Graduate Level Research Methods and Statistics Courses: The Perspective of an Instructor

Graduate Level Research Methods and Statistics Courses: The Perspective of an Instructor

Sean W. Mulvenon (University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA) and Victor C. X. Wang (Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJAVET.2015100101
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Abstract

The goal of an educational system or degree program is to “educate” students. This immediately raises the question of what does it mean to “educate” students. All academic institutions, degree programs and content areas are typically expected to answer this question and establish appropriate academic expectations both within the classroom and as part of their specific academic programs. The theme of this special edition is to provide insight on the challenges of improving graduation rates in both undergraduate and graduate education. As a statistics professor, on many occasions the authors have been part of both college and university committees on research methodology, statistics, and other academic requirements associated with graduate education. The purpose this article is to provide an overview of these experiences and the authors' perspective on how to improve success of students in methodology and statistics courses associated with successfully completing a graduate degree.
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Overview Of Graduate Degrees In Colleges Of Education

A longstanding theory in education is a belief that better educated teachers will translate to greater student achievement and performance in the classroom (Croninger, Rice, & Rathburn, 2007; Ryan, 2008). At face value, this theory seems tenable with the notion more educated instructors will be better able to inform young minds (Brewer & Goldhaber, 2000). However, is this theory really tenable? So many factors may contribute to overall academic preparation of educators and administrators. And it is an oversimplified remedy to suggest we can improve the academic preparation of educators, both teachers and administrators, by having them complete graduate course work or degrees without concurrently evaluating the academic expectations of both.

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