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Research Methods in Clinical Education

Aims and learning outcomes

The module allows you to gain a critical understanding of research methodology appropriate to clinical education, including qualitative, quantitative, multi-/mixed methods and ethical considerations.

As such the module directly prepares you for your professional project or dissertation.

By the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • Formulate appropriately focused research questions having constructed systematic searches for evidence relevant to clinical education, evaluated it critically and synthesised relevant information in the context of their proposal
  • Understand the basis of different paradigms and the resultant approaches to research in clinical education, and critically appraise the use of theoretical frameworks within a range of research paradigms and traditions
  • Understand, apply and analyse a variety of qualitative methods, having reviewed appropriate research designs
  • Appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of each approach
  • Develop the appropriate methodological approach for their proposal
  • Display a knowledge of the analytical approach needed in qualitative studies especially: Data control and analysis; Use of computer programmes e.g NVivo etc
  • Understand and use contemporary standards for research using qualitative methods: Guidelines for reporting; Critical appraisal of research articles, and interpretation of these in terms of their specific research proposal
  • Develop an approach to defining and measuring quality relevant to their medical education project
  • Understand the importance of reliability and validity in different approaches to data, and to demonstrate and justify the approach they have chosen to take in their proposal
  • Understand the importance of sampling and define the sample frame relevant to their project: sample size and practicality
  • Critically appraise their approach to testing their results appropriately-including reviewing the place of descriptive and analytical statistical tests and Generalised Linear Modelling
  • Develop an awareness of the applicability of multi and mixed method approaches to medical education
  • Identify ethical issues relevant to their research question, develop an awareness of the process and prepare an outline ethics submission for educational research
  • Develop an appropriate project timeline including write up and review
  • Draw up proposals for dissemination of research through an appropriate range of methods and media (e.g. dissertations, papers, posters and verbal presentation, submission and publishing)