CA516 Qual Meth of Comm Research

for S2P 2007

Printer Friendly

Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.


CA 516 Qualitative Methods of Communication Research


S2P 2007 DL


Cohn, Lora


Assistant Professor of Communication Arts


B.S. Ed. Mass Communication, Truman State 1986
M.A. Communication Studies, University of Kansas 1995
Ph.D. Communication Studies, University of Kansas 2005

Office Location

9N Copley

Office Hours

M/W 10-11am;Tu/Th 1-2 pm and M/Tu 4:30-5:30 pm, and by appointment

Daytime Phone

816-584-6311 (fax 816-741-4371)

Other Phone

816-741-8443 from 8am to 9pm CST please


Semester Dates

Monday, March 19, 2007 - Sunday, May 13, 2007

Class Days


Class Time




Credit Hours



 Required texts: Lindlof, T. & Taylor, B. (2002). Qualitative communication research methods (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN 0-7619-2494-9

 American Psychological Association (2005). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. (ISBN 1557987912)

 Recommended texts: Marshall, C. & Rossman, G. (1999) Designing qualitative research (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN 0-7619-1340-8

 Wolcott, H. (2001). Writing up qualitative research (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN 0-7619-2429-9

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
A study of the processes, used by social researchers, to describe human communication. The class will emphasize ethnography, field research, and interviewing for data gathering and analysis. 3 cr.

Educational Philosophy:

When I went to graduate school, we read books and articles, discussed them in class, and wrote papers. Through my teaching I have discovered that not everyone learns all they can in that type of system. I believe even graduate education must address different learning styles and intelligences. To that end, my class features activities, presentations, discussion, reflection, reading, and writing—I will try to balance activities meeting the needs of different learners with old graduate school standbys like reading and writing. I will grade based on a balance of participation, writing, and testing so that all students have a chance to succeed.  

I am guided by this quote from Ayn Rand: The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life - by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort-- Ayn Rand, "The Anti-Industrial Revolution"

Class Assessment:

 500 points roughly divided into the following areas:

 Tests 130 points (roughly 25%)
Midterm 60 points.
Final exam 70 points

 Papers/Presentations 120 points (roughly 25%)
Method presentation 60 points
Article reviews, 40 points
Method practice 20 points

 Participation/Homework 150 points (roughly 30%)
Weekly assignments worth 10 points each, discussions/activities worth 10 points each.
Core Assessment 100 points (roughly 20%)
A portfolio including your weekly homework, tests, a copy of your method presentation, and your research study.


450-500 points = A; 400-449 points = B; 350-399 points = C; 300- 349 points D; below 300 points = failing

Late Submission of Course Materials:

 I expect all course work to be done on time. If you know you will be absent, tell me in advance of the absence. Illness, sudden or otherwise, is no excuse for missing a due date. You must contact me and make arrangements before the due date.  All late work will be penalized 10%. All late work must be completed within two weeks of the original assignment unless special permission is granted. Work is considered late if it is not in my possession by midnight on Sunday of the week it is due. Plan ahead and start early. It has been my experience that the night before an assignment is due, all the books in the library on the topic have been checked out and the computer systems will be down.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:




Week one

Intro to course/qualitative methods

Justifying qualitative methods

Evaluating research

Picking a method to present

Lindlof & Taylor, Chaps. 1-2

Reading “reading research reports”

Study topic paper due

Evaluating a research article


Week two

Setting up your study

Lindlof & Taylor, Chaps. 3, 5

Ethics paper due

Week three

Setting up your study, cont.

Methods of research

Lindlof & Taylor, Chaps. 4, 6

Method presentations due

Interview and Focus group article reviews due

Week four

Methods of research

Method presentations due

Developing your study

Content analysis article review due

Midterm due

Week five

Handling data

Lindlof & Taylor, pp. 209-232

Reading “handling data”

Methods in your research due

Participant observation article review due

Week six

Interpreting data

Lindlof & Taylor, pp. 232-246

Reading “interpreting data”

Evaluating research due

Practice (methods) due

Method write up due

Week seven


Lindlof & Taylor, Chap. 9

Research proposal due, draft

Week eight

Wrapping up the semester

Research proposal due final,

Final exam

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 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 23-24


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct. Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 23-24

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences in excess of four (4) class periods, in a 16-week semester (or 2, in an 8-week term) will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Dean, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified by mail that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 27

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: .


This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:3/16/2007 12:35:34 PM