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E-learning in an Undergraduate Course in Research Methods for the Social Sciences: Reflections on Teaching

TitleE-learning in an Undergraduate Course in Research Methods for the Social Sciences: Reflections on Teaching
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsDiana P, Catone M C
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published06/2016
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
KeywordsE-learning, Italian university, knowledge construction, social science methodology

Starting with an overview of the opportunities provided by e-learning in the educational environment, this paper discusses a blended course in social science methodology offered to around 160 students taking the undergraduate Sociology degree at the University of Salerno (Italy). In particular, it provides a reflection on ten challenges of the discipline (e.g. relationship theory and practice, quantitative vs qualitative methods) which emerged during our teaching experience and discusses how they might be addressed by adopting e-learning. To evaluate the impact of the blended course upon the experience of learner, a web survey involving 114 students is carried out. Principally, the survey focuses on the study method and the relationship between information and communication technologies (ICT) and learning. The process that we followed (reflection on the characteristics of the discipline and the needs of students, implementation of the blended course, evaluation) aims to design a valuable teaching path requiring a renewed commitment on the part of university lecturers. In this paper we argue that a blended course improved the educational process in terms of knowledge construction and reflexivity.