Research Methods in Education (M.S.)

Program Description

The Master of Science in Research Methods in Education (RMinE), offered by the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, will provide students training for careers in settings such as academic institutions, K-12 school districts, state and federal agencies, healthcare, and certification, licensing and testing organizations.

Developing research knowledge and skills within a problem-of-practice framework, enrolled students will learn to apply research methods, techniques and constructs to real world education settings, issues, and data sets. The M.S. degree requires students to complete 36-credit hours and the program will be available entirely online, asynchronous, as well as on campus.

Students enrolled in the program will develop a foundation in basic research methods in education, while completing a focused area of emphasis: quantitative methods, evaluation, or research design. The inter-disciplinary program will cross fields of study within education, drawing from perspectives in policy, psychology, pedagogy and history.

This unique approach should attract those wanting to develop academic and applied research skills, undertake commissioned research or evaluations, or progress to doctoral study, as well as those already working as a researcher or evaluator. Components of the program will also support undergraduate education core in quantitative inferential reasoning and offer content to many existing graduate programs across UK.

Student Learning Objectives

Four intended student learning outcomes have been developed in collaboration with the college and department:

1) Students will have methodological skills to develop research questions and apply appropriate analytical techniques;

2) Students will have the theoretical knowledge to appropriately frame research design and analysis;

3) Students will have analytical skills necessary to conduct research or evaluation;

4) Students will communicate their knowledge effectively using discipline-specific language and appropriate genre from a scholarly perspective and to a specified audience

These intended goals relate directly to three important areas of learning:

  • Specialized Knowledge
  • Intellectual Skills
  • Applied Learning

Students will leave the program with specialized skills related to quantitative methods, research design, or evaluation/assessment. Students are expected to demonstrate these specialized skills through the evaluation of others’ work and the production of their own work. Quantitative methods, evaluation/assessment, and research design are all specialized as they require specific knowledge of advanced theoretical and analytical techniques which go beyond what the average individual can learn on their own or through work experience.

Students intellectual skills will be developed as they design research questions and apply appropriate methods. It is expected that students will leave the program with the ability to develop research plans and studies which address stated research questions, further demonstrating they have refined, applicable, intellectual skills.

Finally, the program is largely rooted in the applied learning principle with student learning objectives being focused on skill-based competency. At the end of the program, students are expected to be able to implement an evaluation, create and test an assessment, or design and conduct an advanced quantitative research study. It is expected that students leaving the program will be able to identify needs in their respective fields where they could apply their specialized skills. Given the methods focus of this program, students are expected to develop their specialized skillset and be able to apply it when appropriate.