Graduate Catalog
2019-2020
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Educational Research
ERC
Address:
Educational Research and Evaluation, 1750 Kraft Drive, Corporate Research Center
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Contact this Certificate
Phone Number(s):
Wanda McAlexander:
540/231-5106

Overview of the Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Educational Research and Evaluation is designed to recognize graduate students who have acquired methodological expertise that goes beyond the methodological skills that are gained in introductory methodology courses. More specifically, the certificate recognizes the completion of specialized coursework in evaluation/assessment, measurement, qualitative methods, and/or statistics. The certificate is also intended for students who already hold a graduate degree but who wish to obtain a credential in research methodology that will be of benefit to them in their career.

Learning Outcomes

The EDRE Graduate Certificate demonstrates that a graduate student has achieved a level of proficiency in research methodology that exceeds what is possible at an introductory level. Learning outcomes for the certificate include the following:

  • Understand basic and advanced methodological concepts that are associated with evaluation/assessment, measurement, qualitative, and/or statistical research.
  • Understand and effectively use a variety of methodological practices and techniques that are associated with evaluation/assessment, measurement, qualitative, and/or statistical research.
  • Understand basic and advanced research design issues and effectively design an evaluation/assessment, measurement, qualitative, and/or statistical study.
  • Develop an effective research proposal for evaluation/assessment, measurement, qualitative, and/or statistical research.
  • Understand and effectively use a variety of data collection and data analysis methods or techniques that are associated with evaluation/assessment, measurement, qualitative, and/or statistical research.
  • Develop an effective research report of evaluation/assessment, measurement, qualitative, and/or statistical research.
  • Develop an effective oral and/or visual presentation of evaluation/assessment, measurement, qualitative, and/or statistical research.
  • Understand and use appropriate criteria to effectively evaluate the quality of research proposals and research reports for evaluation/assessment, measurement, qualitative, and/or statistical research.


How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

Admission Requirements


Graduate students who are accepted to any other graduate program at Virginia Tech will be admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Educational Research and Evaluation program on the basis of acceptance into their home department.

A recommendation for admission of nondegree-seeking students to the certificate program will be made by the EDRE Graduate Admissions Committee based on academic transcripts, a letter of interest, and the minimal requirements that are specified in the Graduate Catalog. Please note that these admission requirements differ from the EDRE program's degree admission requirements in that GRE scores or letters of recommendation are not required.

Upon completion of all of the certificate requirements, a student must apply for conferral of the certificate using the Application for Degree and Certificate Conferral form that is available on the Graduate School website.

Course Requirements

Number of Credit Hours: The EDRE Graduate Certificate requires nine credit hours of specialized coursework in EDRE. This excludes introductory courses that are prerequisites for specialized courses (i.e., Quantitative Research I (EDRE 6605), Quantitative Research II (EDRE 6606), Qualitative Research I (EDRE 6504), and all 5000-level EDRE courses other than EDRE 5644). A grade of B or higher must be earned in all of the courses that are completed for the certificate, and courses that are taken as either Pass/Fail or Audit do not count toward the certificate. Also, transfer credit or credit for courses that have been completed in programs other than the EDRE program is not permitted.

Please note that EDRE 6634 (Advanced Statistics) is required for all upper-level measurement and statistics courses and counts toward the certificate. The prerequisite(s) for each course is indicated in the section below, which includes descriptions of those courses that count toward the certificate.

Recommended Combinations of Specialized EDRE Courses

Evaluation/Assessment: 5644, 6684, 6744, 6794

Measurement: 6624, 6634, 6654, 6684

Qualitative Methods: 6524, 6744, 6784, EDCI 6535

Statistics: 6634, 6654, 6664, 6694, or a relevant Advanced Issues course


Courses That Count toward the Certificate and Their Prerequisites

5644

Questionnaire Design and Survey Research in Education (3H, 3C)  This course provides an overview of survey research useful to gather empirical data for non-experimental purposes in education and related settings. This project-based course focuses on questionnaire design including question formulation, sampling, data collection and analysis, and report writing.

6524

Qualitative Methods in Education Research II (3H, 3C) (Pre: EDRE 6504)
This course provides an advanced examination of qualitative inquiry in educational and human science research. It considers theoretical assumptions of major qualitative research traditions and provides students advanced skills in data analysis and representation. Offered fall and spring each year.

6624

Measurement Theory in Education (3H, 3C) (Pre: EDRE 6634)
Methods and theories of estimating and enhancing test score characteristics, particularly reliability and validity of aptitude and achievement tests. Problems associated with test construction, use, and score interpretation will be emphasized. Offered spring, yearly.

6634

Advanced Statistics for Education (3H, 3C) (Pre: EDRE 6606)
Multiple regression procedures for analyzing data as applied in educational settings, including curvilinear regressions, dummy variables, multicollinearity, and introduction to path analysis. Offered fall and spring, yearly.

6654

Multivariate Statistics for Applications to Educ. Problems (3H, 3C)(Pre: EDRE 6634)
Multivariate statistical procedures presented in an applied research setting. Oriented toward the logical extension of univariate tests of significance and estimation procedures to multivariate problems. Emphasis on using existing computer software packages. Offered spring, yearly.

6664

Applications of Structural Equations in Education (3H, 3C) (Pre: EDRE 6634)
Applications of structural equation causal models in educational research and discussion of the methodological questions pertaining to such models. Topics include recursive and nonrecursive models, measurement errors in causal models, latent unobserved variables, and covariance structures. Offered fall and spring, yearly.

