EDU 598-110 1.18.2011
TECHNIQUES OF RESEARCH
Instructor: Dr. Jan Seiter
Address: Department of Curriculum & Instruction
1901 S. Clear Creek
Killeen, TX 76549
Office Phone: 254.519.5485 or cell: 512.797.1828
Office Hours: M – 10-11:00AM; 1:30 - 5:30 PM
T – 3:30 - 5:30 PM
W – 1:30 – 3:30 PM
TH – 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Additional appointment times available upon request
Virtual appointments made in Blackboard
Class Meeting: Mon, 6:00 – 8:50pm Room 110N Killeen North Campus
This course is accessible through Blackboard:
Fundamental concepts and tools of research and their application to psychological and educational
problems are studied in this course. Major topics included are: rationale of research, classification of
research, analysis of problems, library skills, sampling, appraisal instruments, descriptive and inferential
statistics, representative research designs, evaluation of research and research reports, and development
of research proposals.
Techniques of Research is a required course for all options in the Master of Education degree. It is an
introductory course designed to assist the beginning graduate student in the acquisition of an
understanding of research process and methodology. Special attention is given to the development of a
higher level of skill for locating, evaluating, and documenting library materials than is typically required of
the undergraduate. Students are provided opportunities for the development of their abilities for analytical
methodology and to demonstrate their understanding of the research process through the development of
a satisfactory proposal for conducting original research on an approved topic.
Students will analyze, synthesize and evaluate professional literature, support effective educational
practices and policies as derived from current research, and conduct action research.
Texts & Resources:
Gay, L. R., Mills, G. E., & Airasian, P. (2003). Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis and
Applications. 9 ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Sperling, R. A., (2006) Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis and
Applications. Student Study Guide, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6 ed (2009). Washington, DC.
Patten, M. L., (2009) Understanding Research Methods: An Overview of the Essentials. 7 ed. Glendale,
CA.: Pyrczak Pub.
A student of this institution is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from a university-affiliated
bookstore. The same textbook may also be available from an independent retailer, including an online
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Course Competencies for TExES:
DOMAIN IV—PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND LEADERSHIP
Competency 013 (Theoretical Foundations and Research-Based Curriculum)
The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of the theoretical foundations of
literacy and of research-based reading/literacy curriculum.
Applies knowledge of convergent research on reading and literacy instruction for all students, and
identifies sources for locating information about convergent research on reading and literacy
Applies knowledge of the foundations of basic research design, methodology, and application to
critically review research on reading and to select research findings for the purpose of improving
Competency 014 (Collaboration, Communication, and Professional Development)
The reading specialist understands and applies procedures for collaborating and communicating
with educational stakeholders and for designing, implementing, evaluating, and participating in
Knows how to communicate research findings and make recommendations based on a
convergence of research evidence to colleagues and the wider community.
Knows how to communicate local data and information related to literacy issues and, when
appropriate, make recommendations to district staff and community stakeholders.
Knows how to expand knowledge of literacy through a variety of professional activities (e.g.,
reading professional publications, participating in conferences), and recognizes the value of
participating in local, state, national, and international professional organizations whose mission
is the improvement of literacy
DOMAIN I—SCHOOL COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP
The principal knows how to apply organizational, decision-making, and problem solving skills to
ensure an effective learning environment.
The principal knows how to implement procedures for gathering, analyzing, and using data from a
variety of sources for informed campus decision-making. frame, analyze, and resolve problems
using appropriate problem-solving techniques and decision-making skills. use various types of
information (e.g., demographic data, campus climate inventory results, student achievement data,
emerging issues affecting education) to develop a campus vision and create a plan for
implementing the vision
DOMAIN II—INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP
The principal knows how to facilitate the use of sound, research-based practice in the
development, implementation, and evaluation of campus curricular, co-curricular, and
The principal knows how to facilitate the development of a campus learning organization that
supports instructional improvement and change through ongoing study of relevant research and
The principal knows how to facilitate the implementation of sound, research-based instructional
strategies, decisions, and programs in which multiple opportunities to learn and be successful are
available to all students.
DOMAIN II—PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING THE DEVELOPMENTAL GUIDANCE AND
Competency 004 (Program Management)
The school counselor understands how to plan, implement, and evaluate a developmental
guidance program, including counseling services, that promotes all students' success.
