The development of a research methods toolkit to support sport science undergraduates and lecturers

Cathy Schofield (Department of Sport, Truro and Penwith College, University of Plymouth Colleges, Truro, UK)
Francesca Burton (School of Biomedical and Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Publication date: 22 April 2011



Based on the experiences of those delivering the dissertation module on a level 6 BSc sport top‐up year, where students progress from many further education colleges and higher education institutions, from differing foundation degrees, it was observed that there was a variable comprehension of research methods by the progressing students. It was felt that this lack of knowledge and confidence with respect to research methods had a negative impact on their ability to undertake research and to produce scientific reports for the dissertation. This paper aims to investigate this issue.


After investigating the levels of confidence of FdSc sport science students and lecturers with respect to their research methods knowledge and understanding, a research methods teaching toolkit was developed using sport‐specific examples and activities to increase the amount of experiential learning.


The paper finds that in the design and construction of this initial toolkit it has become apparent that there are a vast number of approaches that can be taken to encourage student engagement with research methods within a sport and exercise science discipline.

Research limitations/implications

As the development stage of the toolkit is completed the authors aim to evaluate the toolkit during the next academic year, assessing students' progress by comparison to a matched control group. This will be supplemented by lecturers' evaluation in order to refine the toolkit and make it available in varying formats to all institutions within University of Plymouth Colleges and beyond.


This paper provides information on the development stage of a toolkit aimed at supporting the research methods of sport science undergraduates and lecturers.



Schofield, C. and Burton, F. (2011), "The development of a research methods toolkit to support sport science undergraduates and lecturers", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 28-34.

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