Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE EDU5971

 
TITLE Applied Educational Research Methods

 
LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 5

 
DEPARTMENT Faculty of Education

 
DESCRIPTION The study-unit is skills-based and is organized as follows:
- A first component in either Applied Qualitative Methods, or Applied Quantitative Methods, or Philosophical Inquiry or Mixed Method Research.
- A second component in an area chosen from a list reflecting the applied research needs of particular study-area. These include evaluation studies; educational assessment; mixed methods; Mosaic and PAR research; discourse analysis; curriculum studies; content/speech analysis; action research; adult learning evaluation; community research.

Study-Unit Aims:

Qualitative Research Option

The applied qualitative education research component aims to encourage students to transit from a knowledge to a skills-based approach in the application of observational methods; the use of structured, semi-structured, unstructured, focus group interview and ethnographic conversations; of narrative inquiry and analysis; of action and participatory research; of visual and arts based methods and critical discourse analysis in educational research.

Quantitative Research Option

This component has two aims. The first, to enable students to master the use of a number of descriptive and inferential techniques. Secondly, to help students become familiar with the SPSS statistical software package to an extent which allows them to independently use the SPSS in data handling and quantitative data analysis. In so doing it helps students develop a good working knowledge and understanding of important statistical concepts and the use of a number of descriptive and inferential statistical techniques.

Philosophical Inquiry

The study-unit aims to:
- Enlarge teachers’ knowledge of philosophical modes of inquiry into educational practices, policies and methodologies and research methods.
- Enhance teachers’ practical knowledge in analysing and deconstructing texts.
- Sensitize teachers to their responsibilities in choosing/ producing and discussing texts.

Mixed Methods Research

This aims of this component of the study-unit is to examine the strengths and limitations of the specific research methods in education. Students will learn about different approaches to empirical studies, analyze data and engage in ongoing debates in this domain, with a focus on the growing field of mixed method studies. This component of the study-unit will allow students to examine mixed methods and to apply them in practice. In addition to analyzing and evaluating the required readings, students are expected to explore alternative research models and to support their ideas with evidence.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

Qualitative Research Option

By the end of this component of this study-unit, the student will be able to discern which of the many qualitative research methods best suits their research question/s. They will be able to become ethical researchers in the field. They should demonstrate an understanding of different representational styles of presenting data and identify what makes data trustworthy.

Quantitative Research Option

By the end of this component of the study-unit, the student will be able to:
- Distinguish between populations and samples, and the major sampling procedures in quantitative research.
- Explain the nature and meaning of various levels of statistical significance (p-values).
- Explain the inferential leap and understand the nature and use of statistical inference.
- Distinguish between statistical significance and practical/educational significance.

Philosophical Inquiry

By the end of this component of the study-unit, students will:
- Acquire knowledge about texts and their production.
- Understand its relevance to educational practice.
- Develop practical knowledge of the ways it can be used.
- Become aware of the political and ethical issues related to the reading, analysis and writing of philosophical texts.

Mixed Methods Research

By the end of this component of the study-unit, the student will be able to:
- Explain the purpose and assumptions of the mixed methods research paradigm that integrates qualitative, quantitative data collection, analysis and presentation of results.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the basic and advanced concepts and procedures involved in research design, sampling of mixed methods studies.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the basic and advanced concepts and procedures involved in analysis of the data collected during mixed methods studies.

2. Skills:

Qualitative Research Option

By the end of this component of the study-unit, students should have the skills necessary to carry out research in a variety of education settings and with a range of participants in the education field from very young children to their teachers, parents, other educators, policymakers and stakeholder elites. They should be able to conduct observational studies, to interview participants and analyse these interviews using different forms of analysis, to produce and analyse narratives, to conduct Action Research projects and to use multimodality methodology in educational settings (visual methods, vignettes, drawings, sentence completion, MOSAIC and others). They should be able to analyze education policy texts using critical discourse analysis.

Quantitative Research Option

By the end of this component of the study-unit, the student will be able to:
- Determine an appropriate sample size and use an appropriate procedure to select it.
- Establish coding frames, organize data and prepare them for use with the IBM SPSS.
- Declare variables in the VARIABLE VIEW and enter data in the DATA VIEW.
- Decide which statistical technique is most appropriate for a given analysis, use IBM SPSS to employ the technique, execute the analysis, read and understand the STATISTICS VIEWER, and interpret the results.
- Use the following procedures: DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS, COMPARE MEANS, GENERAL LINEAR MODEL, CORRELATE, NONPARAMETRIC TESTS, SPLIT FILE, SELECT CASES, COMPUTE, RECODE.

