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PSY8145 Research Skills in Psychology for Teachers

Semester 2, 2019 External
Short Description: Resrch Skills in Psych Teachrs
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 090701 - Psychology
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Steven Christensen


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in the following Program: GCSC


The discipline of psychology is built upon the scientist-practitioner model, where assessment and treatment are informed by a substantial evidence base. As a science, psychology values and relies upon the scientific method as a means of gathering and evaluating the evidence base that supports the discipline. This course is designed to both provide an understanding of the role of scientific inquiry in the discipline, and to develop the skills required to design, collect, analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological evidence.


The course starts by introducing the scientific method, the language of psychological research, and the two basic research designs that underpin most psychological research. Along with these conceptual elements, the course aims to develop practical research. To this end, course participants will be asked to design a psychological experiment in which one or more research questions are asked, to ethically recruit a number of participants for that project, to conduct the experiment, and then to score and analyse the results of that experiment. We will introduce you to the Microsoft Excel program as the preferred software to enter data, manipulate data, and produce Tables and Figures that summarise the results in a way that is consistent with the experimental design. The course will also deal with the appropriate statistical techniques that can be applied to answer the research question that has been posed.

This course contains a mandatory residential school.


On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate a range of information in order to identify a research question
  2. Distinguish between theoretical and operational variables, independent and dependent variables, research questions and hypotheses, and experimental and quasi-experimental designs from text, graphs and tables.
  3. Apply the scientific method to design an experiment that appropriately investigates a research question.
  4. Apply ethical practices to recruit, gain informed consent, and debrief participants consistent with the APS Code of Ethics.
  5. Apply standardised procedures to assign participants, collect data, form data files, screen data for violations, and conduct statistical analyses appropriate to the research question.
  6. Identify relations between variables and organising principles in the statistical analyses to interpret the outcome and evaluate its support for the research question.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to the scientific method as the basis for psychological inquiry 10.00
2. Generating research questions: Theoretical independent variables, dependent variables and hypotheses – Operational independent variables, dependent variables, and hypotheses 15.00
3. Experimental Versus Correlational Designs 10.00
4. Experimental Project: Designing the project – Research question – IV’s, DV’s, Hypotheses 10.00
5. Experimental Project: Collecting the Data – recruitment, testing, recording, scoring 10.00
6. Experimental Project: Preliminary Analyses – assessing the quality of the data, data manipulation, Tables, Graphs 10.00
7. Statistics as a tool – what stats, what stats when 10.00
8. Experimental Project – Statistical Analysis of the data, answering the research question 15.00
9. Experimental Project – Evaluating the outcomes – reliability, sampling, procedure, replication 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

There are no texts assigned for this course. All necessary materials will be provided in class and through the course StudyDesk.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 55.00
Private Study 86.00
Residential Schools 24.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Major Project 75 75 18 Jul 2019 (see note 1)
Res School Attend & Particip 1 1 18 Jul 2019 (see note 2)
Research Activity Log 4 4 18 Jul 2019 (see note 3)
Research Design Test 20 20 18 Jul 2019 (see note 4)

  1. The examiner will advise all assignment due dates.
  2. The examiner will advise all assignment due dates. The dates and location of the mandatory residential school are available from the Residential School Timetable (
  3. The examiner will advise all assignment due dates.
  4. The examiner will advise all assignment due dates.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend the mandatory residential school. It is the student's responsibility to actively participate in all classes scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Students have to satisfactorily complete the residential school assessment item. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each of the other assessment items to be awarded a passing grade in the course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade students must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle, i.e the Residential School Attendance and Participation by achieving a mark of 1 out of 1 for that assessment item.
    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks. Unless the fail is for the residential school when no supplementary can be offered as it is a proficiency hurdle.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    Final grades for students will be determined by the addition of the marks obtained in each assessment item, weighted as in the Assessment details and by considering the student’s level of achievement of the objectives of the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no exam in this course

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Electronic submission of assignments is required for this course. All submissions must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ StudyDesk desk for this course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Reliable access to the internet is a requirement of this course as the course contains electronic assessment and submission elements. In order to avoid internet issues, on-campus students should upload their assignments electronically using the same computer laboratories. External students who knowingly do not have reliable access to the internet should actively seek alternative internet access (e.g., Internet cafes, local libraries, or work places) for assessment submission. External students are able to use the on-campus student computer laboratories once access has been enabled. To be granted access, external students need to contact ICT and ask to have a student account enabled so that they can work on-campus.

  3. Students are expected to open their university provided email account and check it regularly for personal communication. In accordance with the Electronic Communication with Students Policy and Procedure ( information sent to the student's USQ email account will be regarded as being received.

  4. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.