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Researching Effective Online Techniques for Teaching the Sociology of Globalization Through Student Surveys

By: & Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Few of the top-ranked Bachelor of Sociology degree programs in the United States require students to complete a course dedicated to global issues within the discipline. Among those that do are several online sociology degree programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology program at the authors' institution, Brandman University. In 2012, the first author developed a fully online course on the sociology of globalization for the university. This case study describes the authors' experience conducting exploratory, pilot survey research of student opinions on the effectiveness of pedagogical techniques used in the course. Although our research suggests that online instruction is at least as effective as traditional classroom instruction on the sociology of globalization, our study presented major limitations resulting in weak and questionable data. These limitations include a low survey response rate, the absence of controls, and the reliance on student opinions and perspectives without also assessing student learning. Thus, our study calls for future methodological revisions as well as further studies on effective techniques for teaching the sociology of globalization fully online.

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