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ERIC Number: EJ816957
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1172
Factors Changing Attitudes of Graduate School Students toward an Introductory Research Methodology Course
Lei, Simon A.
Education, v128 n4 p667-685 Sum 2008
Some students at the master-level viewed research methodology courses negatively. This study investigated six factors that changed attitudes of graduate school students toward research during the course of a semester at a mid-sized university (University X) located in a western state. To facilitate this study, a survey instrument (Student Research Assessment Survey) was developed and disseminated to 217 students who had successfully completed an introductory research methodology course from fall 2005 through spring 2007 semesters. In terms of students' preferred course format, class discussion, group work/activity, and instructional videos were significantly more enjoyable to master-level students compared to oral presentations, in-class quizzes and exams. Among various research self-efficacy items, students were most confident in using computers, creating graphs, and writing library research papers, and these three items did not differ significantly from the beginning to the end of a semester. Consequently, students' attitudes toward these three self-efficacy items did not improve significantly due to ceiling effect. Over a 16-week semester, students' research interest, usefulness, self-efficacy and their view of the training environment increased significantly, while their research anxiety and task difficulty decreased significantly. These six factors of changing of students attitudes toward research were significantly correlated with each other. In order to better serve the needs of students in the near future, five recommendations were made based on results of this study at University X. These recommendations were constructing a common syllabus among course sections, utilizing a variety of teaching and assessment techniques, becoming aware of students' attitudes toward research activities throughout a semester, using primary literature as a major part of teaching tools, as well as engaging students in research projects under the direction of a faculty mentor, and applying research knowledge and skills to real-life situations. (Contains 8 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A