The course comprises at least three main streams (adaptations can be made).
Stream 1: Presentation
This presentation will walk participants through the major ontologies and epistemologies, explaining what they are and how they influence discipline-specific research and practice. The presentation will also cover theoretical perspectives that influence the nature of research that is undertaken. The various assumptions about reality and the generation of knowledge associated with these philosophical positions will be discussed.
Stream 2: Case studies
Discipline-specific case studies will be used to demonstrate how philosophy influences the:
- types of questions that researchers and practitioners ask
- nature of data that is collected (quantitative and/or qualitative)
- assumptions that are made about the nature of the research and its outputs
- instruments used to collect data and associated analysis options
- recruitment of people and/or organisations
- findings that are generated, including their interpretation, application and transfer to other contexts
Stream 3: Research design
Participants will be invited to explore their own philosophy, and apply it to a discipline-relevant problem, sharing their ideas and approach within a small group setting. Where relevant, participants will be invited to develop a research question and program, carefully considering the underpinning philosophical assumptions.