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EDU 598-110 1.18.2011
Knows how to apply research-based practice to improve the school guidance and counseling
DOMAIN III—COLLABORATION, CONSULTATION, AND PROFESSIONALISM
Competency 010 (Professionalism)
The school counselor understands and complies with ethical, legal, and professional standards
relevant to the profession.
The beginning school counselor knows how to use research, technology, and other resources to
facilitate continual professional growth and improve the school guidance and counseling program.
DOMAIN I—STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of federal and state disability
criteria and identification procedures for determining the presence of an educational need. The
beginning educational diagnostician:
Knows how to access information on the cognitive, academic, communicative, physical, social,
and emotional characteristics of individuals with various disabilities.
Knows how to gather and use background information regarding the educational/developmental
(e.g., behavioral, social, academic), medical, and family history of individuals with disabilities.
DOMAIN II—ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION
The educational diagnostician selects and administers appropriate formal and informal
assessments and evaluations. The beginning educational diagnostician:
Applies knowledge of basic terminology and statistical concepts (e.g., standard error of
measurement, mean, standard deviation) used in assessment and evaluation.
Demonstrates knowledge of standards for test norming, reliability, and validity procedures used in
standardizing assessment instruments and sources of measurement error.
The educational diagnostician applies skills for interpreting formal and informal assessments and
evaluations. The beginning educational diagnostician:analyzes the uses and limitations of various
types of formal and informal assessment and evaluation data.
Demonstrates knowledge of the appropriate application and interpretation of derived scores (e.g.,
standard scores, percentile ranks, age and grade equivalents, stanines, T-scores, z-scores).
DOMAIN IV—FOUNDATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of professional practices,
roles, and responsibilities and the philosophical, legal, and ethical foundations of evaluation
related to special education.
Knows organizations and publications relevant to the field of educational diagnosis, and
demonstrates awareness of the importance of engaging in activities that foster professional
competence and benefit individuals with exceptional learning needs, their families, and/or
Student Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify and compare the characteristics of the following models of quantitative and qualitative
research models survey, correlation, causal-comparative, experimental, case study, ethnographic
2. Describe and identify the major steps involved in conducting a scientific research study (the
research question(s), sample, method of data collection, method of data analysis, and major
findings and conclusions).
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3. Describe the purpose of and procedure for selecting quantitative and qualitative sampling
techniques, methods of collecting data, methods for controlling validity, reliability and
generalizability and statistical measures.
4. Write an action research proposal that includes: the development of an appropriate research
topic, specific research questions, a critical review of literature, the research model, sample
selection, procedure for collection and analysis of data, and procedures to ensure the validity and
reliability of the findings.
5. Communicate features of the proposed study in a professional manner to a group of professional
Action Research Proposal (600 points)
The student is to prepare a proposal for action research. You will find a topic of interest (approved by the
professor) and research it thoroughly. Decide whether you will approach it qualitatively or quantitatively.
Gather material and data. Put this into a study format: introduction, review of literature, hypothesis &
methodology sections. Identify whether this is historical, descriptive, or experimental research. This will
be presented to the class during the last class meetings.
What Have I Learned? (Quiz) (20 points each/120 points total)
At the beginning of each class, there will be a short quiz on important material. You may use your notes
and handouts. It is important for this information to be placed into your long-term memory. This quiz will
start at exactly 6:00pm.
Workbook Exercises (20 exercises X 10 points ea. = 200 points)
Exercises from the Sperling text will be assigned as needed for understanding and practice. Completion
of each activity is worth 10 points.
Academic Journal Research/ Chapter Presentation (200 points)
Each student in partnership with other student(s) will research and present a particular chapter from the
text. The report consists of a one-page outline of the chapter (with copies provided for each member of
the class) and the presenting group leading an in-class discussion/presentation of the material. You must
use at least two different instructional strategies in the presentation and have at least one outside source
concerning the material presented. Feel free to add as much outside research to enhance the chapter
report as you desire. Material that collaborates or disputes the chapter is worthy of addition for further
discussion. It is worthwhile to see other views concerning a given topic or process.
Article critiques (200 points)
Each student will submit an academic paper reviewing two articles. The report is to follow the following
Author, title of article, title of publication, volume, month, year and number of pages in the article.
Summary discussion of the main ideas or points presented by the author:
o methodology, experiment, survey, history, case study, etc.,
o type of data and data collection
o primary or secondary sources
Discussion of your reaction (positive/negative) to the author’s point of view or position and your
justification for your position.
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EDU 598-110 1.18.2011
Discussion as to how this article did or did not influence your thinking in regard to the selected
Attach a copy of the article with your review.
