Research Methods in Evidence-based Development in Education
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Tõenduspõhise arengu uurimismeetodid hariduses
Course title in English
Research Methods in Evidence-based Development in Education
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
Assessment form
lecturer of 2018/2019  Spring semester
Timo Tobias Ley (inglise keel)
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
To create opportunities for acquiring theoretical knowledge about various research approaches used in education and to support developing the students’ ability to apply as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of different research methods.
Brief description of the course
Participants familiarize themselves with methodological approaches and research methods appropriate for the evidence-based development in education. During the course, the general methodological approaches will be presented, and several examples of research plans used in research projects will be analysed and discussed. Students will be guided to prepare their own project plan.
Topics include: How to write a research plan and proposal, how to formulate research questions and choose appropriate methods
Classification and main features of research approaches/ methodologies and methods.
Overview of research designs for empirical and design research: experiment, survey, grounded theory, case study, action research, evaluation research. The following research methods are covered: designing controlled experiments, designing questionnaires, conducting interviews, analyzing verbal data, analyzing transaction logs and online measures of learning
The course consists of seminars where students are expected to be actively involved. In addition every student must submit home assignment, which consists of three parts and covers all methodological aspects of the research project.
Independent work
Students must participate in 80% of the class sessions. Students must complete a short 2-page research plan about a research project they are planning, Students must write a more extensive 5 page research proposal as a basis for a research project they are planning and Students must prepare answers to home assignments and discuss them in class, and participate in the in-class individual and group exercises.
Learning outcomes in the course
- Recognizes and can comparatively differentiate between different types of research designs;
- Knows what are the main quality criteria for academic research and can evaluate the quality of a given study according to these criteria;
- Can set up research questions and choose the appropriate methodology according to the set questions;
- Knows action research and design-based research as methodological approaches to practitioner and developmental research, and recognize the appropriateness of each approach considering research task and context;
- Gain deepened understanding of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods and understand how these may be utilised within the approaches of action research and design-based research as well as recognizes the limitations of the methods;
- Is able to utilise the methodological knowledge in designing own project for educational development and innovation.
Assessment methods
Tobias Ley, Luis-Pablo Prieto, Maria Rodriguez
Study literature
Kindlaid uurimismeetodeid kasutavate teadusartiklite lugemine. Artiklid määratakse kursuse alguses.
Reading research articles that utilize specific research methods. These will be assigned at the beginning of the class.
Replacement literature
Brewerton, Millward (2001). Organizational Research Methods, Sage
Cohen, Manion, Morrison (2007). Research Methods in Education. Routledge.

Norton, L.S. (2009). Action Research in Teaching and Learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. London: Routledge.

Löfström, E. (2011). Guide to Action Research. Eduko & Archimedes Foundation, Tallinn.