Course number: PKIN703
Language of instruction: English
Credits: 3 ECTS
Contact Hours: 22
Term: Fall 2015, Spring 2016
Course meeting times: Will be updated
Course meeting place: Will be updated
Professor: PhDr. Martin Musalek, Ph.D., Prof. Jim Parry
Contact Information: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office address: H274
Office hours: Will be updated
This course provides an introduction to research methods and design relevant to sport, health and the outdoors. The course will begin by exploring the idea of scientific research, and by addressing fundamental conceptual and ethical issues regarding research on humans and human activity. It will focus on an introduction to various research designs including experimental and non-experimental, as well as quantitative and qualitative research methods. Moreover, the course will focus on providing a practical understanding of several statistical tools used in sport and health research. By the end of the course students should have gained a general understanding of the nature of scientific enquiry and should be able to recognize ethical challenges in research, to read educational/psychological/sociological research that uses basic statistical methods; to undertake elementary data analysis; and should have been prepared to take more advanced statistics courses, building upon the basic knowledge learned in this course.
1. The nature of science, and the theory of scientific methodology
2. Scientific methods and research ethics
3. Research problem, question, and hypothesis – and the difference between these terms
4. Experimental research designs
5. Non-experimental research designs
6. Latent versus manifest variables and dependent versus independent variables
7. Research sample approaches for its adequate selection – ethical approval
8. Methods – diagnostic tool and its quality – standardized, validated and clinical tools
9. Data analysis, basic concepts – data distribution, descriptive statistics, correlation and T-tests
Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:
– Understand the nature of scientific enquiry and methodology
– Define the breadth of the scientific method and its role/importance in sport and health care
– Understand the research process, and its components
– Outline the importance of the research problem and the research question
– Identify key characteristics of good research questions
– Outline the importance of the research hypothesis
– Recognise the differences and the relationships between experimental and non-experimental studies
– Recognise the differences and the relationships between qualitative and quantitative methodology
– Understand and use fundamental research design components: research sample (ethical issues), methods, data analysis
Methods of Instruction
Lectures (with PowerPoint presentations) with subsequent discussion using practical examples
Assessment and Final Grade
1. Assessment Type 1: Essay on a selected topic 40%
2. Assessment Type 2: Individual presentation on a selected (different) topic 20%
3. Assessment Type 3: Homework 20%
4. Assessment Type 4: Participation in sessions 20%
Marking scheme assessment PG 1-4 (1 = excellent; 4 = fail)
The assessment essay will be on a selected topic.
Criteria of evaluation: level of argumentation, scope and depth of coverage of a topic.
The presentation must be designed so as to be interactive, making the group think about and work upon the problem selected from the area of research methods.
Criteria of evaluation: scope and depth of coverage of a topic, appropriateness of the form of the lesson, engagement of other students.
Reading recommended texts before the lessons, being prepared for discussions of the suggested themes.
Participation in sessions
Engagement in groupwork, willingness to interact effectively, meaningful contribution to the sessions.
Attendance is mandatory.
Session 1: Introduction. What is science? What is scientific methodology?
What counts as ‘research’?
Introduction – common sense versus scientific approaches
The Traditional View of scientific enquiry
Reading: Singh (2006): pp. 1–20.
Session 2: 20th century criticisms of the Traditional View
The relation between knowledge and certainty.
Falsificationism. Lakatos vs Popper. Kuhn and relativism.
So: what can we ‘know’? and how can we know it?
How should one see one’s research as ‘scientific’?
Reading: Parry (2005).
Session 3: Quantitative and Qualitative research
Basic principles; differences between quantitative and qualitative approaches
Historical and philosophical research
Social research (including research on human subjects)
Reading: Sukamolson (2011): pp. 1–20.
Session 4: Research Ethics in Exercise, Health and Sports Sciences
Issues in Research Ethics: governance, consent, privacy, confidentiality, plagiarism and authorship, research on vulnerable populations (e.g. children)
Reading: Chapters from McNamee et al (2007).
Session 5: Research problem, question and hypothesis 1
Differences between ‘research problem’, ‘research question’ and ‘hypothesis’ Problems in defining research problem, question and hypothesis. Examples
Reading:Singh (2006): pp. 20–35, 54–77.
Session 6: Research Design – Experimental and non-experimental research designs
Differences between experimental and non-experimental research.
What is an ‘experiment’? Difference between experiment and quasi-experiment, experimental factor and covariate variable. Types of experiments, single blind studies, double blind studies.
Session 7: Methods – diagnostic tool and its quality – standardized, validated and clinical tools
Diagnostic properties of tests, introduction to validity, reliability and objectivity
Reading:Štochl and Musálek (2009): pp. 5–15.
Session 8: Latent versus manifest variable and dependent versus independent variables
Latent and manifest variables, its function in empirical research, what is dependent and independent variable
Reading:Singh (2006): pp. 63–68.
Session 9: Research sample, approaches for its adequate selection – ethic approval
Randomized, non-randomized sample selection and its sub-types, ethic approval and research on human participants.
Session 10: Data analysis, basic concepts – data distribution, descriptive statistic 1
Normal and non-normal distribution what does it mean, information from graphic and numerous outcomes
Reading: Singh (2006): pp. 222–243; Cohen, Manion and Morrison (2007): pp. 501–510.
Session 11: Data analysis, basic concepts – data distribution, descriptive statistic 2
Terms: average, variance, standard deviation and extreme values in data distribution
Reading:Singh (2006): pp. 271–304.
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education. London: Routledge.
McNamee, M., Olivier, S., Wainwright, P. (2007). Research Ethics in Exercise, Health and Sports Sciences. London: Routledge.
Murtonen, M. (2005). Learning of quantitative research methods: University student’s views, motivation, and difficulties in learning. Turku: Turun Yliopisto. .
Parry, J. (2005). Must scientists think philosophically about science? In McNamee M (Ed.), Philosophies of Sport, Health and Exercise. London: Routledge, pp. 22–33.
Singh, Y. K. (2006). Fundamental of research methodology and statistics. New Delhi: New Age International.
Sukamolson, S. (2011). Fundamental of quantitative research, Chulalongkorn University: Bangkok.
Štochl, J. and Musálek, M. (2009). A practical guide to pilot standardization of tests. Acta Universitatis Carolinae – Kinanthropologica, 45(2), 5–15.
Babikir, H. El. H., Babikir, A. A. and Wahab, M. M. A. (2009). Research Methodology Step by Step Guide For Graduate Students. Sudanese Journal of Pediatrics, 9, 1–14.
Furr, M. R. and Bacharach, V. R. (2008). Psychometrics: An Introduction. Sage Publication: California
Kerlinger, F. N. and Lee, H. B. (2000). Foundations of behavioral research. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt College Publishers.
Oliver P. (2003). The Student’s Guide to Research Ethics Oxford: Oxford University Press
Rajasekar, S., Philominathan, P. and Chinnathambi, V. (n.d.). Research Methodology.
Thomas, J. R., Nelson, J. K. and Silverman, S. J. (2005). Research methods in physical activity. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.