RES480 - Research Methods

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-09-24 01:09:40.191
Last review date 2018-11-07 15:08:20.285

Subject Title
Research Methods

Subject Description
This research methods course examines the various components of the research process including the formulation of a research question or research hypothesis; the review of the literature; qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research designs; research ethics; and data collection. The students learn how to effectively search online databases to find the literature relevant to their research topic and chose or design valid and reliable instruments when conducting research. In addition to examining ethical protocol in conducting research, the course explores various ways to collect data and effective communication of research ideas. After learning about various research designs, students develop the elements of a research proposal based on a problem relevant to their professional practice, a related literature review, and a description of the methodology appropriate to conduct the study.

Credit Status
Research Methods (RES480) a required course in degree programs at Seneca College. Please note: students in the Honours Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree program may take RES480 in lieu of Critical Analysis of Research (INR300).

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1.      Discuss the ways in which the research process impacts validity and reliability.
2.      Formulate a research question to study a discipline-specific research problem.
3.      Identify research methods to investigate a research question.
4.      Apply ethical principles to promote responsible research design.
5.      Analyse literature to support the aims of research.
6.      Select data collection methods to probe a research problem.
7.      Design a research study to explore a research question or hypothesis.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

ENG207 or ARW250

Topic Outline

  1. What is Research? Types of Research
  2. Formulating a Research Question
  3. The Research Process
  4. Literature Review
  5. Research Methodology
  • Paradigms
  • Methods
  • Research Instruments
  • Data Collection
  1. Ethics
  2. Writing a Research Proposal

Mode of Instruction
Research Methods is offered online primarily via asynchronous, guided instruction (cohort-based and paced).  Individual faculty may choose to offer a small synchronous component (for example, office hours via web conference).

Prescribed Texts

Reference Material
Students are required to use the Seneca Libraries MLA or APA Research Guides for their assignments.

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

Module Assignments 20%
Literature Review 20%
Methodology 20%
Ethics 20%
Research Proposal 20%
Total  100%

Approved by: Klaus Grober