CJ430 Research in Criminal Justice

for S1T 2008

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


CJ 430 Research in Criminal Justice


S1T 2008 DL


Dr. Kenneth Christopher, D.P.A.


Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice


Doctor of Public Administration (Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 1999)
Master of Public Administration (Florida International University, Miami, FL, 1983)
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, 1976)

Office Location

Park University, Parkville, MO - MA 416-F (Library)

Office Hours

Monday (11am-4pm), Wednesday (9am-10am) CST

Daytime Phone

Office: 816-584-6597

Other Phone

Cell: 816-809-6494




Web Page


Semester Dates

January 14 - March 9, 2008

Class Days

Online/7 days/week

Class Time

Online/24 hours/day


Senior standing and permission of instructor

Credit Hours




Maxfield, M.G. & Babbie, E. (2005). Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology, 4th Ed.  Belmont, CA:  Thomson-Wadsworth. ISBN: 104815600.


Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:


Salkind, Neil. (2006).  Exploring Research. 6th ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
eStudy Centre. Writing Essays  http://www.allenandunwin.com/estudy/essaywriting.asp

Paradigm Online Writing Assistant, http://www.powa.org/thesis/index.html

Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G, and Williams, J. M. (1995).   The Craft of Research. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Bolker, J. (1998). Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day. New York:  Henry Holt and Company. 

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FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
This capstone course is an examination of the research methods with application most commonly utilized in criminological and criminal justice research. Development and implementation of an original data-gathering instrument is required. A paper summarizing and evaluating the data-gathering instruments and comparing the data to published articles is required. PREREQUISITES: Senior standing and permission of instructor. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

The instructor’s overarching approach to education is to emphasize the broadening of intellect as a strategy for developing problem solving and critical thinking skills.  It is essential to integrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed in the classroom into the active lives of students, both as individuals and as members of social groups.  It is not the facts we learn, but how we use them that provides us with the tools needed to better the human condition.

The instructor will use online lectures, discussions, group activities, supplementary readings, audio-visual aids, examinations, and other methods to facilitate learning.  Student performance expectations: 

1.  The instructor assumes the student has read and understands the syllabus and expects students to ask questions if any aspect of the course requirements is unclear.

 2.   Students are expected to demonstrate that they are meeting the course objectives by participating in the online class; actively participating in class discussions, activities, and exercises; timely submitting all written assignments; delivering required documents; and sitting for any scheduled examinations.

3.  Students are assigned readings from the required text(s) and/or supplemental text materials in advance of each class meeting and are expected to be prepared for class. 

4.  Students are expected to ask questions if they do not understand something.

5.  The instructor encourages a mutual learning environment, where students can freely raise questions in the search for understanding.  Students are expected to listen to each other, ask questions, raise concerns, and provide the respect that each individual deserves. Students are also encouraged to bring any items to class which they feel will add substantially to the learning environment.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Distinguish the terminology and concepts associated with research and are able to discuss these.
  2. Design a research project using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science Research).
  3. Organize a research project, working with aspects of the research process, and be able to analyze and discuss the research of others.
  4. Construct a survey, with classmates, administering the survey, compile the data, input the collected information into SPSS, and analyze the collected data.
  5. Design a tentative proposal for writing the senior thesis.

Core Assessment:

·        Class participation, exams, written exercises

·        Project

·        Research proposal

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:
You will be graded on the following:

  1. Weekly submission of drop-box assignments from assigned readings. Look under the tabs for assignment and discussion in each weekly unit.

  2. Weekly submission of discussions of issues from assigned readings.  This will include required interaction with classmates. Look under the tabs for assignment and discussion in each weekly unit.

  3. Six weekly online quizzes over assigned readings and an online mid-term examination during week 4 of the course. All quizzes and the mid-term will be a combination of multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions.

  4. A proctored final examination.  The final exam will be on the topics discussed weekly. For the final, there will be a combination of multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank responses.  A final proctored examination will be taken in a proctored testing environment during the 8th week at one of the sites around the country or at an alternative location.  For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test.  Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Website. 

  5. Your Research Proposal (CORE ASSESSMENT).

This section lists the grading scale and weighting for all of the graded work during the course. The grading plan uses the following scale and point totals for each letter grade.

A = 90- 100% (or 900 points or higher)
B = 80-89%   (or 800 to 899 points)
C = 70-79%   (or 700 to 799 points)
D = 60-69%   (or 600 to 699 points)
F = < 60%    (599 or fewer points)

Research proposal                   25%
Proctored Final Exam              15%
Mid-Term Exam                      10%
Discussion Topics                    16%
Assignments (Drop-box)          16%
Quizzes (6)                              18%

Late Submission of Course Materials:

All written assignments are due by a specific date.  Each week runs from Monday morning through Sunday night, 11:59 pm.  Due to the accelerated nature of this course, there are no exceptions for late submissions.  Assignments are either submitted on time, or the grade is forfeited (Note:  See below MAKE-UP POLICY for emergencies).

