EC315 Quantitative Research Methods

for FA 2008

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EC 315 Quantitative Research Methods


FA 2008 HOA


Vinlove, F. Kathleen


Associate Professor, Economics



Office Location

Mackay 30C

Office Hours

Tuesday and Thursday 11:30 – 12:45; Tues 2:15 – 3:45; Wednesday 9:00 – 11:00; or by appointment

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

August 18 to December 12, 2007

Class Days


Class Time

10:10 - 11:25


MA 120 and CS 140

Credit Hours



Lind, Douglas, William G. Marchal, and Samuel A. Wathen.

Basic Statistics for Business and Economics, Sixth Edition. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2008.       ISBN: 978-0-07-352142-8

Additional Resources:

Other Required Materials:             

1) course notebook to bring to every class period

2) scientific calculator with XY or YX key (no graphic calculators or cell phones allowed during exams)
3) memory stick for labs (optional)

4) number-two pencils for exams and quizzes 

5) activated Pirate-mail account for receiving necessary data

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Course Description:
This intermediate level statistics course covers the fundamentals of conducting quantitative research for the social and administrative sciences. The course is organized around a research project on quantitative analysis of data. PREREQUISITES: MA 120 and CS 140. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

Because the learning process is active rather than passive, I will combine lectures with the Socratic method, and student questions are always encouraged.  The use of analytical tools and application to specific, real-world examples are emphasized.    

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Derive an original regression model and run it using Excel or SPSS. Correctly interpret the model statistics including the statistical significance of the independent variables, the R-squared and (if applicable) the Durbin-Watson statistics.
  2. Derive the Durbin-Watson statistic in Excel. Determine whether a given regression has autocorrelation using a graph and the Durbin-Watson table values.
  3. Conduct hypothesis tests and confidence intervals on the mean and the difference between two means using the "t" statistic.
  4. Conduct hypothesis tests and confidence intervals on the binomial statistic and on the difference between two binomial statistics using the "t" statistic.

Core Assessment:
All Park University courses must include a core assessment that measures the course Learning Outcomes. The purpose of this assessment is to determine if expectations have been met concerning mastery of learning outcomes across all instructional modalities. For this course, the core assessment is a final exam to be administered in all sections of EC 315. This exam is worth 30 percent of the student’s final grade and will test students’ mastery of core learning outcomes through short answer questions on specific knowledge, Regression analysis procedure, and hypothesis testing.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Exams:   There will be two semester exams administered during the class period worth 45 percent of the final grade and a comprehensive final exam worth 30 percent of the final grade.  

                 The average of the three exams will constitute 75 percent of the final grade. 

                 Exams 1 and 2 will be composed of multiple-choice, short answer, and problem-solving questions based on my lectures, handouts, in-class exercises, and homework exercises. I will curve each exam to give you an idea of your performance in terms of letter grades. However, final letter grades will be determined by a curve of final total averages for the class.

                 Students may not leave the classroom during an exam. Cell phones must be turned off and put away during exams; students who answer cell phones during an exam will be asked to turn in the exam. No graphic calculators are allowed during exams. Seating for exams is assigned.


Make-up Exams: Make-up exams for Exams 1 or 2 will be administered during final exam week. Make-ups will be composed of essay and problem-solving questions. It is the student’s responsibility to contact me to schedule a make-up; if a student does not show up for a make-up exam at the scheduled time, the exam grade is a zero. Students who miss the final exam must take a comprehensive make-up exam composed of essay and problem-solving questions based on all material presented during the semester.


Late Arrivals to Exams: Students arriving late to an exam may take the exam only if no other student has turned in the exam. If another student has completed the exam, the late student cannot take the exam.


In-class Exercises:       Six in-class exercises including several computer labs are worth 20 points each. One in-class exercise grade will be dropped for a total of 100 points. These points will constitute 10 percent of the final grade.

Homework Exercises:Homework exercises are designed to help students practice for exams. These will be handed out periodically during the semester but will not be collected. Instead, students may ask specific questions about the homework during class time.

