Student perspectives on learning research methods in the social sciences

Nind, M, Holmes, M, Insenga, M, Lewthwaite, S and Sutton, C (2020) 'Student perspectives on learning research methods in the social sciences.' Teaching in Higher Education, 25 (7). pp. 797-811. ISSN 1356-2517

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This paper addresses the perspectives of students of social science research methods from a UK study of their holistic experience of learning during two years of their postgraduate research training/ early careers as researchers. Unusually the ten participants span diverse institutions and disciplines and three became co-authors. The study used a diary circle combining online diary method with face-to-face focus groups to generate dialogue. Data were analysed narratively and thematically to produce two individual learning journeys and a synthesis of common experiences. Findings show the active, experiential learning of the participants alongside salient themes of difficulty and struggle. This leads to discussion of the emotional dimensions of methods learning and implications for teaching. The iterative role of the diary circle in the learning journey is also examined. The paper argues that teachers and supervisors should attend more carefully to the social, emotional, active and reflective nature of methods learning.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: research methods learning, research methods teaching, diary method, active learning, experiential learning
Divisions: School of Sciences
Research Centres and Groups: Psychology Research Centre for Health and Cognition
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Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2020 11:10
Last Modified: 17 May 2022 16:31
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