FE5056 - Problem Solving: Methods and Analysis (2023/24)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2023/24|
|Module title||Problem Solving: Methods and Analysis|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||15|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||150|
|Running in 2023/24(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)||
This module aims to develop students’ ability to understand and apply problem solving methods and analysis in relation to issues that may arise in business and management subject areas.
The module offers an opportunity for students to collect, present, analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data from a variety of data sources such as ONS and other sources. It seeks to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of the business environment and develop their data management and data analysis skills using IT packages as appropriate.
The module provides the quantitative and qualitative data analysis skills that underpin the success of an empirical research project. This module helps to build the sound foundation required to undertake a final year project / dissertation module.
Identification of problems that may arise in business and management subject areas.
Refinement of issues for investigation, and formulation of empirical research questions.
Problem-solving approaches and philosophical perspectives: positivism, realism, pragmatism and interpretivism.
Distinction between deductive, inductive and abductive approaches
Formulation of epistemological, ontological and axiological positions
Problem Solving Methodological Choice: quantitative methods, qualitative methods, multiple/mixed methods
Choosing research strategies: Experiment, Case Study, Survey, Grounded Theory, Archival Research, Ethnography, Action Research, Narrative Inquiry
Describing data types: secondary data and primary data
Primary data sources such as observation, surveys, interviews
Secondary data sources such as indices, economic indicators, ONS
Data sampling and data collection methods
Analysing qualitative and quantitative data: content/documentary analysis, thematic analysis; time series analysis, cross-sectional analysis, panel analysis, case study analysis, regression analysis
Using tables, charts, graphs, diagrams and statistics
Using IT packages such as Excel, EViews, Stata, SPSS, and NVivo.
Data interpretation, making inferences and reporting results
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Delivery of the module will consist of 2-hour lectures and 1-hour seminars. The emphasis will be on student learning through problem solving, participation and formative feedback. The seminar will be student centred. Students will be encouraged to research business and management related issues from a variety of sources that may include databases, newspapers, textbooks and on-line sources to identify aspects and issues relevant to their areas of study. They are expected to develop qualitative and quantitative data collection and data analysis skills as well as cognitive abilities and generic skills that enable an appreciation of the nature of business research.
Students are expected to complement the 'formal' learning activity with reading of the material suggested in the teaching sessions, collecting, analysing and interpreting data, and writing, planning and preparing for research projects.
Students are encouraged to adopt a reflexive approach, drawing on their diverse socio-cultural backgrounds and experiences. A student-centred approach is adopted. Equality is promoted by treating everyone with equal dignity and worth, while also raising aspirations and supporting achievement for those students with diverse requirements and backgrounds.
The virtual learning environment (Weblearn) supports the relevant module learning and teaching materials such as lecture slides, seminar questions, guideline instructions to seminar questions, assessment strategy, assessment and grading criteria, deadlines and feedback details.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- Identify problems and issues that may arise in business and management subject areas, and formulate empirical research questions
- Critically examine and apply qualitative and quantitative methods and techniques for understanding and addressing research problems and questions.
- Collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data in a subject context, and appropriately interpret and report results and findings using relevant IT packages.
Formative assessments will take place in seminars through learning activities on a regular basis. Students will be required to build their knowledge and understanding of problem-solving methods and analysis in a variety of business and management subject areas. Formative feedback will be provided to students on an ongoing basis.
Summative assessment will take the form of an end-of-semester individual 2000-word coursework. The summative assessment is designed to test students’ ability to use qualitative and quantitative methods and techniques in the analysis of relevant data. Students are required to collect, present, analyse and interpret data. Problem-solving skills are developed and assessed in this module.
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