Research Project:        A research project proposal and paper will be worth 15 percent of the final grade. The proposal and paper are both graded on a 100-point scale; the proposal is weighted as 30 percent and the final paper as 70 percent of the final research project grade. Both must be handed in at the beginning of the class period on the deadline date for full credit. The following dates should be noted for the research project:

                                       Tuesday, October 7, beginning of class                                                       proposal deadline

                                                    During class (more than 20 minutes late), Oct. 7                                         minus 5 points

                                                    Between Oct. 7 and Friday, Oct. 10, 8:00 a.m.                                               minus 20 points

                                                    Between Friday, Oct. 10, 8:00 a.m. and Oct. 21 class                                  minus 50 points

                                                    After Oct. 21 (class time)                                                                                   zero points

                                                    Tuesday, Dec. 2, beginning of class                                                              final paper deadline

                                                    During class (more than 20 minutes late), Dec. 2                                       minus 5 points

                                                    Between deadline and Dec. 5, 8 a.m.                                                             minus 20 points

                                                    Between Friday, Dec. 5, 8:00 a.m. and Dec. 9, 10:15 a.m.                         minus 30 points

                                                    After Dec. 9, 10:15 a.m.                                                                                      zero points

To pass this course, students must submit a final research paper and have an exam average of D or above.


Grading Plan:                        Final grades will be based on the following percentages:


Exams 1 and 2                                                            45%

Final Exam                                                                  30%

Research Project                                                        15%

In-class exercises                                                       10%


NOTE: For students’ whose grade is borderline, I will consider attendance and number of in-class exercises completed.


The course grade for students will be based on the overall average of homework and tests taken during the course in accordance with the weighting of the various requirements as stated in the syllabus.

All final exams in all School of Business and Management courses will be comprehensive and will be closed book and closed notes. They will constitute 30% of the total course grade and will not be a take-home exam. They will be completed during the test week in the period designated by the registrar or by the Proctor in the case online courses. If calculators are allowed, they will not be multifunctional electronic devices that include features such as: phones, cameras, instant messaging, pagers, and so forth. Electronic Computers will not be allowed on final exams unless an exception is made by the Dean of the School of Business and Management.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

10 points subtracted for being more than 10 minutes late to in-class exercises; 5-50 points subtracted for late proposal submission; 5-30 points subtracted for late research papers

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

The professor assumes that students are adults and will conduct themselves accordingly.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:


EC315: Course Schedule, Fall 2008

Week     Topic                                                                                                     Chapters

     1         Review: Fundamentals of Statistics                                                          1, 3, 6, 7, 8

     2         Review: Fundamentals of Statistics, continued

     3         Hypothesis Testing                                                                                     9, 10, 11                       

     4         Continued       

5                 Simple Linear Regression Analysis                                                           13

First Exam: Thursday, September 18

     6         Simple Linear Regression Analysis, continued

     7         Multiple Regression/The f distribution                                                        12, 14   

     8         Continued       

                Research Proposal Due: Tuesday, October 7                                    

     9         Continued                                                                                                  

     10             Improving Regression Results                                                                    

Second Exam: Tuesday, October 28

     11       Tests of Difference Between Two Means                                                  11

     12       Tests of Proportions                                                                                   10

     13       Continued       

     14       The Chi-square Distribution                                                                       15         

     15             Continued; Review

           Research Paper Due: Tuesday, December 2

                    Final Exam: Tuesday, December 9, 10:15 – 12:15 p.m.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Critical Thinking                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Short answer questions with a Maximum value of 166 Points                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Hypothesis tests and confidence intervals nearly perfectly conducted. (149 points or more of 166 points) Most causes or processes of economic phenomena are correctly identified and stated. (115 to148 points of  166 points) Most causes or processes of economic phenomena are not correctly identified and stated. (83 to 114 points  of 166 points) No causes or processes of economic phenomena are stated clearly. (0 to 82 points of  166 points) 
Effective Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Short-answer questions on regression procedures and hypothesis testing with a maximum value of 52 points.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
All definitions of curves or items identified on graphs are stated nearly perfectly.  (47  points or more of 52 points) Most definitions of curves or items identified on graphs are stated correctly. (36 to 46 points of 52 points) Most definitions of curves or items identified on graphs are not stated correctly. (26 to 35 points of 52 points) No definitions of curves or items on graphs are stated clearly.

(0 to 25 points of 52 points)

Tools and Methods of Economics                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
This examines regression analysis including running and interpreting regressions.  It has a maximum value of 82 points.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
All calculations and explanations are nearly perfect.  (75 points or more of 82 points) Most calculations and explanations are correct. (59 to 74 points of 82 points) Most calculations and explanations are not correct. (42 to 58 points of 82 points) None of the calculations and explanations is correct.

(0 to 41 points of 82 points)



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Last Updated:8/7/2008 2:53:20 PM