Syllabus for EDL-510
THE INQUIRY PROCESS—A FRAMEWORK
The Inquiry Process—a Framework introduces students to action research. Future educational leaders will study an intervention chosen specifically to respond to a research problem identified through reflection. The goal of the course and of action research is for students to gain better knowledge of their practice while improving the situation in which the practice is conducted. Students will develop competencies as an educational leader as outlined in the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC 1, 2, 3, 4) and New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE 1, 2, 3, 4) standards.
The key issues and essential questions in this course focus on developing as a reflective practitioner as well as on how to design and implement an effective inquiry-based learning project that will inform and improve practice.
After completing this course, you should be able to:
You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.
Electronic Portfolio Registration
As a capstone experience in the Educational Leadership program, you will prepare an electronic portfolio that demonstrates your incremental achievement of the program standards. Each course in the program helps you to identify artifacts to place in your portfolio on completion of the course. To this end, you are required to purchase an electronic portfolio registration code upon your entry into the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program. Basic directions for purchasing access to and using your electronic portfolio are posted within the Educational Leadership Students Organization (online community).
The Inquiry Process—a Framework is a three-credit, online graduate course, consisting of eight (8) modules. Modules include an overview, key issues and essential questions, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.
The primary goal of this course is to help you develop and implement an action research project. All activities, readings, postings, and reflections are designed to prepare you for this project. For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, post reflections to your My Journal space, and complete various action research activities culminating in a final action research project. See below for more details.
Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.
Each module in the course has two online discussion activities: an initial forum titled Getting Started and a subsequent Discussion Forum.
Online discussions provide an opportunity for you to interact with your classmates. During this aspect of the course, you respond to prompts that assist you in developing your ideas, you share those ideas with your classmates, and you comment on their posts. Forum interactions promote development of a community of learners, critical thinking, and exploratory learning. Please participate in online discussions as you would in constructive face-to-face discussions and be professional and courteous.
Evaluation Rubric for Discussion Forums
Reflection activities give you an opportunity to think about a particular concept in terms of your action research process, your attitudes, and your perceptions of your experience. Your reflections on your progress through your action research project also assist you in writing your portfolio artifact reflection.
At the end of the course, you will refer back to your reflections as you develop your portfolio narrative for your electronic portfolio. Your portfolio narrative will chronicle your journey through part of or through the entire action research project and will provide documentation and support for your artifact.
Evaluation Rubric for Reflections
As stated earlier, the primary goal of the course is to help you develop and implement an action research project. As you progress through the course, you complete components of your project and submit them to the mentor for comments and feedback. For the final module, you synthesize the elements to produce the final project.
Evaluation Rubric for Action Research Project
The artifact for this course is your action research project or a part of it that you select to place in your electronic portfolio. Preface this artifact with a brief Reflection that describes the process of the activity, the ISLLC standards it addresses, and how this prepares you for school leadership. As you develop your narrative to accompany your artifact, refer back to the reflections you wrote for your learning journal.
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.
First Steps to Success
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
Consider the following study tips for success:
Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.
Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:
Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized activity, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.
A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.
If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.
Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")
Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.
Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.
Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.
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