As educators, we should constantly be challenging students to do research in more formalized ways. Here is one thing that you can insert into your class that will accomplish that end, and yet do so in a way that is not overly formalized. It is something that can be fun for students and teach them how to develop a research mindset. And this concept is applicable across disciplines. The concept involves having students develop and execute surveys within the classroom.
There is really no set topic that you would be limited to with this approach. And at the same time, you can control the process with well-defined assignment prompts. You could allow students to use this method to develop their research skills and prepare them for increasingly more complicated graduate programs.
Creating and deploying a survey is an easy way to engage students and get them to think about how to ask questions. We are all challenged with how to ask effective questions and a survey makes us think through that process. It takes something as simple as asking a question and turns it into a process that we can iterate to become better at asking questions.
We know that surveys are a commonly used tool in research. They are mostly used in higher education when students are pursuing a master's degree or a doctorate. Typically, at either of those levels, you're doing some kind of survey work. By bringing this into lower levels of education, say baccalaureate degrees and even high school, we can get students to ask questions with a research mindset.
You can implement this by having students survey each other inside the classroom and then write about the experience. They can summarize the process and the results. Writing about those things will help them to become more effective writers. And because this is not information that will be published, it is just going to be used as a fun developmental scenario, you should not make this an overly formal process. The key to this exercise is to get students to develop a research mindset and to ask great questions.