Every school I’ve been to since starting graduate school, I’ve been the instructor for research methods lab. It’s done a little differently at every place but generally functions with the same end goal in mind: give students experience with data collection (and maybe analysis) and writing a full APA style research report.
At my current institution, here are the main things we do.
When it comes time for data collection, I create a simple survey-based experiment that the students can have their friends or acquaintances complete to fulfill their data collection requirement.
This coming fall semester will be my fourth time teaching this class at WPU, and periodically I’ve had students who need to retake the class. When this happens, I don’t like to use the same experiment as the prior semester. Over the past couple years, I’ve developed 2 different experiments that I can easily swap out whenever I need to. When creating these experiments, I tried to think of topics that students would think are interesting and/or relevant. So far, I’ve developed studies on tattoo stigma and racial stigma. I’m thinking I’ll develop at least one more in the future.
Click here for the study materials if you’re interested in using them. If you have ideas on how to improve them, I’m all ears!
What all do you do in your research methods lab? What experiments do you have students conduct? If you want to swap ideas, I’d love to chat!
written by Jen Blush