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Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

EDUC 500: *Research Design Research Design

Course Description

The study of educational research from a comprehensive perspective.  Included are: techniques and concepts of social and behavioral research; writing in the APA format; ethical standards governing educational research; experiences in the use of internal and external critique methods; readings in curriculum, assessment, philosophical and psychological research products; experiences accessing and using archival and web-based data sources; evaluation of descriptive, true-experimental and quasi-experimental research designs; identification and use of appropriate parametric and nonparametric statistical analyses; computation and interpretation of effect size tests of practical significance; conducting primary and secondary source literature reviews; demonstration of research designing; and use of portfolio research.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • McMillan, J. H.. (2016). Fundamentals of Educational Research (7th). Boston: Pearson.
    • [ISBN-978-0-13-401349-7]
  • American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
    • [ISBN-978-1-4338-0559-2]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

This course is designed to teach you how to be a good consumer of research by understanding the process of conducting research, and how to find relevant, research-based information for use in your work. It is important for teachers to become familiar with “what works” for students at all learning levels and styles.

The class is meant to be very practical and hands-on. You will learn how to find peer-reviewed research articles, how to read articles based on different types of research designs, how to interpret the findings, and how to judge whether or not the study presented in the articles follows accepted standards of research. Additionally, you will conduct a literature review on a subject of your choice; learn how to write the review as if you were conducting a research study, and devise a proposed research study you would find interesting based on the results of the literature review.



Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Models what it means to be an educated person: they read, question, and create, and are willing to try new things.
  2. Demonstrates familiarity with learning theories and instructional strategies, and stays abreast of current issues in American education.
  3. Critically examines their practice on a regular basis to deepen knowledge, expand their repertoire of skills, and incorporate new findings into their practice.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 558-620 90-100%
B 496-557 80-89%
C 434-495 70-79%
F 0-433 0-69%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (9) 200 32%
Dropbox Assignments (6) 420 68%
Total 620 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1: Introduction Discussion 20 Thursday/Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 20 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 1 40 Sunday
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 20 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 2 (Article Reviews 1 and 2) 80 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 20 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 3 (Article Reviews 3 and 4) 80 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 20 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 4 (Research Problem, Research Question, and Hypothesis) 20 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 20 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 5 (Rough Draft of the Proposed Research Study) 50 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 20 Thursday/Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Dropbox Assignment 6 (Final Proposed Research Study) 150 Wednesday
Discussion 8 20 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 9: Summary of Research 40 Thursday
Total Points 620

Assignment Overview

Discussions

There are 9 discussions in the course. Discussion postings 1-8 are worth 20 points each and Discussion Posting 9 is worth 40 points. In the initial postings, you are expected to address all questions posed with comprehensive and original answers. You must answer all parts of the question. The initial post is due 11:59 pm CT, Thursday of each week. You are also expected to reply to two of your peers’ discussion posts by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT of each week, except week 8 where the due date is 11:59 pm CT, Saturday. Your responses must address how you agree/disagree with some part of their posts and why. You are not required to post your responses for Discussion 9. Each discussion is set so that you must post your original thoughts before reading the posts of your classmates.


Dropbox Assignments

All Dropbox Assignments are due on 11:59 p.m. CT, Sunday of their assigned week, except Week 8 where the Assignment is due on 11:59 p.m. CT, Wednesday. Dropbox Assignment 1 will inform you on the major difference of the two major research designs, Qualitative and Quantitative. Dropbox Assignments 2-5 are cumulative and will come together in Dropbox 6, the Proposed Research Study.

