National University

General Course Information for SPD695: Understanding Edu. Research

Course: SPD695 - Understanding Edu. Research
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Description:

This course is designed to provide the student with the basic knowledge and skills required to read, interpret and evaluate both quantitative and qualitative educational research in order to determine if research results have implications for program, curriculum or instructional decisions.

Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Critically evaluate published qualitative and quantatative research studies.
  • Describe the common problems made when conducting educational research and how they can be avoided.
  • Evaluate if there is evidence-based support for a particular teaching or intervention strategy.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify appropriate research design for a particular research problem.
  • Identify various test designs and the statistical analysis that the statistical analysis associated with that design.
  • Explain the difference between qualitative, quantitative and action research and when each type is appropriate.
  • Describe the ethical considerations and appropriate precautions involved with research on human subjects including the NU policy on research involving human subjects, the need for informed consent, student assent, and Institutional review Board approval.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the difference between population and sample and identify the characteristics of a sample that make it representative of the population.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of validity and reliability, how each are established and what elements cause a threat to either.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and describe various types of variables.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of various methods to collect data.
Specified Program Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Apply critical thinking skills when designing interventions, functional behavioral assessments, and behavior management plans to mitigate youth behavioral problems.
  • Candidates demonstrate competence in the application of research methods including critiquing and synthesizing current, evidence-based education literature.
  • Candidates demonstrate knowledge of typical and atypical development and characteristics of students with disabilities and other special needs.
  • Candidates demonstrate the ability to focus on student learning using technology tools through systematic study and reflection of one's own teaching practices and through shared knowledge gained from purposefully formed professional learning communities. NVTL: B. VIII
  • Demonstrate appropriate standards of conduct; practice within legal and ethical parameters.
  • Demonstrate competence in instructional design including adaptations required to assist diverse special education learners achieve the state standards for curriculum.
  • Demonstrate competence in the application of research methods including critiquing and synthesizing current educational literature.
  • Demonstrate graduate level written, verbal communication, and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrate professional level written, verbal communication, and presentation skills.
  • Develop skills to become a change agent and advocate for exceptional individuals, including diverse learners.
  • Strive to become a continuous learner, a scholar, a collaborative community service member and a responsible citizen.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures