Gibbs, Graham R. (2014) Learning research methods with video. In: HEA Social Sciences Conference, 21 -22 May 2014, the Studio, Birmingham, UK.

Muller et al. (2007) suggest that video used in learning physics too often just presents just the correct explanations and there is no way of telling if the learner has internalised this correct view or has maintained any pre-existing misunderstanding. Their research suggests that people learn physics better from video explanations when first they are presented with incorrect understandings of the phenomena. Can this approach work in the social sciences?

I chose the area of social research methods and in particular depth interviews and survey sampling to test out these ideas. In the interview case, the viewer is presented with a poorly undertaken interview and is asked to find the faults, helped by an outline of good practice and a (later) commentary on the interview. Then an interview exemplifying good practice with commentary follows. In the sampling case, both incorrect explanations by teachers and students’ own attempts at explaining key ideas in sampling are presented first before a model-based explanation of the correct principles is given.

Early evaluation of the interview video suggests that the poor example enables them better to understand the advantages of the examples of good practice in the following interview.

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