The grade will be based on how well you cover your topic and make your case for the research proposal (Content), observe writing conventions and mechanics (Writing), and adhere to the APA formatting rules (APA Formatting):

  • Content = 60%
  • Writing = 20%
  • APA formatting = 20%

All submissions will automatically go through the Turnitin system when uploaded into the dropbox. The Turnitin system compares your submission to the research literature and provides a percentage of the amount of overlap found between the two. High percentages of overlap indicate that a large amount of the literature from articles was taken verbatim and placed into your writing.  APA requires that you understand your readings and put the information into your own words and quotes are allowed only in selected circumstances. You will be limited to a Turnitin percentage of 30% or below. After you submit your reviews, it takes a few hours for the Turnitin system to complete its work.  You must go back into the dropbox after you submit, look at your Turnitin percentage by clicking on your submission and rewrite if it is above 30%. Your submission will not be graded until it is at the 30% or below.

Dropbox Assignment 1

In Week 2, compare and contrast the differences between “quantitative and qualitative research designs”. Use the resource in the Content section on “How to Read a Research Article” to read the two articles.  There is a set of questions in the Content section. The Questions should be answered in simple question and short-answer format, not in article review format. The questions apply to both articles, so you will answer them for the first article, and then duplicate the questions and answer them for the second article. Include your answers to both sets of questions in the same document. It is more informal and does not require APA formatting.Dropbox Assignment 1 is worth 40 points and the focus of the exercise is to see the similarities and differences between the two major types of research designs.

Dropbox Assignments 2 & 3 (Article Reviews)

Dropbox Assignments 2 and 3 will involve the writing of Article Reviews. They are due in weeks 3 and 4 respectively. They will be a preliminary part of your literature review.

Consider a few things while writing the Article Reviews. Reviews must be on articles from juried professional journals and not opinion papers. Articles can use either qualitative or quantitative designs. An example of an article review is provided for you to use in the Content section of the course. You will choose articles that can then be incorporated as part of your literature review/ research proposal.

Dropbox Assignments 2 & 3 are worth 80 points each and they must be written using the APA guidelines appropriate for an article review. It should be written in the third person for technical writing. Do not include personal opinions. Only report what you find in the research literature. Include the following information:

  • What the study was about and the subjects used
  • Any information from the review of past literature completed by the author that is relevant to your topic
  • How the study was conducted
  • How the data was collected
  • How the data was analyzed
  • Interpretations given by authors of the outcome.
  • Limitations

Each article review must be one to two pages long (double-spaced), using 12-point font. (You won’t need a bigger font to get the number of pages you need.) Include a citation of the article right above the review as indicated in the sample paper, Sample Single Article Review and 2nd Sample Single Article Review. You must use the APA publications manual as your source for APA formatting rules.

Dropbox Assignment 4 (Research Problem, Research Question, and Hypothesis)

Dropbox Assignment 4 will involve the submission of Research Problem, Research Question, and Hypothesis (if needed). If you turn in a research problem, research question, and hypothesis (if needed for a quantitative study), you will be given full credit. Use the formatting given in the first section of Chapter 3 of the sample proposed final paper resource downloaded earlier in the course.

As these are often hard to write for students, the grade will be based on submission of the required components of an appropriately formatted Research Problem, Research Question, and Hypothesis (if needed for a quantitative study). In other words, you must submit a carefully thought out and well written Research Problem, Research Question, and Hypothesis, if needed, with the proper formatting to receive credit. Feedback will be given regarding any changes needed prior to submission of the rough draft on Week 6. This Assignment is worth 20 points.

Dropbox Assignment 5 (Rough Draft of the Proposed Research Study)

In Week 6, submit the rough draft of your proposed research study. It must include:

  • A Title Page
  • An introduction, including the revised Research Problem, Research Question, and Hypothesis
  • The literature review, including at least the first four previously submitted article reviews with revisions
  • An outline of the information that will go in each section of the Research Design and Methods portion
  • The Reference page with at least the four article reviews already written and submitted.

All parts must be APA formatted and incorporate feedback provided previously by the instructor. If all parts are not included, the paper will be returned to you for revision prior to grading and a 20% penalty will be given in addition to any points taken off for the quality of the paper.  This rough draft of your proposed research study is worth 50 points.

