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Online Lessons

Quantitative Research Methods (Online Lesson)


Last updated 17 Aug 2021

In this online lesson students are introduced to the strengths and limitations of a number of research methods that tend to produce quantitative data. Several key terms are covered (e.g. reliability, representativeness, sampling frame, pilot study, target population, hard and soft statistics).


  • Which research methods commonly produce quantitative data
  • Strengths and limitations of questionnaires / social surveys
  • Strengths and limitations of experiments
  • Strengths and limitations of official statistics
  • Other sources of quantitative data


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. Others 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: Online game

A quick activity to review learning from the previous lesson (Introduction to Theory & Methods) Watch out for possible red herrings and curveballs!

Activity 2: Introduction to Quantitative Methods

This video outlines the methods that will be considered in this lesson. It also introduces students to sampling methods, as well as introducing an ongoing home research task.

Introduction to Quantitative Methods

Activity 3: Questionnaires / Social Surveys

This video explores social surveys / questionnaires and their strengths and weaknesses. You may want to use this free survey software to assist with one of the activities.

Questionnaires / Social Surveys

Activity 4: Online game

An activity to test your understanding of social surveys / questionnaires.

Activity 5: Experiments

In this video, you will investigate experiments and their strengths and weaknesses for sociological researchers.


Activity 6: Online Game

An activity to test your understanding of sociological experiments.

Activity 7: Official Statistics

In this video, you will investigate official statistics and their strengths and limitations for sociologists.

Official Statistics

Activity 8: MCQ Quiz

This quiz will test your knowledge and understanding of all three methods explored in this lesson. Keep your score.

Activity 9: Exam-style questions

Outline & explain two strengths of using questionnaires for social research (10 marks)

Outline & explain two limitations of using official statistics for social research (10 marks)

Further useful links:

Official statistics on families & households

Police statistics

Additional Teacher Guidance

40 minutes in total of guided video

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

4 interactive games - you could ask your students to submit their score to you for Activity 8

An exam-style written task (two ten-mark questions) which we would expect to take approximately 30 minutes of writing time, and which you could ask students to submit for assessment.

If students complete all tasks fully, this is around 2 hours work.

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