Each student will review an article from a professional journal relevant to current educational research
and the chapter you are presenting. The article MUST have been published recently (i.e. 1998 or
later). If you find an earlier dated writing you are interested in, see the instructor to express reasons you
feel this still would be timely and appropriate. Suggested sources: Reading Teacher, Social Education,
Research and Education, American Education Research Journal, English Journal, Journal of Curriculum
and Supervision, The National Society for the Study of Education, Education Week, Educational
Leadership, Intervention, Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Problems, etc.)
You are to critique it according to the accuracy of the journal article, the form, references, and the level of
bias you see.
Evaluation & Grading:
A= 1228 - 1320 points Quizzes – 6 X 20 pts each (120 pts)
B= 1096 - 1227 points Workbook exercises - 200 pts
C= 964 - 1095 points Article Critiques – 200 pts
F= Below 964 points Chapter Report/Presentation – 200 pts
Thesis / Project Proposal – 600 pts
Total: 1320 points
Date Topic Assignments/Readings
JAN 24 Introduction & syllabus Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 1
Selecting a Research Topic Brainstorm/discuss research
JAN 31 Action Research Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 20
FEB 7 The Literature Review Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 2 & 3
FEB 14 Review a Research Plan Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 4, 20
FEB 21 Selecting Methods & Instruments Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 5 & 6
/ Quantitative Research Quiz #2
FEB 28 Survey Research / Correlational Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 7 & 8
Research Student presentations
MAR 7 Causal-Comparative Research / Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 9, 10 &
Experimental Research 11
MAR 21 Mid-Term Exam Article #2 due
MAR 28 Qualitative Research / Preparing Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 14, 18
A Research Report / Review & 21
APR 4 Narrative & Ethnographic Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 15 & 16
Research Student presentations
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APR 11 Case Study Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 17
APR 18 Descriptive Statistics Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 12
APR 25 Inferential Statistics Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 13
MAY 2 Evaluating a Research Gay, Mills & Airasian Ch. 22
MAY 9 Proposal Presentations Written Proposals due
*ALL assignments must be completed in a timely fashion to get credit for this course.
Professionalism is defined as class attendance, timely assignments, academic honesty, respectful
behavior in class and on line, cooperative collaboration with peers and professionals, commitment to
becoming a reflective professional educator and flexibility in professional situations. In case of
emergencies, make prior arrangement with the professor.
Notes: Standards of Conduct: This is a general statement about student life policies. Use the following
link to view them: http://www.tarleton.edu/~stuserv/handbook/students.pdf
Academic Dishonesty in any form will result in failure of this class and a report of the incident will be
placed in the student’s permanent file. Academic Honesty will be dealt with as outlined in the Student
Handbook. The University has an Academic Integrity Policy that will be maintained.
ADA statement: Americans with Disabilities Act
If you have or believe you have a disability, may wish to self-identify. You can do so by providing
documentation to the Director of Student Affairs. Students are encouraged to seek information about
accommodations to help assure success in this class. Please contact Ryan Thompson at 519-5796 or
Texas A&M University Central Texas expects all students to maintain high standards of personal and
scholarly conduct. Students guilty of academic dishonestly are subject to disciplinary action. Academic
dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on an examination or other academic work, plagiarism,
collusion, and the abuse of resource materials. The faculty member is responsible for initiating action for
each case of academic dishonesty.
*ANY VIOLATION OF THE ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY WILL RESULT IN FAILURE OF THE
Professional Standards for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Communicate appropriately and effectively with colleagues, supervisors, students, parents and
members of the community. Uses good oral and written communication skills
Work collaboratively with colleagues, mentors, and supervisors to achieve the local, state, and
national goals of education. Shows courtesy to peers, public school students and teachers, and
Demonstrate commitment to the teaching profession and exercise leadership for the
advancement of the profession and public education. Shows enthusiasm in class for learning and
the educational process.
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Be responsible, punctual, regular in attendance, and prepared to participate in all aspects of
professional development. (see details above ).
Assume responsibility for utilizing professional teaching practices and constantly struve to
improve through professional growth. Accepts constructive feedback and demonstrates a
willingness to make improvements in attitude and performance if needed.
Uphold the Code of Ethics for Texas Educators and abide by local, state, and federal rules,
regulations, and policies.
Demonstrate respect and maintain ethical conduct in relations with professional colleagues,
students, parents, and members of the community. Exhibits honesty and personal integrity.
Violations of ethics results in failure of this course.