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Course-Specific Policies:

This course is offered online, over the Internet, using the eCollege platform. This course is different than many Online classes because it involves writing an extensive paper. You will be doing reading and writing primarily by yourself, but with close contact and guidance by your instructor.

You have some work with your classmates in the discussion area. 1) In one portion of the discussion area, you should respond specifically to the question, based on the text and outside readings. 2) In the second area, you should be responding to the responses of your classmates.

In order to satisfactorily complete this online class, you should plan to spend twelve hours a week. I would suggest three hours be spent on the specific readings, two hours on the discussion board responses, three hours on the drop-box assignments, and four hours working on the research proposal. This is a three-credit upper-division-level college course. Please spend the needed time on the course.

Class weeks begin on Monday and end on Sunday. You will be graded on the work you completed by the end of Sunday; that is, if you have an e-mail assignment, it is due before Sunday late and if submitted later, it will be counted late. You will be graded on your participation in the two discussion areas on Sunday. Because of the difficulty of the task required in this course, you must stay current; otherwise, you will never finish.

The instructor expects you to send research proposal assignments and drafts via the Internet in MS Word, not Word Perfect and not Works (that comes standard with many computers). If you plan to send by FAX or postal service, you must inform the instructor well in advance of due dates.

You should use e-mail for private messages to your professor and other students and for submission of research proposal drafts. The class discussion is for public messages. The discussion area is similar to a traditional classroom where anything you say may be heard/seen by everyone in the class.

Students should review the applicable online policies noted below. If you have questions about any of these policies, please contact your instructor for clarification.

Online Course Policies:

Policy #1:  Submission of Work

A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday 12:01 am EST and Sunday at 11:59 PM EST. The first week begins the first day of the term/semester. Assignments scheduled for completion during a class week should be completed and successfully submitted by the posted due date.

Create a back up file of every piece of work you submit for grading. This will ensure that a computer glitch or a glitch in cyberspace won't erase your efforts.

When files are sent attached to an email, the files should be in either Microsoft Word, RTF, ASCII, txt, or PDF file formats.

Policy #2: Ground Rules for Online Communication & Participation

General email: Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. When sending email other than assignments, you must identify yourself fully by name and class in all email sent to your instructor and/or other members of our class.

Online threaded discussions are public messages and all writings in this area will be viewable by the entire class or assigned group members.

Online Instructor Response Policy:  Online Instructors will check email frequently and will respond to course-related questions within 24-48 hours.

Observation of "Netiquette": All your Online communications need to be composed with fairness, honesty and tact.  Spelling and grammar are very important in an Online course.  What you put into an Online course reflects on your level of professionalism.  Here are a couple of Online references that discuss writing Online http://goto.intwg.com/  and netiquette http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html.

Please check the Announcements area before you ask general course "housekeeping" questions (i.e. how do I submit assignment 3?).  If you don't see your question there, then please contact your instructor.

Policy #3: What to do if you experience technical problems or have questions about the Online classroom.  

If you experience computer difficulties (need help downloading a browser or plug-in, you need help logging into the course, or if you experience any errors or problems while in your Online course, click on the  button in your Online Classroom, then click on the helpdesk menu item, and then fill out the form or call the helpdesk for assistance.

If the issue is preventing you from submitting or completing any coursework, contact your instructor immediately.

Policy #4: Makeup Policy - Emergencies

All assignments, quizzes, and examinations are due as published in the Syllabus. Students who fail to complete scheduled quizzes and examinations will receive a grade of 0 (F) for the assessment item. Students experiencing some type of EMERGENCY (e.g., personal illness, car accident, family issue, etc.), which will impact their ability to complete any coursework, including examinations, must personally contact the instructor as soon as possible BEFORE the scheduled assignment/examination.  Makeups for examinations MAY be offered on a case-by-case basis, subject to written documentation from the student substantiating the EMERGENCY (e.g., medical note, police report, etc.) and advance notice from the student.  THE INSTRUCTOR HAS NO OBLIGATION TO OFFER A MAKEUP EXAM.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week One - January 14-20, 2008
  • Discussion topic: Definitions.
  • Assignment: Terms and concepts used in theory construction.
  • Student Survey.
  • Make Research Proposal Topic selection from the list provided in Unit 1.
  • Read Chapters 1 and 2 of text.
  • Read CJ430 Research Proposal found in DOC SHARING.
  • Quiz: Chapters 1 and 2

