Materials – Textbooks, Readings, Supplementary Readings


Textbook(s) Required

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Mertler, C.A. (2019).  Introduction to educational research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks,


Course Description:

This course provides a review of significant research designs used in the field of education in order to seek out “best practices” in the classroom, on the campus and district wide. Emphasis is placed on the process and consumption of research. The student is required to demonstrate competence in developing and refining research techniques for “best practices.”

Standards Addressed:

TAC 241.15 Standards Required for the Principal Certificate

(c) Leading Learning.  The principal:

         (4) facilitates the use of sound research-based practice in the development and implementation of campus curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular programs to fulfill academic, developmental, social, and cultural needs;

         (8) monitors and ensures staff uses multiple forms of student data to inform instruction and intervention decisions to maximize instructional effectiveness and student achievement

TExES 268 Principal Competency 003

The entry level principal knows how to collaboratively develop high-quality instruction.

  1. Prioritizes instruction and student achievement by understanding, sharing, and promoting a clear definition of high-quality instruction based on best practices from research
  2. Facilitates the use of sound, research-based practice in the development, implementation, coordination, and evaluation of campus curricular, and extracurricular programs to fulfill academic, development, social, and cultural needs

149.2001.001 Instructional Leadership

The principal is responsible for ensuring every student receives high-quality instruction.

  • 001c. Data-Driven Instruction and Interventions – The principal monitors multiple forms of student data to inform instructional and intervention decisions and to close the achievement gaps.

Student Learning Outcomes

The aspiring principal will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Learn research methodologies relevant to education and apply to professional practice through the creation of a coherent research plan that supports instructional planning through data driven decision-making. [149.2001.001c]
  2. Evaluate and apply research literature to educational problems. [TAC 241.15]
  3. Impact the instructional environment through familiarity with general methods of data collection and analysis and how to draw conclusions based on data. [Competency 003; TAC 241.15; 149.2001.001c]
  4. Synthesize the relationship between theory, research, and practice, and to use this understanding to become practitioner-scholars and consumers of research. [Competency 003; 149.200.001c]
  5. Facilitate the development of a campus learning culture that supports instructional improvement and change through an on-going study of relevant research and best practice. [TAC 241.15]
  6. Monitor multiple forms of student data to inform instructional and intervention decisions that impact a narrowing of the achievement gaps. [149.2001.001c]


Minimal Technical Skills Needed

The learner is required to access and navigate the learning management system, use Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, and use presentation and graphics programs.  All written assignments require Microsoft Word.

Instructional Methods

This course is delivers completely online through the D2L Learning Management Platform. The course is structured so that content may be engaged in 7 modules.  Each module begins on Monday of the week and concludes at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday of the week. The structure of each module contains an introduction to the material to be covered, assigned readings, and required assessments or activities.  Each assessment, whether formal or informal, is designed for the aspiring principal to demonstrate synthesis of material and application of theory to practice.  This application is referred to as Practitioner Pedagogy. To the latter point, the course is a scaffolded action research project, designed to inform the aspiring principal how to use data to solve issues or challenges in the local setting.

Student Responsibilities or Tips for Success in the Course

For success in this course, please read all materials, lectures, and supplementary resources.  Additionally, bear in mind that this is Graduate level inquiry; therefore, it is necessary to devote a minimum of 15-20 hours per week with the course content.


Assignments completed for this course should not have been used in other courses. You must complete all assignments to earn an A in this course.

Final grades in this course will be based on the following scale:

A = 90%-100%

B = 80%-89%

C = 70%-79%

D = 60%-69%

F = 59% or Below

The following Grading Rubric reflects an overview of points and the corresponding letter grade.

Grading Rubric:  A:  160 – 144    B: 143 – 128    C: 127 – 112    D: 111 – 96   F: 95 – 0


For this course, you will be required to complete the following assignments:

1) Research Plan (80 points)                                                                     Total of 80 pts.

2) 4 Discussion Board Postings (5 points each)                                    Total of 20 pts.

3) 3 Reviews of Journal Articles (20 points each)                                 Total of 60 pts.

                                     Total possible points for course assignments = 160 pts.

Module Discussion Forums (Total of 20 points—four worth 5 pts. each) [TAC 241.15; Competency 003; 149.2001.001c]

Four modules (Weeks 1, 2, 4 & 5) within this course contain a discussion thread activity, which serves as a peer-review component for developing parts of the research proposal. Participation in the discussion forums is critical for maximizing your learning experiences in this course. You are required to be part of an online community who interact, through discussion, to enhance and support the professional development of the group. Part of the assessment criteria for the course includes assessing the quality and quantity of your participation in the discussion forum.

