Considerations for The Instruction Of Research Methodologies In Graduate-Level Distance Education Degree Programs

M. Cleveland-INNERS

The growth of basic and applied research activity in distance education requires redirection on several fronts, including the instruction of research methods in the education of graduate students. The majority of graduate students in distance education are practitioners whose goals range from carrying out original research to acquiring the concepts and skills necessary to become a practitioner. We argue that the best foundation for achieving both of those goals in distance education is developed by means of an understanding and internalization of sound research design methodologies, primarily acquired by formal instruction, and that an emphasis on research in graduate programs in distance education will encourage theory development. This paper presents the rationale for a general curricular model that attempts to address the sets of research competencies for graduate students in graduate-level distance education programs while at the same time moving students toward an appreciation and understanding of the epistemological foundations for social science research.

KEYWORDS: Distance education, Research methods, Research methodologies, Graduate study, Graduate instruction, Graduate curriculum, Epistemology