EDUC 2002 - Professional Practice & Research

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

This course enables students to evaluate and utilize a range of educational research methods. Students will examine a range of techniques, analyse a variety of research studies and be prepared to conduct small scale research projects. The course provides skills, techniques and methods to enable students to teach the new personal research project in South Australian high schools.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code EDUC 2002
    Course Professional Practice & Research
    Coordinating Unit School of Education
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites EDUC 2001
    Assumed Knowledge EDUC 1001 & EDUC 1100
    Course Description This course enables students to evaluate and utilize a range of educational research methods. Students will examine a range of techniques, analyse a variety of research studies and be prepared to conduct small scale research projects. The course provides skills, techniques and methods to enable students to teach the new personal research project in South Australian high schools.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Stephen Kelly

    Location: Room 8.17
    Level 8 
    School of Education, 
    Faculty of the Professions
    10 Pulteney Street, Adelaide, 5005
    Phone: 83134983.
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Lecture attendance: 1 hour per week
    Tutorial attendance: 1 hour per week
    On-line activity: 1 hour per week
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to: APST (Graduate)
    1 Identify the major research methodologies used in educational investigations 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    2 Describe the main differences between quantitative and qualitative research 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    3 List the specific types of research that fall into the broad categories of quantitative and qualitative research 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    4 Give examples of research problems that might be investigated by either approaches 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    5 List the steps involved in the research process 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    6 Evaluate educational research on various dimensions 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    7 Plan and conduct small scale educational research 1.1, 5.4, 5.5
    8 Teach the Personal Research Project in South Australian High Schools 1.1, 2.1, 2.2
    9 Engage in reflective and self-directed practice as stated in APST Standard 6: Engage in Professional Learning 1.1, 3.6, 5.4, 5.5, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 4
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    3, 8, 9
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3, 6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 5
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1, 3, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Text Book
    You need either your own copy of this or a copy shared with a friend or friends. You need to bring it to each class.
    Kervin, L., Vialle, W., Herrington, J., Okely, T., Research For Educators, Cengage, South Melbourne, 2016. 2nd edition
    This text is available on campus, at on-line outlets and other bookstores.
    Recommended Resources
    Ary, D., Jacobs, L., Sorensen, C. 2010, Introduction to Research in Education, Wadsworth Cengage, Belmont, California.
    Sikes, P. & Potts, A. (2008) Researching Education From The Inside, Routledge, London
    Grellier, J. & Goerke, V (2018) Communicatons toolkit (4th Edition), Cengage Learning Australia, South Melbourne, Victoria
    Online Learning
    The complete course will be available on MyUni closer to the commencement of Semester Two.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    There is one lecture, one tutorial and one on-line activity each week. Attendance at formal classes is expected. Scholarly contributions to each tutorial and online activity will be given value in assessments of this course.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Lecture attendance: 1 hour per week
    Tutorial attendance: 1 hour per week
    On-line activity: 1 hour per week
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course consists of lectures, tutorials and online work. Students are expected to prepare for tutorials by familiarizing themselves with the set readings and doing the set activities.

    Classes will be held weekly. Please ensure you bring along the text and your scholarly preparation for class from the beginning of the course.

    Week Lecture/Tutorial Details Learning Outcomes APST (Graduate)
    1 Lecture:

    Tutorial Reading

    Online activity
    Some Issues in Educational Research

    Research for Educators Chapter 1

    Each week you need to read the chapter in the textbook and any other
    readings, make thoughtful (not simply copying out the textbook
    verbatim) notes on the readings, questions and in particular the
    questions/activities. Bring the textbook and notes plus any
    other required material to the tutorial and be prepared to engage in scholarly discussion based on your readings and peer to peer contributions.

    1 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    2 Lecture:


    Online activity

    The Research Process  

    Research for Educators Chapter 2

    What steps are involved in the research process?
    How does research differ from reflection?

