MEDIA201-19A (HAM)

Conducting Media Research

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts
Screen and Media Studies


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Paper Description

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This paper is designed to develop an understanding of research methods related to media formats and texts.

Three aspects of research and media will be examined:

  • research for the media, that is, the work done by media professionals to ensure that their ideas and content are accurate and legal.
  • research about the media, especially research that investigates peoples' engagement with the media
  • research through the media: that is the ability that digital media in particular have to record and provide data about people's choices and preferences.

The paper outlines different kinds of research methodologies (qualitative, quantitative and mixed) and will focus on the social roles of research in contemporary media.

Students’ research skills are developed and extended in preparation for undertaking advanced media related research of their own;

Students will develop a deeper understanding of different research methods;

Students will explore ways to to engage people to participate to research;

Students will gain an appreciation of the contribution of research to the understanding of cultural systems;

Students will be exposed to the complexities (and versatility) of research processes, their reliance on cultural values, and the problems that a researcher will have to pre-empt;

Students are encourage to explore research critically and with curiosity, as well as to perform autonomously;

Students are expected to read widely and to actively participate to lectures and tutorials.

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Paper Structure

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You will be attending a weekly lecture and ONE weekly tutorial when necessary.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • understand and appreciate research as a practice shaped by socio-cultural factors
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  • reflect upon their own position in relation to existing research knowledge;
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  • be exposed to contemporary media issues and how research may contribute to understanding such issues
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  • develop recognition of 'media research' as encompassing various of forms of research practice and purpose (academic, institutional and commercial research)
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  • develop understanding of ethical issues which are central to the research process
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  • enable students to identify and clarify current and future research interests
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  • formulate a research project and select appropriate research methods for investigation
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  • to appreciate how research competency can assist further study and employment
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Researching for the Media: report & map & online questionaire
30 Mar 2019
11:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Presentations Research proposals (during tutorials)
11 Apr 2019
2:00 PM
  • Hand-in: In Tutorial
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
  • Presentation: In Class
3. Final Research plan - in-class presentation and written report
23 May 2019
11:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
  • Presentation: In Class
  • Hand-in: Assignment Box (Windermere Ako Atea Ground Floor)
4. Tutorial attendance and participation
  • Other:
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Reading list available on Moodle
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Recommended Readings

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Listed below are some introductory textbooks you will find useful (you are not required to purchase these books as they are available in the Main Library or can be accessed online). Other readings for MEDIA 201- 19A will be available in PDF format via the paper’s Moodle page.

Hansen, A. & David M. (2013). Media and Communication Research Methods. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

This book is a good introduction to recent qualitative and quantitative methods for studying media and communication.

Saldaña, Johnny. The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. Los Angeles, Calif. ; London : Sage

This book guides you through the multiple approaches available for coding qualitative data and understanding what you can do with your data

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Other Resources

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The two documentaries for assessment One will be available online. You will choose one of them only.
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Online Support

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There is an online Moodle community for this course. Moodle can be accessed via iWaikato, or use the URL Lecture notes, tutorial exercises, assignment details, and the paper outline will become available on this site.

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As a 15-point paper, MEDIA 201 requires a consistent commitment from you (approximately 10 hours per week)

Three of these hours are the timetabled classes (lecture + tutorial). You will be attending a weekly lecture and ONE

weekly tutorial. So you are expected to devote approximately 7 hours per week to independent study for this paper,

That includes reading widely, accessing material on Moodle and in the library, collaborating outside class, interviewing people if appropriate (you will need ethics clearance), and writing assignments.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper is core for the Screen and Media Studies major in the BA. It is intended to provide a foundation for students to design and conduct their own supervised research projects (such as directed studies, or research into graduate level).

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Restricted papers: SMST321, SMST207

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