Child Development 250 (01)
Research Methods 
California State University, Sacramento
Spring, 2013








Class meetings


Required Reading








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Course Description

Survey of both qualitative and quantitative methods in the development of reliable knowledge in the field of education. Includes identification and formulation of research problems, research designs and presentation of reports representative of different research strategies. Critical thinking and writing skills will be emphasized. Prerequisite: CHDV 200A and CHDV 200B; admission to the MA program or instructor permission.











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Course Objectives
  Upon successful completion of this course students will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of concepts related to both quantitative (experimental & correlational) and qualitative research designs;

  • Be familiar with methodological trends in educational and social/behavioral research;

  • ·Distinguish between various methods of data collection and show an ability to evaluate and select appropriate measures;

  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic statistical concepts and quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques;

  • Be able to effectively summarize, evaluate, and present current research in the behavioral sciences;

  • Be able to conduct a literature review and engage in the design and development of an effective research proposal;

  • Demonstrate knowledge of discipline specific writing standards and APA style











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Class Meetings/Office Hours


Class meets: Wed  5:00 - 7:50 p.m. BRH 209  

Instructor Office Hours: Mon: 1:00 - 2:30 pm; Tuesday 10:30am - 12:00pm (or by appointment)

Instructor Contact: BRH 232;  278-4365 or












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Required Reading

The following texts are required.

Lodico, M.G., Spaulding, D.T., & Voegtle, K.H. (2010). Methods in 
             educational research: From theory to practice, 2nd edition.

Publication Manual for the American Psychological Association. (2009).
              6th edition.

Additional supplementary readings are required.  These are listed on, and linked to, the course schedule.












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Course requirements are listed below. More detailed handouts are available on by clicking the green links.

1) Participation/Reading
Part of the course will be set up in “seminar” format. Thus, we need (and want) everyone’s participation! Students are expected to attend each scheduled class and to have read the assigned reading beforehand in order to be ready to participate in class discussion. Please bring your text and/or a copy of the assigned supplementary reading to class each week. In addition, there will be several homework assignments to complete in preparation for discussion or other course assignments. No late homework assignments will be accepted and students must be present during class on the day homework is due to receive full credit. A participation grade will be assigned based on (a)  participation in class discussion and (b) completion of homework assignments.

2) Exams
There will be two “open-book” in-class exams, each worth 60 points. Exams will cover readings, lectures, and class discussion. An exam guide will be distributed the week before the exam. Please note: There are no scheduled make-up exams. If there is a scheduling problem, you must speak with me prior to the exam due date. The only valid excuses for rescheduling an exam are (a) illness, or (b) family emergency. Both of these require documentation (e.g., letter from doctor) to be valid. Dates for exams are listed on the on line course schedule.

3) Article summary/critiques
Two 3-4 page critiques of recent empirical journal articles are required. Each paper includes a short summary of the study, as well as an evaluation of the study's method and/or conclusions. For the first critique paper, you will be assigned one of 4 articles selected by the instructor. For the second paper, you will select an (empirical) article related to your research proposal topic. You should be prepared to present a brief summary of your articles to the class on the day the papers are due.

4) Research proposal
A 10-15 page research proposal is required.  A brief description of your topic is due early in the semester and two worksheets and a list of references are due mid semester (please see due dates on course schedule).   I will read a draft of your proposal and give feedback on it if it is given to me no later than April 24th (optional, but highly encouraged).  The research proposal is due on or before May 22nd. Late papers will not receive full credit (5 % of total points will be deducted for each day late). Please be prepared to give a short presentation of your proposal during the last class session












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Grades and Grading Policy

Grades are based on the percentage of points earned (out of a possible 300). Points are broken down in the following manner:



 Participation/Homework        (17%)

  50 points

 Exams - 2@60 pts                  (40%)

 120 points

 Critique papers - 2@25 pts    (17%)    

  50 points

 Research proposal                  (27%)  

  80 points


300 points

Typically, 94% earns an ‘A’, 84% a ‘B’, and 74% a ‘C’. However, I reserve the right to adjust this scale as needed, based on student performance.














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Additional Policies

  1. To do well in this course requires your attendance AND active participation! You are expected to attend class sessions, and to have read the assigned reading and completed any required assignments before class sessions in order to be ready to participate fully in the class.

  2. Students are expected to practice academic honesty in completing assignments and cheating or plagiarism will not be tolerated.  Academic dishonesty may result in an ‘F’ for the assignment and/or the course.  

  3. Students are responsible for knowing when assignments are due.  All due dates are listed on the on line course outline. Late papers will not receive full credit. 5% of the total points possible will be deducted for each day the assignment is late.  No late homework will be accepted.

  4. Students are expected to practice academic honesty in completing assignments and cheating or plagiarism will not be tolerated.  Academic dishonesty may result in an ‘F’ for the assignment and/or the course. If you have any questions about this policy, please see the instructor. 

  5. Please refrain from engaging in distracting activities during class time, e.g., arriving late/leaving early, cell phone use, conversations with other students, and web browsing.

  6. Incomplete ('I') grades are not assigned UNLESS there is a compelling reason to do so. An incomplete will be assigned ONLY with prior consultation and approval of instructor.

Please note:  I wish to include persons with disability in this course.  Please let me know if there are any accommodations I can make in curriculum, instruction, or assessment to facilitate your full participation.





Send problems, comments or suggestions to: Updated: January 25, 2013

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