The academic team designing this course work in digital education and digital sociology, so you’ll probably find that some of the examples and discussions might tend towards the interests of these particular disciplines. Nevertheless, the underlying ethos of this course, which is to foreground key conceptual, methodological, and ethical issues and challenges in research, will, we hope, be interesting and relevant to a broad range of disciplines, practitioners, students, and indeed anyone with an interest in the kind of thinking that underpins social research.
They also want to stress the Introduction in Introduction to Social Research Methods.
This course is designed primarily for those new to academic ways of approaching research methods. If you are a student pursuing research, this course will hopefully be a good opening to the field of social research methods, but it certainly won’t be easy, and nor will it provide you with everything you need. It should serve as a way of identifying specific areas that you’ll want to examine further. If you are an established researcher or academic, we welcome you! However, bear in mind that much of the approach in this course will be directed towards ‘first steps’ in research. You will likely have different perspectives on methods from those portrayed in the course materials, and the most productive way of contributing will be to encourage constructive discussion, particularly for those new to social research.
Finally, and very importantly, this course will have many more materials, resources, and activities than you can realistically engage with in the suggest time commitment. This course has not been designed for you to step through each section in a linear fashion. Rather, you are encouraged to choose your own path; decide which topics to focus on, choose readings and materials that interest you, and engage in activities that you feel will be personally beneficial. Each section provides guidance for how you can work through the materials, but, ultimately, the choice is yours.