People Studying People: Research Ethics in Society

People Studying People: Research Ethics in Society

MOOC, 6 weeks

This is for you if... you want to explore the value of ethical thinking for research, using an ethical appraisal framework to develop and evaluate studies.

Course Description

Next start date: To be confirmed

If we consider data collection and its reporting to make up research, then we will all have been exposed to being participants in some form of social research. Data collection from people in society is now part of everyday life. Ethical research demands that respect is afforded to the rights and dignity of human participants. Studies need to be designed to be worthwhile and any potential harm anticipated and minimised. Ethical research requires thinking carefully about what constitutes participation in research and the responsibilities of researchers not only to participants, but also to all those affected by a study.

On this free online course you will be supported in reflecting on the value of ethical thinking for research and discover an ethical appraisal framework that you can apply to empirical research projects in social science, arts, education and the humanities. The course is designed to offer insights for both researchers and potential participants.

The course starts by exploring what ethics is and why it is important to research through a consideration of examples of studies which can be challenged in terms of their ethicality. In weeks 2-4 we will use an ethical appraisal framework to illustrate ways of thinking about the ethical implications of designing a study and recruiting participants, taking into consideration different stakeholder perspectives. In week 5 you will be able to apply the insights gained to a draft research proposal through a role play activity. To conclude, in week 6, we will reflect on how it is important to show integrity as a researcher whilst conducting and reporting studies. This will include thinking about what might go wrong in a study and how these issues might be anticipated.

This course has been developed by members of the University of Leicester College of Social Science, Arts and Humanities and is supported by an extensive set of resources for researchers on a website entitled Doing Ethical Research.

Key Facts
Department
Education
Contact
Please address all enquiries to FutureLearn.

Why Leicester?

This course is designed by academics who are at the forefront of research in education and who feed the latest developments into their teaching.

The University of Leicester is one of the UK's leading research and teaching universities with over 25 years' experience of offering high quality distance learning courses.

Education at Leicester has an excellent international reputation for the development and teaching of intellectually stimulating education courses.

Course Structure

Week 1

Week 1

In this first week we will consider what kinds of data collection activity may be undertaken by People Studying People and start to think about what makes such collection ethical. We will look at case studies which have been potentially unethical, and introduce you to different stakeholders in Social Science research to think about the issues from their perspectives.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Week 2

Week 2

An ethical appraisal framework of four dimensions has been used to structure weeks 2-4 of the course. The framework is introduced and then each week takes one of the dimensions to explore its use in ethical thinking. Week 2 applies consequential ethical principles of ethical thinking to identifying a research focus.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Week 3

Week 3

This week investigates the range of responsibilities of a social science researcher. We will explore key legislation which would affect research undertaken in the UK or by researchers who are based in the UK (even, in some cases, if the research takes place overseas).

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Week 4

Week 4

In week 4 we will examine approaches to developing respectful research relationships. Sometimes researchers want to study a context with which they are not familiar and this raises particular responsibilities for them to work out how best to show respect to those in the setting.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Week 5

Week 5

How can researchers be sure they are ‘doing the right thing’? In week 5 we explore how to apply deontological principles of ethical thinking to meeting researcher obligations. There are various duties of a researcher as we have been exploring on this course. This involves mitigating against harm, showing respect through ensuring participants’ rights are met and ensuring they participate voluntarily.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Week 6

Week 6

In the final week of this course we put ethical thinking into practice.

 

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Teaching and Assessment

The course uses a mix of videos, articles and activities, with plenty of opportunities for discussion with fellow learners and further research.

At the end of each week of the course there is normally a set of multiple choice questions to test your understanding of what you have learned, and this will count towards your overall course score. Please note that this is a FutureLearn score, and is not valid as credit for other courses at the University of Leicester - although a MOOC is a great 'taster' for university learning.

 

Entry Requirements

There are no entry requirements for the current range of MOOCs available from the University of Leicester. You simply need an internet connection and a computer or tablet device. Some other courses may specify expected levels of understanding or experience in certain areas but this will be made clear before signing up for the course.

This course is designed for current or aspiring researchers in Social Science, Arts or the Humanities. You may have a research project in mind or one that is underway. It would also suit those with broader interests in evaluating research involving human participants, including those as potential participants.

 

English Language Requirements

There are no specific English language requirements for our MOOCs. However, to get the most out of this course you should have a reasonable command of written English.

Fees and Funding

  • Enjoy this course for free - there are no fees for any of our MOOCs.

     

  • Enjoy this course for free - there are no fees for any of our MOOCs.

     

Career Opportunities

We are one of the UK's top research universities and our PhD and MPhil degrees are rooted in our strong research culture. You may want to apply for a research degree in Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at the University of Leicester.

 

Careers

 

Course Duration Availability
People Studying People: Research Ethics in Society 6 weeks Apply Now
Course
People Studying People: Research Ethics in Society
Duration
6 weeks
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