5601: Principles and Methods in Educational Research
Neag School of Education
University of Connecticut
Summer 2013 - July 1-12
8:10 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
Gentry Room 140
Instructor: Del Siegle, Ph.D.
Office: Gentry 119C
EPSY 5601 is an introductory course designed to help graduate students 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 graduate students become better consumers of research; i.e., it is not designed to prepare students 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: single-subject, experimental, 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
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 9 meetings, students are required 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., & Hyun, H. (2011). How to design and evaluate research in education (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Inc. (earlier editions are fine)
Grades for this course are based on a midterm and final exam and individual and group projects.
The first exam merits 30% of your grade and the second exam merits 30% 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 (even though the exam may have had 42 possible points), 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 the final 40% of your grade. Each unit will consist of a project for you to complete. 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 on the day following the return of the project. Late projects are accepted, but may not be resubmitted for additional credit.
|D -- 69--60%
F -- Below 60%
July 4 -- No Class
Read Ch. 6, 17-22
Assignment Due: Correlation
Topic: Qualitative Research, Historical Research, Samples and Populations,
Assignment Due: Reliability (Cronbach) and Reliability (Split Half and KR) (may be submitted early for feedback prior to first test)
Read Ch. 11-12
Assignment Due: Variables
Topic: Directional and Nondirectional Hypotheses, Null and Alternative Hypotheses, t test,
Read Ch. 9, 13, 16
Assignment Due: Standardized Scores, Sampling
Topic: ANOVAs, Regression, Chi-Square, Internal and External Validity, Causal-comparative Research Designs, Experimental Research, Review for Test