Faculty of Education

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Flexible)


Research evidence is called upon in a range of contexts to guide and inform policies and practices. This unit focuses on the evidence that is used to make claims, builds students' abilities to evaluate and assess different forms of evidence, and recognises how they may guide choices and decision-making in professional contexts. Students will learn to evaluate research evidence based on the perspectives that framed the research approach, the overall research design, the data collection strategies utilised, data analysis, as well as data presentation. It will make reference to the influences of sociocultural contexts on the research design, execution and analysis. Qualitative and quantitative evidence will be included as students learn to contrast the strengths of each form as they are used individually, sequentially or simultaneously. This will include 'traditional' forms of evidence (such as surveys) and emerging ones (such as videos and photographs). Students will develop their skills to evaluate and use research evidence through evaluative work on specific data sets, and they will also be given the opportunity to locate and evaluate evidence in response to a specific concern of relevance to their professional or educational contexts. In this unit, students will develop their abilities to identify the limitations of research evidence in relation to particular issues as well as to harness research evidence effectively to guide recommendations they might propose.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. distinguish forms of evidence such as quantitative and qualitative evidence and their associated framing paradigms
  2. understand the many ways in which 'data' and its various dimensions can be generated and reported on, and appreciate the potential value and limitations of such data
  3. interpret the strengths of research evidence based on evaluation of data collection strategies, data analysis and presentation of findings
  4. communicate the strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative data and evidence generated through a mix of methods
  5. critically scrutinise evidence in response to an issue relevant to a professional context of choice
  6. communicate the findings of a range of evidence to stakeholders in a professional context of relevance and propose recommendations on the basis of evaluated research evidence.


Poster presentation and written evaluation of research data (4000 words equivalent, 50%)
Case: harnessing research data (4000 words equivalent, 50%)

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Flexible mode offers a stand-alone online offering that allows students to learn and engage in content and assessment in a supported way. It also provides a face to face component of 12 hours over the semester to engage students with the online learning content, which students can attend if they are able and interested.

Minimum total expected workload equals 288 hours per semester comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for flexible students:

  • 12 contact hours and 24 hours equivalent of online activities over the semester or
  • 36 hours equivalent of online activities over the semester

(b.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • independent study to meet the minimum required hours per semester


EDF6005, EDF6006 and EDF6007