Master of Education in Distance Education (MDDE) 701

Quantitative Research Methods

Course cover

Delivery Mode: Online course using Moodle (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Prerequisite: MDDE 700

Availability: All terms

Early access to the Moodle Learning Management System begins a few days before the official start date of your course. At that time you will have limited course access.


MDDE 701: Quantitative Research Methods is second of the four required courses in the thesis program route. The course focuses on the knowledge and skills that a distance education researcher or practitioner must possess in order to interpret the results of empirical investigations as reported in the distance education and social science literature, as well as to conduct such investigations in their thesis research. Such knowledge and skills are beneficial for graduate students preparing to develop their thesis proposals. The computer-based data analysis tool, SPSS, will be used to carry out course-related exercises and to prepare students for the selection and implementation of appropriate statistical tests for their future thesis research.

All students taking the thesis route in the M.Ed. (Distance Education) program must successfully complete MDDE 700 before they can register in MDDE 701.

Students who successfully complete MDDE 701, but who opt to pursue the course-based route, will be granted three elective credits.

Course Goals

The goals of this course are to provide students with the concepts and skills required to interpret and evaluate the results of research reported in the social sciences and distance education literature, as well as to acquire an effective set of advanced computer-based, statistical and data analysis skills for their future thesis endeavors.

It should be noted that this is not a course in research design or a course in conventional statistical course content. Although there is a strong focus on the implementation of specific statistical tests using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), the goal of these activities is to instruct the student on the conceptual foundations for both descriptive and inferential statistical procedures of data analysis and to provide for the application of these procedures to simulated but realistic data.

Course Outline

The course is divided into seven units:

Unit 1: Format of Articles/Descriptive statistics

Unit 2: Parametric Inferential Statistics

Unit 3: Inferences Concerning One or Two Means

Unit 4: Tests on Three or More Means/Post-hoc comparisons

Unit 5: Statistical Tests on Ranks (Non-parametric Tests)/Survey Data Analysis

Unit 6: Bivariate Correlation/Multiple Regression

Unit 7: Factor Analysis

Learning Resources


Huck, S. W. (2012). Reading Statistics and Research. Toronto: Pearson Higher Education.

Note: SPSS software is provided in CD format. Please ensure that you have access to a CD drive.

Student Assessment

Students will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis for each assignment and for the final grade. The assignments are described below.

  • Assignment 1: A series of problems on the normality/non-normality of distributions, on tests concerning one or two means, on tests concerning three or more means, and on post-hoc comparison tests.
  • Assignment 2: A series of problems on statistical tests on ranks, on survey data analysis, on bivariate correlation/multiple regression, and on factor analysis.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.