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Jamie Ervin, EdD
Transformative Learning and Leadership

EDUC5501 introduces the graduate student to various research design methods. The course emphasizes analysis, methodology, and technique that can assist the student to prepare for the master’s thesis or research project.

CBU – Master of Education (30 hours); Master of Divinity (72 Hours)

Course Description

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Course Syllabus

 Course Syllabus / EDUC5501 Research Methods 

Jennifer (Jamie) Ervin, Ed.D, Ed.S, M.Ed. 


Jamie Ervin has served in public and private education at the k-12 and post-secondary levels as a classroom teacher, curriculum and assessment coordinator, instructional coach, school administrator, enrollment manager, and course developer in her 20+ years in education. She began her career serving in public education as a high school social studies teacher. Her passion for education led her to pursue her Master’s degree in Special Education from Ohio University. A continued passion for building and implementing best practices in instructional delivery and curricular development led her to serve in various teaching roles, as a building administrator, and as an assistant director of enrollment at a private university while serving as a part-time instructor at the post-secondary level. During her tenure as a high school assistant principal, Ervin pursued a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at Liberty University, completing her dissertation research focusing on implementation of best practices in online education. Currently, Ervin serves as a special education teacher and assessment coordinator for a fully online k-12 public school in addition to serving in her role as a faculty member at Colorado Biblical University. 


EDUC5501 RESEARCH METHODS – introduces the graduate student to various research design methods. The course emphasizes analysis, methodology, and technique that can assist the student to prepare for the master’s thesis or research project. 


Required Texts: 

  1. The Bible is a primary textbook for this course. Please use any of the following translations: NASB, ESV, KJV, or NKJV. 
  2. Appearance Publishers. (2021). APA Manual 7th Edition Simplified for Easy Citation: Concise APA Style Guide for Students. (current price from – $44.99) 
  3. Bhattacherjee, A. (2012). Social science research: Principles, methods, and practices. Textbooks Collection. 3. (free resource available through Open Educational Resources) 
  4. Mauldin, R. (n.d.). Foundations of social work research. (free resource available through Open Educational Resources)
  5. Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Welcome to the Purdue online writing lab. Purdue Online Writing Lab. (free to use website) 
  6. Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). General format. Purdue Online Writing Lab. (free to use website) 

Module 1 – The Research Process & The Research Question – Jamie Ervin, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.Ed. 

Learners will explore various research methods and how they are applied to address research questions. Through an examination of research practices, learners will investigate ways research impacts society. Beginning with an introduction into the basic terminology associated with research (e.g., hypotheses, variables, types of data, and analysis), learners will review approaches to identifying problems and developing research questions.  

Read: Bhattacherjee, pp. 1-25. Introduction to Research 

Module 2 – Key Research Approaches – Jamie Ervin, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.Ed. 

Learners will investigate three key forms of research: exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory research. Through an exploration of these key research forms, learners will differentiate between the approaches and explain key uses and applications of each. 

Read: Section 4.1 Types of Research, accessible from  

Module 3 – Ethics in Research and Communication – Jamie Ervin, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.Ed. 

Learners will examine ethical practices in research and research design. Learners will explore ethical frameworks for research and review case studies that led to the establishment of modern ethical practices including informed consent, institutional review, and specific codes of ethics in research. 

Read: Read Chapter 3: Ethics in Social Work Research, accessible via  

Read: Five Principles for Research Ethics from the American Psychological Association, accessible from  

Read Bhattacherjee, pp. 137-142—Research Ethics  

Module 4 – Introduction to Qualitative Methods – Jamie Ervin, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.Ed. 

Learners will delve into the basic tenets of qualitative research methods. An introduction to approaches for exploring phenomena will be examined, and learners will familiarize themselves with major approaches to qualitative research including observations, interviews, case studies, and focus groups. A brief introduction into associated data collection procedures is included. 

Read Bhattacherjee, pp. 73-82, 93-112 – Data Collection 

Read 7.4 Qualitative Research, accessible from 

Module 5 – Sampling, Scales, Tests, & Surveys – Jamie Ervin, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.Ed. 

Learners will examine the role of sampling in conducting research. Through an investigation of several common types of sampling, learners will familiarize themselves with approaches to determine appropriate sampling procedures for specific research goals and populations. Learners are also presented an overview of how to scale data collection. Reliability and validity are explored in relation to these approaches. Learners will review common techniques for collecting and examining survey data. Emphasis will be placed on the significance of determining when and how surveys may be effectively utilized in research. 

Read Bhattacherjee, pp. 43-64 – Measurement of Constructs and Scale Reliability and Validity 

Read Bhattacherjee, pp. 65-72 – Sampling 

Module 6 – Experimental Reseach and Research Design – Jamie Ervin, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.Ed. 

Learners examine various methods for conducting experimental design. An investigation of the null hypothesis and other key vocabulary terms is a focus throughout this module.  

Read Bhattacherjee, pp. 83-92 – Experimental Reseach 

Read Experimental Design: What is it and when should it be used? via  

Module 7 – Introduction to Qualitative Analysis – Jamie Ervin, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.Ed. 

