Group of students sitting on the floor during a class discussion
Gleeson Library atrium

Research Methods in Education

Course GEDU 708 | Fall, spring, and summer semesters of each academic year.

Catalog Description:

General Education course descriptions in the USF General Catalog online.

Objectives or Outcomes:

  1. To introduce students to the processes of educational research, in particular, identifying and defining a research problem. At the end of the course, students will be able to:
    • Identify the components of quantitative and qualitative methods, similarities and differences, and some of the arguments for the use of each form of research.
    • Analyze research problems and derive a researchable and educationally relevant question for investigation.
    • Apply research principles to develop an introduction to a research problem.
    • Identify or select a theoretical basis or conceptual model for the basis of a research problem.
    • Design a study to address a research problem.
    • To introduce students to tools for critiquing research. At the end of the course, students will be able to:
  2. Identify the components of a research study, that is, the purpose, problem, research questions or hypotheses (when appropriate).
    • Identify the variables in a scientific research study - identify the methodology and the type of design used in a research study.
    • Identify the theoretical basis or conceptual model for a research study.
    • Identify and analyze ethical issues present in a research study.
    • Critique an interpretative (qualitative) research study.
    • Critique a scientific (quantitative) research study.

Course Topics:

  1. Introduction to educational quantitative and qualitative research methods
  2. Overview of the research process and educational significance
  3. The research problem, the research question, theory, and literature review
  4. Sampling; conceptual analysis
  5. Measurement, testing, and observation
  6. Ethics in educational research
  7. Qualitative methods
  8. Quantitative research designs
  9. Comparison of quantitative and qualitative traditions and methods
  10. Causation, validity, and experimentation
  11. Other research designs

Criteria of Evaluation:

  • Develop a research plan
  • Evaluate a quantitative research study reported in a scholarly journal
  • Evaluate a qualitative research study reported in a scholarly journal
  • Review and analysis of a dissertation
  • Take tests
  • Attend and participate actively in class

Possible Course Textbooks:

Creswell, J. W. (1994). Research design: Qualitative & quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Davitz, J. R., and Davitz, L. L. (1996). Evaluating research proposals: A guide for the behavioral sciences (Rev. ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.

Krathwohl, D.R. (1993). Methods of educational and social science research: An integrated approach. New York: Longman.

Leedy, P.D. (1997). Practical research: Planning and design (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

Stylistic Manuals:

American Psychological Association. (1994). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Turabian, K.L. (1996). A manual for writers of term papers, theses, and dissertations (6th ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.