Basic Information

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­­­­­­­EDSP 6397 Research in Education
783, Spring, 2017

Basic Information

Kara Rosenblatt


OFFICE PHONE: 552-2128


OFFICE HOURS: Tues 4-6; Wed 12-2; Thurs 12-1
This course is a Web Course and is conducted within Canvas at

Course Description

Course Catalog Description: EDSP 6397 is the capstone experience for the Master of Arts in Education. It requires three questions answered with literature reviews in which the candidate applies theory, concepts and principles of education and child development in order to interpret and synthesize current research on topics chosen jointly by the candidate and the committee. 

Measurable Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

1.  Write a research paper

a. Organize and implement a timeline for completion

2.  Write a title page

a. Understand the components of a title page and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the concepts, vocabulary, techniques, etc. used. 

3.  Write an abstract

a. Understand the components of an abstract and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the concepts, vocabulary, techniques, etc. used. 

4.  Write an annotated bibliography

a. Gather approximately 10-15 appropriate scholarly resources for the topic. 

b. Understand the components of an annotated bibliography and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the concepts, vocabulary, techniques, etc. used. 

5.  Write a literature review

a. Complete a literature review of scholarly work addressing a topic suggested by the student, reviewed by Dr. Rosenblatt and Dr. Balderaz and submitted by the candidate to the committee.  This topic should be of interest to the candidate and further his/her knowledge of education research. 

b. Understand the components of a literature review and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the concepts, vocabulary, techniques, etc. used. 

c. Submit a final draft of the literature review.  The review should include an abstract, body, and reference list written in a scholarly manner and in APA format. 

6.  Write a conclusion. 

a. Understand the components of a conclusion and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the concepts, vocabulary, techniques, etc. used. 

Target Audience: Participants are advanced program candidates who are in the last semester of coursework.

Prerequisites: Coursework as defined by personal degree plan including the core courses and required courses that lead to their capstone course. 

Required Materials: Machi, L.A., & McEvoy, B.T. (2016). The literature review: Six steps to success (3rd edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Important Academic Dates

UTPB Academic Calendar:

Course Overview

Description of Assignments

Candidates apply what they have learned throughout their coursework and demonstrate knowledge of current research in the field for which they are writing. Candidates participate in an interactive writing process in which they write, modify early drafts of their paper, and complete a paper supported by feedback from the committee and/or chair.

  1. Meetings with the committee: Candidates meet with some or all members of their committee virtually (Skype, FaceTime or telephone) or in person three times throughout the semester. In the initial meeting, candidates will share their research interests so that committee can design appropriate questions that drive the candidate’ literature review. After the committee drafts the three questions, candidates will proceed with the review.  After the first draft has been submitted (Week 4), the candidate will meet with the committee to discuss progress and the revisions to the first draft.  The third meeting will be held during Week 6 to monitor progress.  At any point, candidates or committees can request a meeting (virtually or in person) to review or to clarify information (Objectives 1, 3, 7).  

  2. Annotated Bibliography: An annotated bibliography is a list of 10-15 citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research. (Objectives 1, 3, 5, 5, 7) 

First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic. Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style. Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic. 

  1.  The Literature Review: Resources are gathered, analyzed and discussed in a scholarly manner. During this portion of the research project, candidates communicate on a regular basis with their committee chair and/ other committee members. All writing is expected to be in APA format (6th edition, 4th printing). Candidates are expected to write at an academic level that is suitable for future publication in a scholarly journal. (Objectives 1, 3, 4, 5, 7) 

  2.  Checklist: Before submitting the written project, the candidate consults with the committee chair to complete filling out a checklist of requirements for the paper. (Objective 1. 4, 5, 7) 

    1. Title Page (APA format)

    2. Keyword paragraph (APA format)

    3. Abstract (APA format)

    4. Body of paper with topic headings (APA format)

    5. Conclusions and suggestions for further inquiry (APA format)

Use current scholarly sources, the majority of the work should be empirical. Try to stay within a 10 year span of time, with the exception of seminal articles, and connect it to today’s studies, if possible. Clearly describe theory, constructs and content relevant to your topics. Use this information to understand, explain or expand on the literature reviewed.

You must have 10-15 references listed in APA format. Your paper must be 12-15 pages, not including your references. You must use the 6th edition of APA.

