Orientation to the course

FIRST SEMESTER 2013/2014 SCHEDULE

Seminars: Saturday. 9:00 A.M. – 11:00AM, Technical Drawing Room

INSTRUCTOR: Benedict Iorzer Labe

Phone: 08053471512;

Email: b.i.labe@drlabeclassroom.org

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course provides an introduction to the design of research studies in applied educational settings. Topics covered include the formulation of research questions/hypotheses, operational definitions of research constructs, sampling methods, experimental and quasi-experimental designs, and threats to internal and external validity, quantitative and qualitative inquiry, and research report writing. Each seminar session will focus on specific aspects of research design and methodology and the critical analysis of journal articles and research reports that employ these methods to investigate major issues in education. The quality of the research will be discussed, including the soundness of the design, methods of data collection, methods of data analysis, and the tenability of the conclusions drawn from evidence.

During the course of the semester, students will complete six written assignments: four will be brief critical analyses of research studies on major educational issues; two will involve the formulation of research questions and research designs. In addition, students will write a 20-page final paper that will be a proposal for a research study in the students’ areas of interest. Students will prepare and deliver an oral presentation on their final research proposal.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Through seminars discussions, and written and oral presentations, students will:

1. Develop knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of applied research, including the formulation of research questions, the development of methodological procedures and the collection, analysis and interpretation of data.

2. Develop skill in the critical analysis of research articles and reports.

3. Gain practical experience in developing research proposals and writing research reports.

4. Develop an understanding of how research is used to inform significant issues in education.

5. Gain an appreciation of the practical exigencies of conducting research in applied settings.

SEMINAR SCHEDULE

READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS

A textbook will be used as the main source of information on the theory and principles of research design and methods. Journal articles will be used to demonstrate the practical application of these principles and methods in the study of important educational issues.

TEXTBOOKS:

  • Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2007). Research Methods in Education (6 Ed.). New York: Routledge.
  • Hart, C. (1998). Doing a literature review: Releasing the social science research imagination. London: Sage Publications

SCHEDULE OF READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS:

Readings and assignments are listed by the seminar date during which they will be discussed or submitted.

Seminar 1: Text Chapter 1

Seminar 2: Text Chapters 2 & 3

Boote, David N. (2005). Scholars before researchers: On the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research preparation. Educational Researcher, 34(6), 3-15.

Assignment 1 is due.

Seminar 3: Text Chapters 4 & 5

Schappe, Julie F. (2005). Early childhood assessment: A correlational study of the relationships among student performance, student feelings, and teacher perceptions. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33(3), 187-193.

Assignment 2 is due.

Seminar 4: Text Chapters 6, 7, & 8

Seminar 5: Text Chapter 9

Borman, Geoffrey D. & Dowling, N. Maritza (2006). Longitudinal Achievement Effects of Multiyear Summer School: Evidence form the Teach Baltimore Randomized Field Trial. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 28(1), 25-48.

Assignment 3 is due.

Seminar 6: Text Chapter 14

Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 155-159.

Seminar 7: Text Chapter 15

Ehri, L. C., Dreyer, L. G., Flugman, B., & Gross, A. (2007). Reading rescue: An effective tutoring intervention model for language-minority students who are struggling readers in first grade. American Educational Research Journal, 44 (2), 414-448

Assignment 4 is due.

Seminar 8: Text Chapter 10

Erickan, K. & Roth, W. M. (2006). What good is polarizing research into qualitative and quantitative? Educational Researcher, 35(5), 14-23.

Seminar 9: Text Chapters 12 & 13

Johnson, R. Burke & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26.

Assignment 5 (Outline of final project) is due.

Seminar 10: Klinger, J.K., et.al. (2005). How to publish in scholarly journals. Educational Researcher, 34(8), 14-20.

Micklewright, D., Pearsall, L., Sellens, M., and Billam, N. (2010). Changes in approaches to learning among undergraduate sports science students following a programme of weekly online assessments. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(2), 141 – 155. Download at: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/hlst/documents/johlste/vol9no2/12RN0216MicklewrightPearsallSellensBillam.pdf

Assignment 6 is due.

July 5: Final project is due.

DESCRIPTION OF ASSIGNMENTS

Assignment 1. Select a research problem in your area of interest. Provide some background for the problem, including its significance or importance for your field and why and/or how it attracted your interest. Define the constructs and technical jargon that are included in your problem statement. Formulate two or three research questions and, if appropriate, associated hypotheses related to the problem. In no more than a few paragraphs, suggest a general research approach for a study designed to answer the research questions. Be prepared to discuss your study in class. (Approximately 2 pages, double spaced)

Assignment 2. Write a descriptive and critical analysis of the Schappe article. Describe the research problem, hypotheses, and the type of research design employed. Comment on the appropriateness of the methodology for addressing the research problem, and the quality of the methods and procedures. Also, assess the extent to which the results support the conclusions as stated by the researcher. (Approximately 3 pages, double spaced)

Assignment 3. Write a descriptive and critical analysis of the Borman article. Describe the research problem, hypotheses, and the type of research design employed. Comment on the appropriateness of the methodology for addressing the research problem, and the quality of the methods and procedures. Also, assess the extent to which the results support the conclusions as stated by the researcher. (Approximately 3 pages, double spaced)

Assignment 4. Write a descriptive and critical analysis of the Ehri article. Describe the research problem, hypotheses, and the type of research design employed. Comment on the appropriateness of the methodology for addressing the research problem, and the quality of the methods and procedures. Also, assess the extent to which the results support the conclusions as stated by the researcher. (Approximately 3 pages, double spaced)

Assignment 5. Prepare an outline of your final project. (Approximately 2-3 pages. Double spaced).

Assignment 6. Write a descriptive and critical analysis of the Bleske-Recheke article. Describe the research problem, hypotheses, and the type of research design employed. Comment on the appropriateness of the methodology for addressing the research problem, and the quality of the methods and procedures. Also, assess the extent to which the results support the conclusions as stated by the researcher. (Approximately 3 pages, double spaced)

FINAL PROJECT SPECIFICATIONS

  1. 20 pages (excluding references and tables/figures/appendices), doubled-spaced research proposal/paper on topic of individual choice, prepared in APA style.
  2. Paper should consist of the following sections (approximate guidelines for length):
  • Title Page (title of proposed study, author, affiliation, running head) (1 page)
  • Abstract (maximum of 150 word summary of entire proposal) (1 page)
  • Literature review, culminating in statement of proposed research problem(s) and hypotheses (5+ pages)
  • Methodology (sample, groups, setting, instrumentation, procedures, data analysis) (5+ pages)
  • Expected or actual results (3+ pages)
  • Discussion (significance of positive findings, implications of negative findings, limitations of the proposed study, potential new directions for further research) (3+ pages)

GRADING CRITERIA

  1. Quality of seminar participation (e.g., insightful/active participation)
  2. Quality of work on assignments
  3. Quality of presentation of research paper and oral defence