Courses

The Online Graduate Certificate Program in Program Evaluation includes four required courses (12 credits).  In addition, we offer EPSY 5605 (as a prerequisite to EPSY6601) for students who would benefit from introductory quantitative methods instruction. Below, X's indicate the term in which each required course will be offered.

Fall 2022 Spring 2023 Summer 2023 Fall 2023 Spring 2024 Summer 2024
EPSY 5605 - Introduction to Quantitative Methods (Prerequisite) X X X X X X
*EPSY 6601 - Methods and Techniques of Educational Research X X
*EPSY 5601 - Principles and Methods in Educational Research X X X X
EPSY 6621 - Program Evaluation X X
EPSY 6623 - Advanced Program Evaluation X X
EPSY 5195 - Practicum (Flexible by Semester) X X

*NOTE: Program Evaluation Certificate students must take one research methods course. This course could be either EPSY 6601 or EPSY 5601, depending on prior educational experience and level of preparation. Students are NOT required to take both of these courses to complete the Certificate.

 


EPSY 5605 - Introduction to Quantitative Methods I (Prerequisite)

(3-credits)

EPSY 5605 introduces foundational concepts/skills in quantitative methods, with illustrations and examples from educational research. Students are routinely encouraged to share applications of course content from their “home” disciplines or personal research experiences to illustrate the cross-disciplinary nature of quantitative methods. Students successfully completing this course will be able to: (1) Use statistical terminology appropriately to describe general principles of statistical analysis and inference; (2) Construct tabular and graphical displays to summarize a given set of data; (3) Identify and calculate appropriate descriptive statistics for variables in a given data set; (4) Construct scatter plots, calculate measures of bivariate relationship, and perform simple linear regressions for variables in a given data set; (5) Identify the parameters of interest in a given research context and select an appropriate statistical procedure for answering the research questions; (6) Construct and correctly interpret confidence intervals for the mean, proportion, correlation, difference between means, and difference between proportions; (7) State and test hypotheses about the mean, proportion, correlation, difference between means, and difference between proportions; (8) State and test hypotheses about bivariate relationships among variables using simple linear regression procedures and chi-square tests of association; and (9) Draw clear and correctly stated conclusions with respect to research questions of interest based on statistical analyses of a given set of data. Topics for this course may include: methods for displaying and summarizing data (frequency distributions, graphical displays, measures of central tendency and variability, measures of relative standing / percentiles, correlation, linear regression); probability and statistical inference (probability distributions, the normal distribution, sampling distributions for the mean and proportion); inference about a single population parameter (confidence interval for the mean and proportion, testing hypotheses about the mean and proportion); inference about the difference between two population parameters (inference about the difference between means / t-test for dependent and independent samples, inference about the difference between proportions / z-test for dependent and independent samples); inference about relationships (inference about correlations and regression slopes, chi-squared test of association); one-way analysis of variance, etc.

This course is offered for students who would benefit from the introductory quantitative methods material. Students may request to have this requirement waived if they have taken a graduate-level statistics course from an accredited college or university and have earned a "B" or better.


EPSY 6601 - Methods and Techniques of Educational Research

(3-credits)

EPSY 6601 offers an advanced survey of the principal methods employed in the investigation of educational problems, including problem formulation, stating hypotheses, sampling, instrument design, types of research methods and design principles. Students successfully completing this course will be able to: (1) Identify theory, concepts, and terminology pertinent to conducting quantitative educational research; (2) Describe a variety of experimental and quasi-experimental research designs; (3) Identify threats to validity for each of these research designs and propose strategies to minimize those threats; (4) Define a research problem of interest and generate appropriate research questions/hypotheses; (5) Select a quantitative research design to examine specific research questions/hypotheses and evaluate the adequacy of the chosen design; (6) Apply guidelines required for the protection of human subjects in research with identification of the role of the IRB in the protection of human subjects; (7) Evaluate and critique the results of research studies conducted by other researchers within the field of education; (8) Describe the principles of open science. Topics for this course may include: research questions and ethics, introduction to causality and the validity typology, statistical conclusion validity (including confidence intervals, effect sizes, and power), internal validity and randomized experiments, external validity, construct validity, quasi-experimental research designs, matching and propensity scores, regression discontinuity and interrupted time series research designs, mediation and moderation, practical issues in research (open science), etc.


