Fall 2022 - EDUC 864 G001

Research Designs in Education (5)

Class Number: 1871

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 7 – Dec 6, 2022: Tue, 4:30–9:20 p.m.



Designing and interpreting research about education. Introduction to survey techniques, correlational designs, classic experimental and evaluation designs for investigating causal relations, case study methods, interpretive approaches to research. Students with credit for EDUC 814 may not take this course for further credit. Equivalent Courses: EDUC814


This course provides training in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods designs for conducting empirical research in education & counselling psychology.  It is an advanced level course that assumes basic undergraduate competence in statistics and social scientific research.  This course prepares students to evaluate and critique statistics and research methods in their discipline, including the use and misuse of qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques. An emphasis is placed on training students to reflect critically on the methods themselves – their philosophical underpinnings, promises, and limitations.  Ethical and cultural considerations in research are also addressed.  This course is designed to be interactive and dialogical, and entails a mix of lectures, discussion and peer-related activities.


  1. Understand the purposes, advantages, and limitations of different types of research designs (quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods) and their associated paradigms.
  2. Understand the philosophical underpinnings of the various designs and the place of values in research.
  3. Develop skills in assessing and critiquing the quality of research studies in education and counselling psychology; be able to critique research from the standpoint of one’s own worldview / philosophical commitments.
  4. Gain an understanding of all stages of research design, from generating research questions to disseminating findings.
  5. Become familiar with legal and ethical policies, responsibilities and practices involved in conducting research with human beings in Canada, including respect for diversity issues.


  • Poster Presentation 30%
  • Paradigm Critique Paper 30%
  • One of Research Proposal or 2 Article Critiques 40%


Poster Presentation: Select a specific qualitative or quantitative research design/technique and describe it for the class, using an academic poster presentation format.

Paradigm Critique Paper: Part 1: Select two empirical articles on the same phenomena which have been approached from different paradigms.  Compare and contrast the approach of the two studies using critiera provided by the instructor.  Part 2: For one of the articles, discuss how the researchers’ philosophical assumptions align or depart from your worldview.

Research Proposal:  Part 1: Preliniary outline of your research problem/puporse, proposed methodology, and timeline of your research. Part 2: Final draft of research proposal (8 pages, max), incorporating feedback from Part 1.

Article Critique: Read and critically evaluate 2 assigned research articles in terms of the authors’ research method, the quality of their analysis, whether or not the conclusions are warranted from the results, and ways that the design could be improved.


APA style (7th edition) is required and awarded points in all written assignments.  



Mertens, D.M. (2019).  Research and evaluation in education and psychology: Integrating diversity with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods (5th ed).  California: Sage Publishing.


ISBN: 978-1544333762


Huck, S.W. (2010).  Reading statistics and research (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
ISBN: 978-0132659093

Locke, L. F., Silverman, S.J., & Spirduso, W.W. (2010).  Reading and understanding research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

ISBN: 978-1412975742

American Psychological Association (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

ISBN: 978-1433832161


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. 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 website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html 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. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html