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ESRA Call for Papers: Teaching and learning survey research methods

We are convening a session at the forthcoming European Survey Research Association (ESRA) 2017 conference. We are inviting abstracts (of up to 500 words) for individual papers on the topic of “The teaching and learning of survey research methods: developing pedagogy”. The call for papers follows below. The deadline for submission is 4th December 2016. If you have any questions regarding the topic, please get in touch with Sarah Lewthwaite. We encourage you to consider making a submission.

Call for Papers: The teaching and learning of survey research methods: developing pedagogy.

Convenor: Ms Debbie Collins (University of Southampton)
Coordinator 1: Dr Sarah Lewthwaite (University of Southampton)
Coordinator 2: Prof. Melanie Nind (University of Southampton)

The teaching and learning of social research methods (SRM) plays an important role in developing capacity and ensuring that social scientists continue to possess the knowledge, skills and expertise to explore and address complex issues. Yet SRM teaching and learning is challenging: the subject matter is often difficult and students have to learn to engage in sophisticated decision-making, such as being able to weigh up the pros and cons of particular methods, techniques and designs (Kilburn et al, 2014). Teaching and learning can take place in different settings but is generally facilitated by more experienced research practitioners who pass on knowledge, share skills and induct team members in the usage of different survey research methods. Yet this training and capacity building is frequently a taken-for-granted element, receiving scant attention or left to trial and error (Earley, 2014). The aim of this session is to, as Garner et al (2009) propose, promote and develop a pedagogic culture in which ‘the exchange of ideas’ can take place, to deepen understanding of methods teaching and learning. We welcome papers from those engaged in the teaching and learning of social research methods or in pedagogic research on its teaching and learning. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following.

  • Principles and approaches that guide and inform your teaching and learning of research methods, and the strategies and tasks that you use
  • Effectiveness and value of different tasks and strategies in facilitating SRM teaching and learning
  • Demonstrating ways in which digital technology can support and or enhance SRM teaching and learning
  • Whether MOOCs or other online SRM courses require a different pedagogical approach and if so what this looks like


Earley, M. (2014). A synthesis of the literature on research methods education. Teaching in Higher Education, 19, 242–253.

Garner, M., Wagner, C. and Kawulich, B. eds., (2009). Teaching research methods in the social sciences. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. P2.

Kilburn, D., Nind, M., & Wiles, R. (2014). Learning as researchers and teachers: The development of a pedagogical culture for social science research methods? British Journal of Educational Studies, 62, 191–207.

Key Dates:

Closing date for abstractions: 4th December 2016.

ESRA conference,  Lisbon, Portugal: 17th-21st July, 2017.