EDM007-Investigating Education

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Jill Porter

Email: j.porter@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The aim of the module is to provide students with an overview of approaches to research in education in order to equip them both to understand and evaluate research studies and to carry out a small-scale personal research study for a dissertation.

The aim of the module is to provide students with an overview of approaches to research in education in order to equip them both to understand and evaluate research studies and to carry out a small-scale personal research study for a dissertation.

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • An understanding of the nature and purpose of educational research and the roles that research can play in education systems
  • Knowledge of the range of approaches to research design and data collection and analysis
  • A critical approach to the evaluation of research methods and their application in particular contexts
  • The ability to formulate research questions and the skills to design and plan an original enquiry
  • An appreciation of ethical and practical issues in research and practitioner enquiry
  • An awareness of the requirements of a masters level dissertation in Education

Additional outcomes:

  • Project planning
  • Critical analysis of educational issues
  • IT and bibliographic skills
  • Numeracy
  • Awareness of dimensions of professional practice

Outline content:
Introduction to social and educational enquiry:
Formulating research questions
A conceptual framework for social and educational enquiry
Types of research design

  • Advanced literature searches and bibliographic methods
  • Planning a project and a thesis
  • Questionnaire Design
  • Conducting Interviews
  • Analysing Documents and Texts
  • Philosophical approaches to educational inquiry
  • Ethnography
  • Action Research
  • Statistical Analysis and SPSS
  • Qualitative data analysis
  • Writing the dissertation

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The central content areas will be covered through lectures and presentations.
Workshop sessions will be focused on bibliographic techniques, documentary analysis, SPSS and qualitative data analysis.
Group activities will focus on questionnaire design, project planning and dissertation writing.
There will be group tutorials on dissertation planning.
Most teaching sessions will utilise more than one of these approaches.

Please note: There are different delivery models for this module as it is part of a number of modules being delivered through a summer school/blended learning approach as well as being offered as a taught module during term time

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
There will be one assignment of approximately 3000 words. Students will have the option of producing a research proposal for their dissertation study which should be located within a wide-ranging consideration of research approaches. Alternatively, students may critically review the methodological approaches in a particular field of study.

Formative assessment methods:
Group presentation: Critique of a research paper. Students will be given a choice of research papers and, working in small groups, will be asked to investigate the relationship between the research question(s) and the design of the study, as well as issues of validity, reliability, and ethics and to comment on how it informed their thinking about their own study. Students will then deliver a short group presentation to discuss their findings and ideas. Formative feedback will be given.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
Students must achieve 50%

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission within one calendar month of the notification of failure

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: There are no required text books for this module. However, two useful books listed are Bell, J. (2010). Doing your research project (5th ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press ISBN: 978-0335215041 and Cohen, L., Manion, L., &Morrison, K. (2011). Research methods in Education (7th ed.). Abingdon: Routledge ISBN: 978-0415583367.

These texts are available in the library or you may be able to source them more cheaply than the publisher’s recommended price (£21.99 for Bell (2010) and £30.00 for Cohen et al. (2011).

2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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