Research Methods

Writing a Research Question

Writing a clear and measurable research question is a task that demands a lot of skill. The video shared below, encourages students to spend time researching a topic area before beginning to think about formulating a research question and then considers what makes a ‘good’ research question. One helpful point included is the reference to ‘researching, not searching’ so that students begin to understand this isn’t just googling a topic! An activity which can develop from this is asking students to create ‘weak’ and ‘good’ research questions. Can they operationalise relevant content in their questions, like the example in the video? This information could be presented in a table and shared using paired groups.

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The nature of statistics

The video below, borrowed from Psychology, considers statistics that claim social media and general mobile phone usage are ‘bad’ for young people. Key terms include ‘statistical significance’, ‘effect size’ and ‘correlation coefficient’. It does get a little technical in places, but the overall message is clear and will be valuable for students. After watching the video, students could investigate examples of research into mobile phones and/or social media and try to ascertain how meaningful the results really are. This task links in with media topics as it’s encouraging students to go beyond some of the sensationalist headline claims about these topics.


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