Education | Strategies for Educational Inquiry
Y520 | 5981 | Dr. James Pershing


Course Description: Introductory course to orient beginning level
graduate students to various practices of educational and social
inquiry.  The course will familiarize you with the language of social
research, different perspectives of the purposes and uses of research,
and various ways to frame research questions and design research
studies.  Generally accepted procedures for generating, analyzing, and
interpreting data will be explored.

Course Requirements: Study assigned textbook readings and articles,
attend and participate in class discussions, and complete assignments
and examinations.

There will be a mid-term and final examination. The mid-term will
sample material covered in the first eight (8) weeks of the class. The
final will sample material covered in weeks ten (10) through fifteen
(15). One-half () of each exam will be an objective test and the
other  will involve analyzing and critiquing research articles or
other research materials.

Student Projects: Students will work in teams of 3, 4, or 5 on a
course project.

Option #1: to design and develop a 15 to 20-page monograph on a
research methodology chosen by the team. This will require an in-depth
study and understanding of a research methodology and the completion
of an instructional piece that consists of background information,
steps and procedures, and job aids for conducting and carrying out a
research study using the chosen methodology.

Option #2: to carry out a full-blown action research or evaluation
study. This will require a client, research or evaluation question(s),
a research or evaluation methodology, gathering and analyzing data, as
well as interpreting, explaining, and presenting findings. A 15 to
20-page research or evaluation report will be prepared for client use.


Course Grades: The grading policy described in the Bulletin for the
Graduate Program in the School of Education will be followed.  A grade
of "incomplete (I)" will be granted only under particularly unusual
circumstances.  Grades for each component of the class will be
assigned the following weights:

Mid-term examination  35%
Final examination  30%
Methodology monograph project	
OR
Research/evaluation project   20%
Participation & mini assignments 15%
Total   100%

Understanding Research: To pursue a greater understanding of research
methodologies, consider enrolling in one or more of the courses
offered by the Inquiry Methodology program as well as specialty
courses offered by your major department. I will be glad to discuss
options with you and help you to make appropriate choices.
	
Communication With the Instructor: Electronic mail (e-mail) is an
additional method for you to interact with me. It provides for an
exchange of ideas and questions outside of class and office hours. As
appropriate, I will share my responses to individual students by
copying all class members. 		

Week / Dates / Topic(s)/Assignments(s) / Readings
Introduction to Research in Education and the Social Sciences
1   Sept. 3/5   Introduction to course
Meanings of social science research	
F&W: ch 1
Mertens: ch 1

2   Sept. 10/12	   Research problems and questions
Populations and samples
F&W: ch 2 and 6
P&L: ch 9
Lyne: ch 24

3   Sept. 17/19	   Variables and hypotheses
Internal validity
++Project monograph/study teams & topic due 9/20	
F&W: ch 3 and 9
Lyne: ch 12
Research Methodologies

4   Sept. 24/26	   Experimental research
F&W: ch 13
Lyne: ch 13 and 15

5   Oct. 1/3   Causal-comparative research
++Project monograph/study approach due 10/4	
F&W: ch 16
Lyne: ch 20 and 21

6   Oct. 8/10   Correlational research	
F&W: ch 15
Lyne: ch 10

7   Oct. 15/17   Qualitative research: basis for selecting methods
Qualitative research strategies
++Project monograph/report topical outline due 10/18	
F&W: ch 18 (p 429-434 & 436-440)
F&W: ch 21
Mertens: ch 7 (p 159-174)
Lyne: ch 2

8   Oct. 22/24   Qualitative research: methodological guidelines
Qualitative research: judging quality	
F&W: ch 18 (p 434-436 & 440-445)
F&W: ch 19 (p 463-464)
Mertens: ch 7 (p 174-187)
Lyne: ch 3

9   Oct. 29/31   +++ Mid-term examination +++
Data Gathering and Analysis

10   Nov. 5/7   Instrumentation
Validity and reliability
++Project monograph/report detailed outline due 11/8	
F&W: ch 7 and 8
Lyne: ch23

11   Nov. 12/14   Surveys (questionnaires)	
F&W: ch 17
P&L: ch 14
Lyne: ch 8 and 9

12   Nov. 19/21   Interviews
Observation
++Project monograph/report draft materials due 11/22	
F&W: ch 19 (p 448-462)
P&L: ch 11, 12, and 13
Lyne: ch 11

13   Nov. 26   Content/document analysis
Nov. 28 -- no class -- Thanksgiving Day	
F&W: ch 20
P&L: ch 10
Lyne: ch 5

14   Dec. 3/5   Descriptive statistics
Graphing data
++Final project monograph/report due 12/6	
F&W: ch 10
P&L: ch 16 and 18
Lyne: ch 18

15   Dec. 10/12   Inferential statistics	
F&W: ch 11 and 12
P&L: ch 17
Lyne: ch 14

16   Dec. 17   +++ Final examination (8:00a to 10:00a) +++


Text Books:

Frankel, J. R. and Wallen, N.E. (2003).  How to design and evaluate
research in education (5th edition).  New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Lyne, S. L. (Ed.). (1999). A cross section of educational research:
Journal articles for discussion and evaluation. Los Angeles, CA:
Pyrczak.

Mertens, D. M. (1998). Research methods in education and psychology:
Integrating diversity with quantitative and qualitative approaches.
(Chapters 1 and 7) Thousand Oaks: Sage. (reserve)

Pershing, J. A. and Lee, S. H. (1999). Analyzing needs for performance
improvement: Processes and core competencies (draft). (Chapters 9, 10,
11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, and 18) Bloomington, IN: EMRA. (at Collegiate
Copies)