Summer, 2021

Lloyd Rieber, Instructor
203 River's Crossing

Note: This is not the syllabus for this course. Click here for the full, official syllabus.

Course Description

This course introduces you to key concepts, practices, and skills in the educational research process. This context is organized into two major areas:

    1. Learning the fundamentals of research: Identifying a research problem or question, exploring the literature, and learning about a variety of contemporary research methods; and
    2. Exploring and applying the research: Reviewing and interpreting the literature to advance your understanding of a topic or issue in education; Proposing your own research question/s or development project need; and gaining some practical skills and experience with both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Required Reading

Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. (2015). Practical research: Planning and design (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Note: The 10th edition is also acceptable. The 12th edition of this book is the most recent, so feel free to purchase that edition instead. However, it is likely to be much more expensive. Used copies of the 11th and 10th editions will likely be readily available from online book sellers at a much lower cost, such as Amazon.

Additional readings may also be assigned during the semester to supplement the text.

Course Goal

Participants in the course will become strategic consumers and proficient users of educational research. Participants will read and critique a variety of educational research studies that use various methods (quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods), with the objective of being able to analyze and apply research to professional contexts.

Course Objectives

At the end of the course, each participant will be able to:

Course requirements/evaluation


Percent of Final Grade


Research Design Activities (RDAs)



During first half of course

Statistics in Education for Mere Mortals Activities

During first half of course

Informal Activity - Interviewing Practice

July 12

Informal Activity - SDC - Systematic Data Collection

July 19

Course Project



July 23


Statistics in Education for Mere Mortals (SEMM) Excel Exercises

Purpose: To learn some fundamentals of using statistics in education using a "low stakes" approach.

Informal Activity - SDC - Systematic Data Collection

Purpose: To experience first-hand what it feels like to do collect data systematically on a topic of the participant's choice; To reflect on the role and value of research data to inform one's thinking or decision-making in practice.

Informal Activity - Conducting an Interview

Purpose: To gain experience with an essential qualitative data collection technique.

Research Design Activities

Purpose: To give each participant the opportunity to individually learn and implement the particular research design skill being introduced and discussed at that time; each RDA is focused on helping everyone understand equally the particular skill and process highlighted in the RDA.

Course Project

Participants have their choice of three options for the course project: 1) Write a brief research proposal and record an accompanying presentation; 2) Focus on writing a review of literature on educational topic and record an accompanying presentation; and 3) Focus on learning fundamental statistics in educational research and record an accompanying presentation.

Peer Critique of Research Design Project Presentations

Purpose: To watch and provide a brief critique of a subset of the presentations made by your classmates.


Design by Nicolas Fafchamps