New Course Development: EDU 602 - Research Methods in Education

After identifying a significant gap in the educational leadership curriculum, our dean assigned me the challenging yet fulfilling task of developing the graduate-level course, EDU 602 - Research Methods in Education. The intent was to design an advanced course that serves as an intellectual scaffold, empowering future educational leaders and researchers to conduct rigorous and impactful research. The course development process was intense, spanned over a year, and comprised several key stages, each of which shaped the course's quality and effectiveness.

Stage 1: Initial Sketch of the Course
The journey commenced with a comprehensive one-hour meeting with an instructional designer. During this phase, I pondered broadly on the course objectives and the skills I aimed to cultivate among students. Instead of a superficial overview, I aimed for an in-depth exploration of educational research methodologies, thus enabling students to critically evaluate educational practices, policies, and interventions. I envisioned assessments that would require students to apply theoretical concepts practically, thereby ensuring an authentic learning experience. Essential readings and resource materials were also identified at this stage to align with course objectives.

Stage 2: Course Design
In subsequent meetings with the instructional designer, we focused on refining the course blueprint. The course and module-level learning goals were formulated to ensure alignment with program objectives and accreditation standards. For example, one of the course-level goals is for students to gain proficiency in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Assessments were designed to encompass a broad spectrum, from critical reviews of existing research articles to the creation of original research proposals. Hands-on activities were planned to ensure active engagement with the material and to facilitate peer learning. Technology-wise, appropriate software tools like SPSS and qualitative data analysis platforms were incorporated to facilitate the learning of data collection and analysis.

Stage 3: Course Development
After more than six months of meticulous planning and iteration, I entered the course development phase, marked by more frequent meetings with the instructional designer. Each element from the course outline was translated into detailed instructional materials. Rigorous lecture notes, PowerPoint slides, sample research papers, and practice exercises were developed. I also configured the course shell on Canvas, our Learning Management System, embedding interactive quizzes, discussion boards, and a grade book to track student performance. Throughout this period, my focus remained steadfast on delivering a course that is both rigorous in academic content and enriched with practical applications.

By the end of this extensive journey, EDU 602 was a thoroughly crafted educational product designed to impart students with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive as educational leaders and researchers. While the development process was lengthy, the attention to detail at each stage ensured that the course aligns well with program objectives, meets accreditation requirements, and, most importantly, enriches the academic and professional lives of our students.

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