Reading Fundamentals #1:
An Introduction to Scientifically-based Research
Instructor Name: Mick R. Jackson MS/ED
Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday
Address: Virtual Education Software
16201 E Indiana Ave, Suite 1450
Spokane, WA 99216
Reading Fundamentals supports the concept of scientifically-based reading research to develop a phonetically-based approach to reading assessment, instruction, evaluation, and remediation.
An Introduction to Scientifically-based Research, the first in the three-course Reading Fundamentals series on effective reading instruction, was designed to give background on scientifically-based instruction as it applies to the federal legislation of 2001. The course discusses the research that supports scientifically-based research as it applies to phonetically-based instruction, assessment, and evaluation. The course explores myths and misconceptions concerning reading instruction and remediation. It also presents an evaluation checklist designed to assess the effectiveness of your current reading program. The goal of the course is to present you with research, trustworthy evidence, and background information that support the need for a reading program that is based on scientific research and proven methods.
Title: Reading Fundamentals #1: An Introduction to Scientifically-based Research
Authors: Ronald Martella, Ph.D.
Publisher: Virtual Education Software, inc. 2004, Revised 2010
Instructor: Mick Jackson MS/ED
Academic Integrity Statement
The structure and format of most distance-learning courses presume a high level of personal and academic integrity in completion and submission of coursework. Individuals enrolled in a distance-learning course are expected to adhere to the following standards of academic conduct.
Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the student’s own work or appropriately attributed in part or in whole to its correct source. Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are one’s own work is unacceptable.
Aiding Honesty in Others
The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge these materials or information will be used improperly.
Violations of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.
Level of Application
1. Describe what is meant by critical thinking.
2. Explain what science is and illustrate the six scientific principles.
3. Explain the myths and misconceptions of science, and describe the ways in which we gain information.
4. Describe the impact science has had on medicine, clinical psychology, and education.
5. Illustrate the constraint levels in educational research.
6. Describe the concepts of reliability and validity.
7. Explain what is meant by variability, including the sources of variability.
8. Describe the terms internal and external validity, and explain the threats to each.
9. Illustrate the different research designs/methods (i.e., experimental, single-case, causal-comparative, correlational, and qualitative).
10. Describe the importance of replications and illustrate the types of replications.
11. Describe what is meant by the term research syntheses, and illustrate the National Reading Panel synthesis.
States that receive funds from the No Child Left Behind, Reading First Act need to ensure that teachers are qualified to teach reading. They must have a working knowledge of scientifically validated instructional programs and practices. According to Kilpatrick (2003), the most critical part of the Act is that there must be an increase in teachers’ knowledge of the scientific process under which instructional programs are evaluated. (Note: A summary of this legislation regarding the use of scientifically-validated instructional materials appears in Course 2.)
According to Moats (1999), research should guide the teaching profession. Unfortunately, teachers are not adequately trained in research methodology in their pre-service programs. An interesting phenomenon occurs in teacher preparation programs. Undergraduate students are rarely required to take research methods or statistics courses. Contrast this with the situation of undergraduates in psychology. Psychology undergraduates are typically required to take research and statistics courses. The interesting aspect of this difference is that students in teacher preparation programs are highly likely to be accountable for the academic progress of students in their classrooms once they become teachers. In comparison, psychology students will likely be much less accountable for the progress of individuals in their charge (e.g., direct care services such as group homes, residential facilities). In other words, if we compare the responsibilities of education college students to psychology college students, the students who would be most in need of training in the scientific process (e.g., data-based decision making) would be those preparing to be teachers.
As a student you will be expected to:
· Complete all 5 information chapters covering Scientifically-based Research, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.
· Complete all 5 chapter examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.
· Complete a review of any chapter on which your examination score was below 70%.
· Retake any chapter examination, after completing an information review, to increase that final examination score to a minimum of 70% (maximum of 3 attempts).
· Complete all course journal article and essay writing assignments with the minimum word count shown for each writing assignment.
Chapter 1: Introduction to Scientifically-based Research
This first chapter contains information on what scientifically-based research means and discusses the myths and misconceptions of science. This chapter will lay out the basic foundation of scientifically-based research that will be used as the basis for understanding the remaining sections. There will be discussion on the Reading Excellence Act and the impact of scientifically-based research on other professions.
Chapter 2: Constraint Levels, Validity, & Variability in Research
This chapter will discuss the various types of research and the constraint levels in educational research. There will be information on the issues of reliability and validity in research and the variability that has been seen in educational research.
Chapter 3: Internal & External Validity
The third chapter will deal exclusively with internal and external validity of educational research. This chapter focuses solely on these two issues due to their importance and a need for the issue or research validity to be clearly understood.
Chapter 4: Experimental Designs
This chapter will discuss quasi-experimental design, pre-experimental design, true experimental design, and single case design. It will discuss causal-comparatives and correlational research as well as qualitative research. The chapter will also discuss objectives and methodology.
Chapter 5: Putting It All Together
At the end of each course chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score. After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access. The average from your exam scores will be printed on your certificate. However, this is not your final grade since your required writing assignments have not been reviewed. Exceptionally written or poorly written required writing assignments, or violation of the academic integrity policy in the course syllabus, will affect your grade. As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.
This course has two required writing components.
To save your essays:
When you select the question or article you wish to write on, simple text or text edit will
automatically be launched. When you are finished, simply click SAVE.
You must SAVE before you write another essay or move on to another part of the course.
1) Essay Requirement: Critical Thinking Questions
You will be required to complete four Critical Thinking Questions. You will do research on the question and write a brief essay relating it to the course content (and your personal experiences when possible). To view the questions, click on REQUIRED ESSAY and choose the Critical Thinking Question that you would like to complete; this will bring up a screen where you may enter your essay. You must write a minimum of 500 words per essay.
You must SAVE before you write another essay or move on to another part of the course.
2) Essay Requirement: Journal Articles
This task requires you to write a review of three journal articles of your choice on a topic related to this course. You may choose your topic by entering the Key Words (click on the Key Words button) into a search engine of your choice (Google, Dogpile, Yahoo, etc.). Choose three relevant articles and write a 200-word review of each. You may also access the ERIC system and choose a related topic from a journal listed in that system. Or you can access www.scholar.google.com or www.findarticles.com .Write a critical summary of the information given in each article, explaining how the information relates to, supports, or refutes information given in this course. Conclude your paper with your thoughts and impressions. (200 words per journal article minimum, 400 words maximum.) Be sure to provide the journal name, volume, date, and any other critical information to allow the instructor to access and review that article.
To write your essays, click on REQUIRED ESSAY and choose the Journal Article that you would like to complete; this will bring up a screen where you can write your review. When you are ready to stop, clicks SAVE. You may go back at any point to edit your essays. For more information on the features of this assignment, please consult the HELP menu.
You must SAVE before you write another essay or move on to another part of the course.
Contacting the Instructor
If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at www.virtualeduc.com and also the Help section of your course.
If you need personal assistance then email email@example.com or call (509) 891-7219. When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call.
Minimum Computer Requirements
Please refer to VESi’s website: www.virtualeduc.com or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.
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Updated 9/15/11 JN