22 SES 03 A, Internationalisation in Higher Education
Research methods are a core element of student learning within Master’s level study in education. As individuals make the transition from undergraduate to doctoral study, Master’s degrees have become increasingly important not only in laying the foundation of criticality and a deeper and wider subject knowledge but also in ensuring a basic understanding of research design. As such, research methods modules at Master’s level are extremely important in ensuring a positive and critical grounding in both the theoretical and practical aspects of designing and undertaking primary research. However, it is sometimes the case that research methods modules are perceived as sterile and detached from the main elements of course provision at Master’s level. If research methods are taught in a decontextualized vacuum, it is unlikely that students will see how this links to the other parts of their Master’s programme.
As several recent review contributions highlight (Wagner, 2011; Earley, 2014; Kilburn et al, 2014), there is very little research available which critically assesses the pedagogies which are deployed by lecturers in helping students to make sense of this complex area of study, or which consider the progression of research methods education as students progress from level to level. In Kilburn et al’s review (2014), in a period since 2007,only 24 papers were identified which focus on how teachers facilitate learning in research methods courses. Of this sample, only 10 focused on Master’s level study, and in most cases were reports on specific activity-led interventions such as the use of film clips (Saldana, 2009), or consideration of preferred approaches to research, such as qualitative techniques (DeLyser, 2008). This recent work (Wagner, 2011; Earley, 2014; Kilburn et al, 2014) demonstrates that the understanding which we have concerning research methods pedagogies is often context-specific and small-scale, and overall is patchy and at best incomplete.
If research methods pedagogy is poorly understood, this can be particularly detrimental for groups which are international in nature. There are added issues which need to be considered in international student groups due to the wide diversity of cultural, linguistic and disciplinary backgrounds.
This project used a mixed methods approach across an experimental Master's level research methods module:
1. To understand the learning experiences of a group of MA International Education Master's students within a research methods module
2. To critically assess the use of an experimental approach to a research methods module and the pedagogies which are use therein.
3. To assess the degree to which a 'thick descriptive' mixed and multiple methods approach has utility in fostering critical insights into student learning and course pedagogy within a Master's setting.
DeLyser, D. (2008) ‘Teaching qualitative research.’ Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 32(2), 233-244. Earley, M. (2014) ‘A synthesis of the literature on research methods education.’ Teaching in Higher Education, 19(3), 242-253. Kilburn, D.; Nind, M. & Wiles, R. (2014) ‘Learning as researchers and teachers: the development of a pedagogical culture for social science research methods?’ British Journal of Educational Studies, 62(2), 191-207. Saldana, J. (2009) ‘Popular film as an instructional strategy in qualitative research methods courses.’ Qualitative Inquiry, 15(1), 247-261. Wagner, C.; Garner, M. & Kawulich, B. (2011) ‘The state of the art of teaching research methods in the social sciences: towards a pedagogical culture.’ Studies in Higher Education, 36(1), 75-88. Wood, P. & Butt, G. (2014) 'Exploring the use of complexity theory and action research as frameworks for curriculum change.’ Journal of Curriculum Studies, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00220272.2014.921840#.U6xU47BwaUk
Search the ECER Programme
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.