Some characteristics we consider to be part of excellent discussion contributions are outlined below. Your facilitator will consider these characteristics when assessing the quality and level of your participation.

  • You should submit your initial post(s) early in the session and your subsequent responses to the posts of other learners at timely intervals within the duration of the module. Keep in mind the goal is to have a dynamic discussion that lasts throughout the entire session. Initial posts are due by Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. Subsequent responses (replies to classmates) are due by Saturday at 10:00 p.m. Posts on Day 7 will not receive credit.
  • Your posts and responses should be thorough and thoughtful. Just posting an “I agree” or “Good ideas” will not be considered adequate. Support your statements with examples from the text, lecture notes or videos, and other reference material. For example:

Mertler (2019) discusses “grounding research in emergent theory” (p.16). Therefore, John, please go back to chapter one and integrate the components…

“Your research questions are yes/no.  Mertler (2019) argues the components of effective research questions as those that may be answered as the result of unfettered investigation.  While question number 2 is close, here’s a suggested revision…”

  • Be sure to cite all material using APA 6th edition. You are encouraged to be succinct—keep each post and response to what is necessary to meet course expectations or to meet the parameters of the question. Keep in mind that your fellow learners will be reading and responding to you as well.
  • Make certain to address the discussion prompt(s). This response does not mean you should not extend the topic, but do not stray from it.
  • Discussions occur when there is dialogue, so build upon the posts and responses of other learners to create discussion threads. Make sure you revisit the discussion forum and respond (if necessary) to what other learners have posted to your initial responses. Exemplary students typically visit the discussion area 3-5 “different” times each module.
  • When relevant, add to the discussion by including prior knowledge, work experiences, references, websites, resources, etc. (giving credit when appropriate).
  • Your contributions to the discussions (posts and responses) should be complete and free of grammatical and structural errors.

EDAD 595 Discussion Thread Grading Rubric

Timeliness and quality of your initial posting. Post to allow sufficient time for peer feedback. Post by Wednesday at 10 p.m. of the module week.0   1   2   3
Quality and timeliness of constructive feedback that you provide to at least two classmates in reviewing their work prior to Saturday at 10:00 p.m.0   1   2
 Point Total =  /5

Critical Assessment (CA) Assignment (30 points)

[TAC 241.15; Competency 003; 149.2001.001c]

Instructions: Meet with your mentor or campus principal to identify a problem or issue related to either campus culture, instructional leadership (aligned curriculum, effective instructional strategies, data-driven instruction, or interventions to impact student achievement), or professional development for teachers. Together, critically examine 2-3 sources of data (campus or district improvement plan, School Report Card, PEIMS data, benchmark exams, etc.) that support this issue or a problem that is in need of investigation or intervention.  Based on your meeting with your mentor or campus principal, use the Writing a Problem Statement worksheet in doc sharing to develop a comprehensive and formal statement of the problem to be used as the foundation for your Action Research proposal. This assignment is worth a total of 30 points.  Please use the Critical Assignment Rubric below to guide your thinking and discovery.

PointsStatement of the Problem
20The statement of the problem and need for the study are clearly addressed and supported by identifying 2-3 document sources and citations from scholarly research.
16The statement of the problem is clear although a rare extraneous element is introduced. The problem is supported by identifying 2-3 document sources and citations from scholarly research.
12The assignment has a statement of the problem, but additional, unrelated ideas distract the reader. The problem is not supported by 2-3 document sources but does include citations from scholarly research.
10The assignment has a statement of the problem, but additional, unrelated ideas distract the reader. The problem is supported by 2-3 document sources but does not include citations from scholarly research.
8The statement of the problem is unclear and not supported by document sources or citations from scholarly research.
4The assignment lacks a statement of the problem or appears to reflect the writer’s “free association.”
0Assignment not submitted.
10All references are appropriate with no APA errors.
8Most references are appropriate and/or have limited APA errors.
6Some references are appropriate and/or have limited APA errors.
4Many references are inappropriate and/or have a variety of APA errors.
2Most references are inappropriate and/or have excessive APA errors.
0Assignment not submitted.

