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Department of Information Technology

Introduction to Engineering Education Research

Unit B. Introduction to research methodologies, 5 ECTS

For detailed schedule, assignments etc, see the left margine

When studying teaching and learning in engineering or in other subject areas, it is crucial to consider how the research is performed, as different research approaches, qualitative as well as quantitative, vary in different ways, for example ontologically, epistemologically and methodologically. Thus, different research approaches bring the project down different roads, and lead to different forms of result. For a specific project, research approach has to be carefully selected and the quality issues it brings with it have to be addressed.

Learning outcome

After this unit, a participant should

  • Be capable to describe some research approaches and their applications and understand their basic premises and differences.
  • Be able to select and apply an approach suited to his or her particular research question and argue why the approach fits the question.
  • Tentatively select one or more research methodologies for his or her research project.
  • Discuss the quality of his or her expected results and argue why the results should be trusted on.

Outcome in studens' research

After the unit, the students are expected to have finalized a first draft to the methodology section for their research plans or their thesis.


It is recommended that the course participants have passed the Unit A (Introduction to EER) in the EER research course before entering the course. If not, they should prepare a research plan that includes the following:

  • Background and motivation
  • Research goals and research questions

All participants must meet the general entry conditions for the EER research course.

Course leader

Dr Anders Berglund, Uppsala Computing Education Research Group (UpCERG), Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden in collaboration with Dr Judithe Sheard, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Course content

Programme meeting 1, day 1, April 12, 2010:

  • Qualitative and quantitative research approaches. (lectures, discussions, examples)
  • The relationship between research approaches and the outcome of a study. (lectures, small exercises in groups, discussions).
  • Quality. (lectures, discussion)

Programme meeting 1, day 2, April 13, 2010:

  • Data collection. Analysis. (lectures, discussions, small exercises in groups)
  • Methodology of own study (group work)

Programme meeting 1, day 3, April 14, 2010:

  • Reflection and peer evaluation of own methodology
  • Individual presentations and feedback

Programme meeting 2, June 7-8, 2010: (preliminary days, to be decided on April)

  • Seminars with peer reviewing on own work

Between the meetings, the students are expected to draft the methodology section of their research plan or their thesis.

Updated  2010-12-14 14:56:31 by Arnold Pears.