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EDO4675 Research Approaches for Contemporary Educators

Semester 1, 2013 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Moderator: Patrick Danaher


It is crucial that contemporary educators are also researchers. Educators' research activities can vary from action research projects designed to maximise their students' learning to community projects intended to enhance links between educational institutions and their constituencies to academic and professional projects calculated to contribute to educational research knowledge and scholarship. Given this crucial role, it is vital that prospective educators understand and engage with a range of effective, efficient and ethical contemporary approaches to educational research, so that they can knowledgeably evaluate the findings and implications of current research as well as contributing to that research in various fora and ways. This course is relevant to all specialisations within the Bachelor of Education program; it is a required course for students undertaking the Honours program.


The course is divided into two sections. The first section presents selected philosophical and methodological debates about the purposes, types, elements and effects of contemporary educational research. The second section considers the main components of desigining an effective, efficient and ethical educational research proposal. Each section is underpinned by a range of resources gleaned from contemporary educational research. These resources are designed to highlight key debates and divergences as well as to suggest possible strategies for planning, conducting, reporting, publishing and evaluating educational research.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate understanding of selected approaches to and strategies in contemporary educational research (Assignment 1)
  2. evaluate the character and effectiveness of selected accounts of contemporary educational research (Assignment 1)
  3. design an effective, efficient and ethical proposal for an educational research project (Assignment 2)
  4. establish meaningful links between the proposed research project and selected elements of the course content (Assignment 2)
  5. demonstrate an appropriate standard of academic literacy (Assignment 1 an 2)
  6. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing. (All assessments)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Purposes, types, elements and effects of contemporary educational research. 50.00
2. Designing an effective, efficient and ethical educational research proposal. 50.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Henderson, R., & Danaher, P.A. (Eds) 2008, Troubling terrains: Tactics for traversing and transforming contemporary educational research, Post Pressed, Teneriffe, QLD.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K 2007, Research methods in education, 6th edn, Routledge, London and New York.
    (370.72 Coh.)
  • Coombes, P. N., Danaher, M. J. M., & Danaher, P. A 2004, Strategic uncertainties: Ethics, politics and risk in contemporary educational research, Post Pressed, Flaxton, Qld.
    (370.72 Str.)
  • De George-Walker, L. R., & Danaher, P. A. (Eds) 2008, 'Evaluating value(s):', Issues in and implications of educational research significance and researcher identity, vol. 4, no. 1, p. 78.
    (Theme issues of the International Journal of Pedagogy.)
  • Henderson, R. W., & Danaher, P. A. (Eds.) 2008, 'Doctoral designers:', Challenges and opportunities in planning and conducting educational research, vol. 4, no. 2, p. 58.
    (Theme issues of the International Journal of Pedagogy.)
  • Somekh, B., & Lewin, C. (Eds) 2005, Research methods in the social sciences, Sage publications, London.
    (300.72 Res.)
  • Wiersma, W., & Jurs, S. G 2005, Research methods in education: An introduction, 8th edn, Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA.
    (370.78 Wie.)
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 80.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 50 50 22 Apr 2013
ASSIGNMENT 2 50 50 10 Jun 2013

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and have Internet access to UConnect for this course.