research in first-degree Master’s programs
first-degree Master’s programs, practical research is seen as a professional
learning strategy: the aim is to train first-degree masters who have a critical
inquisitive attitude, who initiate new developments in their educational
practice and critically reflect on the results of the improvements and
innovations that have been initiated. By having students do practical research,
the study program wants to encourage students to act reflectively and to engage
in lifelong learning.
have their own professionalization as a result of doing research, masters are
expected to contribute to school development (within and / or outside their own
department) and possibly to developments outside the context of own school. We
distinguish five types of practical research, all of which are related to a
step in the intervention cycle (Van Strien 1986; Verschuren 2009; Enthoven
& Oostdam, 2014). A full investigation can be linked to every step in this
cycle, depending on the situation at school.
a) Problem analytical research maps out the practical problem. It is
investigated for whom or what it is a problem, to what extent the problem plays
a role, etc. In a problem analysis, the actual situation (at school) is
compared with the desirable situation (in the literature).
Diagnostic testing applies when a problem has been identified, but when it is
not known why this problem occurs. A diagnostic investigation therefore
explores the causes of the problem.
research is used to systematically design an intervention. The problem, its
causes and the design requirements must be known. The research design is done
in cycles (prototype design, prototype formative evaluation, redesign, etc.)
and in the design process you use the input of others (e.g. colleagues,
students) to achieve the strongest possible design.
Monitoring research is research in which an existing intervention is
implemented and its workability and loyalty (is the intervention carried out as
intended?) determined. This may result in adjustments to the intervention.
Evaluation research measures the effect of an intervention.
A research in the master’s program consists of – or sometimes a combination of
– these types of research. In the practical research, the student shows
willingness to systematically analyze his own educational practice. The
definition of the problem and the formulation of the research question are
tailored to the specific educational context. The research is done on a small
scale. The results of the study cannot be generalized, but may be applicable in
other settings or populations in educational practice (in English:
qualifications of the master’s degree program are classified according to the
three roles of the teacher: the teacher is (1) an expert in his school subject,
(2) subject-teacher and (3) an investigating professional. In practical
research the student develops primarily into an investigating professional.
2. Planning the
research is 14 EC and consists of two phases: (1) the research plan and (2) the
execution of the research. Each phase is completed with a written product that
is offered for review.
duration of eighteen months, this means a time investment of at least ten hours
a week. Data collection in education requires coordination with the school’s
annual rhythm. Planning is therefore important. In the 2019-2020 academic year
there are various moments at which the research plan can be submitted, as
indicated in the timetable below and the alternative timetable. The following
describes how these two timelines work….
During the research process, students submit two writing products for
assessment: (1) the research plan and (2)
the practical research report. For both writing products it applies that
they must meet the established entry requirements (see also 4 and 5). The
version of APA-6 is used for the source reference.
plan is assessed by two examiners: the research supervisor and an independent
assessor. The research coordinator appoints an independent assessor who has
sufficient teaching methodology and general educational research expertise.
When the entry requirements have been approved, the research plan will be
substantively assessed. The student has the responsibility to check whether the
entry requirements are met:
classification of the research plan is as described in Appendix 2;
● the research
plan meets the form criteria in Appendix 3;
● the research
plan (the text of the substantive chapters) contains a maximum of 6,000 words
(7,500 if there is a description of an intervention);
● the research
plan consists of one digital document, including all appendices.
UNDERLINED PARTS ARE COMPLETED
report is automatically scanned for plagiarism. Due to the plagiarism scan,
students are not allowed to put the report online elsewhere before the
assessment is completed.
research is assessed by two examiners: the research supervisor and an
independent assessor. The research coordinator appoints an independent assessor
who has sufficient teaching methodology and general educational research
expertise. The assessment takes place on the basis of the Practical Research
assessment form (Appendix 5).
first view the report on the entry requirements. The student is responsible for
checking whether the following entry requirements have been met:
● the layout of
the report is as described in Annex 2;
● the report
meets the formal criteria in Annex 3;
● the report (the
text of the substantive chapters) contains a maximum of 12,000 words (14,000 if
there is a description of an intervention);
● the report
consists of one PDF document, including all appendices.
of text components in a research report.
standard layout of a research report corresponds to the practical research
assessment form (Appendix 5). The student may deviate from the classification
in good consultation with the supervisor, for example if this is not
appropriate for the design of the study. The content of the research plan is
presented in the first three chapters (problem definition, theoretical
framework and research design). The maximum number of words applies to the
substantive chapters (Chapter 1 to 6).
(maximum 500 words)
1 Problem definition Reason problem analysis Goal Characterization of the
research within the intervention cycle
2 Theoretical framework Elaboration of relevant theory Summary of main points
of theory (possibly with the help of a conceptual model) Question
3 Research design Attendees (If applicable: intervention) Research methods and
instruments Data collection (ethical issues, reliability and validity) Data analysis
Chapter 4 Results
Conclusion and discussion
(according to APA-6)
Appendix 3: Checklist of form criteria
for a practical research report:
Cover page with
title, student name, student number, study program, academic year, name of
supervisor, return date.
Margins left and
right at least 2.5 cm and clear page mirror (adequate use of blank lines). Line
12,000 words (without attachments). If the report has an intervention chapter,
the maximum size is 14,000 words.
sections are numbered and have a substantive title. There are no more than
three levels and a sub-level consists of at least two (sub) paragraphs.
Clear table of
contents with page numbers, consistent with the content of the report. The
appendices are also included with their titles in the table of contents.
Clear and correct
paragraphs. Paragraphs contain only one (sub) theme. Paragraphs are connected
in a clear way. Paragraph groups (different related paragraphs) are separated
by a blank line.
Correct and clear
summaries, closed with a blank line.
Tables and figures
have a number and a title.
numbered and have a title.
References in the
text and the reference list have been drawn up in accordance with APA 6
in the current text correspond to the reference list.
Style / grammar
and correct word choice.
correct (complete) sentences (correct word order, with subject and person form
that match in number).
No style errors
such as pleonasm, tautologies, contamination.
words and signal words.
spelled and consistent use of verb times.
written together or with hyphens.
were written out the first time.
abbreviations (in other words, that is, among other things, for example) have
been written out.
Numbers up to
twenty have been written out.
Proper use of capital letters, periods, commas, semicolons, colons, spaces,
Use a point
after a reference and not before.
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