2011-2012 Walden University Student Handbook (June 2012) 
    
    Jul 19, 2019  
2011-2012 Walden University Student Handbook (June 2012) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctoral Research Sequence


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Internal and external researchers and program leaders representing Walden University’s fields of doctoral study key stakeholders collaborated to generate a list of specific research competencies expected of all doctoral graduates from Walden.

Research competency standards of Ph.D. programs in typical graduate programs were reviewed, as were those of external higher education associations such as The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council of Graduate Schools, as well as several professional accrediting bodies.

The result of this extensive review and collaboration resulted in establishing 48 specific areas of competency organized around the following seven broad areas:

  1. Philosophy of research
  2. Research project design and approaches
  3. Quantitative research techniques
  4. Qualitative research techniques
  5. Quantitative quality assurance
  6. Qualitative quality assurance
  7. Professional practice

The doctoral research sequence described below was designed to ensure that doctoral students at Walden meet the minimum research competencies. Also see these courses in the Walden University Catalog.

RSCH 8100 Research Theory, Design, and Methods (4 cr.)
This research course provides students with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the doctoral level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the importance of theory in research, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method research designs and methods are introduced. Ethical and social change implications of conducting research, producing knowledge, and engaging in scholarship are emphasized. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing elements of simple research plans. (Prerequisite: a Foundations course or first course in a program.)

RSCH 8200 Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis (4 cr.)
This research course provides students with core knowledge and skills for designing quantitative research at the doctoral level, including understanding data analysis and applying statistical concepts. Students explore classical quantitative research designs and common statistical tests, the importance of quality assurance, and ethical and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. This course approaches statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting appropriate statistical tests for a research design. Students use statistical software to calculate statistics and interpret and present results. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a quantitative research plan. (Prerequisite: RSCH 8100.)

RSCH 8300 Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis (4 cr.)
This research course provides students with core knowledge and skills for designing qualitative research at the doctoral level, including understanding data analysis. Students explore the nature of qualitative inquiry; fieldwork strategies and the nature of observation; theoretical approaches to qualitative research; the importance of quality assurance; and the ethical, legal, and social change implications of conducting qualitative research and producing knowledge. Students use software to code data and interpret and present results. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a qualitative research plan. (Prerequisite: RSCH 8100.)

Together these three courses will provide an introductory-level background in each of the 48 competencies identified as being common to Walden faculty expectations, the expectations of similar programs in well-respected traditional universities, and the standards of a wide range of accrediting bodies.

All Ph.D. students are required to complete one advanced-level research course that mirrors the methodology of their intended dissertations. The university offers three advanced courses. Students should refer to their specific programs of study to determine program-specific requirements.

RSCH 8250 Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis (4 cr.)
This research course builds upon knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8200: Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis and provides experience applying them. It provides students with more specialized knowledge and skills for designing quantitative research at the doctoral level, including understanding multivariate data analysis and applying more advanced statistical concepts. Students explore comprehensive quantitative research designs and suitable statistical tests, the importance of quality assurance, and ethical considerations and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. This course approaches statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting the appropriate research design and statistical tests for more complex research questions or problems. Students use statistical software to perform analyses and interpret and present results. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a quantitative research plan. (Prerequisite RSCH 8200.)

RSCH 8350 Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis (4 cr.)
This research course builds upon knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8300: Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis and provides experience applying them. It provides students with more specialized knowledge and skills within each of the common qualitative traditions for designing qualitative research at the doctoral level. Students explore more complex qualitative research designs and analyses; multiple approaches to coding and organizing data; core components of a qualitative write up; the importance of quality assurance; and the ethical considerations and social change implications of conducting qualitative research and producing knowledge. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a qualitative research plan. (Prerequisite RSCH 8300.)