6684

Instrument Development and Validation (3H, 3C) (Pre: EDRE 6634)
Provides experiences in developing instruments, or tests, that are designed to measure educational and psychological constructs, such as knowledge, skills, attitudes, and traits. Issues and practices relating to construct specification, instrument design and administration, and analysis and summary of validity study data will be emphasize. Offered fall, yearly.

6694

Hierarchical Linear Modeling (3H, 3C) (Pre: EDRE 6634)
Provides a conceptual framework of hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), some important statistical theory behind the HLM, and hands-on training for applying HLM technique through analyzing example data sets and projects. The course includes the formulation of statistical models for typical applications such as two-level organizational study, two-level growth model, and three-level growth model within contexts and prepares students to be able to use multilevel analysis to address research questions in their fields and write coherent summaries and interpretations of the results. Offered fall, yearly.

6704

Evaluation Methods in Education (3H, 3C) (Pre: EDRE 5404)
Principles of evaluation with emphasis on practices applicable to a variety of educational settings. The theoretical and philosophical bases which lead to alternative methodologies. Design and measurement alternatives are considered within the jurisdictional, theoretical, and philosophical contexts. Offered fall and spring each year.

6744

Mixed Method Research Design (3H, 3C) (Pre: EDRE 6606 and EDRE 6504)
Provides an introduction to mixed methods research design in the human and behavioral sciences. Students will design and execute a pilot study for a mixed method research project. Offered fall each year.

6754

Advanced Item Response Theory (3H, 3C) (Pre: EDRE 6624 or EDRE 6684)
Provides students with the concepts and skills to carry out Item Response Theory (IRT) analyses using specialized software, and an introduction to research in measurement. Topics will include binary and polytomous models, item and ability parameter estimation, model fit, and scaling and equating. Offered every other year, spring.

6774

Advanced Issues in Psychometric Research (3H, 3C) (Pre: EDRE 6624 or 6684)
Provides an in-depth look at one or more research topics in psychometrics, or the statistical foundations of educational and psychological tests. Students will become familiar with current research, acquire specialized psychometric analysis skills, and learn how to conduct psychometric research. Topics covered may vary from term to term. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Offered irregularly, spring.

6784

Advanced Issues in Qualitative Research (3H, 3C) (Pre: EDRE 6524)
Provides advanced treatment of important theoretical and methodological topics in the contemporary qualitative literature and in the ongoing development of qualitative methodology. Emphasis is placed on addressing both theoretical issues and issues of research praxis. Topics covered vary from term to term. Offered irregularly, spring.

6794

Advanced Topics in Educational Research (3H, 3C) (Pre: varies)
Advanced treatment beyond standard courses in topics such as questionnaire design, survey sampling, factor analysis, and meta analysis. May be repeated with different topics for up to 6 hours of credit. Longitudinal Data Analysis has been offered each spring for a number of years.

6794 (Assessment)

Assessment in Higher Education (3H, 3C)

Designed to provide an overview of theoretical, philosophical, practical, and policy issues appropriate to outcomes assessment methodology in higher education that are transferable to other educational and non-governmental settings. The course emphasizes understanding of assessment to enhance the educational environment and support academic quality.

EDCI Course that Counts toward the EDRE Graduate Certificate

6534

Ethnographic Research Methods in Education (3H, 3C) (Pre: EDCI 6034)

Exploration of ethnographic methods for data collection and analysis: theoretical bases, procedures, issues, and applications of this approach in educational research.


Certificate Application Form

Fall 2016 and After - Additional Application Materials

The EDRE program is required to assess the knowledge and skills that students gain from coursework that is completed for the EDRE Graduate Certificate. This requirement involves an additional step in the certificate application process, but several options are available. You can submit either an empirical or a non-empirical work sample as part of your application. Please note that the work sample that you submit must have been completed within the last two years and must be (a) a methodologically-oriented paper from one of the courses that you have taken for the EDRE Graduate Certificate, (b) a conference paper, or (c) a manuscript that has been submitted to an academic journal for review or that has been published.

The work sample that you submit will be evaluated by an EDRE faculty member who has relevant expertise, using the relevant criteria listed below. Please note that no minimum score is required for this evaluation.

Learning Outcome #1

The student will be able to understand, apply, and/or evaluate a specific research paradigm, research methodology, data collection method, or data analysis method.

The methodological portion of an empirical work sample will be evaluated using a five-point scale:

1) Was the research methodology used appropriate for investigating the research problem or research question(s)?

2) Was the research methodology understood and used correctly?

A non-empirical work sample will be evaluated using a five-point scale:

1) Was the research paradigm, research methodology, data collection method, or data analysis method described/explained accurately?

2) If relevant, was the research paradigm, research methodology, data collection method, or data analysis method critiqued/evaluated effectively?

Learning Outcome #2

The student will be able to understand and/or apply fundamental methodological concepts that are associated with a specific research paradigm, research methodology, data collection method, or data analysis method (e.g., validity, reliability, generalizability, HLM, SEM, or IRT, as they are understood within a specific methodological tradition).

The Results, Discussion, Limitations, and Conclusion sections of an empirical work sample will be evaluated using a five-point scale:

1) Were the results interpreted correctly?

2) Were the results discussed in relation to the stated research problem or research question(s)?

3) Did the above sections of the work sample demonstrate an understanding of, and adherence to, the methodological requirements for validity, reliability, generalizability, and/or other fundamental methodological concepts such as those that are used in HLM, SEM, or IRT?

A non-empirical work sample will be evaluated using a five-point scale:

1) Were fundamental methodological concepts described/explained accurately?

2) If relevant, were fundamental methodological concepts critiqued/evaluated effectively?

 

Additional Application Requirements for Fall 2016 and After