EDRS 6302

3 Semester Hours
Spring 2001

                      Professor: Dr. Cher C. Hendricks

                      Contact:  Department of Educational Leadership and Professional Studies
                                                141 Education Annex
                                                State University of West Georgia
                                                Carrollton, GA  30118

                      E-mail:   cchester@westga.edu

                      Office:     141 Education Annex
                                 Office Hours: Monday 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
                                                     Tuesday (Henry County) 4:00 - 5:00
                                                     Wednesday 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

                     Telephone: 770.836.4400
                                 Fax:  770.836.4646


Distance Support: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/webct3/main/help.html









The study of the general principles of qualitative, quantitative, and action research designs.  Students become consumers of research in their fields and learn how to conduct research in their particular educational settings. This course meets at least 80% of the time via WebCT - a two-way interactive on-line course system.


Through this course students will demonstrate progress in  the achievement of two NBPTS propositions that form the conceptual framework for advanced preparation programs in the College of Education.  This course will enable the student to begin the development of a portfolio that could be submitted for National Board Certification.

Proposition 2.  Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.  Graduate students will gain an understanding that educational research facilitates the learning process through the creation of new knowledge from various disciplines. Students will conduct action research studies in their classrooms in order to enhance teaching and learning.

Proposition 4.  Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.  Graduate students will show an understanding of educational research and draw upon research findings in their fields to enhance their understanding of the ways in which students learn.


Students will:

1.  utilize research methods when addressing the common problems and special needs that arise in the practice of education (Bernard, 1994; Jaeger, 1988; Mason & Bramble, 1997);

2.  gain a knowledge of educational research that will permit objective decisions concerning curriculum, methods, and administration in light of the diversity in educational settings (Bernard, 1994; Jaeger, 1988; Neito, 1996);

3.  be able to read professional journal articles and be able to evaluate the reliability of the methodology employed and the validity of the conclusions reached by the authors (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996; Gay, 1996; Wiersma, 1995);

4.  understand the basic differences between quantitative, qualitative, and action research and when each is most appropriate for research problems (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996; Gay, 1996; Wiersma, 1995);

5.  use a variety of sources of information to make decisions (Gredler, 1996; ISLLC Standard 30);

6.  gather and interpret multiple sources of information regarding performance that are used by staff and students (Gredler, 1996; Mason & Bramble, 1997; ISLLC Standard 32);

7.  assess student learning by using a variety of techniques (Gay, 1996; Gredler, 1996; ISLLC Standard 31);

8.  identify potential problems and opportunities (Gay, 1996; Gredler, 1996; Mason & Bramble, 1997; ISLLC Standard 42);

9.  employ a variety of (supervisory) and evaluation models (Gredler, 1996; ISLLC Standard 33);

10.  use computers to support problem solving, data collection; information management; communications, presentations, and decision making (Gay, 1996; ISTE Standard 1.2.4); and

11.  demonstrate understanding of how to apply evaluation and research findings to the process of goal setting and change (Gredler, 1996; PRAXIS Standard 1.E.3);


Required Texts:

    Mills, G. (1999).  Action research. A guide for the teacher researcher. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

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Knowledge and Research Base:

     Bernard, H. R. (1994).  Research methods in anthropology:  Qualitative and quantitative approaches (2nd ed.).  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage.

     Cohen, H. (1988).  How to read a research paper.  The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 42, 596-600.

     Educational Testing Service. (1994).  Test specifications for educational leadership: Administration and supervision: Content knowledge.  Princeton, NJ: author.

     Firestone, W. A. (1987).  Meaning in method: Rhetoric of quantitative and qualitative research.  Educational Researcher, 16, 16-21.

     Gall, M. D., Borg, W. R., & Gall, J. P. (1996).  Educational research: An introduction (6th ed.); White Plains, NY: Longman.

     Gay, L. R. (1996).  Educational research:  Competencies for analysis and application (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

     Gredler, M. E. (1996).  Program evaluation.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ:  Prentice-Hall, Inc.

     Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (1996). Standards for school leaders. Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington, DC. [ISLLC]

     International Society for Technology in Education (n.d.).  Standards for basic endorsement in educational computing and technology literacy. [http://www.iste.compentencies.html]

     Jaeger, R. M., (Ed.).  (1988).  Complementary methods for research in education.  Washington, DC:  American Educational Research Association.

     Mason, E. J., & Bramble, W. J. (1997).  Research in education and the behavioral sciences:  Concepts and methods.  Chicago:  Brown & Benchmark.



1) Postings to the course bulletin board:  students will be expected to post assignments, questions, and comments to the WebCT     bulletin board, typically on a weekly basis.

2) Article Summaries:  students will be expected to write article summaries, concentrating on the concepts covered in the course.

3) Online Assignments:  students will respond to questions given by the instructor on Action Research topics.

4) Action Research Project:  students will complete a research evaluation project that includes writing a preliminary literature review, generating research questions and hypotheses, and developing a plan for data collection.  Students are required to collect and analyze data, as well as to report results of the study.


For the above assignments, students will be expected to:

Grading policy:

There are 16 assignments (see table below for assignments and due dates)

Unit 1 email
assign. to 
Dr. H  (1.1)
Unit 1
BB Posting
Unit 2
Unit 2
BB Posting
Unit 2
BB Response
Unit 3
5 References
Unit 3
IRB Approval
Unit 3
Draft  (3.3)
Unit 4
BB Posting
Unit 5 email
assign. to
Dr. H. (5.1)
Update of
Projects to BB (6 minimum) (6.1)
Responses to Updates on BB (6.2) Unit 6 email
assign. to 
Dr. H. 

Draft of Final Project


Final Project




Due Jan. 29 Due Jan. 29 Due Feb. 5 Due Feb. 5 Due Feb. 12 Due Feb. 12 Due Feb. 26 Due Feb. 26 Due Mar. 5 Due Mar. 12 Due Apr.16 Due Apr. 16 Due Apr. 23 Due Apr. 30 Due May 7 Due May 7

You will earn an A in this course if:

You will earn a B in this course if:

You will earn a C in this course if:

You will earn an F in this course if:


January 8          Course Objectives.  Using WebCT.

January 22        Unit 1 Introduction to Action Research.

January 29       Unit 2 Action Research in the Schools.  Choosing an Area of Focus and Developing an Action Plan.

February 5        Meet on campus.  Discussion of Action Research Plans, the Institutional Review Board, and Literature Reviews.  Unit 3.  Developing the Area of Focus and Writing the Literature Review.

February 12 & February 19       Write literature Review

February 26  Unit 4.  Developing Research Questions. Planning Data Collection.

                    March 5    Unit 5  Data Collection Considerations

March 12     Meet on campus.  Preparing for Conducting the Action Research Project.

March 26 through Mid April  Conducting the Action Research Project

April 16      Unit 6  Data Analysis and Interpretation & Action Planning

April 23      Makin Sense of Data and Wrting Results

April 30       Action Research Draft Due

May 7      Presentation of Findings.

Students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty.  Plagiarism occurs when a student uses or purchases ghost-written papers.  It also occurs when a student utilizes ideas of or information obtained from another person without giving credit to that person.  If plagiarism or another act of academic dishonesty occurs, it will be dealt with in accordance with the academic misconduct policy stated in The Uncatalog, Undergraduate Catalog, and Graduate Catalog.