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The Research and Measurement concentration in the Department of Foundations of Education
at The University of Toledo offers MA and Ph.D. degrees in
Educational Research and Measurement with specializations in measurement, program
evaluation, qualitative research methods, and statistics.
The central focus of the concentration is applied research with emphasis in one or more of the following areas:
- Measurement provides students with fundamentals necessary for the development of applied and theoretical research, including the construction of assessment instruments, evaluation of instrument performance, exploration of outcomes, and tools for application and presentation. Modern (Rasch), classical (Thurstone) and traditional measurement techniques are included.
- Program evaluation concentrates on performance assessment, cost-benefit analyses, and qualitative and quasi-experimental designs related to the evaluation of educational programs.
- Qualitative Research provides students with fundamental methods of participant-observation, field notes, interviewing, and transcription, and models of qualitative research, including the their history and theoretical underpinnings, theoretical frameworks and research design; managing, analyzing and interpreting data; collaboration between researcher and researched; using computers in analysis.
- Statistics provides instruction in traditional statistical methods, research design,
and applications. Specialization in advanced statistical
analysis is offered including techniques related to hierarchical linear modeling (HLM),
structural equation modeling (SEM), meta-analysis,
survey research, and non-parametric statistical methods.
The following questions constitute broad categories of inquiry that frame the inquiry-based model of graduate education in research and measurement:
- What is the nature of objectivity?
- What is the nature of subjectivity?
- What distinguishes a social from a researchable problem?
- How does one identify a research problem?
- How does one select an appropriate method for exploring a research problem?
- How are quantitative and qualitative analysis distinguished as well as related?
- What is the nature of a research paradigm?
- What distinguishes research paradigms?
- What are their underlying assumptions?
- What is the history of quantitative and qualitative methods?
- What attributes are quantifiable?
- What makes an attribute quantifiable?
- What is the meaning of quantified data?
The core goal of the concentration is the development of expertise in the design, execution, and interpretation of applied research, both quantitative and qualitative, and a deep understanding of the theoretical foundations of research and measurement.
Graduates of the concentration are employed in a variety of jobs, both academic and professional, that involve research, measurement, program evaluation, and statistical analysis. There is currently significant demand for individuals with this expertise in university teaching and research, educational institutions, business, and government.