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What would you want to know about educational research?

I have an opportunity to teach a course that I’ve never taught before, but that I’ve coveted teaching for awhile. The course is called “Research Methods in Education,” and the university bulletin describes it as:

Designed to provide an introductory understanding of educational research and evaluation studies. Emphasizes fundamental concepts, procedures and processes appropriate for use in basic, applied and developmental research. Includes developing skills in critical analysis of research studies. Analyzes the assumptions, uses and limitations of different research designs. Explores methodological and ethical issues of educational research. Students either conduct or design a study in their area of educational specialization.

Basically, it’s a masters-level course aimed at helping educators be better consumers of research. My section of the course will be comprised mostly of aspiring school leaders. Also, the course will be mostly online (I think we’ll meet f-2-f once at the beginning of the semester and once at the end of the semester).

I have some leeway in how I design the course, and I have some ideas of what I want to do with it. But, I thought I’d ask the educators who might stumble across this post for some thoughts about what they think would be useful for educators, most of whom are currently teachers looking to earn administrative certification. Some questions to consider:

  • What general questions do you have about educational research?
  • What are some examples of how you’ve encountered research in your practice as an educator? Or, what role, if any, has research had in your practice as an educator?
  • When you’ve encountered a particular study or set of studies, what do you wish you knew that you didn’t know?
  • What sorts of activities do you think would be meaningful for this course?

Those are just the questions that immediately come to mind. If you have answers to those questions, or thoughts or ideas about what this course might/should look like or include, please do share in the comments.

Thanks in advance.