Introduction

The Research and Methodology Workshops are presented at various universities and are aimed at researchers who are enrolled for Master’s and Doctoral degrees. They are also useful for other institutions such as government and non-government organisations where knowledge of research designs, methodologies and proposals are required. The Workshops are facilitated by expert resource persons drawn from across the length and breadth of the South Africa’s higher education landscape.

The Workshops cover the following modules:

Developing an Effective Research Proposal

The research proposal is a significant feature of the academic and research world. The purpose of this module is to enable participants develop an effective research proposal. To achieve this, participants are provided with a comprehensive account on how to write research proposals, including those for master’s and doctoral degrees. The module is organised aroud a number of key themes: the meaning and purpose of a research proposal, frameworks for developing a research proposal, theories and literature review, researh methodologies and designs, writing academic and organisational proposals,  academic writing, ethics, and practical considerations for proposal writing.

Duration: 5 days

Qualitative Research Methodology and Designs

There are many qualitative research designs available for conducting qualitative inquiry. Thus, masters and doctoral students and others pursuing this mode of inquiry often experience difficulties in making an informed choice of a qualitative research design. This module provides a comprehensive overview of five commonly used designs in  qualitative research: phenomenology, grounded theory, narrative inquiry, ethnography and case study. The module offers a comparison  of these research  designs with a focus on the advantages and disavanatages of each in order to enable researchers to identify an appropriate option(s) for their research project(s). The characteristics of qualitative research, designing qualitative research studies,  data collection methods, the role of the researcher in qualitative research, criteria for evaluating the rigour of qualitative studies, and limitations of qualitiative research are also covered in this module.

Duration: 3 days

Qualitative Data Analysis

There are different types of qualitative research designs, and examples of these include  grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis, case study, q-methodology, narrative inquiry and ethonography. Each of these designs has specific approaches to  data analysis. This module provides detailed accounts of the general processes (steps) of data analysis in qualitative research and the specific processes (steps) within each research design. It uses real case scenarios that offer participants a hands-on experience of analysing quaitative data. Issues of reflexivity (the voice of the researcher) and how to ensure quality in data analysis are covered. Computer-assistted programmes such as Atlas-ti are employed in this module to equip participants with added skills of qualitative data analysis..

Duration: 3 days

Quantitative Research Methodology and Designs

This module provides a balanced comprehensive account of experimental and non-experimental research designs. It also covers approaches to sampling in quantitative research, how to design valid and reliable research instruments, and data collection.

Duration: 2 days

Analysing and Presenting Quantitative Data

The purpose of this module is to develop participants’ skills of analysing and interpreting quantitative data. The module offers theoretical foundations of quantitative data analysis, which focus on the following key areas: types of data and levels of measurements, descriptive inferential statistics, and the process of hypothesis testing. The use of SPSS, a computer based Statistical Programme for the Social Sciences, is employed in this module. Practical sessions of the use of this programme cover the following areas: data coding; data entry, layout and quality; analysing and presenting data using descriptive statistics, analysing and presenting data using inferential statistics, statistical analysis comparing variables, statistical analysis of associations between variables, and interpretation of analysed data.

Duration: 2 days

Supervisors and the Process of Supervision

The primary aim of this module is to strengthen the capacity of academics supervising students studying at masters and doctoral levels. The module offers supervisors the opportunity  to gain insight into modes and styles for effective supervision, best supervisory practices, the supervisory relationship including challenges and approaches for overcoming them.

Duration: 3 days

How to Write a Winning Book Proposal

Participants are introduced to the fascinating world of book writing and publishing. The module provide a comprehensive overview of what comprises a winning book proposal. It examines issues such as background to the research problem, research design, problem statement, theoretical framework, collection and analysis of data, outline of the book chapters, contribution to the field and references.

Duration: 1 day