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100 Activities for Teaching Research Methods

100 Activities for Teaching Research Methods

First Edition
Additional resources:

October 2016 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

A sourcebook of exercises, games, scenarios and role plays, this practical, user-friendly guide provides a complete and valuable resource for research methods tutors, teachers and lecturers. 

Developed to complement and enhance existing course materials, the 100 ready-to-use activities encourage innovative and engaging classroom practice in seven areas:

  • finding and using sources of information
  • planning a research project
  • conducting research
  • using and analyzing data
  • disseminating results
  • acting ethically
  • developing deeper research skills.

Each of the activities is divided into a section on tutor notes and student handouts. Tutor notes contain clear guidance about the purpose, level and type of activity, along with a range of discussion notes that signpost key issues and research insights. Important terms, related activities and further reading suggestions are also included.

Not only does the A4 format make the student handouts easy to photocopy, they are also available to download and print directly from the book’s companion website for easy distribution in class.

Activity 1: Distinguishing between Primary and Secondary Sources
Activity 2: Finding and Using Primary Sources
Activity 3: Improving Observation Skills
Activity 4: Assessing Prior Experience and Learning
Activity 5: Reflecting on Your Enquiry Skills
Activity 6: Using the Internet for Background Research
Activity 7: Evaluating Sources
Activity 8: Recognizing Statistics, Facts, Arguments and Opinions
Activity 9: Discovering Questionable Statistics Published Online
Activity 10: Managing Critiques and Reviews
Activity 11: Critiquing Quantitative Research Papers
Activity 12: Critiquing Qualitative Research Papers
Activity 13: Evaluating Science in the Media
Activity 14: Recognizing Media and Political Bias
Activity 15: Recognizing Research(er) Bias
Activity 16: Choosing a Research Topic
Activity 17: Producing Aims and Objectives
Activity 18: Developing a Research Question
Activity 19: Designing a Research Project
Activity 20: Choosing Research Methods
Activity 21: Using Multiple or Mixed Approaches
Activity 22: Knowing About Probability Samples
Activity 23: Knowing About Non-Probability (Purposive) Samples
Activity 24: Choosing Sample Size
Activity 25: Avoiding Sampling Problems
Activity 26: Justifying Your Research Topic
Activity 27: Defending Methodology
Activity 28: Costing a Research Project
Activity 29: Producing and Justifying Your Budget
Activity 30: Producing a Research Proposal
Activity 31: Obtaining Funding
Activity 32: Working Collaboratively With Others
Activity 33: Understanding the Process of Science
Activity 34: Knowing About Real-World Scientific Research
Activity 35: Avoiding Mistakes in Experiments
Activity 36: Undertaking Ethnographic Work
Activity 37: Conducting Interviews
Activity 38: Constructing Questions
Activity 39: Producing an Interview Schedule
Activity 40: Running a Focus Group
Activity 41: Establishing Rapport
Activity 42: Listening to Interviewees
Activity 43: Understanding Group Dynamics
Activity 44: Recording Techniques
Activity 45: Using Observation Techniques
Activity 46: Using Visual Methods
Activity 47: Designing Questionnaires
Activity 48: Administering Questionnaires
Activity 49: Improving Response Rates
Activity 50: Using the Internet as a Tool for Research
Activity 51: Reading Scientific Material
Activity 52: Improving Data Search Techniques
Activity 53: Storing and Using Data
Activity 54: Making Use of Statistics
Activity 55: Choosing Software for Statistical Analysis
Activity 56: Finding and Using Datasets
Activity 57: Analysing Quantitative Data
Activity 58: Operationalizing and Classifying
Activity 59: Ensuring Validity and Reliability in Quantitative Research
Activity 60: Understanding Data Management
Activity 61: Analysing Qualitative Data
Activity 62: Analysing Visual Data
Activity 63: Coding and Categorizing Qualitative Data
Activity 64: Evaluating Qualitative Analyses
Activity 65: Drawing Conclusions from Qualitative Data
Activity 66: Knowing About Data Protection
Activity 67: Presenting to a Lay Audience
Activity 68: Dealing With the Media
Activity 69: Presenting Conference Papers
Activity 70: Writing Journal Papers
Activity 71: Disseminating via Social Media
Activity 72: Publishing Online
Activity 73: Writing an Impact Statement
Activity 75: Planning and Writing a Dissertation
Activity 74: Overcoming Writer's Block
Activity 76: Recognizing Ethical Issues
Activity 77: Understanding Legal Requirements
Activity 78: Avoiding Plagiarism
Activity 79: Producing a Code of Ethics
Activity 80: Understanding Issues of Informed Consent
Activity 81: Treating Participants with Respect
Activity 82: Avoiding Conflict of Interest
Activity 83: Understanding Biased Financial Relationships
Activity 84: Recognizing and Managing the Funding Effect
Activity 85: Knowing about the Ethical Approval Process
Activity 86: Collaborating and Co-Operating Ethically
Activity 87: Conducting Research that Involves Risk
Activity 88: Conducting Research with Vulnerable People
Activity 89: Conducting Research with Children
Activity 90: Knowing About Epistemology and Ontology
Activity 91: Asking Epistemological Questions
Activity 92: Understanding Methodology
Activity 93: Asking Methodological Questions
Activity 94: Locating Epistemological and Methodological Standpoint
Activity 95: Understanding Theoretical Perspective
Activity 96: Reasoning Inductively and Deductively
Activity 97: Recognizing Problems with Reasoning
Activity 98: Hypothesizing and Theorizing
Activity 99: Generating Theory Inductively and Deductively
Activity 100: Identifying Effective Theory

Catherine's book is a fantastic resource for anyone who is teaching research methods in the social sciences. Covering all aspects of the research process, it is packed full of innovative ideas, useful tips, and structured activities for use within the classroom. If you are a tutor, teacher, or lecturer who is looking to provide interesting and engaging content for your students, this book is an absolute 'must have'.

Tom Clark
Sheffield Methods Institute, University of Sheffield

Every university with a Social Science department has to deliver research methods in some capacity, but there is no need for us all to sit in our institutional silos and reinvent the wheel. Dawson provides a huge and varied list of pre-designed activities for methods teachers to draw upon covering the whole research process and an eclectic range of methodological approaches. The activities are pedagogically engaging, comprehensively resourced and provide us with an opportunity to rethink how social science research methods can be taught in a more interactive and engaging way.

Dr Luke Sloan
School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

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