Explore what research is and why it’s so important to us all. Find out how to make evidence-based decisions.

7,534 enrolled on this course

Research Methods
  • Duration

    13 weeks
  • Weekly study

    10 hours
This course is part of the Research Methods program, which will enable you to uncover the value of effective professional and academic research.

Why is research so important?

Imagine a world without research, where governments carry out policy based on hunches and manufacturers release products without testing.

Research allows us to solve problems on a global scale and make evidence-based decisions.

During this course, you’ll get an introduction to what research is, and why it’s so important to us all. You’ll learn fundamental research concepts, meet leading researchers working on real-world problems, and identify an interest area for your own research.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds NICK BARTER: Stop for a moment and consider how our world evolves and transforms because of research.

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds CHRISTOPHER STEVENSON: The remarkable changes and advancements we see in the world each day all started because someone like you had a question.

Skip to 0 minutes and 19 seconds NICK BARTER: Or had a problem that needed solving. Will they dare to dream that things can be better, faster, safer? Research is at the core of human inquiry. Hello and welcome. I’m Nick Barter from Griffith University.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 seconds CHRISTOPHER STEVENSON: And I’m Associate Professor Chris Stevenson from Deakin University. Our world-class institutions have come together to craft a series of courses that will inspire you to identify and plan your own research project.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds NICK BARTER: Whether you’re looking to use research to undertake an academic project, make a change in your work place, or solve a problem in your community, you’re going to need to know how to get started.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds CHRISTOPHER STEVENSON: In this course, we’ll explore why research matters and introduce you to key concepts to ensure you become confident in making evidence-based decisions.

Skip to 1 minute and 9 seconds NICK BARTER: Research has the power to transform a small spark of an idea into a reality that can save lives, improve our understanding of each other, and make our society better places to live.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 seconds CHRISTOPHER STEVENSON: Research makes a difference and so can you. Play your part. Join us in this two-week course and we’ll show you how.

What topics will you cover?

  • The contribution of research to society
  • Introduction to fundamental research concepts, including:
    • Evidence-based decision-making
    • Research paradigms and approaches

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify a potential area of research interest
  • Discuss how research helps solve problems
  • Explain paradigms and concepts essential to undertaking and understanding research
  • Apply a decision-making process based on evidence

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at anyone interested in research. It may be of particular interest to people who are undertaking a research project related to their profession or area of study.

Who will you learn with?

Nick is an academic with a focus on developing frameworks to allow corporate strategists to realise sustainable strategies and expanding online education to as many learners as possible

is a Professor and the Associate Director of the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning. He researches higher education, feedback, cheating, assessment and research methods.

Is a PhD Candidate with the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE), Deakin University. You can contact me at tegan.miller@deakin.edu.au

Who developed the course?

Deakin University

Deakin University is one of Australia’s largest universities with more than 61,000 students and over 15,000 online.

  • Established

    1974
  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 280Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

Griffith University

Griffith University was created to be a different kind of university—challenging conventions, responding to trends and pioneering solutions through innovative teaching and research.

  • Established

    1971
  • Location

    Queensland, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 210Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control

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Join the conversation on social media

You can use the hashtag #FLresearchmatters to talk about this course on social media.