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EDR9002 Foundations of Contemporary Education Research Methods

Semester 2, 2020 Online
Short Description: Education Research
Units : 2
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 070303 - Education Studies
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Shirley O'Neill


Pre-requisite: EDU8602


Rigorous and systematic educational research requires a proficient understanding of the principles and practices of philosophy and ethics, methodologies and data analyses. This course is intended to provide those involved in education with the intellectual foundations needed to generate, analyse, and evaluate research data and reports. Communication and reporting research is fundamental to the usefulness of research processes and outcomes, and therefore researchers must know how to critically understand their own research endeavours and those of others.


This courses develops students' understanding of philosophical debates about major approaches to research in educational contexts. Students learn about the philosophical, ethical, theoretical, methodological and technical foundations of educational research. Students are introduced to a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. To be successful in this course, students should have knowledge of and skills for searching and critically analysing research literature, and an open-minded disposition to discovering new ways of generating knowledge through research. The course involves comprehensive reading and analysis of methodological literature, self-assessment and reflective activities, and peer-to-peer engagement.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. apply philosophical, ethical, and methodological principles and practices to research issues, problems, and questions in educational contexts;
  2. critically analyse the applicability of quantitative and qualitative methodologies for their applicability in research in different educational contexts;
  3. articulate how principles and practices of educational research should be applied to the formulation of research questions and designing plans for data collection and analyses;
  4. propose and support a design for conducting educational research;
  5. communicate and report research in the scholarly discourse and literacies of research.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Context and Philosophy of Educational Research 15.00
2. Planning Ethical Research 10.00
3. Research design and methodologies 20.00
4. Research and the Creation of New Knowledge 20.00
5. Data Collection and Analysis 20.00
6. Reporting and Communication 15.00

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. (

Cohen, L, Manion, L & Morrison, K 2018, Research methods in Education, 8th edn, Taylor & Francis, Abingdon, UK.

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.
O'Dwyer, LM & Benrnauer, JA 2014, Quantitative research for the qualitative researcher, SAGE, Los Angeles, CA.
Punch, KF & Oancea, A 2014, Introduction to research methods in education, 2nd edn, SAGE, London, UK.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 90.00
Online Discussion Board 40.00
Private Study 200.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
SEMINAR ABSTRACT 15 15 18 Sep 2020 1,2,3,4
SEMINAR PRESENTATION 35 35 15 Oct 2020 1,2,3,4,5,6 (see note 1)
CRITICAL REVIEW: PAPER 50 50 22 Oct 2020 1,4,5,6

  1. The quizzes and conference presentation will be conducted via StudyDesk. Students must ensure their access to reliable data download facilities

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and 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 for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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 items for the course.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination 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. Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students 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. This guide can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

  1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
  2. forms part of the Doctor of Education and is benchmarked against internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at .

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.

Date printed 6 November 2020