Information Specific to Course:
Class discussions and participation are keys to becoming professional educators; therefore class
attendance is vital to your success. Students may miss one class meeting without penalty. Students
should make arrangements with classmates or with the instructor during office hours to catch up with any
work missed. Two absences will result in the loss of one letter grade. If a student misses 20% of the
classes OR 3 meetings, they will be advised to drop the course or they will fail the course. After the first
absence, each absence will result in the loss of 10 professionalism points per absence.
Late work is NOT accepted! You must turn your work in by the start of the class for which it is due. No
Computer Usage Policy: The University reserves the right to limit, restrict or deny access to its
technology resources, as well as to take disciplinary and/or legal action against anyone in violation of
these regulations or applicable law. Use the following link to view the acceptable computer use policy:
INFORMATION LITERACY focuses on research skills which prepare individuals to live and work in an
information-centered society. Librarians will work with students in the development of critical reasoning,
ethical use of information, and the appropriate use of secondary research techniques. Help may include,
yet is not limited to: exploration of information resources such as library collections and services,
identification of subject databases and scholarly journals, and execution of effective search strategies..
Library Resources are outlined and accessed at. http://www.tarleton.edu/centraltexas/departments/library/
Online tutoring platform that enables TAMU-CT students to log-in and receive FREE online tutoring and
writing support. This tool provides tutoring in Mathematics, Writing, General and Organic
Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Introduction to Human Anatomy and
Physiology, Accounting, Economics, Introductory Finance, Spanish, and Statistics. The hours of service
vary depending on the subject. Go to www.tamuct.org/studentaffairs and click on "Academic Support" to
gain access and see a listing of the tutoring hours.
Online job database that connects employers with students with postings of internships, part-time, full-
time jobs. All students will receive an email with their username and password the first week of school
with access information. Warrior Link allows our students up until a year after they graduate the
opportunity to search for a job, post a resume, and keep informed on any events that are going on out of
the careers services area. The link to Warrior Link is located at tamuct.org/careerservices.
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Students needing technical support with online instructional tools will find useful information, tips and
contact information at the Center for online support services
Student having problems with online instructional tools including Blackboard CE6 should contact the
support services at 254.968.1960 or through Email at Support.CITDE@tarleton.edu
Note: Many of the problems reported by students are caused simply by the fact that their browser is not
set up (tuned) properly or they are not using the correct browser version. Information concerning
computer configuration for Blackboard CE6 can be found at
http://online.tarleton.edu/Dual/computersettings.htm If you have questions please contact Online support
services at 254.968.1960 or through Email at Support.CITDE@tarleton.edu
Students having problems with Email or accessing the Tarleton Network should contact the Tarleton
Information Services helpdesk at: http://www.tarleton.edu/~helpdesk/
Student Help: Additional information about how to use Blackboard CE6 and many other helpful tips can
also be found in the student resources area of the Center for Instructional Technology and Distributed
Education website. The Blackboard CE6 Student Toolbox:
To get started using Blackboard CE6, carefully read the information in this section of the Blackboard CE6
Student Toolbox: http://online.tarleton.edu/students/CE6handbook/page_2.htm
If you discover that you need to drop this class, you must go to the Records Office and ask for the
necessary paperwork. Professors cannot drop students; this is always the responsibility of the student.
The record’s office will give a deadline for which the form must be returned, completed, and signed. Once
you return the signed form to the records office and wait 24 hours, you must go into Duck Trax and
confirm that you are no longer enrolled. If you are still enrolled, FOLLOW-UP with the records office
immediately. You are to attend class until the procedure is complete to avoid penalty for absence. Should
you miss the deadline or fail to follow the procedure, you will receive an F in the course.
About Your Professor
“The object of teaching is to enable the young man or young woman to get along
without their teachers…To provide them an independence of mind and soul, without an
arrogance of spirit or self-deceptive sophistication.”
General Creighton W. Abrams, circa 1970.
This quote embodies my personal philosophy of teaching and, by extension, leadership. It is a
philosophy learned from experiences in difficult situations, hard decisions and from the wisdom of
insightful mentors. In my philosophy, the words leader and teacher are synonymous. An effective
classroom teacher must be both a good leader and good manager. There are many types of learners,
and, by necessity, a variety of instructional approaches. A good teacher/leader understands this, and
plans their lessons accordingly.
Add in to all calendars:
Jan. 24 Graduation Application Deadline for Spring May 2011
March 14-18 Spring Break
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