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RSMT 3501: Introduction to Research Methods

This course will provide an opportunity for participants to establish or advance their understanding of research through critical exploration of research language, ethics, and approaches. The course introduces the language of research, ethical principles and challenges, and the elements of the research process within quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches. Participants will use these theoretical underpinnings to begin to critically review literature relevant to their field or interests and determine how research findings are useful in forming their understanding of their work, social, local and global environment .

Learning outcomes

  • Understand research terminology
  • Be aware of the ethical principles of research, ethical challenges and approval processes
  • Describe quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods approaches to research
  • Identify the components of a literature review process
  • Critically analyze published research

Course topics

Module 1: Foundations

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Research and the Research Process
  • Lesson 2: Research Ethics and Integrity
  • Lesson 3: Critical appraisal

Module 2: Quantitative Research

  • Lesson 4: Introduction to Quantitative Research, Study Designs and Methods
  • Lesson 5: Analysis and Interpretation of Quantitative Data
  • Lesson 6: Critical Appraisal of Quantitative Research

Module 3: Qualitative Research

  • Lesson 7: Introduction to Qualitative Research, Study Designs and Methods
  • Lesson 8: Analysis and Interpretation of Qualitative Data
  • Lesson 9: Critical Appraisal of Qualitative Research

Module 4: Mixed Methods Research

  • Lesson 10: Introduction to Mixed Methods Research, Study Designs and Methods
  • Lesson 11: Analysis and Interpretation of Mixed Methods Data
  • Lesson 12: Critical Appraisal of Mixed Methods Research

Required text and materials

  1. Creswell, J. W. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. 5th Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2018.
    ISBN: 978-1-5063-8670-6

Older editions of the text are not recommended.

  1. TRU Library. APA Citation Style - Quick Guide. 6th edition. 2011.
    Type: Online Guide

Retrieved from

Optional materials

Students are recommended to have access to a print copy of a dictionary of epidemiology, research or statistics or an online glossary. A highly recommended dictionary is: Porta, M. (2014). A dictionary of epidemiology (6th ed). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

The course also makes reference to a variety of online resources and journals.


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory final project.

Tri-council Ethics Certification

As part of the module on Research Ethics, students will work through the Tri-council Research Ethics Certification online program that will provide them with a certificate of completion. Students will need to submit a copy of this certification as part of their final project to complete the course.

Assignment 1 10%
Discussion 1 5%
Assignment 2 10%
Discussion 2 5%
Assignment 3 10%
Discussion 3 5%
Assignment 4 10%
Discussion 4 5%
Final Project * 40%
Total 100%

* Mandatory

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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