Research Plan (80 total points): [149.2001.001c; Competency 003]

The core of this course is the development of a research plan. Through the analysis of multiple data sources and an investigation of relevant literature, you will identify a problem to further investigate. This problem needs to be one that is “researchable” and related to an area of instructional improvement or intervention in education. Throughout each module, you will conduct a series of activities to assist you in completing the formal research plan. With the inclusion of the components from the Critical Assessment (CA) Assignment (Statement of the Problem and References), the Research Plan will consist of the following seven sections:

–Statement of the Problem      (20 pts.)

–Research Questions              (10 pts.)  

–Significance of Study             (10 pts.)

–Selection of Sample               (10 pts.)

–Design                                       (10 pts.)

–Data Analysis                           (10 pts.)

–References                            (10 pts.)

     Total Possible Points= 80 points

*The previous two rubrics and the following five rubrics will be used to evaluate the seven parts of the Research Plan.

595 Research Plan Grading Rubric   CLAQWA (modified), Flateby & Metzger – University of South Florida
Module 2 Assignment
Research Questions
10All research questions are well written and relate to the research topic.
8The majority of research questions are well written and relate to the research topic.
6The research questions slightly deviate from the research topic and have room for improvement.
4The research questions are unrelated to the research topic.
2The research questions are poorly written and unrelated to the problem.
0Assignment not submitted.
Module 6 Assignment
Significance of Study
10The significance of the study clearly contributes to the research plan, which is obvious, specific, and appropriate.
8The writer’s significance of the study is present and appropriate for the research plan.
6The writer’s significance of the study is present and appropriate, but the elements may not clearly contribute to the statement of the problem.
4The writer’s significance of the study is inappropriate for the research plan.
2The writer’s significance is not evident.
0Assignment not submitted.
Selection of Sample
10The target population is identified, and the appropriate method is used for the selection of the sample of participants. A description of participants is included and appropriate in the ability to provide data in answering research questions.
8Little discussion of the target population exists; however, a sampling technique for the selection is discussed and appropriate in providing data for the research questions. A description of the participants is provided.
6No discussion of the target population exists, and there is room for improvement regarding the sample technique used. No description of actual participants exists.
4No discussion of the target population exists, and a poor sampling technique is used.
2No discussion of the target population exists and/or no sampling technique is used. The participants targeted for the study are inappropriate for providing data to address the research questions.
0Assignment not submitted.  
 Module 7 Assignment
10The procedure for collecting and analyzing data is sound, effective, and realistic to address the research questions posed in the research plan. It provides a clear roadmap to the reader.
8The procedure for collecting and analyzing data is appropriate for the research questions posed in the research plan. There is room for improvement relating to the description.
6The procedure for collecting and analyzing data is average for the research questions posed in the proposal with room for improvement.
4A procedure for collecting and analyzing data is attempted to address the research questions posed in the proposal; however, a better description is needed.
2The procedure of collecting and analyzing data is inappropriate and unrelated to the research questions statements posed in the research plan.
0Assignment not submitted.
Data Analysis
10The description of the analysis of data is excellent. The methods used for the analysis of data are appropriate.
8The description of the analysis of data is good. The methods used for the analysis of data are appropriate with some room for improvement.
6The description of the analysis of data is average.
4Little description of analysis of data exists. There is a need for major revisions.
2An inaccurate description is provided for the analysis of data.
0Assignment not submitted.

Research Design Critique Report (3 @20 points each) [TAC 241.15]

In modules 3–5, students will survey “peer reviewed” scholarly journals to evaluate 3 central methodologies: quantitative research, mixed methods research, and qualitative research. It is acceptable to use the Gee Library at Texas A&M University Commerce (online or on campus) or any library that affords ease of use or accessibility. Within each methodology, specific designs are applicable to research in education: Quantitative [module 3] (correlational or causal comparative design); Mixed Methods [module 4] (action research design); and Qualitative [module 5] (narrative, ethnographic, or case study designs). Within each corresponding module, use the given methodology but select one of the designs given. The Research Design Critique Report template is listed in doc sharing. Please use the template to complete the assignment.

Each of the 3 reports will count 20 points:

–Module 3 Research Design Critique Report  (20 pts.)

–Module 4 Research Design Critique Report  (20 pts.)

–Module 5 Research Design Critique Report  (20 pts.)

                                  Total Possible Points= 60 points

The following rubric will be used to evaluate each Research Methods Report completed for Modules 3, 4, and 5. 

