Social research is foundational to engaging communities and developing a more equitable society. This course introduces you to the fundamental research skills that will allow you to move beyond assumptions and engage in participatory community-based research that contributes to social progress. With a focus on both theory and field methods, this course equips you to become a community-based researcher with a skillset in a diversity of social research methods such as interviewing, participant observation, transect walks, collecting oral histories, documentary storytelling, and analyzing data.
You will learn to:
- Understand the social, political and ethical aspects of knowledge production
- Design holistic research plans in line with community-based research best practices
- Conduct literature reviews
- Define a research problem and refine a hypothesis
- Assess methods of data collection and distinguish between qualitative and quantitative concepts and approaches
- Present findings in community contexts
- Draw evidence-based conclusions from research findings that inform community projects
The goal is to create social researchers who understand the models available and can carry out their own research projects that underpin effective community development programs.