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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Quantitative Approaches to Ed. Research
Module Code IE603
School 78
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Martin Brown
Semester 2: Martin Brown
Autumn: Martin Brown
Module TeachersMartin Brown
Gillian Lake
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
Students may undertake and report independent analysis of data within an agreed time-frame.

This module focuses on the rationale for, and application of, quantitative methodology to research problems in education. It challenges students to interrogate the epistemological and ontological principles underpinning quantitative research and the implications of adopting a positivist world view for one's research. Popular designs, (randomised control trials, pre-experimental, experimental, quasi-experimental, correlational, cohort...) and strategies (surveys, interventions, repeated measures....), and the strengths, limitations and challenges of each, are addressed. Students are encouraged to examine the applicability of the various options to their research in the context of their existing knowledge and skills and personal/professional commitments, interests and ambitions.

Learning Outcomes

1. Evaluate one's philosophical stance/world view and the extent to which this 'fits with' the quantitative approach, in general, and the specific methodologies and strategies used in his/her research study
2. Explain and craft appropriate and informed responses to key issues in quantitative inquiry (Sample size; sampling frames, random assignment. Selection of appropriate statistical tests; interpretation - significant, power, inferences etc; error, internal and external threats to validity and the objective stance of the researcher)
3. Code and input quantitative data correctly and efficiently
4. Analyse, interpret and report accurately and appropriately the findings of quantitative inquiry
5. Craft a workable project plan for a potential quantitative methods research project
6. Consider and reflect on ethical issues in quantitative research

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture10Active engagement in class and group-based discussion and critique of course content.
Laboratory10Sessions using SPSS
Online activity25Participation in synchronous and/or asynchronous online classes. Discussion and/or critical review of relevant research recommended by the tutor(s).
Independent Study40Reading and critical review of literature relevant to the module.
Assignment Completion40Quantitative Methods Research Plan. Oral presentation and defence of research plan
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Identify, critique and interpret existing quantitative research studies in a potential research area - advanced literature searching including systematic reviews, meta-analysis

Quantitative data analysis: concepts and methods of relevance to practitioner research in education

Research Ethics: concepts, requirements and tools

Framing and operationalising a quantitative research question

Development of hypotheses (Null, research..., assumptions, predictions)

Study Variables: Independent, dependent and control; implications for data analysis

Develop (and critique existing) quantitative instruments (surveys, tests, scales, checklists)

Survey design, platforms and administration

Sampling (Probability and non-probability...)

Use SPSS (or equivalent) for data entry, preparation and analysis (Coding, entering, cleaning manually)

Use SPSS (or equivalent) for data analysis using parametric and non-parametric techniques (Selecting appropriate tests, describing trends, comparing groups, relating variables, correlations)

Interpreting and reporting results (significance levels, one/two tailed, effect sizes, magnitude)

Validity, reliability, generalisability, threats, error

Development of a quantitative methods research plan

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentStudents are required to craft a workable Quantitative Methods Research plan for their research that maps the anticipated actions and decisions that will have to be made (or have already been made) at critical junctures on their research journey. The research plan will include the following items: 1. Title 2. Introduction 3. Problem Statement 4. Purpose 5. Hypotheses 6. Definition of key terms 7. Methodology 8. Research design 9. Population and sampling plan 10. Data collection procedures 11. Data analysis 12. Concluding statement (Significance and limitations) 13. References, Appendices80%n/a
PresentationOral Presentation and defence of research plan.20%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Cox, J. and Cox, K.B: 2008, Your opinion, please! How to build the best questionnaires in the field of education, Corwin Press, London,
  • Floyd, J. and Fowler, J.: 2008, Survey Research Methods. Applied Social Research Methods, Sage, London,
  • Hancock, G.R., Mueller, R.O. and Stapleton, L.M: 2010, The reviewer’s guide to quantitative methods in the social sciences, Sage, London,
  • Hoy, W.K. and Adams, C.M.: 2015, Quantitative research in education: A primer., Sage, London,
  • Mujis,D.: 2011, Doing Quantitative Research in Education with SPSS, 2nd, Sage, London,
  • Rubin, A.: 2012, Statistics for evidence-based practice and evaluation, Cengage Learning, MA,
Other Resources

31404, Annotated Reading List, 0, Reading list prepared for the EdD modules, Research Methods 1 and 2,
Programme or List of Programmes
APPMMaster of Arts
HDPMMaster of Arts
IEPMMaster of Arts
LLPMMaster of Arts
PPPMMaster of Arts
SGPMMaster of Arts

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