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ETEC 500

Research Methodologies in Education (core)


Final Grade: A+

Class Average: 94%

Extemporaneous Comments

Although most of the discussion forums in the MET courses were text-based, many of my contributions were made in video or audio format, as presented below in the audio player.  Please note that these comments are mainly unscripted because they are intended only to reflect on memorable aspects of the courses that had the longest lasting impact and influence on my educational philosophy and professional development.

 This course introduces students to issues and practices in a range of educational research methodologies. Through interactive modules, students learn about and engage with research strategies to promote an understanding of how research impacts our lives and educational pursuits. This course examines the methodological possibilities available to those reading, reviewing or conducting educational research. Research is viewed as a way of thinking critically about education issues and practice and is seen as central to the conduct of all education. We assume that education is advanced through the critical application of research and believe it is enhanced when educators practice with a disposition of inquiry and wonder.


edresearchtext1This book is nearly 650 pages with a small font size for most of the content; therefore, it cannot be read in just a night or two. Fortunately, it is extremely well written–with clear, understandable language, numerous examples andcase studies, and even a touch of humour. For people who find math and statistics to be tedious, this book explains many of those concepts very well and is therefore an excellent resource.

Mills, G. E., & Airasian, P. W. (2012). Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis and Applications Plus MyEducationLab with Pearson eText — Access Card Package (10 edition.). Pearson.

  • Module 1, Weeks 1 to 3: Personal introductions and research interests. What constitutes good research? Criteria of Educational Research. Research paradigms, problems, and questions. Methodological assumptions. Elements of research design. Differences and similarities between quantitative methods and qualitative methods. Forms of writing and information presentation. Sources of information for research. Use of libraries and online resources. APA style manual.
  • Module 2, Weeks 4 & 5: Ethical issues, Ethnography, Field Research and Interview. History and document analysis.
  • Module 3, Week 6: Literature Review.
  • Module 4, Weeks 7 to 9: Survey, quasi-experimental, and action research.
  • Module 5, Week 10: Project and proposal design and writing.
  • Module 6, Weeks 11 to 13: Data analysis and transformation, qualitative and quantitative. Issues of representation, credibility, subjectivity, and reliability.


All new research builds on the previous research done in any area of interest and for a good grade in the evaluation of your participation, assignments and final research proposal, you must demonstrate that you appreciate the importance that the creation of new research knowledge is only possible by being aware of the previous research done on your selected topic of interest. For example, you will include a critique of the critical research studies in the form of a research literature review that form the rationale for your research proposal assignment.

The final grade in the course will be based on:

  • Participation (20%). Participation will be assessed according to contribution to group tasks, meeting deadlines for postings, and quality of contributions and postings.
  • Article Critiques (15%)
  • Methodological Critique (25%)
  • Research Proposal (40%).


 Sunah Cho, Ph.D.

Sunah Cho, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia) is an Instructional Designer/Project Manager in the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, University of British Columbia. She teaches ETEC 500 (Research Methodology in Education), ETEC 510 (Design of Technology-Supported Learning Environments) and ETEC 512 (Applications of Learning Theories to Instruction). She is also a certified ISW (Instructional Skills Workshop) facilitator. She provides leadership in the application of educational technology and research to the design and development of distance and blended learning courses. Sunah is the recipient of an Award of Excellence and Innovation in Instructional Design (2012) from Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE) for the design of Distance Education Japanese 100 and 101 courses. Of particular interest is developing effective interactive learning environments and extending partnership, as an instructional designer, in teaching and learning.


An Article Critique

Course: ETEC 500 - Research Methodologies in Education (core)


Methodology Matters


This critique pertains to an article that is concerned with the high potential for culture clash that could occur when a population of predominantly White teachers is entrusted with the education of students who come from diverse non-White backgrounds. The article focuses on the second year of a five year project that involved the participation of twenty-eight preservice teachers—26 females, two males, and one participant of non-White heritage.


Audio Reflection (58 seconds):


The word cloud, based on the critique, is linked to a pdf version of it:

Tap or click to read the detailed assignment description and expectations

Article Critique: Value 15%

  • Lenski, S.D., Crawford, K., Crumpler, T. & Stallworth, C. (2005). Preparing Preservice Teachers in a Diverse World, Action in Teacher Education , 27(3), pp. 3-12 Manassas, VA. (Find the article at the end of Chapter 16 of Gay, Mills and Airasian.)

Directions: Read the above article and prepare a 600 word (maximum length) critique. Your critique should include a brief synopsis of the article plus an analysis of the scholarly writing, understandable to someone who hasn’t read the article. Specifically, your critique should contain:

  1. a summary of the main question or argument dealt with in the article
  2. the approach or methodology taken by the writer or researcher
  3. the main points or conclusions
  4. your viewpoint, including any questions, or concerns you have about the article.

