ERIC Number: ED389374
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Research on Trial: A Pedagogy for Research Methods Instruction.
Britt, Michael A.
The Research on Trial technique is designed to enable students to think critically about psychological research, to help them apply what they have learned in class in an in-depth way to this research, and to create a classroom environment in which research issues are debated. The technique employs a courtroom trial role-play, with students assigned to either defend or "prosecute" a published research article. In the trial, four students serve as defense lawyers for the article and another four as the prosecution, while the teacher acts as judge, ensuring fair proceedings. The teacher also provides the jury with guidelines on deciding the outcome of the trial, encouraging them to focus on the internal validity of the study's methodology and conclusions and the external validity or the study's applicability to other populations. A fall 1994 evaluation of student participants' perceptions of the technique indicated that students were generally positive about the experience, although there were reports of some group members contributing more than others and of confusion on the part of the jury. Areas that need to be addressed with the technique include dealing with interpersonal tensions that may arise between the role-playing students and providing clear instructions to the jury. Graphs of reponses from the student evaluation of the technique are appended. (BCY)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Teaching of Psychology: Ideas and Innovations. Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Undergraduate Teaching of Psychology (9th, Ellenville, NY, March 22-24, 1995); see JC 960 009.