    1 3.6
    3 Lecture:


    Online activity
    Different Research Approaches   

    Research for Educators Chapter 3

    Distinguishing between quantitative and qualitative research.
    How  educational practice is influenced by research?
    2,3,4 3.6
    4 Lecture:


    Online activity
    Analysis of completed research study

    Use of first three chapters and selected readings


    Preparation for assignment.

    6 5.4;5.5
    5 Lecture:


    Online activity
    Initiating an Action Research

    Research for Educators Chapter 4


    Locating a research problem: From whole school concern to individual action.
    7,6,9 3.6; 6.1
    6 Lecture:


    Online activity
    Initial Stages in Research 

    Research for Educators Chapter 4

    Focus: From research problem to action
    How do we select a research topic?
    How do we conduct a literature review?
    How do we develop research questions and hypotheses?

    5 3.6, 5.4
    7 Lecture:


    Online activity
    Planning Research  

    Research for Educators Chapter 5

    Focus: Setting the conditions for action

    The uses of quantitative research
    The uses of qualitative research.

    5,7,8 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    8 Lecture:


    Online activity
    Collecting Data  

    Research for Educators Chapter 6

    Focus: Generating data

    What do we mean by data?
    How do we collect data for quantitative and qualitative research?
    What do we need to do as we prepare to gather data?
    What do we need to do as we gather data?

    6 3.6, 5.4, 5.5
    9 Lecture:


    Online activity
    Making Sense of Data  

    Research for Educators Chapter 7

    Focus: Preparing data

    What does data look like?
    How can data be organised?
    How do we organised and prepare data for analysis?
    6,7 1.1, 3.6, 5.4
    10 Lecture:


    Online activity
    Data Analysis Techniques  

    Research for Educators Chapter 8

    Focus: Interrogating data

    How do we analyse qualitative data?
    How do we analyse quantitative data?

    5,6 1.1, 3.6, 5.4



    Online activity

    Publicising The Research

    Research for Educators Chapter 9

    Focus: Dissemination of research

    What are some of the main ways we can publicise our research findings?
    What should a first rate research report contain?

    7,9 5.5, 6.1
    Specific Course Requirements
    Knowledge of course requirements
    It is a student’s duty to acquaint himself/herself with course requirements. Ignorance of course requirements due to a student’s non-attendance at lectures or seminars is not an acceptable reason for non-fulfilment of any requirements.

    Students attending lectures and seminars should note that behaviour which interferes with the conduct of the lecture or seminar may result in a student being asked to leave the class and may result in suspension from the unit. In particular mobile phones must be turned off and placed in students’ bags before the commencement of lectures and seminars. Students are not to have mobile phones out during seminars and this includes texting under desks and sitting in seminars with mobile phones messaging others will result in you being asked to leave the seminar.


    Attendance at lectures is strongly recommended and on the basis of the research evidence is highly profitable. (See Woodfield, et al., 1-22, in Studies in Higher Education, 31, 1, 2006 and Rodgers and Rodgers, 2003, 27-41, in Education Research and Perspectives, 30, 1, 2003).


    Indicate the overall scope of the subject,
    Emphasise essential points,
    Provide a starting point for private study,
    Give explanations of certain difficult points ,
    Give examples relevant to the particular course area,
    Provide a preliminary map of difficult reading material,
    Suggest sources of further information and reference,
    Stimulate student thinking and provide guidelines for thoughts assisting to develop a critical interest in the subject (RMIT Counselling Service, 1969)

    Attendance and whole hearted and spirited participation is expected. If you cannot attend due to sickness or other valid reasons (this does not include taking a holiday or other non academic reason) then you must follow this procedure. By the third week in October you need to hand to me personally or email with attachments copies of doctor’s certificates for each missed session plus the 1 page of preparation for each missed session. Put a cover sheet with your name, number and tutorials missed in summary form. Failure to do this will result in you being considered absent.