For the rough draft, the Introduction should be in present tense, the Literature Review will be in past tense, and the Proposed Study will be in future tense (since it is just a plan of what you would like to do).

Dropbox Assignment 6 (Final Proposed Research Study)

Final proposed research study must have correct APA formatting and incorporate corrections of all feedback given by the instructor in the Course.

It must include the title page with running head and page numbers and an introduction, literature review, methods, and references. Failure to include all six required article reviews in the literature review will automatically result in a 50 point deduction for an incomplete paper. Final proposed research study should be at least 12 pages long. It is worth 150 points and the grade will be based on how well you cover your topic and make your case for the research proposal, observe writing conventions and mechanics, and adhere to the APA formatting rules.

The minimum page number requirement includes the following:

  • Title page (1 page)
  • Introduction (1-2 pages)
  • Literature Review (7-8 pages)
  • Methodology (2-3 pages)
  • References (1-2 pages)


Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Introduction to Resources
Readings
  • McMillan: Fundamentals of Educational Research
    • Chapters 1 and 3
  • Instructional Materials
  • APA Publications Manual
    • Begin to review the Publications manual to familiarize yourself with the structure of the text and how APA formatting differs from other formatting systems you may have used in the past.
  • Course resources/articles for you to locate in the Columbia College Library Databases:
    • DeRosier, M.E., Swick, D.C., Davis, N.O., McMillen, J.S., and Matthews, R. (2011). “The efficacy of a social skills group intervention for improving social behaviors in children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 41 (8), 1033-1043. DOI: 10.1077/s10803-010-1128-2
    • Seo, S., Brownell, M.T., Bishop, A.G., & Dingle, M. (2008). “Beginning special education teachers’ classroom reading instruction: Practices that engage elementary students with learning disabilities.” Exceptional Children, 75 (1), 97-12\
  • Additional Readings 
    • Explore the Columbia College databases and find articles of interest to determine a topic for your class project.
    • Review the documents available in the Content section of the course, especially the Syllabus and the How to Read a Research Article document.
    • Review Plagiarism Tutorial document from the course content area.
Discussion 1: Introduction Discussion

Introduce yourself to the instructor and other classmates.  Be sure to include your current job position and level of knowledge about research.

Week 2: Basic Research Designs
Readings
  • McMillan: Fundamentals of Educational Research
    • Chapters 4 and 5
  • Instructional Materials
  • "How to Read a Research Article" (in the Content area)
Discussion 2

Based on the articles you read last week and the book chapters, compare and contrast at least two differences between quantitative and qualitative research designs. Which type of design do you think fits best with your personal characteristics?

Dropbox Assignment 1

In this week, compare and contrast the differences between “quantitative and qualitative research designs”. The focus of the exercise is to see the similarities and differences between the two major types of research designs. Use the Columbia College Stafford Library databases and find the following articles:

  • DeRosier, M.E., Swick, D.C., Davis, N.O., McMillen, J.S., and Matthews, R. (2011). “The efficacy of a social skills group intervention for improving social behaviors in children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41 (8), 1033-1043. DOI: 10.1077/s10803-010-1128-2.
  • Seo, S, Brownell, M.T., Bishop, A.G., & Dingle, M. (2008). “Beginning special education teachers’ classroom reading instruction: Practices that engage elementary students with learning disabilities.” Exceptional Children, 75 (1), 97-122.

Submit the answers to the questions included in the Content area based on the two articles. Use the resource on “How to Read a Research Article” to read these two articles. 

Week 3: APA Writing
Readings
  • McMillan: Fundamentals of Educational Research
    • Chapter 6
  • APA Publications Manual
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 3

Discuss the types of measurement instruments with which you are familiar. List three instruments that are used to collect data for qualitative studies and three (3) instruments that are used to collect data for quantitative studies.

