Digital Pedagogical Tool for Teaching Research Methods

Teresa Ober, Educational Psychology

Screenshot of the Manuscript Builder online tool.

This project aims to develop a computer application currently named “Manuscript Builder” to be used for teaching students how to design sound research outlines. Ultimately, the project’s mission is to promote knowledge of sound research methodology in psychology and the social sciences. The computer application may be used as an instructional resource across a variety of courses, including but not limited to courses in research methods in psychology, statistics, and the behavioral and social sciences more broadly speaking. Often confronted with a sense of challenge and confusion, many students do not embrace the scientific and computational aspects of psychology, instead opting to select courses that are heavy in teaching content which require them to absorb findings from previous research. While learning such content can be beneficial in stimulating interest in certain topic areas, it is also important to consider the necessity of teaching students more practical applications from within the field of psychology. The proposed project aims to develop a tool that can be used to incorporate students’ original concept for a research project, into a structured research design with suggestions for analyzing the data for the study is intended to be conducted. Since the computer application can be used iteratively, it allows students to create multiple possible designs, examining the flaws contained in each, and to receive immediate feedback about issues they may face when selecting a design to address their research questions and hypotheses. The site is currently under construction, but the current work can be found here: .