Introduction to Educational Research

Course Details

Course Number: 5053  Section Number: x21

Spring 2011

Location: ( All )

Classroom Number: Internet

Days & Times:

Internet-no scheduled class days

Course Attachments


MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Edward Schultz   
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Course Objectives




By the end of this course you should be able to:


1. Use the reference area of the library, interlibrary loan services, and computerized databases to locate relevant articles and documents on a selected topic.


2. Conduct a systematic review of the literature for the purposes of (a) identifying research questions related to a student-selected topic, (b) describing the strengths and weaknesses in studies on the topic, and (c) delineating methodological issues to be resolved in designing a study in the area of the student’s topic. These skills will include the ability to:

a. Examine and critique previous reviews.

b. Write an introduction for the review.

c. . Write a problem statement, from the results of the review, for a future study.


3. Use APA when writing a literature review.


4. Outline a preliminary research proposal.


5. Describe the relationships among hypotheses, measures, and analysis procedures in a research proposal.


6. Define the major threats to the internal and external validity of an experiment.


7. Critically read published empirical studies to ascertain quality and usefulness.


8. Define target and accessible populations and explain the importance of both random sampling and random assignment in group experimental designs.


9. Define and assess independent as well as dependent variables.


10. Understand the issues related to collecting research data using tests, questionnaires, interviews, observation, and content analyses.


11. Understand test validity and reliability and the importance of those concepts when conducting research.


12. Understand the differences among nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio data and how these differences influence the selection of appropriate statistical procedures.


13. Understand the differences between descriptive and inferential statistics.


14. Understand the difference between statistical and practical significance including:


a. The meaning of statistical significance.

b. Measures of Effect Size.



15. Describe the methods and tools of:

a. Causal-comparative and descriptive research designs.

b. Correlational research designs.

c. Experimental, and quasi-experimental research designs

d. Single-subject research designs.

e. Case study methods.

f. Qualitative research methods.

g. Action Research


16. Understand the ethical, legal, and human relations issues in educational/psychological research.

Course Expectations


Assignments : (Some instructions for assignment located at the end of syllabus and on Blackboard assignment link.  Will use “video” instructions for most assignments. Al


1. Guided Reading/Brief Essay Questions

            Questions 1-15 due February 15, 2011.

            Question 27, 28 due March 22, 2011

            Questions 16-26 due May 4, 2011

2. Article Critiques (4) 2/22/11

3. Mini-review of Literature (Draft I and Final)   

            Draft I due March 28, 2011

            Final Copy May 3, 2011    

4. Research Proposal

Entire Proposal due 4/18/2011


5. Article Synthesis assignment due by 2/8/11


6. Midterm (Available March 1-March 3) and Final Exam (May 9-11)-Book and “class activities” (i.e. video lectures)

Grading Standards




Assignments will be weighted and averaged for final grade


  1. Guided reading (20%)
  2. Article Critiques (10%)
  3. Mini-Lit Review (25%)
  4. Research proposal (12.5%)
  5. Article Synthesis (7.5%)
  6. Midterm and Final (15%)

(90-00A; 80-89 B; 70-79 C; 60-69, D; Below 60=F)

Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

no late work accepted

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

internet course

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.