Learning outcomes

Completing this course will help you to:

  • Understand why a literature review is important
  • Understand the structure and process of undertaking a literature review
  • Understand the importance of identifying a review question to guide your literature review
  • Develop your ability to identify different types of literature and work out if they are useful to you
  • Develop your ability to search for literature
  • Develop your ability to evaluate and select the relevant literature for your review
  • Understand how to write up your literature review.

Using the module

Welcome to Research Methods in Literature Review. This course aims to introduce you to the processes involved in putting together a literature review so that you are able to undertake your own comprehensive review, according to the requirements of your academic project.

If this is the first time you have accessed Research Methods in Literature Review course, or if you need a brief reminder, here is some information on how the screens are organised, and some of the tools and features that are used throughout:


Content

  • The centre of each screen contains the core content for each course, presented either as text, interactive activities, graphics, videos or animations
  • Text highlighted in a box preceded by an arrow contains instructions on how to navigate the activities that follow
  • Note that your responses to the note-making and text entry activities (where you type responses in the space provided) can be printed and used as part of your ongoing work
  • At the top of each screen you will see an indication of the approximate time it will take to complete the core content. These estimates include time to watch videos and complete activities in the central section, but not to complete the 'Optional activities'.

Pods

Throughout this course, you will see additional learning opportunities in 'pods'. The pods in this course contain useful links to further resources and sources of guidance, as well as additional information expanding on the material in the main part of the screen. Exploring the information provided in the pods will enrich the learning experience.


Quiz

At the very end of each module, you have the opportunity to test your learning further with a multiple-choice quiz. This consists of five questions and can be taken more than once (a new set of questions will appear).

The Research Methods in Literature Review course is designed to gradually build up your understanding and skills. We recommend that you complete the modules in the order given, but they have been designed so you can access each of them independently according to your own requirements and those of your institution.

Expert panel

Authors

Revised Edition

Dr. Helen Aveyard

Dr. Helen Aveyard

Helen Aveyard (BSc, RGN, MA, PGDip, Ph.D.) is a senior lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and author of the best-selling book Doing a Literature

Review in Health and Social Care: A Practical Guide, 2nd ed. (Open University Press, 2010), in addition to A Beginner's Guide to Evidence Based Practice in

Health and Social Care, 2nd ed. (Open University Press, 2013) with Pam Sharp and A Beginner's Guide to Critical Thinking and Writing in Health and Social Care. (Open University Press, 2011) with Pam Sharp and Mary Woolliams. Helen's main teaching interests are research and evidence-based practice.


First Edition

Dr. Helen Aveyard

Dr. Helen Aveyard

Helen Aveyard was also the author of the first edition of this course.


Reviewer

First Edition

Professor Billy O'Connor

Professor Billy O'Connor

Billy O'Connor is Professor of Physiology at the University of Limerick Medical School. Prior to this he was Head of Neuroscience Research at University College Dublin and Professor of Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institute. Professor O'Connor was awarded the Conway Silver Medal in 2000 by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, and the SCRIP Award in 2005 for his work on brain illness treatments. He has authored over 100 papers and secured over €3 million in research funding. His other main focus is neuroeducation – the brain science of learning. He runs a popular website which reports on the latest from the world of brain research (http://inside-the-brain.com).


Accessibility advisor

Revised Edition

Wilma Alexander

Wilma Alexander

Wilma Alexander is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with Master's degrees in Human-Computer Interaction, Linguistics and Information Science. She has over 15 years of experience as a manager with the online learning team at the University of Edinburgh, where she specialised in usable and accessible digital practice, tutored on the groundbreaking Master's degree in Digital Education and developed online staff training on accessible e-learning and online tutoring skills. Since retiring from the University at the end of 2015, Wilma has provided consultancy services on all aspects of online learning, with a special focus on accessibility and usability issues.


Developed in conjunction with:

The Research Skills programme has been developed in conjunction with the following institutions:

  • Cardiff University
  • City University London
  • Cranfield University
  • Durham University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Imperial College London
  • King's College London
  • Lancaster University
  • London Metropolitan University
  • Loughborough University
  • University College Dublin
  • University College London
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Bath
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Limerick
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Reading
  • University of Strathclyde