Activating the Research Methods Curriculum: A Blended Flipped Classroom
by Natascha van der Zwan and Alexandre Afonso, Leiden University
The blended flipped classroom is a partially online, partially offline course to teach social science research methods. Online, students watch video lectures, do readings, and complete short exercises to acquire basic knowledge of research methodologies and academic skills. Being set up modularly, the online environment offers flexibility regarding not only when to study but also whatto study: students choose the methods they find useful for their thesis project. They then apply these methods and skills in a series of face-to-face workshops, which incorporate several forms of active learning, such as small-group work, mini-games, and in-class writing. Although more demanding than a traditional lecture course, the blended flipped classroom has had a positive effect on student performance in the research methods course as well as in subsequent thesis projects.