Recommendations for teaching research methods please.
I'm going to be teaching a research methods course this fall to terminal MA students. I'd love to hear suggestions about readings to assign or general tips.
Good things to know:
- The course is a mixed methods course, focusing on cross-cultural research (comparative or researcher from 1 culture studying a different culture).
- It is a seminar with ~12 students.
- The discipline is Communication.
- Fewer than 20% of the students will do a thesis.
- Fewer than 10% of the students will go on to do a PhD (at a different university).
- Most of the students will go on to do policy-type jobs or might be working in policy jobs currently and are doing their MA at night.
- These students may or may not have had any research methods as graduate students or undergrads. I put in the course listing that some quanitative training would be advisable, but I don't know if students will actually adhere to this.
- I am a product of a super-researchy university, so what I learned in my graduate level methods courses is probably way beyond what these students want/need, especially with so few doing theses.
- I've taught undergraduate quantitative research methods before and I plan to base my lectures loosely on that course (although that was a 10 week course and this new one will be 14 weeks), but I'm not going to use an undergraduate textbook for this class.
- I think that I'll use these chapters
(which I know very well) to guide the readings but supplemented with examples.
- I'm thinking that we'll do "what are ways of knowing" "goals of empirical research" for the first 2 weeks. Then 3rd week talk about what cross-cultural means. Then intro to quant 4th week (and read/critique 1 good and 1 bad study), then intro for qual 5th week (again read/critique 1 good and 1 bad study). Then spend weeks 6 and 7 on how one can mix methods, how to evaluate inferences from mixed methods. Then week 8 on how cross-cultural research can benefit from mixed methods (again read/critique 1 good and 1 bad study).
- I think that the main project will then to think of a phenomenon, write up a short (abbreviated lit review) proposal on how one could study it from a quant, then a qual, then integrate and evaluate the findings and we'd spend weeks 9-12 workshopping each other proposals.
The challenge for me, then, is (1) to "bring up" the undergraduate class, but not to the level that I got as a graduate student and (2) make it relevant for the majority that won't do a thesis (I suppose thinking of it as helping them be better consumers of empirical research?)
Suggested readings, assignments, pace, and ways of thinking about this (and working with terminal MA students) would be welcome!