Educ Inquiry, Measurement, & Evaluation PHD

Program Purpose

The mission of the Educational Inquiry, Measurement, and Evaluation (EIME) program is to produce graduates with PhD degress who have the knowledge, expertise, experience, and character traits to work productively as researchers, evaluators, policy analysts, assessment specialists, and/or professors in a variety of settings including (a) universities, (b) goverment agencies (including local or regional school district offices, state offices of education, and federal education agencies), and (c) contract research and development firms.

Graduates of this program are expected to be proficient in conceptualizing substantive issues in terms that are amenable to inquiry, and applying their inquiry expertise in ways that illuminate these issues and lead to improvements in educations theory and practice.

The goal of this program is to produce scholars who have a combination of four characteristics:  (a) an understanding of the historical and philosophical foundations of inquiry in education, (b) methodological expertise in multiple modes of disciplined inquiry, (c) practical experience in designing and conducting inquiry resulting from mentored internship opportunities, and (d) in-depth knowledge and understanding of the subject matter in a selected content area.

Curricular Structure

The EIME program is designed to provide students with a balance between depth and breadth and between theory and practice.  The program consists of six interrelated components that provide a common core as well as choice and flexibility to accommodate the needs and interests of individual students.  The six components are as follows:  (1) A set of required courses (21 hours) designed to help students better understand the nature, limits, and sources of human inquiry and knowledge, and become proficient in planning, conducting, and interpreting the findings of Educational Research and Inquiry Methods; (2) Additional elective courses (12 credits) designed to help students acquire a deeper understanding of the foundations of educational inquiry, and expertise in selecting and using appropriate inquiry methods and analytical tools; (3) A content-area focus (at least 12 hours) in one of four cross-disciplinary specialty areas taught within the David O. McKay School of Education; (4) A seminar (2 hours) where faculty, students, and guests will present on research, exposing students to a variety of research topics and designs; (5) Mentored internships ( 6 hours) and apprenticeship opportuniities as a means of acquiring practical experience in the conduct of inquiry; and (6) A capstone experience in completing a dissertation (18 hours) that involoves practical experice in designing and conducting inquiry and analyzing and reporting the results.

Graduate Catalog

Learning Outcomes

Prepare Review of Published Research Literature

1. Students will demonstrate ability to find, evaluate, interpret, synthesize, and prepare comprehensive summaries of published research studies and evaluation reports related to current issues or policy questions of interest to public school educators and policy makers at the local or state level.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Quantitative reasoning, Competence
Exercise Conscious Ethical Judgment

2. Students will show evidence that they have acquired conscious ethical judgment and demonstrate an understanding of and sensitivity to the complex range of ethical and moral issues that inevitably arise when conducting educational research; evaluating educational programs and curricula; or constructing, administering, and reporting the results of tests and other assessments of student achievement.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Competence
Analyze and Critique Research Proposal

3. Students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to evaluate written proposals submitted by other scholars to conduct research, evaluation, and measurement/assessment projects and formulate constructive suggestions for improving the proposed project.

Courses that Contribute: IP&T 653
Linked to BYU Aims: Quantitative reasoning, Competence
Plan Original Research, Evaluation or Measurement Study

4. Students will demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to plan an original research, evaluation, or measurement study that is likely to contribute to improving educational theory, practice, and/or policy.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Quantitative reasoning

Evidence of Learning

1. One or two administrative personnel from each of the 5 Partnership school districts are invited to attend an EIME Seminar and to bring a list of 1-3 questions for which they would like to have a review of published educational research conducted.  Each first- and second-year EIME student is then assigned to conduct a review of the published research literature on one of these issues.

 During the next semester, each student reviews the relevant literature and prepares a written summary and an oral report.  The district representatives are invited back to a reporting session in which each student presents an oral summary of their main findings and a written document including their findings, conclusions, and supporting references.  Each student is expected to demonstrate their achievement of this expected learning outcome on two different occasions:  once at the end of their first year, and again at the end of their second year in the program. 

2. Indirect Evidence:

- Qualify for CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) certification by successfully completing the required number of Research Ethics and Compliance training modules provided online by the BYU Office of Research and Creative Activities.

Direct Evidence:

- Identify unaddressed or unresolved ethical issues in fictitious, but realistic, IRB applications to conduct educational research, evaluation, or assessment projects.

- When confronted with previously unencountered scenarios illustrating ethical issues or moral concerns that typically arise in research, evaluation, and assessment contexts, identify actions or situations that do not comply with the codes of ethics prescribed by relevant professional societies such as the American Educational Research Association, the American Evaluation Association, or the National Council on Measurement in Education.

3. As one part of their comprehensive exam, each doctoral candidate is required to prepare a written summary and critique of a published journal article that is novel to them.  They are expected to analyze the study as a whole including the significance and relevance of the issues investigated, the appropriateness of the methods used, the credibility of the findings, and the validity of the conclusions.  In addition, they are expected to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the study and to cite evidence from the report to support their judgments.

4. As an additional part of their comprehensive exam, each doctoral candidate is asked to prepare a written critique of a written proposal for conducting a research, evaluation, or measurement, study.  The proposal will be realistic, but will include deliberate known weaknesses.



Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement

1. During the 2017-18 academic year, all four first-year EIME students and all four second-year students completed one of these literature reviews and submitted their written report and PowerPoint presentation.   However, only six of the eight students participated in the presentation session when the district representatives were present. The other two first-year students were still in New York attending the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association and the National Council on Measurement in Education.  These students later submitted their written reports to the Program Coordinator.  It is difficult to make fair comparisons of the different student's success in achieving this learning goal because the questions and issues which they are assigned to investigate vary greatly in terms of their level of specificity and the amount and quality of the available research on the issue.  Consequently, we avoid making relative judgments and focus on evaluating each student's performance in the context of the task they were assigned. 

2. This is a new expected learning outcome that we have just adopted in August, 2018.  Hence we have not yet collected evidence of success in achieving it.

3.Three EIME Students successfully completed this element of their comprehensive exam during 2017. No student have yet taken their comps during 2018. 

4.Four EIME students successfully defended their dissertation prospectus during 2017. So far in 2018, two more students have each defended their prospectus. All six of these students were required to make revisions as suggested by their committee.

5.Four EIME students completed and successfully defended their dissertation during 2017. So far during 2018, one other student has successfully defended his dissertation. All five of these students were asked by their committee to make revisions. No students were unsuccessful in defending their dissertation.