    Special Consideration
    Students who wish to seek special consideration because of illness or special circumstances should follow Faculty of Arts guidelines and apply to the lecturer in charge with relevant documentary evidence. This is usually a doctor’s certificate. For both special consideration and extensions you need to complete well beforehand the Application Form – Assessment Task Extension or Replacement Examination due to Medical and Compassionate Circumstances and/or Application Form – Extenuating Circumstances Application Form. These along with relevant information and instructions are on the university web site.

    Extensions and deadlines
    If due to illness or other valid reasons, a student is unable to meet a deadline, he/she must follow Faculty of Arts guidelines for applying for an extension and contact the lecturer before the deadline in order to seek an extension (which may or may not be granted). Students are required to produce original documents to support their application for an extension. Any assignment handed in late, without authorised extension, will be penalised at a rate of 10% of the assigned mark per 24-hour period late, to a maximum of 7 periods. Assignments handed in more than seven periods late, without authorised extension, will not be marked and an automatic fail grade for that piece of assessment will be recorded.


    Plagiarism is “the reproducing of someone else's intellectual work and representing it as one's own without proper acknowledgment”. Examples of plagiarism include: direct copying or paraphrasing of someone else’s words without acknowledging the source; using facts, information and ideas directly derived from an unacknowledged source; and producing assignments which are the work of other people.

    Students have a responsibility to:
    Access and use available information provided by the University to avoid plagiarism;
    Declare sources in their work submitted for assessment, from which they obtain material or ideas: Retain drafts, notes and copies of all assignments submitted for assessment;
    Ensure that you do not make your work available to other students in any form for the purposes of plagiarism;
    Discuss any questions you may have about plagiarism with your kindly and supportive lecturer.

    Specific Requirements
    Students should write their assignments independently. Students are expected to produce their own work. This might involve students choosing, analyzing, summarizing and interpreting the (often competing) ideas of others, and developing arguments and drawing conclusions. Students can: discuss assignments with other students and their tutors; communicate with one another in constructive ways about the learning process; and assist each other, e.g. by discussing the approaches that might be taken to assignment topics, or helping with the availability of reading materials.

    Students must acknowledge an original author/creator for the ideas and concepts used in their work by providing a reference or citation. A reference is the written detail of the original source for ideas, which may be referenced within, and at the end of the assignment in the form of a reference list.

    You may use quotations: exact words of an original author in written work. The quotation (exact words) should be placed in quotation marks and be accompanied by a reference. If paraphrasing (rewrite completely another author's words or ideas with the intention of presenting the author's ideas), it is vital that the passage is fully rewritten, including the sentence structure. Any short phrases or key words that are used should be handled as quotes. The source must always be referenced.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will be expected to work in groups.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome APST (Graduate)
    Assignment 1: Quiz Summative

    End of Week 3

    Assignment 2: Evaluation of research study
    Evidence of participation through citations of scholarly contributions
    to online activities and tutorials required in this assignment
    Summative Mid-semester (Date TBC) 40%
    Assignment 3: Take home examination: Action research design
    Evidence of participation through citations of scholarly contributions in online activities and tutorials required in this assignment.
    Summative End of Semester (within one week after final tutorial) 50%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The overall mark required to pass is 50%. Students need to attempt and pass each of the three assessments.

    Assessment Detail

    Assignment 1: Week 4 Quiz
    This is a take home online quiz that covers the first three weeks of classes and requires you to demonstrate mastery of the key concepts and their application. It will be based on the first three chapters of the set text and the lectures, tutorials and online activities that accompany these chapters.

    Assignment 2: Evaluation of research study
    This assignment will be basd on engagement with concepts and readings from weeks 1-4. The assignment will ask students to critically evaluate a research study that relates in some way to a contemporary interest of a school system and/or a particular school.

    Students will be expected to have generated evidence of scholarly contributions to online activities and tutorials on a weekly basis. This particpation will be counted in the assessment of the assignment.

