Points of departure in the course are designs, measures, and analyses as applied in educational research. Validity, reliability, and generalizability are central quality criteria that should be observed in all phases of the research process, as are considerations pertaining to research ethics. The focus lies partly on the internal logic of quantitative methods in relation to educational and social scientific research questions, and partly on key scientific concepts and quantitative research terminology. During the course, students discuss methodological issues, such as choice of design and required sample sizes, and steps that can or should be taken for analyses and conclusions to be valid. Other topics include:
- Choice of research design,
- Required sample sizes,
- Basic educational philosophical and scientific theoretical issues,
- Threats to validity in different research designs,
- Steps that can or should be taken for analyses and conclusions to be valid,
- How surveys should be organised in order to provide a basis for reliable conclusions,
- What is important for measurement reliability and how meta-analyses can be carried out.
The course provides a foundation for further study within the QRM research school, but it can also be read independently. It is an excellent start for early researchers. The course is also well suited for researchers or supervisors who want to refresh and further develop knowledge that they acquired long ago, or for those who wish to gain an understanding of why and how statistics and quantitative analysis can be valuable to many educational research questions.