GER Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative

Thursday, Friday 8:30am-11:30am Student Union: Santa Ana A and B


Julie Sexton, University of Colorado at Boulder

This session is for those who want to increase their ability to conduct education research. Participants will have a chance to learn about principles of research design, qualitative and quantitative methods, and the standards of evidence and proof, and will have time to work on research plans.


More and more geoscientists are conducting education research whether it is researching effective teaching methods in their own class, investigating the effectiveness of professional development of K-12 teachers, or investigating affective and cognition domains. Geoscientists also are consumers of education research results conducted by other researchers.

This workshop will introduce participants to education research. Participants will learn how tocreate and critique education research studies that incorporate qualitative and quantitative education research methods. Participants will learn the about the characteristics of qualitative and quantitative education research including research designs, data collection methods, data types, reliability and validity, and trustworthiness.

Target Audience

This workshop is designed for university and K-12 educators, students, and researchers who are engaged in or who plan to be engaged in geoscience education research. For participants who are new to education research, you will increase your ability to conduct education research. For participants with some experience conducting education research, you will develop deeper knowledge on how to design rigorous education research studies, you will strengthen your ability to critique research, and you will gain resources to support your work.


Following this short course, participants will be able to

  • Develop an education research question and study plan.
  • Determine which qualitative and quantitative research design is best suited to study their topic of interest.
  • Describe the importance of validity and reliability in quantitative research and trustworthiness in qualitative research.
  • Critique education research studies.


Workshop activities will include presentations, large and small group discussions, and activities in which participant will design their own study and critique existing studies. By the end of the workshop, participants will have created a study design.


  • Participate in all workshop activities and discussions.
  • Prepare in advance for workshop via readings or other activities developed by workshop leader.
Related Opportunity
NAGT's GER Division would like to invite workshop participants and those interested in learning more about GER but may be attending an alternative workshop, to coffee and bagels Thursday morning at 7:45 a.m. in the GER Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative workshop location.

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