DA4470 Designing Operationally Oriented Research Studies

A wide range of concepts of research design are studied in this course, the goal of which is to bring the student to the point of crafting a thesis proposal to guide his or her own master's level research. The close ties between choices about methodological approach and the forms of research design employed are considered, but the course's clear emphasis is on design. The larger concepts examined begin with strategic choices about the "placement" of studies on axes that range from pure theoretical to more policy-oriented applied research, and also reflect choices about pursuing research by quantitative or qualitative means, or some blending of the two. Many examples from scholarly works are used. Further design questions that are explored relate to the nuances of time-based "longitudinal" research of one or a few types of phenomena, and more "latitudinal," cross-sectional studies of a wider range of phenomena observed roughly simultaneously. Other detailed issues considered include how to avoid "selection bias," skewed analysis, omission of relevant variables at the inception of a research project. The ultimate focus of the course is on fostering research designs and methods that are rigorously fair-minded, thorough and impartial in application.



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Quarter Offered

  • Winter
  • Summer