EDAD 595 Research Methods Report Grading Rubric for Modules 3, 4, and 5 CLAQWA (modified), Flateby & Metzger – University of South Florida
Points Assignment Requirements
5Addresses and develops each aspect of the assignment and goes beyond the assignment prompt to address additional related material.
4Addresses each aspect of the assignment.
3Addresses the appropriate topic and partially fulfills the assignment requirements.
2Addresses the appropriate topic but omits most or all of the assignment requirements.
1Is off topic or vaguely addresses the topic.
0Assignment not submitted.
Quality of Details
5Provides details that help develop each element of the text and provides supporting statements, evidence, or examples necessary to explain or persuade effectively.
4Provides details that support the elements of the text with sufficient clarity, depth,  and accuracy.
3Provides details that are related to the elements of the text but does not support those elements with sufficient clarity, depth, or accuracy.
2Provides details that are loosely related to the elements of the text, but they are lacking clarity, depth, and accuracy.
1Provides details that do not develop the elements of the text.
0Assignment not submitted.
Quantity of Details
5All points are supported by a sufficient number of details.
4All points are developed, but some may need additional details.
3Additional details are needed to develop some points.
2Additional details are needed to develop most points.
1Virtually no details are present.
0Assignment not submitted.
Grammar and Mechanics
5Sentences are grammatically and mechanically correct.
4Rare grammatical and mechanical errors exist but do not affect readability.
3A limited variety of grammatical errors exist.
2A variety of grammatical errors appear throughout the text, possibly affecting readability.
1Most sentences exhibit multiple grammatical and mechanical errors, obstructing meaning.
0Assignment not submitted.
                                                                           Earned Point Total:      /20


Browser support

D2L is committed to performing key application testing when new browser versions are released. New and updated functionality is also tested against the latest version of supported browsers. However, due to the frequency of some browser releases, D2L cannot guarantee that each browser version will perform as expected. If you encounter any issues with any of the browser versions listed in the tables below, contact D2L Support, who will determine the best course of action for resolution. Reported issues are prioritized by supported browsers and then maintenance browsers.

Supported browsers are the latest or most recent browser versions that are tested against new versions of D2L products. Customers can report problems and receive support for issues. For an optimal experience, D2L recommends using supported browsers with D2L products.

Maintenance browsers are older browser versions that are not tested extensively against new versions of D2L products. Customers can still report problems and receive support for critical issues; however, D2L does not guarantee all issues will be addressed. A maintenance browser becomes officially unsupported after one year.

Note the following:

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  • For desktop systems, you must have Adobe Flash Player 10.1 or greater.
  • The Brightspace Support features are now optimized for production environments when using the Google Chrome browser, Apple Safari browser, Microsoft Edge browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, and Mozilla Firefox browsers.

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WindowsWindows 10Edge, Chrome, FirefoxLatest of all browsers, and Firefox ESR.
  • You will need regular access to a computer with a broadband Internet connection. The minimum computer requirements are:
  • 512 MB of RAM, 1 GB or more preferred
  • Broadband connection required courses are heavily video intensive
  • Video display capable of high-color 16-bit display 1024 x 768 or higher resolution
  • You must have a:
    • Sound card, which is usually integrated into your desktop or laptop computer
    • Speakers or headphones.
    • *For courses utilizing video-conferencing tools and/or an online proctoring solution, a webcam and microphone are required.
  • Both versions of Java (32 bit and 64 bit) must be installed and up to date on your machine. At a minimum Java 7, update 51, is required to support the learning management system.  The most current version of Java can be downloaded at: JAVA web site
  • Current anti-virus software must be installed and kept up to date.

Running the browser check will ensure your internet browser is supported.

            Pop-ups are allowed.

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  • At a minimum, you must have Microsoft Office 2013, 2010, 2007 or Open Office. Microsoft Office is the standard office productivity software utilized by faculty, students, and staff. Microsoft Word is the standard word processing software, Microsoft Excel is the standard spreadsheet software, and Microsoft PowerPoint is the standard presentation software. Copying and pasting, along with attaching/uploading documents for assignment submission, will also be required. If you do not have Microsoft Office, you can check with the bookstore to see if they have any student copies.


You will need your campus-wide ID (CWID) and password to log into the course. If you do not know your CWID or have forgotten your password, contact the Center for IT Excellence (CITE) at 903.468.6000

Note: Personal computer and internet connection problems do not excuse the requirement to complete all course work in a timely and satisfactory manner. Each student needs to have a backup method to deal with these inevitable problems. These methods might include the availability of a backup PC at home or work, the temporary use of a computer at a friend’s home, the local library, office service companies, Starbucks, a TAMUC campus open computer lab, etc.


