Introduction to Health Sciences Research
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13 weeks weeks
Established in 1991 after amalgamating four eastern Australian Catholic tertiary institutes, Australian Catholic University now has seven campuses, from Brisbane to Melbourne and welcomes students of all beliefs. Specialising in arts, business, education, health sciences, law, theology and philosophy, ACU encourages its students to think critically and ethically and bring change to their communities and offer this online through Open Universities Australia.
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On successful completion of Introduction to Health Sciences Research, students should be able to:
- Critically discuss ethical principles that underpin health research; (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9)
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of systematic review methodology (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10)
- Critically appraise research methods in health-related research; (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10)
- Topics will include:
- Basic terms in research
- - Inductive and deductive reasoning in health sciences research
- - The ethics process and ethical considerations in research practice
- - Quantitative research paradigm
- * Strengths and weaknesses of the quantitative research paradigm
- - Qualitative research paradigm
- * Strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research paradigm
- * Introduction to the use of mixed methods
- - Levels of evidence in quantitative and qualitative research
- - Systematic reviews (e.g., PICO and SMART principles; inclusion/exclusion criteria; following PRISMA guidelines; using referencing software; searching use key terms etc.)
- *List of useful and relevant electronic databases
- *How to ask qualitative and quantitative research questions
- - Critiquing the components of quantitative research methodology
- - Critiquing the components of qualitative research methodology
- - Associations between variables (e.g. exposure and outcome variables)
- - Evaluation of research
- - Research translation
In order to enrol in this subject, you must be accepted into one of the following degrees:
No additional requirements
Health sciences research underpins the generation and translation of new knowledge into health policy and practice. This subject addresses the scope of health-related research and the range of research methods available to undertake research in the health professions. As an introductory level subject , it will outline the diverse approaches that can be taken in qualitative and quantitative research design. The steps in developing health-related research questions, selecting appropriate research methods for those questions and identifying, appraising and synthesising existing research findings underpinning those questions will be examined. This unit aims to provide the opportunity for students to develop the skills to critically assess the quality of health science research.
A range of assessment will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. In order to successfully complete this unit, students need to obtain an aggregate mark of equal to or greater than 50%. Three assessment tasks have been designed for this unit. Assessment task 1 is a critical reflection on the role of ethics in health research. This assessment will enable students to acquire advanced knowledge of the fundamental importance of the ethics process before conducting research and/or ethical conduct as a part of the research. Assessment 2 will enable students to acquire advanced knowledge on systematic review methodology and justifying all decisions made therein (e.g., defining a research question). Assessment 2 will also enable students to acquire essential practical skills in using appropriate referencing software. Assessment 3 is a critical appraisal of research studies which will enable students to deepen their understanding by providing a critique on the components of research methodology and assess relative strengths and weaknesses of particular research methods and techniques. All assessment will be submitted electronically. The assessment strategy allows students to progressively develop their knowledge and skills.. In order to develop the knowledge and skills required to achieve the learning outcomes and Graduate Attributes, students first acquire knowledge through a literature review, further deepen their understanding by critically appraising published research, and then apply their understanding in an authentic way by writing personal reflections of new concepts learned and how they extend their practice.
- Written Task - Written task: Critically discuss ethics in association with health research, which will enable students to reflect on why ethics is fundamentally important to health research. (20%)
- Multi-media task - Critically develop a systematic review plan for a research question, which will enable students the opportunity to acquire research skills and an advanced critical understanding of systematic review methodology. (40%)
- Multi-media Task 2 - Critically appraise a quantitative or qualitative research study and a systematic review which will enable students the opportunity to critically analyse the components of research methodology. (40%)