ETEC 500: Research Methodology in Education (core)

ETEC 500: Research Methodologies in Education (core course)


This course offers an introduction to applied research in education across the major quantitative, qualitative, and action research traditions. The focus is on understanding the research process and its integrated components and evaluating published research reports from the perspective of a critical consumer. Topics include scientific reasoning; types of variables and hypotheses; sampling; data collection and instrumentation; control procedures; common experimental, non-experimental, qualitative, and mixed methods research designs; data analysis; and research critiques. In addition, participants will consider research ethics guidelines for education research, and will practice critical literature search, citation and review skills that are an essential foundation for further study.

We recommend that students complete the four required core courses as early in your program as possible. Students will find it beneficial to take this course (ETEC 500) earlier rather than later in their program, and many previous students have stated that taking this course first in their program is extremely beneficial.

Course goals

All learning activities in this course are related to its major goals:

  • Understand the scientific research process and its integrated components
  • Describe the guiding principles of research ethics
  • Understand how the research process applies to education and to the field of educational technology.
  • Understand the relationship between research questions, designs and methodologies
  • Understand different research designs and methods such as correlational, experimental, ethnographic
  • Hone library search skills and knowledge about resources for locating research articles and reports
  • Know how to think critically about the research process in education
  • Conduct analyses of published reports

Course learning objectives

After completing ETEC 500, you will be able to:

  • Apply critical thinking skills to the process of research
  • Describe major constructs applied in diverse research methodologies
  • Describe significant steps in the process of research across major traditions
  • Describe bias, control, sampling, and measurement concepts across research traditions
  • Describe and evaluate experimental, non-experimental, and qualitative research designs
  • Write a research analysis and critique of published research in the field of educational technology



This course will require you to do the assigned readings, use course modules as a resource for summary of concepts covered in each module, complete activities and assignments, and respond to other students’ questions and comments. The course is closely tied to the textbook content and reading assigned chapters from the textbook is essential to understanding the topics covered in each module. The instructor will post regular communication about your questions, assignments and engagement with the course.


Discussion Forums will be used as tools for creating opportunities for sharing, exchange and collaboration. In addition to sharing your responses, you will be asked to respond to your peers’ responses to the assignments. Your postings should be brief and of high academic content and designed to encourage further discussion by your colleagues. Your postings should be thought-provoking, insightful and helpful to your colleagues in furthering their mastery of course content and thinking through challenging research issues. .


  • Required Textbook:

Suter, W. N. (2012). Introduction to Educational Research: A Critical Thinking Approach. 2nd Edition. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.

This eBook is available to you online via the UBC Library. You can choose to read it online, or to download PDF copies of chapters to read, save, print or annotate as you choose.

Additional required readings will be made available to you within the course site and/or via the UBC Library.


Updates coming soon.