UoPeople Online Syllabus Repository (OSR)

Master of Education in Advanced Teaching (M.Ed.)

EDUC 5470 Research in Education


EDUC 5470: Research in Education


Credits: 3

Prerequisites: Successful completion of nine (9) courses in the M.Ed. program.



Course Description:  

This course will introduce important challenges in teaching and learning and discuss current research on these topics.  Models of practitioner research and modes of inquiry appropriate to applied research will be analyzed to provide insights into the uses and limitations of these approaches and tools.  Human subject rules and regulations and the ethics of school-based research will be discussed.  Students will identify a topic for investigation and develop an applied research proposal.  The proposal will frame the question, discuss the rationale for the question, include a review of the literature on the topic, and describe the planned data collection and analysis activities.



Required Textbook and Materials: UoPeople courses use open educational resources (OER) and other materials specifically donated to the University with free permissions for educational use. Therefore, students are not required to purchase any textbooks or sign up for any websites that have a cost associated with them. The main required textbooks for this course are listed below and can be readily accessed using the provided links. There may be additional required/recommended readings, supplemental materials, or other resources and websites necessary for lessons; these will be provided for you in the course's General Information and Forums area, and throughout the term via the weekly course Unit areas and the Learning Guides.

  • Teaching & Learning, Ohio State University Libraries. (n.d.). Choosing & using sources: A guide to academic research. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  Retrieved from  https://osu.pb.unizin.org/choosingsources/
    • Full PDF is available on the course home page under Textbooks

Software Requirements/Installation: No special requirements.


Learning Objectives and Outcomes:

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Analyze the ethics of school-based research in relation to human subject rules and regulations.
  2. Develop an applied research proposal based on an identified topic for investigation.
  3. Examine and critique educational research to better understand its issues and complexities.
  4. Apply the scientific method to develop a proposal based on one or more research questions.
  5. Consider the importance of applied research to the classroom setting.

Course Schedule and Topics: This course will cover the following topics in eight learning sessions, with one Unit per week.

Week 1: Unit 1 - Introduction to Applied Research

Week 2: Unit 2 - The Annotated Bibliography

Week 3: Unit 3 - Methodology Part 1 (Intervention Plan)

Week 4: Unit 4 - Methodology Part 2 (Data Collection)

Week 5: Unit 5 - Methodology Part 3 (Ethics)

Week 6: Unit 6 - Data Collection Plan

Week 7: Unit 7 - Assembling the Applied Research Proposal

Week 8: Unit 8 - Bringing It All Together


Learning Guide: The following is an outline of how this course will be conducted, with suggested best practices for students.  The Learning Guides for all units open on the first day of class.  Please review all Learning Guides to access the readings, review assignments, etc.  

Unit 1: Introduction to Applied Research

  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Complete the Discussion Assignment by posting in the Discussion Forum
  • Respond to three of your fellow classmates’ posts in the Discussion Forum
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Complete and submit the Portfolio Activity

Reading Assignment

  1. Choosing & Using Sources: A guide to academic research. (n.d.). Teaching & Learning, University Libraries. https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/choosingsources/
    • Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 
    • Chapter 1 - Research Questions
    • We will be using this book throughout the first half of the course, so it is highly recommended that you download a copy for quick reference.  You can download the book from the Textbook page located on the course homepage.  This book covers the basics of research. 
     2. Aylesworth, G. (2005, September 30). Postmodernism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophyhttp://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2013/entries/postmodernism/

      • The above article defines what Postmodernism is and why it is an important term to understand.
         3. Education trends.  (n.d.). George Lucas Educational Foundation. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/blogs/beat/education-trends

        • The above website has over a dozen links to current trends in education from the dissolving of letter grades to teacher evaluation. This website will help you with your topic selection. 

           4.  Baron, M. A. (2008). Guidelines for writing research proposals and dissertations. http://www.regent.edu/acad/schedu/pdfs/residency/su09/dissertation_guidelines.pdf
          • The above resource provides an overall review of the research proposal process. However, please note that you will not be going into the depth of the dissertation process, this is only meant as a review of pieces of requirements that we will be discussing in this course.
            5.  Hine, G. (2013) The importance of action research in teacher education programs. http://clt.curtin.edu.au/events/conferences/tlf/tlf2013/refereed/hine.html
          • This is an excellent overview of the action (applied) research practice in teacher education programs. 
            6.  Painter, D. (1999) Teacher research could change your practice. NEAhttp://web.archive.org/web/20200407081210/https://www.nea.org/tools/17289.htm
          • In this article, Painter discusses why it is important to conduct research as an educator. 
            7.  Choosing & using sources: A guide to academic research. (n.d.). Teaching & Learning, University Libraries. https://osu.pb.unizin.org/choosingsources/

            • We will be using this book throughout the first half of the course, so it is highly recommended that you download a copy for quick reference. This book covers the basics of research. For this Unit, read Chapter 1: Research Questions

               8. Current trends in education. (2012). TeAchnology. http://www.teach-nology.com/currenttrends/

              • The above article will help you explore possible topics for your applied research proposal. It also discusses current trends in education around the globe from technology to students teaching teachers. 

