“Between a stone and a hard place”: designing the methodology, choosing the methods, sharing the experience

Fiona Hay

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


There is evidence to suggest that contextualisation increases learning by improving the way information is processed (CORD, 2013). This paper discusses the use of a contextualised approach to the teaching of research methods to undergraduate students on sport-related courses.

This paper focuses on how the author's experience of designing and developing the research methodology for a PhD can be used to contextualise the teaching of sport development. Exploring why older women participate in physical activity can provide evidence to promote and develop sports, therefore increasing participation, a current issue for those involved with sport development.

Curling is regarded as a World class sport; it is a team sport in the Winter Olympic Games – Team GB women’s team won the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in 2002 and this year Scotland’s “Team Muirhead” won the World Women’s Curling Championships. According to the sport’s governing body, Royal Caledonian Curling Club (RCCC), older women (those over the age of 50) make up a large percentage of its membership, yet why this is the case has not been fully explored (RCCC,2013). The
focus of the author's PhD research is older woman and their participation in the team sport of curling.

Designing the methodology for a PhD needs careful consideration and it is the sharing of this knowledge that has informed the delivery of a research methods module to second year undergraduate students on sport related degrees. Through reflexive analysis of the author’s
experience, exploration and considerations given to the process of methodology selection sport students can utilise this knowledge to provide an insight to the selecting of methods and methodologies for their own research projects (Foley, 2002). More importantly is the contextualisation aspect, using appropriate sport related examples has proved to be a key indicator of a student’s understanding of research enquiry and research design.

Overall the focus of this paper is to discuss the author’s PhD research process in reference to the context of older women curlers. Then it will show how the exploration and process of finding and designing the methodology can be used to support the learning and teaching of research methods to undergraduate sport students.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventNewer Researchers' Conference 2013: Experiencing Higher Education: Global Trends and Transformations - Newer Researcher Perspectives - Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Dec 201313 Dec 2013
https://www.srhe.ac.uk/conference2013/nr.info.asp (Conference Website)


ExhibitionNewer Researchers' Conference 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • sport development
  • methodology design
  • research methods
  • contextualisation


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