Title

Student Attitudes Toward Research in an Undergraduate Social Science Research Methods Course

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Higher Education Pedagogies

Volume

7

Issue

1

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Publication Date

5-5-2022

First Page

20

Last Page

36

Abstract

This study used a mixed-methods longitudinal design to investigate change in students’ understanding, attitudes, anxiety, perceptions of relevance, and disinterest in a required social science undergraduate research methods course across a semester. Participants were 78 undergraduates (94% women, 6% men; 92% white non-Hispanic/Latinx, M age = 25.62, SD = 7.17) at a university in the United States. Results suggest that participant attitudes toward and perceptions of research methods shifted over the course of the semester. Overall, anxiety decreased, while positive attitudes increased. However, initial perceptions and changes in perceptions varied among the three course sections. Over time, students largely recognized the course’s relevance and conveyed positive attitudes toward research and their success in overcoming the challenge of completing the course. Implications for pedagogy include the need for continued assessment of learners, development of students’ self-concept as researchers, teaching of research as a process, and connection to application.

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