Unit description

Engages students in reflective enquiry through structured readings and commentary. Students explore and analyse the nature of educational research, its purposes, processes and outcomes, from various perspectives, e.g. positivistic, interpretive and critical. Criteria for assessing quality research will be addressed, including, methodological, philosophical, political and ethical considerations. Action research styles are interpreted within the context of the overall educational research landscape. Requires access to the Internet.

Unit content

  • educational research as disciplined enquiry; purposes (e.g. descriptive, explanatory, emancipatory), processes and nature including the relationships between data and theory;
  • locating educational research reports; databases; types of research publications; the components of research publications;
  • ethical issues in research, especially in schools, e.g. participation, informed consent, child protection;
  • research perspectives/paradigms – positivistic and non-positivistic (interpretive, critical, others): nature (including as ways of knowing), characteristics and associated methodologies, strengths and limitations; commonalities between, and alternatives to, paradigmatic perspectives in approaching and evaluating research in education; the pragmatic paradigm-mixed-method approaches;
  • research concepts, procedures and processes (e.g. research questions/aims; design, analysis and interpretation of data and their interconnections) from different paradigmatic and methodological perspectives including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method approaches as well as action research;
  • evaluative criteria in research depending upon purpose, data type and style/approach (e.g. validity, reliability, credibility, transferability, authenticity).

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Teaching and assessment


Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
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Commencing 2014 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
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