Since 1993, I have been teaching courses that focus on the scientific research method, measurement and data analysis to graduate students at the College of Communication (COM). My pedagogical approach can be summarized by four principles: 1. Provide a context that is relevant to COM students for justifying the need to learn and apply the method of science; 2. Always connect the new information that I am imparting about the method of science to preexisting general knowledge with which COM students are familiar and are comfortable; 3. Not compromise on the rigor of the scientific methods being explained but rather find simple ways of explaining complex concepts; and 4. Provide relevant opportunities for COM students to repeatedly apply the principles of the method of science and arrive at tangible results.
Students enrolled in the introductory class in research methods that I teach begin realizing the tangible value of learning the method of science by midterm. By the end of semester, most are in disbelief that they were able to grasp and apply the methodological and statistical concepts that they initially believed were far beyond their capacity. As a result of taking this introductory class, many students choose to take the advanced research methods courses that I offer as their electives. Some students even decide to alter their educational plan so that their concentration becomes Applied Communication Research knowns as Marketing Communication Research beginning in Fall 2016.
My approach to teaching has resulted in consistently positive teaching evaluations by a vast majority of students who take my classes. While this is certainly reassuring, what is even a greater source of satisfaction to me is that the alumni, long after they graduate, still value the impact that my teaching has had on their knowledge and on their careers.