Education | Strategies for Educational Inquiry
Y520 | 6240 | 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 and research or evaluation question
(s), a research or evaluation methodology, the gathering and
analyzing of 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 			25%
 Methodology monograph project	
OR
Research/evaluation project		20%
 Participation & mini assignments      20%
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. 		


(Over)
Y520 Course Schedule: First Semester 2003-04

Week 	Dates	Topic(s)/Assignments(s)	Readings
 Introduction to Research in Education and the Social Sciences 

1	Sept. 2/4		Introduction to course
	Unit 1: Meanings of social science research	F&W: ch 1
Mertens: ch 1

2	Sept. 9/11		Unit 2: Research problems and
questions
	Unit 3: Populations and samples	F&W: ch 2 and 6
P&L: ch 9
Lyne: ch 28

3	Sept. 16/18		Unit 4: Reviewing the literature
++Project study team & topic due 9/19	F&W: ch 5
Lyne: ch 10

4	Sept. 23/25		Unit 5: Variables and hypotheses
	Unit 6: Internal validity	F&W: ch 3 and 9
Lyne: appendix B
 Research Methodologies 

5	Sept. 30/2		Unit 7: Experimental research
	Unit 8: Causal-comparative research
++Project general plans/approach due 10/3	F&W: ch 13
and 16
Lyne: ch 15 and 26

6	Oct. 7/9		Unit 9: Correlation research	F&W:
ch 15
Lyne: ch 13

7	Oct. 14/16		Unit 10: Qualitative research: basis
for selecting methods
	Unit 10: Qualitative research strategies
++Project specific plans/t topical outline due 10/17	F&W: ch 18 (p
429-434 & 436-440)
F&W: ch 21
Mertens: ch 7 (p 159-174)
Lyne: ch 4

8	Oct. 21/23		Unit 11: Qualitative research:
methodological guidelines
	Unit 11: 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. 28/33	+++ Mid-term examination +++
 Data Gathering and Analysis 

10	Nov. 4/6		Unit 12: Instrumentation
	Unit 13: Validity and reliability
++Project report detailed outline due 11/7	F&W: ch 7 and 8
Lyne: ch 6

11	Nov. 11/13		Unit 14: Surveys (questionnaires)
	F&W: ch 17
P&L: ch 14
Lyne: ch 9 and 11

12	Nov. 18/20		Unit 15: Interviews
	Unit 16: Observation
++Project report draft materials due 11/21	F&W: ch 19 (p 448-462)
P&L: ch 11, 12, and 13
Lyne: ch 1

13	Nov. 25		Unit 17: Content/document analysis
	Nov. 28 -- no class -- Thanksgiving Day	F&W: ch 20
P&L: ch 10
Lyne: ch 7

14	Dec. 2/4		Unit 18: Descriptive statistics
	Unit 19: Graphing data
++Final project monograph/report due 12/5	F&W: ch 10
P&L: ch 16 and 18
Lyne: ch 22

15	Dec. 9/11		Unit 20: Inferential statistics	F&W:
ch 11 and 12
P&L: ch 17
Lyne: ch 19

16	Dec. 16	+++ 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.). (2003). A cross section of educational research:
Journal articles for discussion and evaluation (2nd edition). 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)