    Students will be expected to cite their scholarly contributions in the body of their assignment. The quality of scholarship evident in the self-citation(s) will be assessed in the assignment.

    Assignment 3 - Take home examination: Action research design

    This take home examination will ask students to design and justify an action research that responds to an aspect of their practice which relates in some way to a systemic and/or whole school concern.

    Participation: Students will be expected to have generated evidence of scholarly contributions to online activities and
    tutorials on a weekly basis. This particpation will be counted in the assessment of the assignment.

    Self-citation: Students will be expected to cite their scholarly contributions in the body of their assignment. The quality of scholarship evident  in the self-citation (s) will be assessed in the assignment.
    1. Double space the lines. Use at least 12 point and a clear and legible font. This makes it easier for the maximum grade to be awarded by staff that wear multifocal spectacles but are otherwise kind and caring, full of compassion, slow to anger and rich in justice.
    2. Leave a margin of at least one inch on the left hand side of the paper.
    3. Use a footer or header with your name,courseand page number.
    4. A title page should be placed at the front of the assignment. This should contain your name, the subject, the title of the assignment, the name of the lecturer concerned, and the date. All assignments must be accompanied by an Essay Cover Sheet, which includes a Statement of Authorship
    5. Students who wish to submit assignments via the postal system must ensure the envelopes are post marked no later than the due date for submission and are sent by registered mail. Students are advised that the School of Education takes no responsibility for assignments sent by post.
    6. Assignments will not be accepted for marking after other work in that subject has been returned unless a special consideration request has been approved.
    7. The completed assignment should be stapled or fastened in the top left hand corner. Please do not use manila or other forms of folders and please do not under any circumstances place each separate page in a separate plastic envelope.
    8. Keep a hard copy of your essay and other submitted work. Sometimes accidents do happen, mail fails to arrive or computers crash. 
    Note: Failure to follow these prescriptions will result in a lower mark on the essay.

    Assignment Grading
    Your assignment provides you with an opportunity to comprehend research material criticize it and create an argument of your own. Your papers will be assessed on the basis of the following which appear in detail in both the Assignment Grading Templates. Please note all of these especially the previously noted stricture on the judicious use of quotations.
    (a) the depth and scope of the research. Has the student used at least 3-5 different sources (excluding newspaper and popular press material)? Has the student simply restated the sources or made an attempt to evaluate these sources and create an argument of her/his own?
    (b) the quality of the ideas and the soundness of argument. Is the essay a critical exposition as opposed to a listing and reproduction of the research?
    (c) the organization of ideas within the paper. Is the essay logically organized and well structured?
    (d) the style of writing including appropriateness of language, clarity of expression, sentence structure, etc.
    (e) length, etc. Are there glaring errors of expression, spelling etc? Errors in this area will mean that an essay is very unlikely to obtain more than a P grade.
    (f) the quality of presentation, including attention to grammar, punctuation, spelling, legibility and very importantly consistency and correctness in matters of referencing and bibliography. Unless these latter matters are near to perfect then it would be unlikely that an essay would be graded higher than a P grade. 

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the university grading scheme and due to the large numbers a distribution on the normal curve will be expected.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    As a result of SELTs  feedback and other feedback provided by students the following changes have been made:
    1.More convenient class times for students and different location of tutorials
    2.More MyUni available material on the Personal Research Project- kindly provided by  Jarrod Johnson of Pulteney Grammar School.
    3.More emphasis on the global as well as local nature of research for those who will teach not only in SA but nationally and internationally.
    4.Course now revised and updated to appear on line on the University's new portal.
    5. Quiz due at the end of week four.
    6. Continuing emphasis on the varied audiences this course caters for, that is, not only the teacher as reseacher and their personal and professional development but  the teacher as teacher of the personal research project  which is now a feature of many school systems.
    7. Greater care taken to point out the limitations of all research.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.