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Griffith and Deakin universities showcase importance of research in solving problems of the world

Collaboration to demonstrate fundamental research methods in new online course

Griffith University has teamed up with Deakin University to develop ‘Why Research Matters’, a two-week online course which is now available for enrolment on the global social learning platform, FutureLearn.

The research methods needed when undertaking a PhD and carrying out research will be demonstrated during the free course which starts on December 4. Learners can complete it at their own pace.

The course has been designed by Professor Nick Barter, Academic Director, Griffith Online, and Associate Professor Christopher Stevenson, Deakin University.

“Research has the power to transform lives and make the world a better place in which to live,” Professor Barter said. “It is central to the changes that are happening around us day after day, year on year. Our world evolves because of research.”

The free online course will explore the influence and impact of research on government policy, improvements in healthcare and quality control in the manufacturing industry.

“Our world-class institutions have come together to craft a series that will inspire researchers of the future to identify and plan their own projects and build their confidence in making evidence-based decisions,” Associate Professor Stevenson said.

Mark Lester, Director of Partnerships Development at FutureLearn said he was thrilled to see some of FutureLearn’s Australian partners, Deakin and Griffith University, collaborating on a topic that makes such an important contribution to society.

“The influence that research has on society is huge, so it’s fantastic that our partners are able to showcase best practice from both institutions and support those entering this field,” Mr Lester said.

“We hope to see more of our university partners and organisations working together in this way, where they are able to delve into and share insight from their respective knowledge bases, so that learners can get a global view on research regardless of where they are in the world.”

Participants in ‘Why Research Matters’ will gain a strong understanding of the paradigms and concepts essential to undertaking and understanding research. They will find out how to make evidence-based decisions and the research processes that solve problems on a global scale.

The course will also give them the tools to apply a decision-making process based on evidence and the confidence and opportunity to identify their own potential area of research.

It is the first in a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on research methods that Griffith University and Deakin University are developing, with a further four to be released in 2018. Joining is free, although learners can upgrade for £52 to receive additional benefits.

Notes to Editors

For further press information, please contact:

Rachel MacPherson, Communications Executive, FutureLearn, or

Niamh O’Grady, Head of Communications, FutureLearn:

About FutureLearn

Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling online learning through conversation. With almost 7 million people from over 200 countries across the globe – a community that is continuously growing – it offers free and paid for online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, as well as organisations such as the European Space Agency, the British Council and Cancer Research UK. FutureLearn’s course portfolio covers a wealth of areas to promote lifelong learning for a range of applications including general interest, an introduction to university studies, continuing professional development and fully online postgraduate degrees.


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