Philosophical Inquiry

By the end of this component of the study-unit, the student will be able to:
- Make critical and creative reading of philosophical texts.
- Use philosophical texts in problematising ideas about education, educational practices, policies, pedagogies and research methods.
- Reading a text through a deconstructive approach.
- Reflect on the researchers’ involvement in the production of texts.
- Use philosophical inquiry methods as educational resources.

Mixed Methods Research

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Develop skills to critically review and evaluate educational research.
- Develop research proposals based on a mixed method approach to research in education.
- Develop research instruments for data collection for mixed methods studies including the design of self-administrating, online research instruments and computer-assisted telephone interviewing.
- Use devices for collection of data for mixed methods studies and skills to use software for computer-assisted quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
- Demonstrate a proficiency in a variety of software products for data analysis of mixed methods studies.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Qualitative Research Option

- Bauer, M. W. and G. Gaskell (2000/2009) (Eds) Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound: A Practical Handbook Los Angeles, Sage.
- Groundwater-Smith, S., Dockett, S. and D. Bottrell (2015) Participatory Research with Children and Young People, London, Sage.
- A reading list will be made available from material available on HyDi.

Quantitative Research Option

- Agresti, A. & Finlay, B. (2013). Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences (4th ed). New Jersey: Pearson Education International. 0-13-622515-2
- Bryman, A. (2016). Social Research Methods (5th ed). Oxford: University Press. ISBN: 978019968453
- Field, A. (2012) Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics (4th ed). London: Sage. ISBN 9781446249185
- Fowler, F.J. (2002). Survey research methods (3rd ed). London: Sage. ISBN: 0-7619-2191-5
- Gay, R., Mills, G.E. & Airasian, P. (2009). Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis & Applications (9th ed). New Jersey: Pearson Education International. ISBN: 9780136040941
- Glass, G.V., & Hopkins, K.D. (1996). Statistical Methods in Education and Psychology (3rd ed.). London: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN: 0-205-14212-5
- Robson, C. & McCartan, K. (2016). Real World Research (4th ed). Oxford: Wiley. ISBN: 9781118745236

Philosophical Inquiry

- David Bridges & Richard Smith (eds.) (2007). Philosophy, Methodology and Educational Research. Blackwell Publications.
- Mc Craw Neil ( 2013) How to Read Texts London, Bloomsbury.
- Maarten Simons Mark Olssen & Michael A. Peters (2009) Re -Reading Education Policies A Handbook Studying the Policy Agenda of the 21st Century Rotterdam, Sense Publishers.
- McLaure Maggie ( 2004) Discourse in Educational and Social Research. Buckingham Open University press.
- G.J.J. Biesta & D. Egéa-Kuehne (eds) ( 2001), Derrida & Education London, Routledge.
- Santoro Doris & Wilson Terry (eds) (2015) Special Issue Philosophy Pursued through Empirical Research. Studies in Philosophy and Education Vol.34 No.2.

Mixed Methods Research

- Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
- Gibbs, RG., friese S & Mangabeira, W.C. (2002). The Use of New Technology in Qualitative Research. Introduction. Forum: Qualitative Social Research. Available online at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/847/1840
- Kuckartz, U. (2014). Qualitative text analysis: A guide to methods, practice & using software. London, UK: SAGE.
- Oakley, A. (1999). Paradigm wars: Some thoughts on a personal and public trajectory. International Journal of Social Research Methodology. 2(3), 247-254.
- Wellington, J. (2015). Educational research: Contemporary issues and practical approaches (2nd ed.). London, UK: Bloomsbury.

Supplementary Readings will be available to students through VLE.

 
ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Study-unit: EDU5970

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 65%
Project SEM2 Yes 35%

 
LECTURER/S Mark Borg (Co-ord.)
Maria M. Brown
George Cremona
Mary Darmanin
Victor Martinelli
Duncan Mercieca
Milosh Raykov
Valerie Sollars
Doreen Spiteri

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

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