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What are the outcomes of a course designed for English majors that teaches empirical research methods and uses quantitative and qualitative data collection? This question is of particular importance as students majoring in English typically do not engage in empirical research but are accustomed to humanistic inquiry or creative activity. Although there has been considerable research on assessment of outcomes of undergraduate research on STEM students (Lopatto; Seymour, et al), to date, no assessment of outcomes has been done on this population. We--all enrolled in just such a course--approached this research question through mixed methods:

  • Content analysis of the syllabus;
  • Content analysis of anonymized end-of-term reflections written by the students;
  • Survey of students who have successfully completed the course (n=90);
  • Interviews of the two instructors of the course.


Utah State University

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English Language and Literature

Formalized Curiosity: Outcomes of an Empirically-Based Research Methods Course for English Majors