ORLA 5025 Ecology of Data-Driven Leadership
This course relies upon systems theory and its application to school systems. The course teaches prospective leaders the use of databases of various kinds to pursue a systematic inquiry in the health and productivity of the ecology of the school. It explores various approaches to data mining, model building, and ultimately the "art of improvisational leadership." The course teaches students how to distinguish the different purposes for which data can be used and misused and relies heavily on the use of cases, simulations and exercises, including those with complex feedback systems. Familiarity with spreadsheets and simple statistics is helpful.
ORLA 5521 Introduction to Research and Organizational Studies
This course meets a departmental requirement for an introductory course on empirical research in education and organizational studies. The goal is to help students be able to access, comprehend, synthesize, and utilize research, to support and facilitate the research efforts of others, and to begin to prepare to conduct their own research. Students read exemplars of published research, along with texts about research design, data collection and analysis, and strategies for assessing the validity and trustworthiness of research. The course covers qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches to research, such as experiments, surveys, case studies, ethnography, and action research.
ORLA 5530 Action Research in Organizational Behavior
Techniques and methods of designing and conducting action research on organizational problems. Various methodological and organizational issues are addressed regarding the use of action research to foster organizational learning and problem solving through systematic inquiry and reflection. Students conduct an action research project.
ORLA 6552 Research, Theory, and Practice in Education Leadership
This course focuses on major theoretical perspectives on administrative leadership in education, how these perspectives are studied and advanced through empirical research, and how the theory and research are connected to leadership practice. Students will examine theory and empirical research on topics such as leadership effects on student learning; challenges in leading learning organizations; and the relationships among leaders' knowledge, skills, and dispositions and their leadership preparation and effectiveness.