Resource 

Fact Detective

Abstract:

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Many, if not most, sociology majors do not attend graduate or professional school after graduation (Spalter-Roth et al. 2010). Further, most sociology graduates find themselves in occupations largely unrelated to sociology (Spalter-Roth et al. 2010). As such, sociology majors are an important conduit for the spread of the sociological imagination and sociological toolkit in society. Fife (2008) contends that the many corporations are not simply consumers of information, but are the producers of information in a big data society. As such, the research methods course becomes an important nexus for the development of the skills sociology graduates will take with them into various occupational settings after graduation, many of which are non-sociological in their orientation. Schutt and colleagues (1984) suggest that research methods cannot be a series of well-devise laboratory exercises; rather, research methods courses should require students to complete a total research project for them to best develop an appreciation for the process, pitfalls, and nuances of research. Beyond completing a research project, students should also come away from research methods courses with a working understanding of the tools in a social scientists’ methodological toolkit as well as an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the various methodologies. The assignment presents students with the opportunity to trace down the original research reported by a mainstream news outlet. In my experience teaching research methods, students are entirely unfamiliar with the idea or existence of scholarly research. The assignment allows students the opportunity...

Details:

Resource Type(s):
Assignment 
Author(s):
Allison K Wisecup, Radford University 
Date Published:
9/11/2014 
Subject Area:
Research Methods 
Class Level:
College 300 
Class Size:
Small 
Language:
English 


Usage Notes:

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I teach the course in a once a week meeting that lasts nearly three hours (approximately 15 students), so it may be necessary to augment the assignment to fit other class lengths and sizes. It may also be useful to provide students with an example of strategies for finding...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

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Goal 1:
1.Locate and retrieve scholarly research articles.2.Identify the research method employed in scholarly research.3.Identify the research question in a scholarly article.4.Identify the conclusions drawn by researchers vis-à-vis the research question.
Assessment 1:
1) Assess the first learning goal by having students submit copies of each of the scholarly articles to an electronic portal or class website.2) Assess the second learning goal by using the assignment sheet and the associated rubric.
Assessment 2:
3) Assess the third learning goal by using the assignment sheet and the associated rubric.4) Assess the final learning goal by using the assignment sheet and the associate rubric.

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