ETEC 580: Guided Independent Research/Study


MET is a course-based Master program, so we are pleased to be able to offer a more thesis-like experience within MET for students wishing to pursue research topics and ideas beyond the scope of our courses. ETEC 580 is enormously flexible. It can be a very practical research problem, tied specifically to your professional trajectory, or it can be deeply theoretical, or any combination.  All you need to do is sketch out a topic, then recruit a MET instructor or other faculty member who might be willing to supervise your work.

If you wish to include a 580 project in your program of study you should first consult with and receive approval from the MET Academic Advisor. Once that approval is received, you can approach a faculty member to discuss the nature of the 580 project, including both faculty and student expectations. Faculty members are not obligated to supervise 580 projects, but most are willing to consider proposals from students. Ask your Academic Advisor for help if you need it. You and your supervisor will need to complete the ETEC 580 Proposal Form, then submit it to the Academic Advisor for approval.

ETEC 580 as not as tied to a specific term timeline, meaning that it can begin and end on whatever schedule suits you and your supervisor, so it can be great for filling a hole in your timetable. As well, ETEC 580 can be taken for as many as 12 credits (4 courses) of your MET degree, either in larger pieces or a set of disconnected or scaffolded parts.  Students with ambitious research objectives are welcome to explore this course as a vehicle.

We highly recommend that you consider ETEC 580 as part of your overall MET experience.  If you don’t have specific ideas of your own, don’t hesitate to ask your instructors or the Academic Advisor – there are often interesting real-world problems at hand, just waiting for the right intrepid mind.

Ethics approval

If an application to the UBC Behavioral Research Ethics Board (BREB) is required for a project, it is expected that the student will draft the application on the BREB-RISe website. Note that you must complete the Introductory Tutorial for the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS2 2014) before you can be part of a project requiring BREB approval. Applications to the BREB must be approved and submitted by a Faculty member who is authorized to serve as a Principal Investigator (PI) on research projects. If your ETEC 580 project supervisor does not have BREB PI status, arrangements will need to be made for a person with PI status to make the submission on behalf of your 580 supervisor.

Learning Objectives

ETEC 580 projects are made possible to enable you to:

  • Develop knowledge and expertise in specialized areas of interest;
  • Conduct self-directed inquiries in technology education.


All ETEC 580 courses must be supervised by a MET instructor or a suitable faculty member, and all are graded. Supervising faculty members should have knowledge or expertise in the area to be studied and should help the student develop a reading list or other appropriate references, and identify other resources necessary to complete the project. You may discuss your ideas informally at first, but a brief written proposal must be approved by the supervising faculty member before substantive work begins on the project. Copies of the approved proposal should be retained by both the supervising faculty member and yourself.

Your proposal should include the following information::

  • the purpose of the 580
  • how the 580 fits in with your program of study
  • what literature will be read (including a tentative reading list)
  • any other resources that will be used in the course
  • the timeline for the course including the date it will begin, when it will end, and the approximate dates of proposed
  • a proposed schedule of meetings with the supervising faculty member
  • expectations of the student and supervising faculty member about the breadth and depth of reading and analysis
  • a description of what will be produced that will be the basis for a grade
  • criteria regarded as important in assessing the product produced

Registering for ETEC 580

You cannot register for a 580 directly; they must do so through the the MET Program. To register for a 580 you must have approval from both the Academic Advisor and the 580 supervisor.

Submit your completed ETEC 580 Proposal Form to the MET Graduate Program Assistant at who will then register you in the course and put a copy of the signed form in your file.

Note that all registration-related deadlines listed in the University Calendar apply to 580s. If you expect that your 580 will be completed in a different term than when you started it, then register for it in the term in which it will be completed so a mark can be submitted.