From Research Methods to Methodical Researcher: Making Use of the Student Voice Towards a More Comprehensive Module Evaluation

Michael Hast

Abstract


It is not uncommon for undergraduate students to feel aversion towards research methods teaching. This does not change the fact that research methods play a key role in their education. Targeting module design is imperative to ensure success. However, end-of-module student evaluations may provide a false sense of security regarding satisfaction and learnt knowledge. In order to approach module design more effectively it may instead be necessary to view module evaluations from a delayed perspective. The present study addressed student perceptions of a second year social science research methods module and the related final year dissertation module, thereby offering two perspectives on research methods. Both pre- and post-dissertation students participated in a survey evaluating their theoretical and practical knowledge as well as issues surrounding confidence in carrying out independent research. The key findings demonstrate that end-of-module evaluations do appear to give good insight into research methods teaching but that post-dissertation students provided critical input that could not be gained from end-of-module evaluations alone. As a whole, the findings demonstrate that making more comprehensive use of different student perspectives may be essential to ensuring appropriate teaching design and, as a result, student satisfaction and success as independent researchers.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jet.v2i1.6479

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