Tap or click to read the paper via Google Drive's PDF viewer (for devices that don't have Adobe Reader installed)

Methodological Critique

Course: ETEC 500 - Research Methodologies in Education (core)


Balanced Perspectives Can Result from Team Efforts

Personal Reflection

This paper – done in partnership with Caroline Kim Moore – analyzes two examples of quantitative and qualitative research. The quantitative study was primarily concerned with the possible effects that certain first grade classroom characteristics (specifically instructional and emotional support) might have on children who were considered to be at risk of academic and social difficulties in school.

The qualitative study was primarily concerned with 1) how new teachers’ thinking becomes more complex while they undergo challenging professional development and 2) how this might inform teacher training pedagogy. Working on this with Caroline was a huge benefit because her background in teaching math helped me to understand some ethical aspects of the quantitative study that I may not have understood otherwise.

The word cloud, based on the critique, is linked to a pdf version of it:


Tap or click to read the detailed assignment description and expectations

Methodological Critique: Value 25%

This critique will focus on the similarities and differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods. You will read the sample research studies provided at the end ofChapter One in your textbook. Prior to beginning this assignment, you may wish to carry out Tasks 1A and 1B in Chapter One of your textbook as preparation.

Your critique is divided into two parts.

Part 1: Descriptive Analysis and Critique

  1. Describe the methods used in each article and state why the authors selected the particular methods to study the stated research problem or questions.
  2. Discuss how the selected methods are the best methods for addressing these problems, and if so why. If not, why not.
  3. Describe the major differences between the Quantitative Example and the Qualitative Example in terms of the following dimensions:

Description of research problem

  • Selection and Assignment of Participants
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Procedures and Instruments
  • Reporting of Literature
  • Reporting of Conclusions


Part 2: Methodologies for Your Future Research
This part of the assignment asks you to look at what you have done in Part 1 and discuss how your analysis and critique may influence your perspectives on the kind of research you consider most relevant to your own interests.

  1. What does each of these studies tell you about how to design an educational research project? For example, what are the particular characteristics of quantitative design that you see as most important to articulate and consider.
  2. The space of educational research spans from purely quantitative to purely qualitative to mixed methods. Thinking of your own research interests, which of the methods are more or less appealing to you as a new educational researcher, and why.

NOTE: All writings in this course should adhere strictly to the APA style as outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (available in the bookstore and library). Abbreviated versions are available on the library website and on the APA website and at: All sources used in writing should be cited and a complete bibliography provided (for single article critiques we realize your bibliography will be very brief). Papers should be submitted as attachments so they do not lose formatting. Be sure pages are numbered, and for longer assignments, use headings and subheadings (following APA guidelines) to provide a clear indication of your paper’s organization and flow.

Source: ETEC500 Syllabus – 2014

Tap or click to read the paper via Google Drive's PDF viewer (for devices that don't have Adobe Reader installed)

Tap or click here to check out the references for the above artifact and reflection.


A Research Proposal Based on Authentic Professional Practice

Course: ETEC 500 - Research Methodologies in Education (core)


Evolving Reflections 

As often happens in life and learning, our views and opinions sometimes change as we acquire new knowledge. That is exactly what happened with my research proposal, as the two separate reflections (below) will illustrate:

Reflection #2 (July, 2015)

My Second Thoughts (after some new knowledge acquisition):

This second, more recent, reflection is entirely the result of new knowledge that I have acquired while working on the MET course ETEC 520: Planning and Managing Technologies in Higher Education. As a result of now being aware of the reality that universities are usually dominated by a collegial culture in which it is a “given” that faculty needs for autonomy and research pursuits are to be respected–and, at all costs, protected–I have found myself needing to do some serious rethinking about my earlier position while preparing the research proposal. In other words, I now realize that the course redesign project that is considered in the proposal has most likely evolved in the best way possible, given the fact that my university is, like most others, currently undergoing a period of change that is seriously challenging its collegial culture.

Among many other factors, a combination of cost cutting measures, technological advancements, and student demand for quality education, has prompted this change and the institutional leaders who manage the university’s operation have recognized that a major shift towards Blended Learning (BL) could significantly lower costs in the long term. To design, redesign, and implement more BL courses requires the cooperation and collaboration of both managerial staff and instructional staff.  However, managerial staff culture is very different from the faculty’s collegial culture. In fact, according to higher education e-learning thought leaders , they are often very much at odds with each other.  Therefore, if the shift to BL courses is not handled with great care, such cooperation and collaboration between the two cultures may not be possible.