Week Two - January 21-27, 2008

  • Discussion topic: Validity and reliability.
  • Assignment: Research topic, problem statement, research hypothesis, null hypothesis, references, APA format.
  • Read Chapters 3 and 4 of text.
  • Read Thesis Proposal in DOC SHARING.
  • Quiz: Chapters 3 and 4.
Week Three - January 28-February 3, 2008
  • Discussion topic: Levels of measurement.
  • Assignment: Methodology.
  • Read Chapters 5 and 6 of text.
  • Read SPSS Primer__Learner in DOC SHARING.
  • Quiz: Chapters 5 and 6.
Week Four - February 4-10, 2008
  • Discussion topic: Threats to internal validity in experimental designs.
  • Assignment: Literature review and Research Proposal draft.
  • Read Chapter 7.
  • Read Constructing a Questionnaire in DOC SHARING.
  • Mid-Term Exam Chapters 1 - 7.
Week Five - February 11-17, 2008
  • Discussion topic: Sampling methods.
  • Assignment: Questionnaire and variables for data entry.
  • Read Chapter 8 and 9.
  • Read Sampling Statistics_Wikipedia in DOC SHARING.
  • Quiz: Chapters 8 and 9.
Week Six - February 18-24, 2008
  • Discussion topic: Examining the crime picture and use of sources.
  • Assignment: Methods to record observations. 
  • Read Chapters 10 and 11.
Week Seven - February 25-March 2, 2008
  • Discussion topic: Randomized evaluation and quasi-experimental designs.
  • Assignment: Strengths and weaknesses of research designs. 
  • Research Proposal due.
  • Quiz: Chapter 12.
Week Eight - March 3-9, 2008
  • Discussion topic: Descriptive and inferential statistics.
  • Assignment: The logic and definition of statistical significance.
  • Exam: Proctored Final Exam, Comprehensive, Chapters 1 – 13.


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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85
All work submitted must be the student's own.  Any assistance received by a student in preparing papers or reports must be fully acknowledged and disclosed in the work submitted.  Students must cite and reference any sources from which data, ideas or words are used, either quoted directly or paraphrased.

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.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. 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".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

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 .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
The artifact assembles at least 10 sources from class readings, observations, and other resources The artifact assembles at least 8-10 sources from class readings, observations, and other resources The artifact assembles 8 or fewer sources from only one resource The artifact does not utilize proper resources 
The artifact will display the use of at least 6 outside sources and the ability to properly compare and contrast the sources cited. The artifact will display the use of at least 5 outside sources and the ability to properly compare and contrast the sources cited. The artifact will display the use of fewer than 5 outside sources and show little ability to compare and contrast the sources cited. The artifact does not display an ability to compare and contrast sources cited. 
The artifact demonstrates the student's ability to utilize 2 or more evaluation perspectives in examining the research subject chosen The artifact demonstrates the student's ability to utilize 1 evaluation perspective in examining the research subject chosen The artifact contains a lack of understanding of evaluation perspectives Evaluation is not present in the artifact 
The artifact contains no errors in terminology The artifact contains 1-2 errors in terminology The artifact contains 3-4 errors in terminology The artifact contains 5 or more errors in terminology 
The artifact discusses more than 3 key elements and displays an exceptional understanding of the elements chosen The artifact discusses 2 key elements and displays an understanding of the elements chosen The artifact discusses fewer than 2 key elements and displays little understanding of the elements chosen The artifact does not discuss key elements 
The artifact shows multiple instances and exceptional understanding of terminology and concepts throughout the paper The artifact shows sufficient and satisfactory use of terminology and concepts throughout the paper The artifact shows little and unsatisfactory use of terminology and concepts throughout the paper The artifact fails to demonstrate an understanding of terminology and concepts 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
The artifact is in APA or MLA format, is at least 8-10 pages in length, and displays proper grammar and no spelling errors The artifact is in APA or MLA format, is at least 5-7 pages in length, displays proper grammar and no more than 2 spelling errors The artifact is not in a proper format, contains multiple grammar errors, and 2 or more spelling errors The artifact is not in a proper format, contains multiple grammar errors, and multiple spelling errors 
The artifact contains the following:

-Title page

-Review of the Literature


-Plan for conducting the study

-Plan for evaluating the data

-Annotated bibliography containing 10 or more sources

The artifact contains the following:

-Title page

-Review of the Literature


-Plan for conducting the study

-Plan for evaluating the data

-Annotated bibliography of 8-10 sources

The artifact does not contain one or more of the following:

-Title page

-Review of the Literature


-Annotated bibliography of sources

The artifact is missing most of the required elements 
MLL or GE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Does not apply to course Does not apply to course Does not apply to course Does not apply to course 


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Last Updated:12/20/2007 3:41:32 PM