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The Importance of Teaching Research Methods to Undergrads
Unformatted Document Text:  presidential and parliamentary systems, or using neorealism to explain the US’s response to 9/11. It’s about learning to think differently. It requires practice and it comes with experience. 8. It’s all about logic! It turns out no significant difference is seen between different genders, ages, race/ethnicity in determining how difficult the class is for the students. Traditional demographics or even preferences for maths & sciences over the arts & humanities do not appear to have an effect. The one factor that does appear to play a role is student confidence in their logic skills. The greater confidence students felt in their skills in logic, the less likely they were to find the course difficult. Furthermore, the greater confidence they had in their logic skills, the better they felt they were performing in the class compared to their peers. Confidence in math or writing abilities had no effect. 4 Although these findings are based primarily on student perception, they suggest that the course actually relies more heavily on logic skills than math skills. If we can show the students that the class is more about logic than math (kind of like Sudoku!), perhaps they will be less afraid of it. Moreover, for students who feel less comfortable dealing with logical analysis, a Methods course would be a great opportunity to help them develop their logic skills. Conclusion So what can we conclude from all of this? I would argue that we can increase the effectiveness of Methods course by finding ways to increase their practical utility for the students. One way would be to show them how logical analysis relates to other courses. Another way would include showing them how it benefits them in what they will be doing later in life. This can be accomplished by giving them plenty of time and space to engage with the material. 12

Authors: Gjestland, Jade-Celene.
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presidential and parliamentary systems, or using neorealism to explain the US’s response to 9/11.
It’s about learning to think differently. It requires practice and it comes with experience.
8. It’s all about logic!
It turns out no significant difference is seen between different genders, ages,
race/ethnicity in determining how difficult the class is for the students. Traditional demographics
or even preferences for maths & sciences over the arts & humanities do not appear to have an
effect. The one factor that does appear to play a role is student confidence in their logic skills.
The greater confidence students felt in their skills in logic, the less likely they were to find the
course difficult. Furthermore, the greater confidence they had in their logic skills, the better they
felt they were performing in the class compared to their peers. Confidence in math or writing
abilities had no effect.
Although these findings are based primarily on student perception, they
suggest that the course actually relies more heavily on logic skills than math skills. If we can
show the students that the class is more about logic than math (kind of like Sudoku!), perhaps
they will be less afraid of it. Moreover, for students who feel less comfortable dealing with
logical analysis, a Methods course would be a great opportunity to help them develop their logic
skills.
Conclusion
So what can we conclude from all of this? I would argue that we can increase the
effectiveness of Methods course by finding ways to increase their practical utility for the
students. One way would be to show them how logical analysis relates to other courses. Another
way would include showing them how it benefits them in what they will be doing later in life.
This can be accomplished by giving them plenty of time and space to engage with the material.
12


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