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CA 517 Experimental Methods of Communication Research
Payne, Kevin Joe


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.

Course

CA 517 Experimental Methods of Communication Research

Semester

U1P 2007 DL

Faculty

Payne, Kevin J.

Title

Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator of Sociology

Degrees/Certificates

Ph.D. -- University of Missouri-Columbia

Office Location

208B Maybee Learning Center ("The Underground")

Office Hours

By Appointment.

Daytime Phone

816-586-6556

E-Mail

kevin.payne@park.edu

Semester Dates

Monday, 04 June 2007 through Sunday 29 July 2007

Class Days

TBA

Class Time

TBA

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:
   1. Sumser, J.  (2001).  A guide to empirical research in communication:  Rules for looking.  Thousand Oaks:  Sage.  Sumser is an understandable guide to observational research from a communication studies perspective. 
 
AND


 2.  Heffner, (2003).  Research methods.  All Psych Online.  Contents
http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/researchcontents.html There are few areas in education that are covered on the Internet as well as research.  If you like reading online, you may want to try an online textbook. 
 
OR

 3.  Kerlinger, F. N., & Lee, H. B.  (2000).  Foundations of behavioral research.  New York:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston.  Kerlinger and Lee is an excellent textbook on behavioral research which has evolved as the foremost guidebook for nearly fifty years:  Foundations of Behavioral Research  by Fred N. Kerlinger and Howard B. Lee.  If you invest in this textbook, you will have a source that can guide you through a doctoral program and into life as a scholar. 

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville 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.
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FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.


Course Description:
A study of the basic principles used to construct experimental designs, test hypotheses, and apply methods of behavioral science to communication. 3 cr.

Educational Philosophy:
For the remainder of this term, this class is your job.  And my job is to help you succeed at your job.  Learning is work, but it can be the most enjoyable and rewarding of jobs if we let it.  Online learning requires a high degree of motivation and commitment, and we must all be involved for a successful class.  To succeed in this class, you should do what you would to succeed at any job: take your job seriously, work hard, enjoy your work, do your own work, come to work when you’re expected and on time, come to work prepared, ask questions when you are unsure of your job, be a good colleague by helping others to do their jobs well and acknowledging others’ contributions to your work, and demonstrate your mastery of the job through learning the necessary tools and using them consistently, well, and creatively.

And what is your job in this class?  At the most basic, it is to know and understand the facts, issues, perspectives, methods of inquiry, and applications we will study.  But it is also much more than that.  These are simply the “tools of the trade,” and you must then use them in your work.  Real learning is not rote memorization or parroting back the answer you think I will approve.  Real learning is an effortful and interactive process that keeps you engaged with the material, your student colleagues, outside sources, and me.  Real learning requires you to think rigorously, empirically, critically, and creatively.  It demands evidence of your work as you learn to communicate you mastery properly, clearly, directly, and actively to a variety of well-defined audiences.  It requires that you impart your own contributions by analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating, applying, and otherwise using it.  And it clearly demonstrates your effort and growth.  I will grade you on your evidenced contributions to our job.

I often employ the “Socratic Method” and play “Devil’s Advocate” in class discussions, taking contrary positions and pushing you to explore your positions with a variety of questions.  I will ask tough questions, and I expect the same from you.  I expect you to be able to defend your assertions with sound reason and appropriate evidence.  Social science is not opinion.  In fact, it is often about getting over what you thought you knew.  You should be prepared to evidence a positively critical stance toward yourself and positions to which you adhere, other students’ perspectives, the readings, and even toward me.  But critical thinking does not imply intractability or contrarianism.  If you agree with something, you should be able to explain why, and you should still be open to the limitations of any perspective.  If you disagree, you should also be able to explain why, and be prepared to offer and defend what you feel to be a better alternative.  Sociology classes often explore emotionally charged topics that generate a great deal of controversy.  It is good to remember that others have thought deeply and conscientiously on these matters and reached conclusions with which you will differ.  We can respectfully disagree with one another and refrain from personal attacks, but we can and should hold one another to the highest standards of reason and scientific evidence.

