TLO5, 6 & 11 are sharing the same resources.
What students need to know and do
These three Threshold Learning Outcomes are important, but they are best introduced to students in a basic way at first year level, saving more in-depth discussion until second and third year level. At first-year, it is enough for students to learn the basic building block skills of research without being required to do research themselves. The key analytic tools for the first year are developing understanding the difference between qualitative and quantitative research, and the idea of dependent and independent variables.
What are the student barriers to learning?
Students may find research design and methods technical and demanding and may not understand their use and relevance in the real world.
Our teaching strategies
There is some debate among Political Science academics as to whether these TLOs can be developed from first year. If introduced they need to be part of a scaffolded approach to building their skills in preparation for the advanced years.
First years should be able to find and recognize good quality research. Students can be asked to select a research article, summarise it, assess its structure (for qualitative quantitative or mixed methodologies) and evaluate it in terms of its structure, authority, currency, relevance and accuracy. They should learn how to synthesise research and avoid plagiarism.
Lecturers can show them how pervasive research is about political issues and how it is reported (for example, documentaries, shock jocks, etc). Provide examples of ethical and non-ethical research and ask them to evaluate it.
Students can start to learn some simple analysis of data, for example, introduce a topic and provide data from a government source. Ask students what data tell us about the topic.