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Publication Date

Fall 2020

Abstract

Teachers of undergraduate research methods classes may struggle at times to keep their courses engaging and to have students view the material as relevant to the occupations they will soon enter. This article discusses a content analysis assignment and how it offers a way for students to demonstrate critical thinking and acquire data analysis skills. Through the use of multiple high-impact learning practices, the assignment requires students, individually or in a group, to identify data appropriate for content analysis and then, with faculty guidance, develop research questions, manage the data, conceptualize and operationalize themes, perform content analysis, draw conclusions from the data, and assess the validity and reliability of their work. We discuss the benefits and potential pitfalls of the assignment and analyze data (both quantitative and qualitative) derived from student evaluations of their content analysis project.

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