Summer 2021 - EDUC 719 G031

Research Approaches in Educational Leadership (3)

Class Number: 4078

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA



Covers research methods, with special reference to research in Education Leadership. Fundamental theories, practices, and ethical issues of educational research are discussed. The course addresses some of the fundamental challenges and decisions in designing and using educational research.


This course is restricted to students in a Community MEd cohort program

Meeting Dates:             May 12 to August 9th*, 2021

Meeting Times:             Friday 5:30 – 8:30*

Meeting Location:         CANVAS + Zoom    
Additional Details:

*Please refer to CANVAS to see which classes will be synchronous (e.g., all of us together on zoom) and which ones are asynchronous (e.g., independent study). Our formal class meetings will end July 23rd - the remaining time will be used to support students completing their proposals for submission for ethical review with SFU Office of Research Ethics.

*CANVAS will be our home base; we will utilize Zoom for our cohort gatherings. This class will be a blended learning of self-directed and self-paced learning (with timelines/deadlines to help give you an organized structure) and class learning together through scheduled meeting times. Where possible, I will be uploading pre-recorded lectures to help assist you in your learning so we can focus our online time together with meaningful discussions and connections.  



  1. Develop your understanding of tenants, strengths, and limitations of various research paradigms.
  2. Gain an appreciation for and insight into the concepts of research skills and approaches across the educational and professional sectors.
  3. Understand the principles of ethical research.


  1. To develop an awareness of your personal understandings and professional practice of research (e.g., researcher positionality and subjectivity)
  2. To share and contrast your understandings of research (as per course readings and discussions) with colleagues through in-class and online discussions, reflections, and other course related activities.
  3. To reflect on areas of strengths and weaknesses of research design.

Application to practice: 

  1. To apply research design in your practice as an educational leader in a collaborative context with your peers within the cohort.
  2. To construct a useful set of research frameworks designed to assist you in confronting complex issues through research. 

  3. To develop research project that considers methodological approaches (strengths/limitations) and ethical considerations specific to the research project and context of your research. 


  • Research Project Proposal + Appendices 40%
  • Research Activities Portfolio 20%
  • Team Research Methodology Presentation 20%
  • Research Project Proposal Presentation 10%
  • Participation 10%


*Please note that course assignments, due dates, and grading structure will be finalized our first class together and subject to change with cohort consensus.

Graduate General Regulations 1.5.1 Normal Grading System:

A+ = 4.33 points, A   = 4.00, A- = 3.67, B+ = 3.33, B  = 3.00, B-  = 2.67

(Normally, graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0) *


Requirements for each assignment will be reviewed during the first weekend of class. Further details will be provided in the full syllabus and on CANVAS. 

All assignments must comply with APA 7th edition formatting, in-text citations, and references. (If you’ve been using 6th Edition that is also acceptable).



Students will be using a variety of software during the course, the links to the software provided to SFU graduate students for no charge will be posted on CANVAS (e.g., Zotero, NVivo). All students should have a working version of Excel (or Numbers) on one of their devices (e.g., laptop, iPad, or desktop). Please be aware that if you are using a computer belonging to your employer, administrative rights and permissions from your IT department will be needed if you are downloading software to a work device.


O’Leary, Z. (2017). The essential guide to doing your research project (3rd ed.). London: SAGE. 

ISBN: 9781446258972

Salkind, N. J. (2015). Excel statistics. A quick guide. 3rd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications; + companion website:
(NOTE: If you have an earlier of this text that is good too!)

ISBN: 978482274048

NOTE: Other readings will be assigned that are journal articles or e-book chapters and will be posted to CANVAS.


Banta, T. W.  & Palomba, C. (2014). Assessment essentials: Planning, implementing, and improving assessment in higher education. Available online via SFU library:

Boudah, D. (2011). Conducting educational research: Guide to completing a major project. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. 

ISBN: 9781412979023

Creswell, J. W. (2015). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education. Note: this book is available as an e-textbook (at reduced cost). ISBN: 9780133549584 or 0133549585 (or the 2012 edition is also a good one to have as a reference book).

ISBN: 9780133549584

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).