Learners will explore approaches to analyzing data from interpretive and qualitative approaches. Specific focus is given to rigor in interpretive research, including methods to gauge dependability, credibility, confirmability, and transferability. Learners explore how qualitative analysis requires the researcher to analyze data in various ways to make sense of the phenomenon as opposed to predicting or trying to explain a phenomenon.  

Read Bhattacherjee, pp. 103-128 – Interpretive Research & Qualitative Analysis 

Read Unique Features of Qualitative Research accessible via 

Module 8 – Descriptive and Inferential Statistics – Jamie Ervin, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.Ed. 

Learners examine basic statistical procedures including descriptive statistics (mean, median, mode, distribution, variation, and correlation). Other basic statistical concepts and methods including t-test for analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) are explored. 

Read Bhattacherjee, pp. 119-136 – Descriptive and Inferential Statistics 

Module 9 – Analyzing a Research Proposal – Jamie Ervin, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.Ed. 

In this module, learners apply information gained throughout the course to analyze a research proposal. Learners will examine a research proposal and identify strengths and areas where the proposal could be improved based upon the learners’ understanding of a strong research proposal. Learners will select a sample proposal to critique. Learners will critique a research proposal. 

Read Examples of Research Proposals accessible via  

Module 10 – Preparing a Research Proposal – Jamie Ervin, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.Ed. 

In this module, learners apply information gained throughout the course to develop a research question that could be used to create a research proposal. Learners will identify a problem, determine a focus, and compose a research question to address the problem statement.   

Read Bhattacherjee, pp. 20-24 – The Reseach Process 

Read “How to Write a Problem Statement” accessible from  


Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) 

  1. Develop a critical understanding of the nature, process, development, and application of effective and ethical research methods. 
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts and purposes of qualitative and quantitative research. 
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of common types of sampling and identify appropriate methods for specific research scenarios. 
  4. Analyze and evaluate the components of research methods presented in a research proposal. 
  5. Apply knowledge of ethical research methods, processes, and procedures to develop a strong research question. 

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) 

  1. To develop Learners’ professional competency and skills in Biblical learning theory and leadership practice.
  2. To develop Learners’ competency in research and methods in Biblical learning theory and leadership. 
  3. To integrate Learners’ Biblical worldview and perspective on transformative learning and leadership. 
  4. To prepare Learners for advanced level coursework. 

CBU Learning Outcomes (CBULOs) 

  1. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Research – Learners will demonstrate ability to think critically, solve problems, and conduct interdisciplinary research at a level appropriate to their program. 
  2. Personal Growth – Learners will understand how learning is related to personal growth, and will be challenged to grow in their thinking, communication, conduct, and engagement with others. 
  3. Skills Development – Learners will advance in skills related to their area of learning, demonstrating a level of competency appropriate to their program. 
  4. Social Responsibility – Learners will appreciate the diversity in and value of others as designed by our Creator, and will grow in willingness and capability to serve others. 
  5. Worldview Applications – Learners will become capable at thinking from a worldview perspective and will understand the relationship of description and prescription, so that they can ground their actions in sound principles. 
  1. Module Assessments: Multiple Choice Assessments (25 points each x 10) 250 Points 
    1. CLO 1,2,3,4,5 / PLO 2,4 / CBULO 3,4 
    2. Course Content Assessment: Final Exam 250 Points  
    3. Multiple choice/short answer covering all readings from the course 
    4. CLO 1,2,3,4,5 / PLO 2,4 / CBULO Reading Content Assessment: Key Question Response (25 points each x 10) 250 points
  2. Reading Content Assessment: Key Question Response (25 points each x 10) 250 points
    1. Each module includes required readings 
    2. Learners are required to respond to a key question based on the readingsResponses may be composed in first or third person, but must respond directly to and address all parts of the question posed.  
    3. CLO 1,2,3,4,5 / PLO 2,4 / CBULO 1,3 
  3. Competency Assessment – 250 Points 
    1. Research Proposal Critique (100 points): Select one proposal to analyze and evaluate. Identify 3-4 areas of strength and 2-3 areas where improvements may be made to strengthen the proposal. Write a 300 – 500 word critique of the proposal. Include a brief introduction to introduce the focus and purpose of the proposal. (Module 9)
      1. CLO 1,2 / PLO 1,2 / CBULO 1,3,4 
    2. Research Question Presentation (50 points): Create a 5-slide presentation to present a research question. Include a description of the process you followed to develop the problem statement and the research question. Include at least three scholarly sources as references to support the development of your research question. (Module 10) 
      1. CLO 1,3,4,5 / PLO 2,3 / CBULO 1,3,4 
    3. Course Reflection (100 points): Compose a 250-300 word reflection about your experience in this course. Include at least three ways you will apply the information gained from this course in your academic and professional career. Do you foresee yourself pursuing qualitative or quantitative research at this time? Why? (Module 10) 
      1. CLO 3,4,5 / PLO 2,3,4 / CBULO 1,2,3,4,5


91-100% A 

81-90% B 

71-80% C 

61-70% D 

0-60% F 


Total Hours of Module Content: 20 hours  

Total Hours of Reading Content: 40 hours 

Total Hours of Minor Assessments: 30 hours 

Total Hours of Major Assessment: 30 hours 

Total Hours of Competency Assessment: 15 hours 

Equivalent of 3 Credit Hour (135 hours of total course time)