CASE STUDIES OF PRACTICE: PSYCHOLOGY Title of Practice/Project: Psychology Research Project Contact: TBC Published: March 2008 Reason for selection: This module has been selected for the focus on students acting as researchers, the potential for skill development in this context, assessment through a poster presentation GENERAL BACKGROUND 1. School PSYCHOLOGY 2. Subject PSYCHOLOGY 3. Module Title (if applicable) RESEARCH PROJECT 4. Module Code PSY3200 5. Web reference http://psynet.ex.ac.uk:8200/ug/book/y3/psy3200/ 6. Level Year 3 7. Duration 2 semesters 8. Date/s of Practice/Project Annually 9. Lead person Brian Young (Module Convenor) to be replaced 10. Others involved Other staff in the School of Psychology ABOUT THE PRACTICE/PROJECT 11. Type of activity Research Project led by students, either individually or in small groups eg. Single session, project, module, other 12. Focus for activity eg. Active Learning Independent learning Students as researchers/ Enquiry-led learning Key skills Other (describe) The focus of the project is on enquiry-led learning with students acting as researchers, working independently or in small groups. Key skills include: Skills of design, analysis, interpretation; Skills of critical understanding/evaluation; Problem-solving; Group work; Information management; and Time management 13. Size of student group Students work primarily on an individual basis with some group work. Up to 80 or 90 students take this module at any one time. 14. Full description of practice (ie. what The module follows an apprenticeship model of research training. Regular meetings are held with the supervisor throughout the module. Each member of staff contributing to the module offers a set of Research Project topics. Students select a subset of these and are assigned a topics and supervisor on the basis of the initial choices made by the students. Students then research the literature relevant to the topic and produce a formatively assessed research proposal. After consideration of this proposal with the supervisor students then make a submission to the School Ethics Committee, data collection cannot begin until this submission has been approved. Students then conduct the Research Project and report the findings in a scientific report and in a poster session. Deadlines for all submissions are set at the end of the previous academic session. happens?) 15. What was the rationale for introducing the practice? 16. Resources/ support required ASSESSMENT To enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding at Level 3 of the problems and complexities of conducting empirical research by requiring them to complete the full process of designing and running an empirical study. To enable students to develop skills of quantitative data analysis and practical work to an advanced level and apply them in a supervised research study. To enable students to develop to an advanced level their skills in searching and reviewing large bodies of literature on the selected topic, and in writing scientific reports and preparing a poster presentation. 17a. Assessment Formative Project proposal, 1000 words Submission to School Ethics Committee 17b. Assessment Summative Research Project report, 8000 words maximum (89%) Poster presentation (11%). 17c. Assessment criteria (Web link if Qualitative Descriptors for the marking Scale (Research Project) can be found at http://psynet.ex.ac.uk:8200/ug/book/gen/assess/project_mark_scale_descrip.pdf Qualitative Descriptors for the marking scale (Poster Presentation) can be found at http://psynet.ex.ac.uk:8200/ug/book/gen/assess/markscale_poster.pdf Assessment Procedures for Psychology can be found at http://psynet.ex.ac.uk:8200/ug/book/gen/assess/copy_of_index_html available) FEEDBACK 18a. Feedback Student comments Final year project evaluations report 2005/06 Means for the overall sample Number of respondents: 83 (29 – individual project, 53 – team project) Items about supervisor’s help and handbook information were measured on 5- point scale with 1 being the optimum. Item about supervisor’s accessibility was measured on 4-point scale with 1 being an optimum. The rest of the items were measured on 5-point scale with 5 being an optimum. ITEM OVERALL MEAN OWN TEAM Supervisor’s help 1.83 1.89 1.79 Handbook Information 2.26 2.34 2.21 Supervisor’s accessibility 1.60 1.93 1.42 Enjoyment 3.51 3.75 3.37 Reading guidance 3.78 3.79 3.77 Hypotheses guidance 3.79 3.75 3.81 Methodology guidance 4.16 3.89 4.30 Getting participants 3.51 3.25 3.64 Analysis guidance 3.59 3.62 3.56 Discussion guidance 3.34 3.23 3.40 In summary, the results are not counter-intuitive. It is easier to get participants and there is better guidance on methodology if working as a team – it’s easier to see your supervisor and more enjoyable if on your own. (Unable to obtain significance measures from this data).