Potential Potholes: Predicting Challenges and Learning Outcomes in Research Methods in Psychology Courses

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alan Chu, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Identifying impediments to learning can help both instructors and students. In this study students (N = 222) from across the nation listed concepts from research methods they found the most challenging—“potholes” or impediments to learning, and also rated the difficulty of various concepts from the class. We also measured student attitudes and perceptions of the course. Our results showed validity is one of the hardest concepts for students to understand in RM. Not surprisingly, within a list of concepts in research methods, students tend to be tripped up by terms of similar grouping. Perceptions of a research methods course was strongly related to the students’ attitudes and canonical correlation analysis revealed several important findings from our data set. For example, we found that when students perceive more value, expectancy for success, cognitive strategies, and resources management strategies, they are less likely to be challenged by the concepts of samples and variables and threats to internal validity. Our findings provide a clear map of student potholes in research methods courses and suggest ways to change student attitudes about the same.

Additional Information

Teaching of Psychology, 49(1)
Language: English
Date: 2020
research methods, psychology, curriculum, undergraduate training

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