Research, Data Analysis and Evaluation for School Leaders

Course Details

Course Number
Summer I 2011
Days & Times

Hybrid delivery using Blackboard and Elluminate

Dr. Matthew Capps (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

Description :  This course is a follow-up to Introduction for Research. The course is designed to familiarize schools leaders with appropriate research methodologies that will support action research in schools. Practical application of research as a decision making tool will be emphasized through the using of quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, and other research designs. Completion of an action research project focusing on K-12 impact on student learning is required.

Purpose of the Course: This course is provided as an option to those educational leadership candidates who are choosing the non-file paper route for completion of the Masters degree in educational leadership. The course focuses on developing data analysis and program evaluation skills for school leaders that will lead to lifelong implementation of data-driven decision making at the school level. The course will teach students appropriate data collection, survey development, sampling procedures, accreditation procedures, and statistical analysis both for quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Course Expectations

Introduction to Research EDUC 5053

Course Assignment Overview


1) Decision making in school assignment               - School administrators are constantly bombarded with opportunities to make decisions. Many of these have to be made standing in the hallway faced with a serious situation. However, many are not. The purpose of this assignment is for you to investigate how a major decision related to the operation of your school was made. This is a short assignment, but very relative to the purpose of the course.

2) Action Research Project and Presentation – A good instructional leader must be able to identify a problem, investigate the variables impacting the problem, investigate possible solutions, choose one based on gathered information, implement the solution, determine whether or not the solution worked, and then explain what occurred to a group of people. For this course, you will need to do this. Your action research project will have several parts:

  • Identification of a problem related to instruction
  • Explanation of the problem
  • Investigation of possible solutions
  • Rational for selection of a solution
  • Implementation of the solution
  • Analysis of impact
  • Presentation of results


3) Midterm and Final Exams – Both exams will be open book and extended time. The purpose of graduate work and this course in particular is not to determine your ability to memorize. It is to determine whether or not you can use the tools you have to think through issues, rationalize solutions, make decisions, and analyze critically. If you were an engineer, we would not want to count on your memory of formulas to building the bridge we drive on. We would like for you to use the resources at hand to build the bridge. Let’s take the same level of professionalism in education.

Grading Standards

Course Requirement and Grading                                           Points

1) Decision making in school assignment                                               25

2) Action Research Project and Presentation                       100

3) Midterm Exam                                                                             75

4) Final Exam                                                                                      100

5) Participation (10 discussions X 10 modules)                     100


Grade range

360-400                A

320-359                B

280-319                C

240-279                D

0-239                     F

Final Exam

05/10/2011 NA

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance and Participation–Traditionally a graduate course requires 3 hours of seat time for face to face instruction. In addition, there is an expectation at for each hour you spend in class; you will have spent 6 preparing to adequately participate. The expectation for participation does not change just because the course is a hybrid course. Your participation is evaluated by your ability to engage in informative, justified, well thought out online discussions. Participation will also require you to work through solutions to hypothetical problems. This is practice. The practice will allow you to fully participate in the discussion threads and hopefully ensure success on the exams.

Other Policies

Online Discussions: Participation in a series of graded online discussions throughout the course is required. Discussion topics and study questions are the same.  First, discuss the questions in the forum and then respond formally to each by answering them as study questions. Discussions for each module end at the same time the study questions are due. See additional instructions below:

During the online discussion, students should read all of the posts of fellow students. Students should respond to both the assigned discussion prompts and the comments of other students. To receive full credit for this activity, your participation should befrequent and engaged, almost daily. Both your contributions to the discussion and your study question answers should be keyed to the text and to personal experienceand reveal thoughtful reflection. This is intended to be a semi-formal exchange of ideas, more similar to a class discussion than a chat room. Write in complete sentences.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at