            Supplemental Readings

                 1.  Guerrero, Y.Y.G. (2012). Exploring the effect of exposure to LD through activities inside the classroom. The University of Pamplona, School of Education. Retrieved from: https://www.slideshare.net/yeisonguerra/applied-research-proposal-2012

                • This is an example of an applied research project done in a foreign language classroom.

              Unit 2: The Annotated Bibliography and Literature Review

              • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
              • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
              • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
              • Complete the Portfolio Activity

              Reading Assignment

              1. Choosing & Using Sources: A guide to academic research. (2020). Teaching & Learning, University Libraries. https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/choosingsources/
                • Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 
                • Chapter 2 - Types of Sources
                • Chapter 5 - Search Tools
                • Chapter 6 - Evaluating Sources
                • Chapter 8 - How to Cite Sources
                2.  American University. (n.d.). Literature review tutorial: Why do a lit reviewhttps://subjectguides.library.american.edu/c.php?g=175218&p=1154280
                  • The above article discusses the top reasons why one would do a literature review prior to conducting research. 

                  Optional Video

                  1. Taylor, D. (28, June 2010). Writing the literature review (part one): Step by step tutorial for graduate students [Video].  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IUZWZX4OGI  (5:21)  

                  2. Taylor, D. (28, June 2010). Writing the literature review (part two): Step by step tutorial for graduate students [Video]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoYpyY9n9YQ (7:40)

                  3.  Uwlibraries.  (2011, July 19). What is a scholarly journal article? [Video]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuyCJnv3auk (2:55)

                    • This video gives you a specific explanation and examples of what scholarly articles include and shows you how to locate them.

                    Unit 3: Methodology Part 1 (Intervention Plan)

                    • Peer-assess Unit 2 Assignment 
                    • Read through the Learning Guide and the Reading Assignment
                    • Complete the Discussion Assignment by posting in the Discussion Forum
                    • Respond to three of your fellow classmates’ posts in the Discussion Forum
                    • Complete and submit the Written Assignment 
                    Reading Assignment

                    1. Choosing & Using Sources: A guide to academic research. (2020). Teaching & Learning, University Libraries. https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/choosingsources/

                      • Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 
                      • Chapter 7 - Ethical Use of Sources
                      • Chapter 8 - How To Cite Sources
                      • Chapter 9 - Making an Argument
                      • Chapter 10 - Writing Tips
                      2. Lencioni, P. (2007). Conquer team dysfunctionhttps://www.tablegroup.com/imo/media/doc/Conquer_Team_Dysfunction.pdf
                        • In the above article, the author discusses how trust is developed over time and what creates distrust in teams. 

                        3. Elmusharaf, K. (2012). 3) Qualitative data collection techniques: Training course in sexual and reproductive health research Geneva 2012. University of Medical Sciences & Technology. https://www.gfmer.ch/SRH-Course-2012/research-methodology/pdf/Qualitative-data-collection-Elmusharaf-2012.pdf

                        Unit 4: Methodology Part 2 (Data Collection)

                        • Read through the Learning Guide and the Reading Assignment
                        • Complete the Discussion Assignment by posting in the Discussion Forum
                        • Respond to three of your fellow classmates’ posts in the Discussion Forum
                        • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
                        • Begin Group Activity
                        Reading Assignment

                        1. California State University, Long Beach. (n.d.). Data collection strategies II: Qualitative research. http://web.csulb.edu/~msaintg/ppa696/696quali.htm

                          • The above website from CSU-Long Beach describes the difference between Qualitative and Quantitative research and what data collection methods are applied to each method. 
                          2. Trochim, W. (2006). Descriptive statistics. Research methods knowledge base.  http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/statdesc.php

                            • The resource above is a review of descriptive statistics is provided. Along with examples of how to complete descriptive statistics in your own research study. 

                            Unit 5: Methodology Part 3 (Ethics)

                            • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
                            • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
                            • Respond to three of your fellow classmates’ posts in the Discussion Forum
                            • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
                            • Continue working on the Group Activity
                            Reading Assignment

                            1. Belmont Report:  https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/belmont-report/index.html

                              • This is a complete list of all ethical concerns discussed when conducting research.

                                2. Everheart. J. (2004) A study of kindergarten and first-grade special education students’ recall of color wordsDownload the PDF.
                                  • The above is a complete Master's thesis that you will be reviewing in your PLC. 

                                  Unit 6: The Data Collection Plan

                                  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
                                  • Complete the Discussion Assignment by posting in the Discussion Forum
                                  • Respond to three of your fellow classmates’ posts in the Discussion Forum
                                  • Complete the Portfolio Activity
                                  • Complete and submit the Group Activity
                                  Reading Assignment

                                  1. The Belmont Report. (1974). Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/belmont-report/index.html

                                    • This is a complete list of all ethical concerns discussed when conducting research.

                                      2. Everheart. J. (2004) A study of kindergarten and first-grade special education students’ recall of color wordsDownload the PDF.
                                        • The above is a complete Master's thesis that you will be reviewing in your PLC. 

                                         Unit 7: Applied Research Proposal

                                        • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
                                        • Complete the Discussion Assignment by posting in the Discussion Forum
                                        • Respond to three of your fellow classmates’ posts in the Discussion Forum
                                        • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
                                        Reading Assignment

                                        1. Ash, S. L., & Clayton, P. H. (2004). The articulated learning: An approach to guided reflection and assessment. Innovative Higher Education, (29) 2. https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/bitstream/handle/1805/9644/The%20Articulated%20Learning%20-%20An%20Approach%20to%20Guided%20Reflection%20and%20Assessment%20-%20Ash%20and%20Clayton.pdf;sequence=1

                                        • The above journal article discusses the need for reflection in teaching practices. 

                                        2. Minott, M. (2009, Winter). The role of reflection in the differentiated instructional process. College Quarterly, 12(1). Retrieved from http://collegequarterly.ca/2009-vol12-num01-winter/minott.html

                                        • The above article addresses how teachers must become leaders in the school, and one way to do this is through applied research being done in the school. 

                                        Recommended Reading

                                        1. Drill, K., Miller, S., and Behrstock-Sherratt, E. (2012, March). Teachers’ perspectives on education research. American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from http://www.air.org/files/1781_Teachers_Use_of_Research_Study1_Study2Combined_ed_March2012.pdf

                                        Unit 8: Bringing It All Together

                                        • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
                                        • Complete the Discussion Assignment by posting in the Discussion Forum
                                        • Respond to three of your fellow classmates’ posts in the Discussion Forum
                                        • Complete the Portfolio Activity
                                        • Complete and submit the anonymous Course Evaluation
                                        Reading Assignment

                                         1. Dynarski, M. (2015, December 10). Using research to improve education under The Every Student Succeeds Act. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/research/using-research-to-improve-education-under-the-every-student-succeeds-act/

                                        • The above is an executive summary discussing how research can be used to ensure that the Every Student Succeeds Act

                                        2. Gokhale, A. A. (1995). Collaborative learning enhances critical thinking. Journal of Technology Education, 7(1). Retrieved from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JTE/v7n1/gokhale.jte-v7n1.html

                                        • The above article discusses the need for collaboration in the school to ensure critical thinking is transpiring.

                                         3. Kane, T. (2016, Spring) Connecting to practice. Retrieved from http://educationnext.org/connecting-to-practice-put-education-research-to-work/

                                        •  This article discusses how we can use research to connect to practice.

                                         4. Shared values for effective communication. (n.d.). In The Basic Principles for a Collaborative Workplace. Available here.

                                        • The above article reviews the key principals to effective collaboration in the workplace, specifically in regard to research.

                                        5. Stogios, P. (2014, November 14). Why sharing your research with the public is as necessary as doing the research itself. [blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.digital-science.com/blog/guest/why-sharing-your-research-with-the-public-is-as-necessary-as-doing-the-research-itself/

                                        • In this blog, Stogios discusses how sharing research is important in the academic community as it brings forth answers to questions other researchers may have.

                                        6. Mind Tools, Inc. (2014). The leadership motivation assessment. Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_01.htm

                                        • This is an assessment to determine your motivation as a leader. Something that is important to understand when conducting research with a team.  

                                        Course Requirements:

                                        Discussion Assignments & Response Posts/Ratings
                                        Some units in this course require that you complete a Discussion Assignment. You are required to develop and post a substantive response to the Discussion Assignment in the Discussion Forum. A substantive response is one that fully answers the question that has been posted by the instructor. In addition, you must extend the discussion by responding to at least three (3) of your peers’ postings in the Discussion Forum and by rating their posts. Instructions for proper posting and rating (out of a 10 point scale) are provided inside the Discussion Forum for each week. Discussion Forums are only active for each current and relevant learning week, so it is not possible to contribute to the forum once the learning week has come to an end. Failure to participate in the Discussion Assignment by posting in the Discussion Forum and responding to peers as required may result in failure of the course.

