Student exposure to research methods: A case study

Year: 1994

Author: McLean, Barbara

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper will report on the nature and extent to which undergraduate students in a School of Education are provided with opportunities to learn about and to engage in research activities. The study was initiated as a result of discussions arising from the need to produce a Teaching Management Plan and consideration of wider issues relating to Quality Management. One aspect of this is the need to review the different courses and to consider how they relate to each other, and what learning outcomes are intended. The different opportunities which students have to learn about educational research was taken as one focus for the purposes of this paper.

Analysis will be made of the content and assessment activities of core and optional courses as they relate to research, and issues raised with regard to articulation and appropriateness of offering. Questionnaire data will also be presented which will throw light on the extent to which students value particular activities and what they have gained in their understanding of research methods from their undergraduate program.

It is hoped that the experiences reported will form the stimulus for discussion about ways and means of introducing students to educational research and perhaps engaging in such research given very real difficulties such as quality and readability of some published research, barriers to understanding statistics, and access to subjects.