Case studies in research methods pedagogy
NCRM is pleased to bring you its series of case studies in research methods pedagogy. The intention with these resources is to shine a light on practice in research methods teaching and learning. By illustrating what it is that methods teachers and trainers do, together with why they do those things, we hope the case studies will stimulate pedagogic reflection. Click on the links below to browse the series.
Teaching computational statistics through active learning
This case draws upon ten hours of observation, field-notes, teaching materials, one teacher and two student interviews, student notes and informal research conversations with students across the sessions. The narrative seeks to demonstrate and situate the detail of a singular teaching approach: active learning. This is done to draw out the teacher’s craft knowledge – the strategies and tactics that make the teaching come alive.
Teaching ethnographic methods through facilitated discussion
This case study draws upon 12 hours of classroom observation, two teacher interviews and observation of one teaching planning session prior to teaching. A video-stimulated focus group engaged teachers and learners together immediately after the second session. Data was also informed by two short student interviews and informal research conversations with students across the sessions. Lastly, exit interviews with the teaching team reflected on the course. Researchers had access to all teaching and evaluation materials, and, with participant consent, learners’ written contributions to sessions. This is done to draw out the teacher’s craft knowledge – the strategies and tactics that make the teaching come alive, as well as understanding learners’ perspectives.
Teaching quantitative design methods through exposition
There are different pedagogical traditions surrounding the teaching of quantitative methods. This case study comprises a detailed account of pedagogy for science-based quantitative methods from an intensive international seasonal school. The case study draws upon one teacher interview, eight hours of classroom observation, written field-notes, teaching materials, two short student interviews and informal research conversations with students across the sessions. In this case, the teacher, who I call Larry, is lecturing on quantitative design within a wider context of hands-on and computational sessions. Here, Larry’s pedagogic approach is one of exposition. However, this nominally didactic teaching – the lecture – is shown to convey rich pedagogical strategies and tactics, particularly in terms of pedagogical rhetoric. The pedagogic hook (and locus) of ‘teaching through data’, a preeminent facet of quantitative teaching, is clearly visible, even at this conceptual and discursive content stage as theory is constantly drawn back to data.