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Online Lessons

Methods in Context: Tackling the Paper 1 MIC Question (Online Lesson)

  • Levels: A Level
  • Exam boards: AQA

In this online lesson students are guided through the process of how to tackle the methods in context question on Paper 1 of the AQA A level Specification.

What you'll study in this online lesson

  • How to approach the methods in context question in Paper 1 (AQA A-Level Sociology)
  • The strengths and limitations of unstructured interviews to investigate identify formation in schools

How to use this lesson

Follow the sequence of activities below. Some are interactive game-based activities, designed to test your understanding, analysis and evaluation of research methods. Most are based on short videos, that include activities for you to think about and try at home.

If you would like to download a simple PDF worksheet to accompany the video activities, you can download it here. You can print it off and annotate it for your own notes, or make your own notes on a separate piece of paper to add to your school/college file.

Activity 1:

This video introduces you to a methods-in-context style question. You will be asked to pause the video to answer questions at different intervals

Decoding the question

Activity 2:

This video looks at the issue of identity formation in schools and students will be asked to recall ways in which schools shape student identity


Understanding the topic

Activity 3:

This video looks at unstructured interviews. Students will be asked to recall some of the strengths and limitations of unstructured interviews


Research method

Activity 4:

Connection Wall activity. Students need to group the responses on the screen into 4 different categories

Activity 5:

This examines the characteristics of teachers and pupils. Students will be required to apply their knowledge of research to identify different types of pupil that might be interviewed and how teachers may react to being interviewed.

Characteristics of research participants

Activity 6:

Connection Wall activity. Students will need to sort the responses into 4 different categories based upon educational research into pupils.

Activity 7:

This video demonstrates how to bring together the skills learnt in the first 4 videos and be able to compose and improve responses to a methods-in-context style question

Writing higher band responses

Activity 8:

Attempt this marking activity.

Further information:

Watch the following tutor2u topic videos about methods in context:

Additional Teacher Guidance

This online lesson includes:

25 minutes in total of guided video

20 to 25 minutes (throughout the videos) of "thinking time" and short activities

2 interactive games

A marking activity. You can find the answers to that here.

Some links for extension work

If students complete all tasks fully, this is around one and a half hours work.

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