  1. The Paper Submission: Upon completion of the literature review in response to the three questions, candidates will submit their paper. (Objective 6) 

Academic Writing Requirement:

This is a graduate course and students are expected to turn in papers of graduate quality. All work should represent your reflections upon integration of the information in an organized way. Additionally, written assignments are to be clear in sentence construction and are to be proof read before they are handed in. Please discuss individual concerns with your professor. Writers in the field of psychology, other behavioral and social sciences and special education express their ideas in a form and style developed by the American Psychological Association, commonly referred to as APA. It is expected that all students will follow the requirements of APA style rules in all formal written course assignments. Such requirements are detailed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition (2009). Papers with an undue amount of errors in grammar, spelling, or sentence mechanics will not be graded. They will be given back to students to edit and resubmit. Plagiarism will result in the receipt of a failing grade for the course. Any paper you submit for this class must be an original work; it must not be a paper that was submitted for another class (UTPB Student Guide; see section on Scholastic Dishonesty). Candidates may be required to submit their papers to the Writing Center for guidance on writing in academic style prior to submitting their paper to the committee.

Person-First Language: The UTPB Department of Special Education believes that a person is more important than a disability. Accordingly, we expect our students to use Person-First Language at all times, in both speaking and writing. For example, students would refer to ‘children with autism’ as opposed to ‘autistic children’. Papers not using Person-First Language will be returned for editing, must be resubmitted and will be penalized with a 10% point deduction.

Course Assessment

Evaluation Procedures: 

These Master research questions are not a graded requirement. Candidates will receive a Satisfactory (S), Progress (PR) or Unsatisfactory (U) Passing or failing these questions is dependent on committee evaluation for the written work and the defense of the project. Any evaluation result lower than a Satisfactory must be redone until Satisfactory is met. 

Communication, Grading & Feedback: All the course activities will be graded on an absolute scale within two-three weeks after the set due date (longer assignments may take longer). You can check your grades by going to 'Grades'. If there is any discrepancy in the grade, you must contact me immediately. I will provide individual feedback or a general feedback in the performance of the course activity. I do not maintain average grades or even calculate averages during the semester. If you need to know your average at a point in time, you will need to do the math.


  1. Pay Attention! Information contained in this syllabus was to the best of the instructor’s knowledge considered correct and complete when distributed at the beginning of the semester. However, I reserve the right to change this syllabus at any time or make changes in the course content, instructional techniques, additions or changes to the readings or assignments without notice or obligation. In most circumstances, I will notify the class of changes when they occur. Please pay attention to class announcements to learn about any changes.

  2. Academic Dishonesty: The academic community regards academic dishonesty as an extremely serious matter, with serious consequences. Any effort to gain an advantage not given to all students is dishonest whether or not the effort is successful. Any suspicion of academic dishonesty will be reported and investigated. A student who engages in scholastic dishonesty that includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, and collusion will receive an “F” for the course.

    All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. For complete information on UTPB student conduct and discipline procedures consult the university’s handbook at:

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, falsifying academic records, misrepresenting facts, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student such as, but not limited to, submission of essentially the same written assignment for two courses without the prior permission of the instructor, or the attempt to commit such acts.

  1. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to the appropriation of, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any means material that is attributable in whole or in part to another source, including words, ideas, illustrations, structure, computer code, other expression and media, and presenting that material as one's own academic work being offered for credit.

  1. Tracking: Canvas has a tracking features. Statistics are collected that quantifies how often and when students are active in the course and provides information if the student has accessed different pages of the course.

  2. Absenteeism: All the course activities have set dates to be completed and submitted. After the due dates the activities will not be available for the students. Not logging into an online course is considered absenteeism. Contact instructor immediately in case of emergency medical situation.

  3. Course Incomplete/Withdrawal/Grade Appeal:
    All students are required to complete the course within the semester they are signed up. Incomplete grades for the course are rarely given, will only be granted if the student has completed 70% of the coursework with a passing grade and with instructor approval. A valid, documented excuse for not being able to complete the course on time must be provided to the instructor prior to the scheduled last class to request an extension. The student signs a contract that includes the incomplete course activities and the new due dates.

    Find information and dates regarding drops and withdrawals at

    For grade appeal process go to

NOTE: The due dates and times for the activities will adhere to the Central Time Zone.

  1. Accommodation for Students with Disabilities: Americans with Disabilities Act: Students with disabilities that are admitted to The University of Texas of the Permian Basin may request reasonable accommodations and classroom modifications as addressed under Section 504/ADA regulations. The definition of a disability for purposes of ADA is that she or he (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantively limits a major life activity, (2) has a record of such an impairment or, (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.

    Students who have provided all documentation and are eligible for services will be advised of their rights regarding academic accommodations and responsibilities. The University is not obligated to pay for diagnosis or evaluations nor is it obligated to pay for personal services or auxiliary aids. Students needing assistance because of a disability must contact Testing Services & Academic Accommodations Department, 432-552-2630, Leticia Madrid,, no later than 30 days prior to the start of the semester.

