Teaching Research through Critical Analysis Using "good" and "bad" Research

Anne Pitsch Santiago University of Portland
One of the hardest undergraduate courses to teach is research methods. Dozens of books try to break down the research process but reading about how to conduct research can often be rather boring and abstract. Students learn research best by engaging in the process of research themselves. Instead of using a conventional research methods book that tends to be dense and often leans heavily towards quantitative analysis, I have developed a course that focuses on linking methodology to theory, critically analyzing and breaking down existing research from various sources that is both excellent and lacking, and working through small tasks in class in order to introduce students to the research process. This paper explains my teaching process, the challenges I have faced over time and the resulting changes I’ve made to the curriculum, and evaluating student performance. I also explore next steps for our department.