Research Preparation: Research Methods

Design team:

Professor Max Angus, Dr Jan Gray, Edith Cowan University



In this learning environment, students do not learn research methods by studying texts describing research methodologies and appropriate applications. Instead they work virtually in a graduate research centre where they are given the task of investigating the closure of a rural school. They do this using both qualitative and quantitative methods, and they are assisted by two virtual researchers who have collected data from the community and assembled it in a raw form in the centre. The students can examine school records, population data, interviews with teachers, parents and community members, newspaper reports and other documents. Students produce a report that analyses the impact of the closure of the school on the rural community.

Web links:

This website is not freely accessible but more information on it can be found at the Learning Designs Website, at:

Read more:

Herrington, J., Reeves, T. C., Oliver, R., & Woo, Y. (2004). Designing authentic activities in web-based courses. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 16(1), 3-29.