EPSY5601 - Principles and Methods in Educational Research

(3-credits)

EPSY 5601 provides introductory-level coverage of the theory and practice of research with primary application to K-12 settings. The goal of the course is to help students understand, evaluate, and make use of educational research and literature. Therefore, students will learn the basic concepts, procedures, and habits of mind for conducting and evaluating educational research and will become better producers and consumers of research. Students will learn to distinguish between spot good and bad science, helpful and unhelpful theory, strong and weak instruments, etc. Students successfully completing this course will be able to: (1) Describe and recognize the major types of quantitative and qualitative research; (2) Recognize the connection between research questions, research design and analysis (3) Explain measurement concepts in quantitative and qualitative research; (4) Understand descriptive and inferential statistical concepts and techniques used with quantitative data, and analysis concepts and techniques used with qualitative data; and (5) Locate, classify, synthesize, and evaluate published research. Topics for this course may include: basics of the educational research process, identification of research problems, formulation of research questions, research ethics, literature reviews, qualitative research methods, quantitative research methods, mixed methods, qualitative data collection and analysis, quantitative data collection and analysis, special topics in research methods, etc.


EPSY6621 - Program Evaluation

(3-credits)

EPSY 6621 is the first course in the RMME program evaluation course sequence. This course provides students with a basic understanding of evaluation. Students learn about fundamental evaluation topics and concepts in the areas of practice, theory, methods, and profession. Students successfully completing this course will be able to: (1) Explain the history and influences of evaluation in society; (2) Compare and contrast evaluation’s purposes and evaluators’ roles and activities; (3) Discuss theory, concepts, and vocabulary used in program evaluation; (4) Compare and contrast different theories pertinent to conducting program evaluation; (5) Apply basic evaluation practice methods; (6) Debate recent trends influencing the practice of evaluation. Topics for this course may include: ethics and integrity, defining evaluation, evaluation exemplars, history of program evaluation, types of theories used in evaluation practice, evaluation practice in action, evaluation theory (methods theorists, valuing theorists, use theorists), evaluator competencies, current debates in evaluation, etc.


EPSY 6623 - Advanced Program Evaluation

(3-credits)

EPSY 6623 is the second course in the RMME program evaluation course sequence. In this course, students will build upon the foundational knowledge and skills on ESPY 6621 and transition from learning about evaluation to planning evaluations. Students gain deeper understanding in four areas related to evaluation: program context, evaluators, evaluation methods, and research on evaluation. Students successfully completing this course will be able to: (1) Develop evaluations that maximize the likelihood of their use; (2) Choose appropriate evaluation designs for various programs, processes, systems, organizations, or products; (3) Develop a program logic model or program theory; (4) Choose the most appropriate data collection and analysis methods for specific evaluation studies; (5) Develop an evaluation plan outlining a major evaluation study; (6) Identify the political and contextual factors that affect the practice of evaluation; (7) Determine effective communication and reporting methods for disseminating evaluation information; and (8) Apply the standards and ethical practices of evaluators. Topics for this course may include: evaluator roles & competencies, politics & ethics of evaluation practice, focusing the evaluation & describing the evaluand, culture & evaluation, evaluation designs (choosing data collection methods), planning / implementing / managing / budgeting the evaluation, analyzing evaluation data, and communicating & reporting evaluation processes and findings, etc.


EPSY 5195 - Practicum

(3-credits)

EPSY 5195 is the third (and final) course in the RMME program evaluation course sequence. In this course, students transition from planning evaluations (as in EPSY 6623) to conducting evaluations. Typically, Evaluation Practicum students carry out the evaluation they developed and proposed after participating in EPSY 6623. Students successfully completing this course will be able to: (1) Apply program evaluation foundations (e.g., standards, guidelines, principles, approaches, and theories); (2) Implement technical aspects of an evaluation (e.g., framing questions, designing studies, collecting and analyzing data, reporting findings); (3) Describe the unique circumstances and settings of evaluations, including key stakeholders; (4) Develop and execute logistical components of an evaluation (e.g., developing and monitoring work plans and timelines); and (5) Exhibit interpersonal evaluation competencies. Students will complete the capstone experience for the Graduate Certificate Program in Program Evaluation during this Evaluation Practicum course (EPSY 5195).