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Research Methods Teaching: Effective Learning Through a Discipline Embedded Approach UALTC , January 2010. Cristina Leston-Bandeira Department of Politics and International Studies. Contents. Methods and Politics Approaches to teaching methods in politics

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Cristina Leston-Bandeira Department of Politics and International Studies

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Cristina leston bandeira department of politics and international studies

Research Methods Teaching: Effective Learning Through a Discipline Embedded ApproachUALTC, January 2010

Cristina Leston-Bandeira

Department of Politics and International Studies


Contents

Contents

  • Methods and Politics

  • Approaches to teaching methods in politics

  • Context for new provision in methods

  • Engaging students

  • Outcomes

  • Challenges


Methods and politics

Methods and Politics

  • Very strong divide: Quantsvs Qualitative

  • Strong differentiation of those who can

  • Roberts agenda / ESRC investment

  • 2007 international benchmarking

  • Politics students’ characteristics


Approaches to teaching methods in politics

Approaches to teaching methods in politics

  • Compulsory in only third of Departments

  • Main focus: method, quantitative

  • Differentiated from politics

  • Difficult to teach, not engaging


Context for new provision in methods

Context for new provision in methods

  • Standardisation of programmes structure

  • Need for provision in methods, but how?

  • What for? Sophisticated use of quants or development of research skills?

  • Second year compulsory module

  • Focused on the research process

  • Long-thin

  • Blended teaching

  • Integration with discipline


Paths of research in politics

Paths of Research in Politics

  • A means to develop their interests in politics

  • Choice, definition and implementation

  • Research Proposal (20%) + Research Report (80%)

  • Cater for individual topics

  • Individual support

  • Variety of methodologies


Paths of research in politics1

Paths of Research in Politics

  • VLE: at the centre

  • Lectures: preparatory tasks with associated activity

  • Workshops

  • Multiple handouts

    • The Ethics Issues

    • The Rough Guides


Engaging students

Engaging students

  • Workshops

    • Essential

    • Individual support

    • Browsing through past work

  • Blogger

    • For diary logs

    • Reflective Statement

  • Wikifor reliable weblinks

  • Defining Research Question

    • Through Forums

  • Lecture tasks

    • Linked to their research interest

    • Basis for activity in lecture

  • FAQs in Forum

    • Continuity of support

    • Meeting diversity of research styles


Outcomes

Outcomes

  • Innovative, varied and excellent research projects

    • Effect of Margaret Thatcher on Popular Culture

    • Does Blair answer the question?

    • The development of the Burmese movement for democracy

    • Why were Obama’s speeches so inspirational?

  • Very good feedback (GPA= 3.30)


Cristina leston bandeira department of politics and international studies

  • “Interesting module - refreshing to have a module in which I can have independence to do my own work.”

  • “The mini tasks set for each lecture were useful in increasing my understanding of various aspects of research and motivation to do the module.”’

  • “The activities were interesting in the lectures.”

  • “Workshop style structure was very useful.”

  • “Doing research on my own was different and very interesting. I really feel I have learnt a lot of new things which will help me with the rest of my degree and the help and support has been fantastic.”


Outcomes1

Outcomes

  • Many of the topics and/or methods further developed at dissertation and/or placement projects

  • Model replicated in new research based modules


Challenges

Challenges

  • To deal with 70+ different topics

  • Time! Ideally, 20 students per tutor

  • Keep continuity of contact through VLE

  • Keep setting targets and chasing progress


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Paths works because it engages students in the process of doing research

  • Development of research skills led by interest in politics

  • Acquisition of research skills which can be further developed into any methodological style

  • Blended learning approach: key


Any questions

- Thank you

Any questions?


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