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System Maintenance

Please note that on the 4th Sunday of each month there will be System Maintenance which means the system will not be available 12 pm-6 am CST.

Interaction with Instructor Statement

This course is an on-line class. You will need access to an email account on a daily basis. I will be emailing during the course to communicate information, assignments, and other addenda. You need to check your myLeo email each day for these communications. You also need to periodically review updated announcements within the EDAD 595 course home page for updated information pertaining to this course.

If I request that you have a phone conference with me to discuss an assignment and you do not respond within a reasonable amount of time (24 hours), you will receive a zero on the assignment.

In order to complete your assignments, you will need to be proficient at MS Office programs, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher. All assignments submitted electronically must be in MS Office formats. All assessments will receive feedback within 5 days of the module end date.

Please feel free to email me at if you have questions. Each of the seven modules within the EDAD 595 course shell has a link entitled Module Q&A, where you can post questions and review responses to questions that pertain to course information as you progress through this course. The Q&A is for general questions about assignments and/or course materials.

Please communicate with me in whichever form you are most comfortable (e-mail or through the Module Q&A Forums); however, avoid using the public forum for confidential matters. If you would prefer to correspond via telephone, you are welcome to do so.  Please schedule a phone conference via email before you call me. Prior to asking a question, please quickly review previous responses within a particular Module Q&A forum as your question may already have been addressed. You are welcome to respond to a classmate’s question if you can accurately address the issue.


Course Specific Procedures/Policies

Late submission of assignments is frowned upon and accepted ONLY with prior approval and at the discretion of the professor. Assignments will not be accepted nor graded beyond the final day of the course.

Scholarly Expectations

All works submitted for credit must be original works created by the scholar uniquely for the class. It is considered inappropriate and unethical, particularly at the graduate level, to make duplicate submissions of a single work for credit in multiple classes, unless specifically requested by the instructor. Work submitted at the graduate level is expected to demonstrate higher-order thinking skills and be of significantly higher quality than work produced at the undergraduate level.

Writing Style

All papers must be written in accordance with the rules and guidelines of the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010). All citations and references in papers must adhere to the APA format provided in this manual. Please use the following format for all of your documents: Times New Roman font with 12 c. p. i. (characters per inch), double-spacing, and one-inch margins.

Syllabus Change Policy

The syllabus is a guide.  Circumstances and events, such as student progress, may make it necessary for the instructor to modify the syllabus during the semester.  Any changes made to the syllabus will be announced in the course.

University Specific Procedures

Student Conduct

All students enrolled at the University shall follow the tenets of common decency and acceptable behavior conducive to a positive learning environment.  The Code of Student Conduct is described in detail in the Student Guidebook.

Students should also consult the Rules of Netiquette for more information regarding how to interact with students in an online forum: Netiquette

TAMUC Attendance

For more information about the attendance policy please visit the Attendance webpage and Procedure 13.99.99.R0.01.

Academic Integrity

Students at Texas A&M University-Commerce are expected to maintain high standards of integrity and honesty in all of their scholastic work.  For more details and the definition of academic dishonesty see the following procedures:

Undergraduate Academic Dishonesty 13.99.99.R0.03

Graduate Student Academic Dishonesty 13.99.99.R0.10

ADA Statement

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact:

Office of Student Disability Resources and Services

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Gee Library- Room 162

Phone (903) 886-5150 or (903) 886-5835

Fax (903) 468-8148


Website: Office of Student Disability Resources and Services

Nondiscrimination Notice

Texas A&M University-Commerce will comply in the classroom, and in online courses, with all federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination and related retaliation on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, genetic information or veteran status. Further, an environment free from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression will be maintained.

Campus Concealed Carry Statement

Texas Senate Bill – 11 (Government Code 411.2031, et al.) authorizes the carrying of a concealed handgun in Texas A&M University-Commerce buildings only by persons who have been issued and are in possession of a Texas License to Carry a Handgun. Qualified law enforcement officers or those who are otherwise authorized to carry a concealed handgun in the State of Texas are also permitted to do so. Pursuant to Penal Code (PC) 46.035 and A&M-Commerce Rule 34.06.02.R1, license holders may not carry a concealed handgun in restricted locations.

For a list of locations, please refer to the Carrying Concealed Handguns On Campus

document and/or consult your event organizer. 

Web url:

Pursuant to PC 46.035, the open carrying of handguns is prohibited on all A&M-Commerce campuses. Report violations to the University Police Department at 903-886-5868 or 9-1-1.


*Please refer to course shell in D2L for course outline and specific due dates.