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Online Lessons

Methods in Context: Researching Cultural Factors (Online Lesson)


Last updated 17 Aug 2021

In this online lesson students are again taken through the process of how to tackle the methods in context question on Paper 1 of the AQA A level Specification, applying skills gained from the last lesson to a different method and context. Students examine the process of decoding the question, mining the item for hints and applying their knowledge of educational research and research methods, this time to the use of self-completion questionnaires to investigate pupils' cultural backgrounds.

What you will study in this lesson

  • How to approach a different methods in context question
  • The strengths and limitations of self-completion questionnaires to investigate pupils' cultural backgrounds

How to use this lesson

Follow along in order of the activities shown 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 new 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 pupils' cultural backgrounds and students will be asked to recall ways in which pupils' cultural backgrounds differ.

Understanding the research topic

Activity 3

This video looks at self-completion questionnaires. Students will be asked to recall some of the strengths and limitations of self-completion questionnaires.

Strengths & limitations of the research method

Activity 4

"Match up game" – students must match some of the issues with using self-completion questionnaires to some elaboration of the issue.

Activity 5

This video examines the characteristics of parents and pupils. Students will be required to apply their knowledge of research to identify different types of pupil and parents that might be asked to complete questionnaires.

Characteristics of research participants

Activity 6

Multiple choice quiz about research participants.

Activity 7

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

Writing higher band responses

Extension activities

Links to relevant topic videos:

Marking activity – students have to allocate a band to a range of statements that form a model essay. Download this activity here.

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 - you could ask your students to submit their score to you for Activity 6

Some links for extension work

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

Additional teachers' notes

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