EDPF 65511: Research in Educational Services

Catalog Description:

Introduction to purposes and practice of qualitative and quantitative research related to educational services. The emphasis of this course will be on the elements of conducting research and using products of research to support and enhance practice. It is designed to allow students to become informed consumers of social science research. Students will be able to identify various research approaches and the strengths and limitations associated with different approaches. Students will develop skills related to: the development of valid research questions, the evaluation of various research designs, and the use of the library to search the literature.


This class was an excellent introduction to research methods and models for me, since I had not taken a class in psychology since my freshman year as an undergraduate. The class was particularly focused on evaluating research on higher education issues. Having this class at the beginning of my graduate experiences helped me to evaluate theoretical and practical research which I encountered during my study. Throughout the program, I have relied heavily upon the research methods and skills I gained in this class.


    1. Formulate Questions that can be tested with appropriate research designs.

    2. Identify the variables in research articles such as those contained in scholarly journals

    3. Apply the concepts of validity and reliability to research

    4. Identify the threats to validity inherent in various empirical studies

    5. Identify the ethical principles that guide research in general and research with human subjects in particular

    6. Identify the limitations inherent in various empirical studies

    7. Competently evaluate previously conducted research

    8. Distinguish between the basic research designs

    9. Use the library to search the literature

    10. Understand the basic principles of sampling, data collection, and data analysis

Key Assignments:

Individual Research Plan – I proposed, organized, and wrote a review of literature for an original research project. The final product was a proposed research plan, ready to be implemented.

Group Research Project – As a group, we proposed, organized, researched, and conducted a study of Kent State students’ perceptions of financial aid options and the role it played in their college choice. We then wrote the results of the study and presented our results before the class.