Making Research Fun: How to Incorporate Research into your Course Without Scaring Students

Jason Grindstaff, Cumberland University, USA

Theme: Teaching sport and exercise psychology

Program ID: SYM-16

Presentation: October 4, 2013 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Room: Oak Alley


Students in many of the social sciences often dread and resent being required to read research and take courses that address content related to research methods and statistics (Coleman & Contrad, 2007; Lalayants, 2012). For many of these students this apathy and/or anxiety stems from limited math-efficacy and the belief that research and/or understanding statistical concepts will have limited application over the course of their career. For another group of students the belief that research will be important for their future professions can increase anxiety while taking research methods and statistics courses (Papanastasiou & Zembylas, 2008). Other scholars have explored ways to engage students, reduce anxiety, and re-frame their perceptions of research methods and statistics courses by providing opportunities for group research (Campisi & Finn, 2011), educational scaffolding through online instructional activities (Hudson, Owen, van Veen, 2006), and providing clear and easy to understand research examples from the students’ area of specialization (Lalyants, 2012). This symposium will provide attendees with examples of how experienced instructors have structured classroom activities and lesson plans to encourage students to have an open discussion regarding research. These instructors have used these activities and lessons to help students connect with research methods and statistical concepts in a fun and engaging manner while at the same time enhancing their efficacy and belief that they can become lifelong consumers of research.

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