There are three Methods courses which all social science students are required to take: first Research Methods (RM), then Quantitative Methods (QM), and lastly Integrative Seminar (IS). RM, QM and IS teach students the methods used to conduct social science research. For example, students conduct an actual hands-on research project in RM, learn ways to analyze data in QM, and write a large research paper in IS.
Why all this emphasis on research?
Students planning to go on to university will be reading and writing a lot of research papers. Some will even be conducting their own research. Upon arrival at university, students will be expected to have a basic understanding of research, and those who can critically evaluate
research will have an advantage. Whether or not students plan to go to university, leaving school having learned how to critically evaluate information using the scientific method is a plus. These methods courses teach students skills so they can make better reasoned decisions in their personal and professional lives.
Research Methods is the first of the three methodology courses and is normally taken in the student’s second term of the program. The goal of the course is to apply the scientific approach to the various social science disciplines. Students identify a research problem and follow the steps to select a research method appropriate to the problem, produce a data collection tool, collect, analyze and interpret the data. The culmination of the process is a research report that presents the research steps in the context of a brief literature review of the topic.