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Research and research methods courses are an integral part of undergraduate and graduate curricula across science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM disciplines. However, research methods courses can be daunting and challenging for students because of the complex content and the students’ perceived fears of mastering practical skills and apply the learnt content in practice.1 2 Many students also find research methods content dreary, uninteresting, anxiety-provoking and irrelevant.3 4 Educators also encounter challenges in effectively teaching research methods due to diversity in methodological content, fragmented expertise, lack of consistent curricula, unavailability of resources to support research teaching and linguistic difficulties in understanding jargon-laden research language.5 6 In this paper, we outline some strategies that can be valuable for educators to effectively teach research and research methods at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Implementing inquiry-based learning
Inquiry-based learning is an active process of discovering new knowledge and relationships among distinct concepts by exploring and observing a given phenomenon, dividing the learning content into practical and meaningful units, and active problem solving.7 Implementing inquiry-based learning can increase students’ curiosity to learn the content they find more interesting and initiate their own learning.7 8 Educators can assist students in navigating through their curiosities and offer supportive tools and research assignments to facilitate learning. The useful teaching and learning tools could include student-selected case studies and published research articles, …
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.