Journal of Social Sciences

Towards a Theory and View of Teaching Compressed and Abbreviated Research Methodology and Statistics Courses

James Carifio and Lisa Erikson

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2007.250.259

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 3, Issue 4

Pages 250-259


One of the highly questionable effects of educational reform and other curriculum reshaping factors at both the high school, post-secondary and graduate levels has been the shift to teaching compressed, pared-down or abbreviated courses in still needed or required subject-matter that became de-emphasized in the current educational reformation. Research methodology, particularly the highly quantitative and experimental kind and statistics, are two still needed to some degree subject matters that has been especially affected by this demotion and compression movement at the pre-service, in-service, professional development, undergraduate, continuing education and graduate levels, even though the professional areas of education, science, business, politics and most other areas (including history) have become far more quantitative and objective research oriented than in the past. Until there are more enlightened policy shifts, effective means of teaching such compressed courses need to be devised and tested, if only to lessen the negative outcomes of such critical courses. This article, therefore, analyzes compressed courses from the point of view of cognitive learning and then describes 5 methods and approaches that were tested to improve the effectiveness of research methodology and statistics courses taught in these formats. Each of the formats helped to reduce student stress and anxiety about the content and its compressed presentation and improved understanding and achievement. The theory and view developed in this article is also applicable to similar compressed courses for scientific and/or technical content which are currently prevalent in allied health and biotechnology areas.


© 2007 James Carifio and Lisa Erikson. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.