Analysis of a variety of social research methods to be used in theological research and research relating to the practice of ministry.
"Research shows..." You meet this phrase everywhere, but can you tell the difference between sound research and shonky research? This paper offers you some tools for doing that and for doing quality research yourself when you tackle a dissertation such as a Master of Ministry. Particularly when you are doing research that involves people, the issues are complex, and the information gathered needs to be handled with care. Questionnaires, interviews and observation all require skill to get reliable results. This paper will provide you with those skills.
|Paper title||Research Methods|
|Teaching period||Not offered in 2017|
|Domestic Tuition Fees||Tuition Fees for 2017 have not yet been set|
|International Tuition Fees||Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.|
- PASX 212
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music, Theology
- Course outline
- Any student can study Theology, whether they are of the Christian faith, another faith or of no religious faith at all. Theology is an examination of the scriptures, history, content and relevance of the Christian faith, but it presupposes or requires no Christian commitment from students. All it requires is an inquiring mind and an interest in those skills that can be gained through the study of any subject in the Humanities.
- More information link
- View more information on the Department of Theology and Religion's websites: www.otago.ac.nz/theology or www.otago.ac.nz/religion
- Teaching staff
- Course Co-ordinator: Associate Professor Tim
Lecturer: Dr Ken Booth
- Paper Structure
- This paper is divided into weekly components:
- Week 1 - What is research? Getting started
- Week 2 - Basic methods in research
- Week 3 - Reading for research
- Week 4 - Managing your research
- Week 5 - Ethical and cultural issues
- Week 6 - Documents
- Week 7 - Interviews
- Week 8 - Observation and diaries
- Week 9 - Questionnaires
- Week 10 - Analysing data
- Week 11 - Writing up your research
- Week 12 - Final considerations
The assignment work consists of a series of four web-based exercises on a fortnightly basis over the first nine weeks of the paper. These four exercises are done for credit, 10% each, amounting to 40% of the paper in total.
Three other written pieces are submitted: A literature review (1,200 to 1,500 words) 15%; an essay on methods in relation to a research proposal (1,500 to 2,000 words) 20%; and a final essay (2,500 words) - a critique of a formal research proposal 25%.
- Teaching Arrangements
- As this paper is Internet-based, there are no formal meeting times. The time allotted to the paper is at the student's discretion, governed only by the need to demonstrate an understanding of the material. Full use is made of Blackboard to facilitate class interaction in the first nine weeks. The remainder of the work is covered by work submitted to the lecturer. The lectures consist of a close reading of the textbooks, with assignments arranged to show engagement with the material and the opportunity to practise some of the research techniques.
- Gary Thomas, How to do your Research Project: A Guide for Students in Education and
Applied Social Sciences, 2nd ed. London: Sage, 2013.
A course book has also been developed for this paper.
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
- Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to
- Demonstrate familiarity with a wide variety of research methods, both quantitative and qualitative
- Demonstrate discernment between methods in terms of their appropriateness for investigating different types of questions
- Demonstrate ability to employ these methods by designing an original research project
- Demonstrate ability to plan the presentation of research findings
- Design and defend a detailed proposal for original research in some aspect of the theology or practice of ministry