Each of us has different strengths and weaknesses, and any one method of assessment with advantage some and disadvantage others.  Therefore, I attempt to incorporate several different sources for grades in order to measure different forms of learning and aptitude (as per Gardner,1983 & 1993, for example).  Typically, this means that a class will include several grading opportunities selected from essays, projects, discussion, participation and quizzes or tests.

The social sciences are messy and full of contention and debate.  I will not attempt to “clean it up” for you.  Instead, I will encourage you to develop the tools necessary to arrive at and defend your own perspectives through the careful application of appropriate reasons and evidence.  We will cover a great deal of material in this course.  I will relate as much relevant “state of the field” information that I can.  But social and demographic facts tend to change over the years and new research is always changing our understanding of self and society.  Social scientists often do not agree and it is more honest to present the material as such.  It also forces you to wrestle with the material and develop your own positions.  And that, I think, is the most important objective of this course: to present you with good data, influential theories, and effective methods through which you can better understand yourself and the changing world around you.  The social sciences are useful, no matter what you do for a living.  You have the capacity to contribute meaningfully to the very personal and public issues we study, and one goal of this class is to give you the tools and confidence necessary to become better involved in these issues that affect us all.

See attached rubric for additional detail.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Evaluate potential topics and select a topic appropriate for a thesis or research project.
  2. Synthesize program learning to create a thesis or research proposal.
  3. Follow organizational pattern for a thesis proposal.
  4. Identify the role of experimental and related research in communication studies, with emphasis on the nature of scientific inquire and research design.
Class Assessment:
1.  Core Assessment (final prospectus for Master's Degree thesis or project) = 30% = 300/1000 points.

2.  Weekly Assignments = 40% = 400/1000 points (5% each week).   Practitioner's work:  scenario and number crunching, journal analysis, in class or online discussion, answer to weekly question or minor assignments according to professor's expectations.  For example, your professor may assign 10 points for 5 journal analyses, 10 points for practitioner's work, and an additional 15 points for general discussion and answers to weekly questions.  If your posting is inadequate for full credit, revise and repost in the "Revision" category by final deadlines.

3.   Objective style exam = 30% = 300/1000 points.   See study guide.

CORE ASSESSMENT:  Write a Master's thesis or project prospectus.  Write the survey of literature for your prospectus, obtain an advisor, and present your idea in a professional manner (e.g., formal PowerPoint presentation about 15 minutes in length).  The written prospectus should be 10-40 pages depending on the nature of your prospectus and the depth of your survey of literature.
You will find specific organizational and writing guidelines in your APA Publication Manual in Kerlinger & Lee Appendix A, in Heffner Chapter 2, and Sumser Chapter 5.

Grading:
A >= 90.0% of total available points
B = 80.0% to 89.9%
C = 70.0% to 79.9%
D = 60.0% to 69.9%
F =< 59.9%

See attached rubric for additional detail.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
 Assignments must be submitted on time.  See attached rubric for additional detail.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
See attached rubric.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
----------------Week or Unit 1.  Examine the Map

UNIT LEARNING OUTCOME:
IDENTIFY THE NATURE OF SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY AND RESEARCH DESIGN.
Read & analyze one quantitative research article you can use in your thesis or project.  
If you use Kerlinger & Lee, read chapters 1 & 22.

If you use Sumser, read chapter 1
Practice  Quiz 1 - Quiz 2 -
Quiz 3 Introduce yourself.
AFTER reading about this week's topic, post the answer to a weekly question:

Post analysis and discuss articles. Read assignment and rubric for grading.
Enroll in Smarthinking.

Submit your proposal from 501 if you plan to continue with that thesis or project idea.