Computer Skills, Technical & Software Requirements

In order to successfully complete this course, the student should possess the following computer skills: keyboarding, power point, locating documents on the internet, online research, an understanding of Canvas, and receiving and sending emails with and without attachments.

Students can use cloud version of Word, PowerPoint and other Microsoft products through use of their UTPB Outlook 365 and UTPB email address. For more information refer to Student Services below or visit:

To obtain software licensing and media for selected Microsoft titles at very low cost through a software agreement visit:

Computer Technical Requirements: Information at

Online Student Authentication

UTPB requires that each student who registers for an online course is the same student who participates in, completes, and receives credit for the course. This course satisfies student authentication by: Presentation of approved photo ID* through a web cam and video recorded proctoring during assessment (Respondus Monitor)

  • Field or clinical experiences using an approved photo ID*.

*Approved photo identifications are: passports, government issued identification, driver’s licenses, military ID from DoD; dual credit and early college high school students use school district identifications.

Preparation for Emergencies

Computer Crash: Not having a working computer or a crashed computer during the semester will NOT be considered as an acceptable reason for not completing course activities at a scheduled time. NOTE: Identify a second computer before the semester begins, that you can use when/if your personal computer crashes.
Complete Loss of Contact: If you lose contact with course connectivity completely (i.e. you cannot contact me via Canvas or email), you need to call instructor, and leave message regarding connectivity loss and contact information.
Lost/Corrupt/Missing Files: You must keep/save a copy of every project/assignment on an external drive, UTPB Outlook 365 OneDrive, or personal computer. In the event of any kind of failure (e.g. virus infection, student’s own computer crashes, loss of files in cyberspace, etc) or any contradictions/problems, you may be required to resubmit the files.

End-of-Course Evaluation & Instructor Evaluation

Every student is encouraged to complete an end-of-course evaluation/survey provided by UTPB. During the last few weeks of class, you will receive an announcement through email notifying you that the Course/Instructor Survey is available. You may follow the link in the email to complete the survey using the same credentials to access your courses here. When entering the emailed Survey link you will see a list of surveys for you to complete.
The survey is anonymous and you responses are confidential. Your feedback is critical to us and to your instructor as we strive to improve our offerings, and our support of you, the students.

Student Support Services



ADA Accommodation/Support

Testing Services & Academic Accommodations Department
(432) 552-2630

Admissions & Registration & Transcripts

(432) 552-2605


UTPB E-Advisor at


(432) 552-0220

Financial Aid and Scholarship

(432) 552-2620

UTPB Library

(432) 552-2370
The J. Conrad Dunagan Library Online at

Student Services

UTPB Outlook 365 & Email

UTPB Email

Technical Support

Canvas 1-866-437-0867

Tutoring & Learning Resources

If you are taking courses through UTPB the following links provide services: Smarthinking Online Tutoring (provides tutoring services), SmarterMeasure (measures learner readiness for online course).

Student Success Center:

Disclaimer & Rights

Information contained in this syllabus was to the best knowledge of the instructor considered correct and complete when distributed for use in the beginning of the semester. However, the instructor reserves the right, acting within the policies and procedures of UTPB to make changes in the course content or instructional techniques without notice or obligation. The students will be informed about the changes, if any.




Due Dates (All assignments are due by 11:59 PM on the dates listed below)

 Week 1

January 17-22

Introduction & Selecting a Topic

Log into Canvas, complete the Icebreaker and post to the Icebreaker Discussion Board.

Submit topic for approval

Gather at least 10-15 sources for the topic.


Introduction: Doing and Producing a Literature Review, Step 1: Select a Topic and Step 2: Developing the Tools of Argumentation in the Literature Review book.

Complete readings by January 22

 Week 2

January 23 - 29

Search & Survey the Literature

Reading: Step 3: Search the Literature and Step 4: Survey the Literature

Create your topic outline

 Complete readings by January 29

Submit your topic outline and read your articles

 Week 3

January 30-February 5

 Critique the Literature & Write the Review

Reading: Step 5: Critique the Literature and Step 6: Write the Review

Complete your first draft

Complete readings by February 5

Write a draft of your paper (8+ pages) with the pertinent theories and concepts to better understand the literature.

Week 4

February 6 – February 12

Topic first draft

 Using feedback from the committee, revise paper accordingly

 Week 5

February 13 – 19

Topic final draft

Revise topic, polish as much as possible and expand to 12-15 pages

 Week 6

February 20 – 26

Topic final draft

Revise topic, polish as much as possible and expand to 12-15 pages

Week 7

February 27 – March 5

Topic submission

Submit final paper to committee chair.

Week 8

March 6 - 10

Topic submission

Final draft due if revisions requested by Chair.

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