As the first of six sequenced research courses, this course provides an overview of the dissertation research and writing process. Students develop the foundational knowledge, skills, and disposition necessary for critical inquiry, research design, dissertation preparation, data analysis, data interpretation, and the evaluation of research results. The course focuses on the critical evaluation of research quality. Students learn to deconstruct dissertations as a way to understand the process.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.
Critical thinking and reflection processes are crucial to both evaluating and creating research. The purpose of this first of six research courses is to guide the student in selecting, critically evaluating, and interpreting research. By studying good and bad research and by deconstructing dissertations, students will take the first step in the process of creating a dissertation worthy study and developing the skills of a researcher.
Textbook readings and lecture presentations
Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt. Each thread must be at least 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to the threads of at least 2 classmates. Each reply must be at least 150 words. (CLOs: A, B, & C)
Researcher SWOT Assessment Assignment
The student will conduct a personal assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) related to their research understanding, dispositions, and skills. Students will devise a preliminary plan for personal growth as a scholar/researcher. This assignment will be approximately 6-10 pages in length. (CLO: C)
Creating a Research Profile Assignment
The student will “deconstruct” a dissertation and then create a summary document called a “Research Profile” based on the information found in the dissertation. The profile document provides a 3 to a 5-page overview of the dissertation design and findings. The profile will be single-spaced, rather than double-spaced and will follow APA formatting for headings. (CLO: A)
Dissertation Review Assignment
The student will read and review a dissertation selected from the Scholars' Crossing website. The review involves responding to a series of provided questions that will reveal both strengths and weaknesses of the dissertation. After completing the review, the student will write an 8-10 page summary document evaluating the dissertation and discussing the lessons learned about research from the review process. The summary paper must follows APA style requirements. (CLOs: A, B, C)
Two quizzes are required in the course. These both occur in Module 6. The first is on APA style requirements. The second covers the subject of plagiarism. Both quizzes are open book and may be taken twice with the highest score recorded for a grade. Quizzes are 100 points each and contain 20 multiple choice and true/false questions with each question worth 5 points. (CLO: A)