RSCH 8450 Advanced Mixed Methods Reasoning and Analysis (4 cr.)
This research course builds upon knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8200: Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis and RSCH 8200: Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis. It provides students with more specialized knowledge and skills for designing mixed methods research at the doctoral level. Students explore comprehensive mixed methods research designs and suitable statistical tests, the importance of quality assurance, and ethical considerations and social change implications of conducting mixed methods research and producing knowledge. This course emphasizes selecting the appropriate mixed methods research design and corresponding data collection and analysis techniques. Students use statistical software to perform analyses and interpret and present results. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a mixed methods research plan. (Prerequisites RSCH 8200 and RSCH 8300.)

Completion of the doctoral research sequence (RSCH 8100, RSCH 8200, and RSCH 8300) and the additional advanced-level courses required within each student’s program will enable students to achieve mastery of the specific set of these research competencies required for their field of study and professional goals.

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Doctoral Research Sequence Course Numbers 

   
Program Research Sequence
Ph.D. in Education RSCH 8100D, 8200D, 8300D
Ph.D. in Applied Management and Decision Sciences RSCH 8100Z, 8200Z, 8300Z
Ph.D. in Health Services RSCH 8100X, 8200X, 8300X
Ph.D. in Human Services RSCH 8100U, 8200U, 8300U
Ph.D. in Public Health RSCH 8100H, 8200H, 8300H
Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration RSCH 8100P, 8200P, 8300P

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Doctoral Research Competencies and Related Learning Objectives 

   
Topic Areas and Competencies Example of Competency-Related Learning Objectives
Philosophy of Research
Empiricism Identify the influence of empiricism on quantitative research methodology.
Positivism and post-positivism Explain how the scientific method is based on positivism and post-positivism.
Interpretivism Contrast interpretivism with positivism.
Constructivism Contrast constructivism with determinism.
Deconstructivism or critical theory Explain how critical theory research approaches use the concepts of power and justice.
Research Project Design and Approaches
Formulating the research question Utilize a gap in past research on a topic to generate a testable research question.
Quantitative/qualitative distinctions Determine the types of research questions most appropriately addressed by quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method designs.
Experimental research Explain why the experimental method is required for determining cause-effect relationships.
Quasi-experimental research Identify the advantages and disadvantages of key quasi-experimental designs.
Non-experimental designs (descriptive, correlational) Determine when it is appropriate to use non-experimental quantitative designs.
Program evaluation Distinguish program evaluation from other approaches to research.
Case studies Utilize case study findings to generate testable hypotheses.
Phenomenology Explain the purpose of research from a phenomenological perspective.
Ethnographic methods Contrast ethnography from other approaches to qualitative research.
Grounded theory methods Identify the key assumptions of grounded theory research.
Historical research Identify multiple sources of archival data relevant to their professional field and the limitations associated with such data.
Action research Explain why the advantages of action research may also be limitations.
Narrative inquiry Describe multiple forms of stories used in narrative analysis and how the “story” differs from a case study.
Quantitative Research Techniques
Descriptive statistics Know the definitions of mean, mode, and median and describe the situations where each should be used to describe the “average” value.
Probability distributions Know the characteristics of a normal distribution and explain how those characteristics are used in hypothesis testing with reference to the Central Limit Theorem.
Hypothesis testing Correctly test a hypothesis using quantitative data. Correctly interpret the results of that test with reference to Type I and II errors.
Multivariate analysis appropriate to field Describe how multivariate analyses are used in the students’ professional field.
Correlation Correctly calculate and interpret a Pearson correlation coefficient.
Non-parametric methods Understand the concept of rank and how it used in non-parametric statistics that test the difference between two or more groups.
Linear regression Know the assumptions of and correctly interpret ordinary least squares linear regression.
Quantitative analysis software (SPSS) Construct a data set using statistical software. Use that software to produce descriptive and inferential statistics.
Qualitative Research Techniques
Field notes Demonstrate skills in preparing field notes.
Pilot studies/field studies Identify different ways to collect qualitative data (i.e., individual or group interviewing; participant-observer journaling) and compare the relative tradeoffs of each approach.
Document (content) analysis Organize and analyze data through classification and coding.
Observation strategies Observe individuals, groups, objects, and settings in great detail.
Interviewing Understand how to develop an interview protocol and what is necessary for conducting effective interviews.
Focus groups Understand how to conduct focus groups in open-ended question and structured activity formats.
Questionnaires Demonstrate an understanding of conducting research using questionnaires.
Journaling Identify different ways to collect qualitative data (i.e., individual or group interviewing; participant-observer journaling).
Identifying themes in qualitative data Analyze data for meaning and make connections across categories.
Qualitative analysis software (Nvivo-NUDIST, Atlas) Produce multiple codes for a set of documents within qualitative analysis software. Use that software to show the relationship between at least two codes.
Quantitative Quality Assurance
Validity Describe what is meant by validity and how to assess external and internal validity.
Reliability Describe what is meant by reliability and how to assess external and internal reliability.
Sampling (random and deliberate) Define a random sample and explain why a researcher may use non-random samples in research.
Qualitative Quality Assurance
Trustworthiness Describe specific ways in which qualitative research is judged as rigorous.
Authenticity Discuss “fairness” in the integration of one’s own and others’ perspectives into the research process.
Sampling (purposive) Identify specific strategies within purposive sampling and explain why each might be used.
Professional Practice
Disseminating research to professional audiences (e.g., conferences) Identify at least two ways for disseminating research in their professional field and describe scholarly expectations associated with each.
Human subjects’ protection Explain the legal and ethical basis of human subjects’ protection along with the basic rights of participants participating in any research study.
Grant-writing Describe at least two sources of grants for conducting research in their field and basic requirements for securing grants from each source.
Integrating research with social change activity Describe past, current, and future potential contributions of research in their professional field to the public good.
Working with stakeholders (e.g., community-based research) Identify potential non-academic stakeholders in research from their professional field along with specific considerations in working with each stakeholder.
Professional writing Utilize appropriate conventions for professional writing when reviewing, reporting, and interpreting research findings.

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 Ed.D. Research Sequence—Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership

Specialization in Administrator Leadership for Teaching and Learning

In this specialization, the research sequence consists of the following two courses:

  • EDAD 8141 - Applied Research in Education
  • EDAD 8145 - Project Study: Research in Practice

In addition to this, research modules will be embedded in the following three courses:

  • EDAD 8142 - Leading to Promote Learning
  • EDAD 8143 - Leading Professional Learning Communities
  • EDAD 8144 - School Leadership Capstone: Trends, Issues, and Global Perspectives

Specialization in Teacher Leadership

In this specialization, the research sequence consists of the following two courses:

  • EDUC 8141 - Applied Research in Education
  • EDUC 8145 - Project Study: Research in Practice

In addition to this, research modules will be embedded in the following three courses:

  • EDUC 8142 - Teaching and Learning: Theory and Research
  • EDUC 8143 - Collegial Interactions and Professional Development
  • EDUC 8144 - Teacher Leadership Capstone: Trends, Issues, and Global Perspective

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Registering, Completing, and Receiving Credit for the Research Sequence Courses

Students register for the Research Sequence courses using the regular course registration process.

The basis of each course is an online discussion that begins on the first day of the quarter. Students use e-mail and online classrooms accessible via the Internet to participate in the asynchronous discussions (except for EDUC 8458 and 8468). Course instructors facilitate seminar activities based on assigned readings and topics posted in the syllabus at the beginning of the quarter. Assignments are collected and evaluated. For components that incorporate in-person meetings, attendance at all meetings is mandatory.

Each seminar carries a credit value as specified in the program sections of the Walden University Catalog. Course instructors evaluate student performance and award a grade of S (Satisfactory) to those students who complete a Foundation Research Sequence seminar successfully. A grade of S is equivalent to a letter grade of B or better. The university cannot convert a grade of S to a letter grade. Students who do not complete the seminar successfully receive a grade of U (Unsatisfactory). Grades of A, B, and F are awarded in the Research Sequence courses for the Riley College of Education and Leadership. The registrar makes these notations on the student’s academic record and awards the appropriate credits.