Who is this tutorial for?

This is an online self-study tutorial geared towards research scholars and early career researchers who (a) work in social science and health disciplines, and (b) would like to develop strong fundamentals in carrying out research.

There is no cost to participate in this tutorial. It is offered as an open educational resource by INASP.

What will you learn?

At the end of this tutorial, you should be able to:

  • describe the major types of research in social science and health disciplines
  • enumerate some of the common research methods used in social science and health research
  • orient yourself to conduct research in an ethical manner
  • define a problem for your research study
  • explain how to conduct an effective literature review
  • write a research question suitable for your research
  • identify research questions that can be answered using qualitative data and methods
  • select appropriate study designs for qualitative data and research methods
  • name some types of quantitative methods in research
  • explain what kinds of research questions can be answered using quantitative data

Length of the tutorial

This is a self-study tutorial.  You can join any time and stay enrolled in the tutorial for as long as you would like. However, we recommend that you complete the tutorial within 3 weeks of joining.

Topics covered

The tutorial consists of 7 learning resources followed by a quiz.

  1. Types of academic research
  2. Research methods and research methodologies
  3. What is a research question?
  4. Frameworks to guide the creation of a research question
  5. Doing and writing a literature review
  6. What is qualitative data?
  7. What is quantitative data?
Expected time commitment

To get maximum benefit from the tutorial, you should plan to spend about 12 hours going through the learning resources and completing the quiz.

Completion criteria
  1. Going through all the learning resources;
  2. Achieving a passing score on the quiz; and
  3. Completing the feedback survey.

A certificate will be generated automatically for you once you have met the completion criteria. You can download this certificate from the tutorial homepage.

Connectivity required

The learning resources are text-based, so you do not need a high-bandwidth internet connection.


This is a self-study, self-paced tutorial, so there are no deadlines.

Technical support

We are unable to offer technical support for this tutorial. All the information you need to complete the tutorial successfully can be found in the introductory resource at the start of the tutorial.

Is the tutorial compatible with mobile devices?

We recommend that you use a computer for an optimal learning experience. If you do not have a computer, you can use a web browser on your mobile phone or tablet to access this tutorial. However, this tutorial is not compatible with the Moodle Mobile app.

Is there any advice on how to learn online?

This PDF document may be useful to help you prepare to learn online. It also contains answers to frequently asked questions.

Can the learning resources be reused or adapted?

Yes. The learning resources have been developed by INASP and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

**You can enrolment in this tutorial anytime.**

You should first be logged in to this site. Create an account for yourself on this site (if you don't have one) or log in with your existing account. Click the 'Log in' link on the top right hand corner to proceed.

After you've logged in with your account, head to the course enrolment page, in case you're not on that page already. You may want to bookmark the course enrolment page in your browser to get to it easily. You will see a button called 'Enrol me'. Click this button to enrol in the tutorial.