----------------Week or Unit 2.  Follow the Path

UNIT LEARNING OUTCOME:
IDENTIFY THE BASICS OF EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH.
Read & analyze one quantitative research article you can use in your thesis or project.  
If you use Kerlinger & Lee, read chapters 22, 25, Appendix A, Chapter 2, 3, 5, 6.

If you use Sumser, read chapter 3.
Practice Quiz 1
Quiz 2
Quiz 3 Unit 2 question Post analysis and discuss articles. Formulate a research question and prepare a review of literature.

----------------Week or Unit 3. Get your feet wet.

UNIT OUTCOME:
IDENTIFY THE PRINCIPLES OF ANALYSIS, INTERPRETATION,  AND MEASUREMENT.


Read & analyze one quantitative research article you can use in your thesis or project.  
If you use Kerlinger & Lee, read chapters 7, 8, 9, 26, 4.

If you use Sumser, read chapter
Practice Quiz 1 - Quiz 2 Unit 3 question Post analysis and discuss articles. Complete the review of literature.

----------------Week or Unit 4.  Watch your step

MODES OF OBSERVATION

MIDTERM


UNIT OUTCOME:
APPLY APA STYLE AND SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES IN WRITING A BASIC PROJECT OR THESIS PROPOSAL.
Read & analyze one quantitative research article you can use in your thesis or project.  
If you use Kerlinger & Lee, read chapters 17, 18.

----------------If you use Sumser, read chapter 5.
Practice Quiz 1 - Quiz 2
Hourly exam may be available soon.
Unit 4 question Post analysis and discuss articles.  
Submit draft proposal to Smarthinking for tutoring feedback.

----------------Week or Unit 5.  Just Hard Work

UNIT OUTCOME:  ANALYZE HYPOTHESIS TESTING IN THE PROCESS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH.

Read & analyze one quantitative research article you can use in your thesis or project.  
If you use Kerlinger & Lee, read chapters 11, 12.

If you use Sumser, read chapters 6, 7, 8.
Practice Quiz 1 -
Quiz 2
 Unit 5 question Post analysis and discuss articles. Revise and finalize proposal.
Week or Unit 6.  Stretch Yourself

UNIT OUTCOME:


IDENTIFY APPROPRIATE RESEARCH DESIGN AND NOTICE DESIGN DETAILS.

USE CRITICAL THINKING--ANALYSIS, EVALUATION--TO ANALYZE RESEARCH LITERATURE.

If you missed an earlier week, read & analyze one quantitative research article you can use in your thesis or project.  
If you use Kerlinger & Lee, read chapters 19, 20, 21,
Your're at the point when you may want to work through a variety of self-check items to prepare for your exam.   Unit 6 question   Submit final proposal to course professor.

----------------Week or Unit 7.  The Summit

UNIT OUTCOME:

IDENTIFY USE OF MEASUREMENT, OBSERVATION, AND DATA COLLECTION IN EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH.

If you use Kerlinger & Lee, read chapters 29, 30, 31.
Practice Quiz 1 -Quiz 2 Unit 7 question   Discuss proposal with possible faculty advisor.  Make revisions to proposal.

----------------Week or Unit 8.  Heading Home

EVALUATION AND CLOSURE

UNIT OUTCOME:
PRESENT A PROFESSIONAL-STYLE THESIS OR PROJECT PROPOSAL TO A GROUP.  Feel free to invite guests to attend.

FINAL SUBMISSION DATE FOR ALL WORK DUE IN THE COURSE
  See exam study guide.  
No question
  Present proposal idea to other students (e.g., PowerPoint).

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
See attached rubric for additional detail.

Plagiarism:

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


See attached rubric for additional detail.

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
See attached rubric.  I cannot assess your progress if you do not participate.  So please get involved early and often!

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: http://www.park.edu/disability .


Attachments:
Summer 2007 Rubric

Copyright:

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

Last Updated:6/3/2007 1:10:14 PM