Now, in retrospect, I have a better understanding of why the decision makers for the proposal’s redesign project took the minimally interactive approach to BL  that they did.  Had they directed the redesign team to make the online portion of the course fully interactive immediately in its first iteration, they would have been ignoring the concerns–and collegial culture–of many faculty and probably increased their resistance to the use of educational technology and the entire BL initiative.  That is why, before submitting it to my university, I would need to seriously rethink and rework the entire proposal.

Because this ePortfolio is intended to document my learning and professional development, the first reflection that I originally composed several months ago, is posted below, inside the other toggle. 


Reflection #1: Original Reflection

Please Note: The following reflection was written before I had a clearer understanding of how collegial and managerial cultures co-exist in higher education and my views have since changed considerably. It is posted here solely as a means of tracking my professional growth and, as stated in Reflection #2, I now believe that the entire research proposal needs to be redeveloped according to my new understanding of how higher education institutions function.

Reflection #1

This reflection is being posted more than 18 months after completing this assignment. It was not posted immediately because, when I took this course, I was less than half way through the UBC MET Program and had not yet completed enough scholarly work to feel confident about defending this paper, should it ever be necessary. However, now that I am literally just weeks away from receiving my Master’s with a solid A+ average–and continuing to enjoy respect from my UBC peers and UBC professors–the time has come to go ahead and confidently publish this work, knowing that it is thoroughly researched and well supported.

The proposal is based on a real-life situation at my current place of employment–and it accurately describes a series of events that may cause some discomfort for the decision makers who were responsible for those events.  But, more importantly, my research proposal also involves a much wider scope than just my immediate workplace and deals with an almost universal dilemma in higher education: how to implement instructional design changes that are pedagogically beneficial to students without being excessively problematic for effective and dedicated instructors. Please note that, although the proposal itself was very highly regarded by my UBC professor and UBC cohort collaborators, it was, for reasons that will be articulated in a future reflection, not possible to implement it at my current workplace. Regardless of that, I present my ideas here and now because they have relevancy and value that should be considered as we search for viable solutions to some increasingly complicated and challenging issues in higher education.

The paper is attached to the word cloud (which is based on the proposal). It is also embedded in a toggle (below) for devices that do not have Adobe Reader installed.

Tap or click to read the detailed assignment description and expectations

Research Proposal 35%

Developing a Research Proposal involves an iterative process of identifying a research problem, finding and selecting relevant and high-quality literature to gain an understanding of the scope and current thinking in a field of research, determining the best methods to apply to the research problem and planning the details of how to proceed with conducting a study. The process is not linear, but there are significant points within the process where decisions must be made upon the best information available to the researcher. In this assignment, you will engage in this iterative process, being cognizant of the opportunity to always review, revisit and refine your Research Problem in light of gaining insights along the way. 

You will begin with an initial research problem or small set of research questions that will guide you to seek and select relevant literature to critically review. After you review the literature (a minimum of 8, a maximum of 10 high quality articles), you will select appropriate methods to apply to the research problem, and develop a plan that has as much detail as possible to carry out your study. You must articulate the rationale for your decisions and demonstrate that you have considered the most recent and best knowledge available to you. The following format will guide your work. 

We strongly suggest that you begin thinking about your research problem during the first week of class. We will provide discussion forums for you to exchange and discuss your proposed topic and preliminary research questions with your colleagues for feedback. In Week 6, you will submit your provisional topic and a set of 3-5 research questions to the Assignment Dropbox for instructor approval (5%) so that you may proceed to the writing of the Research Proposal. This assignment should be no more than 1 page in length. 

We strongly suggest that you also keep a personal log of your ideas as you proceed, these will be very valuable to you as insights continue to emerge in your thinking about this proposal. 

Include all cited articles in APA formatting (Minimum of 8 and Maximum of 10). The total length should be no more than 4000 words excluding references.

SOURCE: ETEC 500 Syllabus – 2014

Tap or click to read the paper via Google Drive's PDF viewer (for devices that don't have Adobe Reader installed)

Tap or click here to check out the references for the above artifact.


Real Life Examples of Linking Theory to Practice:

The following blurbs will connect you to current examples of linking theory to practice.

More About Gary

additional information about Gary’s background & current practice

Reflections on HYU Practice

ongoing initiatives to support learners and faculty at Hanyang University

Overview of Current Sites

e-learning spaces that Gary currently uses in professional practice

Links to Old Spaces

discontinued spaces that trace Gary’s online footprint back to 2001

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