EnEd 5560: Research Literature and Issues
Spring Semester, 2018
3 credits
Dr. Ken Gilbertson

Ken's Home



Grades - E-Gradebook

Readings List

Professional Journals & Organizations

Research Designs ppt

Research Types

Research Hierarchy

Survey Research Sample Size

How to conduct a formnal review for a journal

Article Critique Format

Concept Matrix

Future of Outdoor Education



Course Syllabus

Scoring Rubric for Article Critiques



EnEd 5560

 Class meeting time:

Monday - noon-2:50 pm

 Class meeting location:

SpHC 9A - UMD Campus

Unit #1; Unit #2; Unit #3; Unit #4; Unit #5


Dr. Ken Gilbertson





 Course web url:


Course Description

This course is intended to strengthen your working knowledge of the research literature and related issues pertaining to sustainability education; science education; and outdoor education. Outcomes of this course will be an increased knowledge of the salient research in teaching people about, through, and for the outdoors using science education and outdoor education. We will focus on research design and methods (not analysis).

The Outdoor Education component will focus on research design and methods. This aspect will mostly cover studies that a historical and/or landmark. The Science Education portion of the course will cover current science education literature and will focus predominantly on the current state of research in our field. The course will culminate with a discussion on the future needs of our field (science educ.; environmental educ.; adventure educ.; interpretation; outdoor educ.; experiential educ.)

From this knowledge, you will be expected to be able to demonstrate your learning by applying the course information to a problem that is of particular interest to you. Finally, you will learn what aspects of the literature contributes to the profession. This will result in a discussion on specific issues concerning outdoor education.

Outcomes of this Course:

From this course, you will be able to:

A. Identify and describe at least four salient studies in science education , environmental education, outdoor education, and sustainability education.
B. Evaluate a variety of research works with respect to quality and contribution.
C. Critique research designs used in at least four different research problems.
D. Develop at least one research design using a selected problem.
E. Discuss current issues and their effects on outdoor education.
F. Demonstrate how to find and access research literature.

Course Requirements:
1) Complete reading assignments
2) Take part in class discussions
3) Four assignments will be made. They are:

a. Select three research articles and critique the article based upon its research methods, conclusion, and significance.
b. Give a 10 minute presentation on your thesis topic. Discuss the strengths of your primary sources based upon their theoretical foundation; methodology; and conclusions. This will be followed by an explaination of the design of your thesis topic.

c. Develop a matrix of research articles - see syllabus for details.


 Assignment Points Grade Scale
Matrix 100    
3 Critiques of articles 50 ea. = 150    
Thesis Presentation 50    
Participation: 50 90% A
Synopsis Paper: 50 80% B
  400 70% C

Text Materials:

  • Readings: Readings are provided through this web site. You will also asked to obtain readings from the readings list as a means to learn how to find articles.

(Note: I want you to be familiar with the research designs in this small booklet. I have a copys placed in the CEED office.)

Course Content:
1) Introduction
a. Importance of the relationship between research and practice.
b. Matrix of research (How to build one)

2) Research Methods
a. Research Designs
b. Primary methods used in O.E. & Science Education
c. How to critique a research article
d. The design of appropriate research methods.

3) Research in Environmental Education

4) Research in Science Education pertinent to Environmental Education/Environmental Literacy.

5) Research in Adventure Education

6) Research in Sustainability Education

7) Issues in Outdoor Education


Framework of our Profession (Discussion)

Guiding definitions to the Framework

I. Introduction of the Course:
A. Goals:
1. Follow through with Theories & Models in Outdoor Education..
To take the project/thesis one step further.
2. To learn what literature base exists in outdoor education.
3. To learn fundamentals of research design and methods. What is the research process?
4. To learn how to critique an article.
This is essential in determining the quality of the information that you are reading.
5. To gain an awareness and understanding of some landmark studies.

B. How the course will work:
1. Format - casual with expectation of interaction. This is assuming that you are current on the information being presented.
2. Realize that we are only hitting the high ground.
3. The readings...

C. General class plan:
1. The need for research.
**The research process.
2. The types of research.
a. Qualitative - Kaplans' study on wilderness.
- Meyer & Munson- Phenomenological studies
- Personal interviews
- Case studies
b. Quantitative - Survey Research
- Pre-experimental design
- Quasi-experimental design
-Experimental design
Getting to know Stanley & Campbell (1966)
3. How to determine the design to use
4. How the design drives the methods.
5. How the design drives the analysis.

You will choose a research study of your choice from a current journal.

6. Go over the research & critique some major works.
7. Present 2 critiques of an article. Present it.
8. Present your paper indicating Design, Methods, and Evaluation/Analysis.

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