The main focus of the seminars is on participants’ research.
Regular grading system, based upon participants’ self-evaluation, peer evaluation and instructor evaluation of research plan and mastery of course material. All evaluation questions concern the extent to which one’s dissertation research has been improved.
For successful course completion participation in group work is required. Also, students will need to share thoughts online on the course blog where they will interact with peers about course content issues and emergent questions. As well, participants will need to write up and hand over four assignments as part of course requirements. Assignments will concern the participants’ purpose statement, audiences and personal relevance, methodological considerations and the research main argument.

Other information
We will use face-to-face and online channels of participation and will use the social web and free/open social networking tools (e.g., weblogs, Facebook, twitter, youtube, hangouts). Also, the course blog for sharing research experiences, views and ideas. During the course, participants will have the opportunity to use digital spaces to present their work.

Study materials
Resources include one’s own data, online texts, various online materials, lecture presentations and peer collaboration.

Description

A doctoral course for those struggling with the shift from studentship to scholarship in different phases of research and thesis work (Doctoral students at the beginning of their studies. More advanced doctoral candidates are also welcome).

During doctoral studies, we often find ourselves struggling with shifting from studentship to scholarship, as we need to make informed decisions about data collection and analysis methods and approaches, what literature to review and improve, what theories to support or challenge. Becoming a researcher and a scholar requires a solid ontological basis to eventually match purposes and results, address interested audiences and draw powerful, well-grounded conclusions. Nowadays, doctoral researchers need to take an agentic stance and get involved with the groups, networks, societies and collectives whose scope and mission intertwine with the scholarly pathways. Building therefore a profile as activist researcher is necessary.

Considering these requirements, the course aims to offer doctoral students the opportunity to critically reflect on their scientific thinking, ongoing research and thesis work. To this end, the focus of the syllabus, course meetings, discussions and assignments will be on the advancement of methods of analysis with an emphasis on ontological orientations and reflexive processes. This will involve methodological support for qualitative and mixed research methods from the viewpoints of narrative, critical, interpretive, participatory and other approaches.

Goals

Critically evaluate and compare methodological approaches

To understand uses of various data analysis techniques, such as analytic induction, constant comparison, thematic analysis, critical analysis, narrative analysis, phenomenological analysis, and policy analysis.

To recognize when ontological, epistemological and methodological aspects of research are coherent.

To think about the nature of conclusions of one’s dissertation in relation to one’s mission and audience.

To master essential criteria of good research and to be able to analyze research according to these criteria.

Opintojen alkuvaiheessa

Tutkimusmenetelmätaitojen kehittäminen

The course will consist of a lectures, individual reflection, and group work and participant presentations. The main focus of the seminars is on participants’ research.

Resources include one’s own data, online texts, various online materials, lecture presentations and peer collaboration.

Regular grading system, based upon participants’ self-evaluation, peer evaluation and instructor evaluation of research plan and mastery of course material. All evaluation questions concern the extent to which one’s dissertation research has been improved.

For successful course completion participation in group work is required. Also, students will need to share thoughts online on the course blog where there will interact with peers with regard to course content issues and emergent questions. As well, participants will need to write up and hand over four assignments as part of course requirements. Assignments will concern the participants’ purpose statement, audiences and personal relevance, methodological considerations and the research main argument.

We will make multiple channels of participation possible through the involvement of the wider social web and the use of various free and open social networking tools (e.g., weblogs, Facebook, twitter, flickr, youtube, synchtube, Google Plus). Also, we will be using the course blog for sharing research experiences, views and ideas. During the course, participants will have the opportunity to use digital spaces to present their work.

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