A plenary panel session at the 2012 Academic Emergency Medicine consensus conference “Education Research in Emergency Medicine: Opportunities, Challenges, and Strategies for Success” discussed barriers educators face in imagining, designing, and implementing studies to address educational challenges. This proceedings article presents a general approach to getting started in education research. Four examples of studies from the medical education literature that illustrate a distinct way to approach specific research questions are discussed. The study designs used are applicable to a variety of education research problems in emergency medicine (EM). Potential applications of studies are discussed, as well as effects and lessons learned.