Art and Design Research Methodologies – ARTS 780

CG • Section • 11/10/2019 to 04/18/2020 • Modified 01/26/2022

Course Description

Students define the thesis or portfolio “problem” and conduct research through a variety of methods in order to envision the end state and how it may be achieved.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


In order to make meaningful contributions professionally, graduate students need to learn to ask the right questions in order to identify problems and need to learn how to conduct research in order to solve these problems.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (7)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge and be supported by at least 1 citation in current MLA format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 1 other classmate’s threads. The reply must be 150 words and supported with at least 1 citation in current MLA format.

Topic Ideation Assignment

Thinking broadly and categorically, the student will choose 3 fields of research. The student will write 300 words that describe their chosen fields.

Refined Topic Selection Assignment

Based on your reading, the student will explain why/how their topic is sticking and viable in at least 300+ words.

Defining the Problem and Purpose Assignment

The student will write a brief research statement, a clearly articulated paragraph(s) explaining the single goal of the total research effort.

Research Source Survey Assignments (2)

Preliminary - The student will gather and analyze 10 of 20 sources required by the Literature Review.

Final - The student will gather an additional 10 sources and analyze them for the Literature Review.

Literature Review Assignment

The student will write a Literature Review using the 20 sources surveyed previously to establish a comprehensive understanding of the chosen topic.

Thesis Proposal Documents Assignments (3)

Using InDesign, the student will draft a 7-10-page proposal of the research to be conducted throughout the thesis to be reviewed and accepted by the thesis committee. Two drafts will be required before the final. 

Additional Research Methods Assignment

The student will write and design additional research methods that will be implemented to fill the knowledge gap.

Case Study and Visual Analysis Assignments (3)

Case studies and visual analyses can be conducted and reported in various ways. It is up to the student how they go about conducting the analysis; however, it must be reported in a topical/thematic written report between 600 – 750 words.

Design Brief Assignment

The student will write and design a design brief which outlines the expectations for the art and design portion of his/her thesis projects. This document is the framework that will be taken into part two of the thesis process, the creation of deliverables.

Chapters Introductions and Research Assignments (2)

The student will write the first two chapters of their thesis using InDesign that follows the model in the textbook. The chapters will articulate the project and research conducted during the semester. A draft will be required before the final.