                                        Written Assignments & Assessment Forms
                                        Most units in this course require that you complete a Written Assignment, which may come in many forms (case study, research paper, etc.). You are required to submit your assignments by the indicated deadlines and, in addition, to peer assess three (3) of your classmates’ assignments according to the instructions found in the Assessment Form, which is provided to you during the following week. During this peer assessment period, you are expected to provide details in the feedback section of the Assessment Form, indicating why you awarded the grade that you did to your peer. Please note that each assignment grade is comprised of a combination of your submission (90%) and your peer assessments (10%). Failure to submit Written Assignments and/or Assessment Forms may result in failure of the course.

                                        Group Activities
                                        During this course, you will be required to complete work as part of a small group. Group work is an important component of your coursework, as it allows you to deepen relationships with classmates, and gain a more thorough understanding of the topics presented in this course. Further, group work mimics the business environment in which projects are often conducted in small teams across different departments. You will be randomly assigned to your groups and are expected to work with your teammates throughout the term for all group activities.

                                        Reflective Portfolio Activities
                                        Portfolio Activities are tools for self-reflection and evaluation within the context of the course. These activities are designed as a means to document and critically reflect upon your learning process. Activities you develop for this course will be kept in your Research and Practice Portfolio and will be important as you progress towards the final courses in your program, particularly the Advanced Practice and Capstone courses.  Ideally, you will draw from your coursework and experiences, as well as what you’ve learned in other courses, and your own current teaching practice to showcase your overall growth and examine ways in which you can continue to develop and sharpen your research interests and expand your cadre of instructional methods.

                                        Course Forum
                                        The Course Forum is the place to raise issues and questions relating to the course. It is regularly monitored by the instructors and is a good place to meet fellow students taking the same course. While it is not required to participate in the Course Forum, it is highly recommended.


                                        Course Policies:

                                        Grading Components and Weights
                                        Each graded component of the course will contribute some percentage to the final grading scale, as indicated here:

                                        Discussion Assignments  15%
                                        Written Assignments  (Units 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)  25%
                                        Applied Research Paper (Unit 7)  20%
                                        Group Activity  20%
                                        Reflective Portfolio Activities  20%
                                        TOTAL 100%


                                        Grading Scale
                                        This course will follow the standard 100-point grading scale defined by the University of the People, as indicated here:

                                        Letter Grade
                                        Grade Scale Grade Points
                                        A+ 98-100 4.00
                                        A 93-97 4.00
                                        A- 90-92 3.67
                                        B+ 88-89 3.33
                                        B 83-87 3.00
                                        B- 80-82 2.67
                                        C+ 78-79 2.33
                                        C 73-77 2.00
                                        C- 70-72 0.00
                                        D+ 68-69 0.00
                                        D 63-67 0.00
                                        D- 60-62 0.00
                                        F Under 60 0.00
                                        CR N/A N/A
                                        NC N/A N/A
                                        NF N/A N/A
                                        W N/A N/A


                                        Grade Appeal

                                        If you believe that the final grade you received for a course is erroneous, unjust, or unfair, please contact your course instructor. This must be done within seven days of the posted final grade. For more information on this topic, please review the Grade Appeal Procedure in the University Catalog.

                                        Participation
                                        Non-participation is characterized by lack of any assignment submissions, inadequate contributions to the Discussion Forums, and/or lack of peer feedback to Discussion/Written Assignments. Also, please note the following important points about course participation:

                                        • Assignments must be submitted on or before the specified deadline. A course timeline is provided in the course schedule, and the instructor will specify deadlines for each assignment.
                                        • Any student showing non-participation for two weeks (consecutive or non-consecutive) is likely to automatically fail the course.
                                        • Occasionally there may be a legitimate reason for submitting an assignment late. Most of the time, late assignments will not be accepted and there will be no make-up assignments.
                                        • All students are obligated to inform their instructor in advance of any known absences which may result in their non-participation.

                                        Academic Honesty and Integrity
                                        When you submit any work that requires research and writing, it is essential to cite and reference all source material. Failure to properly acknowledge your sources is known as “plagiarism” – which is effectively passing off an individual’s words or ideas as your own. University of the People adheres to a strict policy of academic honesty and integrity. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in sanctions by the University, including dismissal from the University or course failure. For more information on this topic, please review the Academic Integrity Policy in the University Catalog.

                                        Any materials cited in this course should be referenced using the style guidelines established by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA format is widely used in colleges and universities across the world and is one of several styles and citation formats required for publication in professional and academic journals. Purdue University’s Online Writing LAB (OWL) is a free website that provides excellent information and resources for understanding and using the APA format and style. The OWL website can be accessed here: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html

                                        Code of Conduct
                                        University of the People expects that students conduct themselves in a respectful, collaborative, and honest manner at all times. Harassment, threatening behavior, or deliberate embarrassment of others will not be permitted. Any conduct that interferes with the quality of the educational experience is not allowed and may result in disciplinary action, such as course failure, probation, suspension, or dismissal. For more information on this topic, please review the Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog.