EPSY 5601: Principles and Methods in Educational Research
Neag School of Education
University of Connecticut
Thursday: 4 - 6:30 p.m.
Instructor: Del Siegle, Ph.D.
EPSY 5601 is an introductory course designed to help educators understand and evaluate the educational research literature. Through participation in the course, class members will learn the basic concepts and procedures used for conducting educational research. The course is intended to help educators become better consumers of research; i.e., it is not designed to prepare them for conducting research. However, the instructor believes that hands-on activities are an effective method of learning material. The instructor provides extensive notes on his website. These are highlights of material covered in the textbook. They may also include supplementary material not covered in the book that the instructor feels is important. Students are expected to complete the reading assignments prior to each class session.
As a result of active participation in this course through assigned readings, research exercises, class attendance, and class discussions, it is expected that the student will:
- Understand the scientific method as it applies to educational research
- Describe the essential characteristics of research problems
- Distinguish between independent and dependent variables, continuous and categorical variables, directional and non-directional hypotheses
- Describe sampling and instrumentation techniques used in collecting data
- Explain the measurement concepts of validity, reliability, and standard error of measurement
- Describe and recognize the major types of research: experimental, single-subject, correlational, causal-comparative, survey, historical, content analysis, and qualitative
- Explain descriptive statistical concepts and techniques: central tendency, variability, norm scores, scales of measurement, and correlation
- Understand inferential statistical concepts and techniques used with quantitative data: chi-squares, t tests, analysis of variance, regression analyses
- Recognize the research designs used in experimental research and the internal and external threats associated with them
- Understand the characteristics of qualitative research and the procedures for gathering qualitative data
- Apply knowledge of the above concepts and methods to evaluate research reports
This course is aligned with the University of Connecticut Educator Preparation Program’s Conceptual Framework. Specifically, content and objectives address:
- Learning by providing an understanding of key measurement issues, types of research designs, and introductory statistical reasoning and statistical techniques.
- Leading by enabling students to become informed and critical consumers and users of qualitative and quantitative research in order to inform and improve practice.
- Lighting the way by incorporating the knowledge they gain from this course in becoming a reflective practitioner who advances research-based instruction in their teaching and learning community.
Meetings and Requirements:
The approach for meeting the course objectives will be a combination of attending class, reading assignments, visiting the designated web sites, class discussions, written assignments, and two examinations. Since the class is limited to 14 meetings, students are expected to attend all meetings. Classes will begin promptly and the instructor does not appreciate late arrivals. All students are expected to have access to Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Laptop computers will be useful (but not required) on the days when we discuss statistics.
Fraenkel, J.R., & Wallen, N.E. (2009). How to design and evaluate research in education (7th ed.) New York: McGraw-Hill Inc.
Grades for this course are based on participation/attendance, a midterm and final exam, and individual and group projects.
The first exam merits 25% of your grade and the second exam merits 25% of your grade. Your score on the exam is determined by dividing your total points on the exam by the highest points received on the exam. If you earned a raw score of 40 and the highest points on the exam were 40, you would receive 100% on the exam (your score divided by the highest score). Using this system, someone will always receive full points on the exam.
Projects account for 45% of your grade. Some of the projects are individual, while others involve cooperation with members of your research team. Each individual will be responsible for submitting a project for each unit. This affords you an opportunity to modify your group's work if you are not satisfied with it. Projects that are submitted by the due date, may be resubmitted for additional credit (1/2 credit for each answer correctly resubmitted). The resubmission must occur within a week of the initial grading of the project. Late projects may not be resubmitted.
Class participation is 5% of your grade. You will receive 1/2 point for each class you attend, excluding test days (up to 5 points...which means you can miss two classes and still receive full credit for attendance). Assignment and test scores can be checked in Blackboard (http://huskyct.uconn.edu).
|A+ -- 100-99%
A -- 98-93%
A- -- 92-90%
B -- 86-83%
B- -- 82-80%
C -- 76-73%
C- -- 72-70%
D -- 66-63%
D- -- 62-60%
|F -- Below 60%|
November 11 - No Class