Dropbox Assignment 2 (Article Reviews 1 and 2)

Dropbox Assignment 2 involves writing of Article Reviews. The Article Reviews will be a preliminary part of your literature review. Submit two (2) article reviews to the Dropbox. Submit a digital copy of the articles with the reviews due on the 3rd week only in order to make sure that the articles you chose are acceptable. Remember that your paper will go through the Turnitin system and that you must go back and ensure that your Turnitin percentage is at or below 30% or the submission will have to be rewritten prior to grading.

Week 4: Literature Reviews
Readings
  • McMillan: Fundamentals of Educational Research
    • Chapters 7, 8, 9, and 10
  • APA Publications Manual
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 4

Discuss experimental and non-experimental research designs and how experimental designs can be used to prove causality. Why is it difficult to use experimental designs in educational settings?

Dropbox Assignment 3 (Article Reviews 3 and 4)

Dropbox Assignment 3 involves writing of Article Reviews. Submit two (2) additional article reviews to the Dropbox. Make sure to use the feedback given by the instructor from the Week 3 assignment when writing. A copy of the articles is not needed this week. Remember that your paper will go through the Turnitin system and that you must go back and ensure that your Turnitin percentage is at or below 30% or the submission will have to be rewritten prior to grading.

Week 5: Developing a Research Study
Readings
  • McMillan: Fundamentals of Educational Research
    • Chapters 11 and 12
  • APA Publications Manual
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 5

Discuss which type of research design you are considering for your proposal and why this would fit your research question. Provide your Research Problem, Research Question, and (if it is a quantitative study) Hypothesis. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the design you are considering?

In your responses to the postings of peers, you must use the information you have learned so far from the McMillan text to critique the Research Problem, Research Question, and Hypothesis they have given. Give feedback on suggestions for corrections or ideas for change. Pay attention to whether the study described should use a qualitative or a quantitative research design to answer the question.

Dropbox Assignment 4 (Research Problem, Research Question, and Hypothesis)

Write and submit the Research Problem, Research Question(s), and (for proposed studies with a quantitative design) a Research Hypothesis for each Research Question.

Week 6: Rough Draft Submission
Readings
  • McMillan: Fundamentals of Educational Research
    • Chapters 13 and 14
  • APA Publications Manual
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 6

What types of subjects would be interesting for you to use for an action research project in your class/place of work? How would you set up your research design for this project? How would you use this information to help improve the learning of students?

Dropbox Assignment 5 (Rough Draft of the Proposed Research Study)

Write and submit the rough draft of your proposed research study.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Ethics in Research
Readings
  • McMillan: Fundamentals of Educational Research
    • Chapter 2
  • Websites on ethics and past abuses (links found in the Content area):
    • a.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity
    • University of Washington School of Medicine Research
    • Tuskegee Institute - information on a very famous ethics casehttps
    • Columbia College Integrated Project Handbook
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 7

Discuss historical issues related to ethics in research and the types of safeguards currently in place to prevent abuse of research participants. Do you think these safeguards are effective to prevent abuse of participants? How would you provide safeguards for the participants in your proposed research study?

Week 8: Review What Was Learned/ Final Paper Submission
Readings
  • Instructional Materials
  • APA Publication Manual (as needed)
Dropbox Assignment 6 (Final Proposed Research Study)

Submit the final edition of the Proposed Research Study with all the components mentioned under Assignment Expectations.

Discussion 8

Discuss what you learned from the course and how you will use this information in the future.

Discussion 9: Summary of Research

Post a summary of research to share with fellow students. Additionally, state how you plan to use these findings to change your teaching. There is no set format for the summary. The summary should allow you to share your research with your classmates.



Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

Late assignments will be accepted with instructor approval up to three (3) days past the due date for the assignment, but a 20% penalty will be imposed without prior approval from the instructor. It is important that submissions are made timely, as feedback from the instructor is critical before submission of your next Dropbox assignment. You are not allowed to submit the Week 4 assignment (2nd set of article reviews) before you receive the feedback from the Week 3 assignment. This is to allow you to use the feedback from the first set of article reviews to improve the 2nd set.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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