CJ430 Research in Criminal Justice

for S1T 2010

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CJ 430 Research in Criminal Justice


S1T 2010 DL


White, Harry O.,, Jr.


Adjunct Professor


Ph.D. Urban Studies (Administration of Justice)
MPA, Organizational Behavior; M.Ed., Criminal Justice Education;
BS, Administration of Justice

Office Location


Office Hours


Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

January 11 - March 7, 2010

Class Days


Class Time



EN106, passing the WCT and senior standing

Credit Hours



Maxfield, M. G., and Babbie, E.R. (2008). Research methods for criminal justice and criminology (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson
ISBN 10-495-09476-5

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Suggested Reading about Writing a Research Proposal and Thesis include:

Salkind, Neil. Exploring Research. 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 2006

eStudy Centre. Writing Essays

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

Booth, Wayne C., Colomb, Gregory G, and Williams, Joseph M. The Craft of Research.  Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 1995.

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

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Course Description:
CJ 430
Research in Criminal Justice:  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 instruments is required. A paper summarizing and evaluating the date-gathering instruments and comparing the date to published articles is required.  Prerequisites:  Senior standing and permission of instructor. 3:0:3.

Educational Philosophy:

Student-oriented discussions of assigned readings and topics are the focus of this course.  It is expected that students will be prepared to engage in discussions of all assigned materials in the threaded discussion portion of the course activities. Students will assume the lead voice in all discussion with the role of the professor to facilitate, guide, encourage and ensure focus. All assignments are designed to evaluate the student's achievement of the performance objectives. Tests are not for the purpose of grade assignment. Rather, to ascertain the level of understanding of the basic concepts of law enforcement and policing.  All materials contained in the text book are the responsibility of the student.

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 data from various sources.
  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, and analyze the collected data.
  5. Design a tentative proposal for writing the senior thesis.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Assess colleague research design for structure and format
  2. Evaluate the appropiateness of survey instruments an terms of the research hypothesis
  3. Discuss the concepts of research design models
  4. Explain the concepts, definitions and uses of dependent and independent variables
Core Assessment:

For CJ 430, all students will complete a research proposal that examines the following seven basic topical issues relating to the study of research methods in criminal justice:

1.      What are the major differences between the scientific approach and the human inquiry approach to causal and probabilistic reasoning?

2.      What are the major ethical considerations and issues in research and what methods are used to address these?

3.      What are the various levels of measurement and the key standards for measuring validity and reliability?

4.      What are the major methods of collecting data and the importance of the type of research in dictating decisions of data collection?

5.      What are the major differences and usages of statistics and types of data in the various research reports and evaluations?

6.      What are the characteristics and differences between quantitative and qualitative data as they apply to field research?

7.      What are the different techniques and options available for collecting and recording field observations?

The research proposal will address and equitably treat each of the seven topical areas. The issues and researched material should be integrated to provide a consolidated examination of the fundamental process of research in the criminal justice field. The research proposal should contain the following technical components:

1.      A cover or title page.

2.      A body of text, 10 – 12 typed, double-spaced pages (2,500 to 3,000 words) in length.

3.      A reference page containing a minimum of 10 course-external resources.

4.      Written in APA Style. 

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:
Assignment of Grades

You will be graded on the weekly submission of drop-box assignments from assigned readings. Look under the tabs for assignment and discussion in each weekly unit.

You will be graded on the 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.

There will be 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.

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 Park University 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.  

Other Information on proctored exams:

It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor, by the 6th week of the term, whom is accepted and approved by the course instructor.

Approval of proctors is the discretion of the Dr. White consistent with Park policy.

A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first week of class so that you can send your requested proctor to your instructor for approval.

Failure to take a final proctored exam (or submit your final project for some online graduate courses) will result in an automatic "F" grade.


To Receive a Grade in the Course

Dr. White must have final research proposal by the end of week 7 submitted through drop-box. He should receive final exam from proctor by e-mail or fax unless prior arrangements have been made to submit in different format


Course Grading Scale

This subsection should list the grading scale and weighting for all of the graded work during a course. The grading scale must use the following scale below, and point totals for each letter grade must be included.

A = 90- 100% (or 1800 points or higher)
B = 80-89%   (or 1600 to 1799 points)
C = 70-79%   (or 1400 to 1599 points)
D = 60-69%   (or 1200 to 1399 points)
F = < 60%    (1199 or fewer points)

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

As a matter of personal preference I discourage incomplete grades. I understand that there are unique or special circumstances that make this option seem to be an acceptable solution. However, such a grade place an additional burden on students during their subsequent term of study. Having to focus on the requirements of last term as well as their current term could cause stress that will negatively impact performance on both. Assignment of an “I” may result in: (1) an expansion of the requirement; (2) an increase in performance standard; or (3) both.  Park University policy on incomplete grades is as follows: “An incomplete grade (I) may be issued only upon completion of a “Contract for Incomplete” signed by the student and the instructor and placed on file in the Office of the Registrar or Campus Center. An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for the course. An “I” indicates that the coursework was not completed in the time allotted in the semester/term through no fault of the student as determined by the instructor. Final assessment of the grade is postponed to no later than 60 days after the last day of the semester/term in which the “I” was received. Failure on the part of the student to complete the work will result in an “F.” A student may submit a written request for one 30-day extension beyond the 60 days. After approval by the instructor, the request is filed in the Office of the Registrar or Campus Center. " 

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Even though this course is asynchronous there must be a schedule as a guide. Assignments and examinations cannot be made up, ex post facto. All course requirements and due dates are clearly indicated in the syllabus and outline. It is a matter of fairness because once the assignments and examinations have been posted there is potential for compromise. Therefore, make-up assignments and examinations are discouraged and will be available only for emergency reasons, appropriately documented. Further, the date due is the last but not the first date any assignment can be submitted. In other words papers, these tasks can be completed or accomplished at any time, before the deadline. It is a good idea to accomplish the task early so that personal events do not preclude a timely completion of the assignment.

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-semester 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.

Dr. White 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 only use your Park e-mail for private messages to Dr. White and other students and for submission of research proposal drafts. The class discussion is for public messages. The discussion area is similar to a tradition 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 CST and Sunday at 11:59 PM CST. 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 Dr. White.

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
Class participation is considered a major component of this course.  Each week there will be discussion questions posed for comment by each student.  Additionally, it is expected that students will engage others in discussing the issues raised in the thread.  To receive maximum credit for participation there is both a quality and quantity measurement. Quality is the degree to which the student addresses specific issues and comments of others.  Quantity is the absolute number of postings.  For example one could have 6 or 7 postings that did not relate to the issue and no credit would be awarded.  However, if the minimum number of posting, three (3) to each colleague posting,were made that directly focused on the discussion issue then maximum credit would be awarded. The issue of quality and quantity are interrelated because simply making two comments to a couple of postings and leaving no other evidence of being involved in the discussion is insufficient for granting credit. Responding to comments or questions posed by Dr. White are not included in the Quantity component of the grading scheme.
When making comments to colleagues postings must be based on substantive evidence in support of your posting. A simple agree or disagree are insufficient and inconsistent with the discussion and debate concept of the virtual classroom. 
The discussion thread is a "virtual classroom" which suggests participation throughout the discussion period. The opportunity to make comments and participate is limited to question 1 (through Wednesday) and question 2 (through Sunday). Comments or postings after those dates will not be evaluated for grading purposes. Additionally, single day participation during the window of opportunity is inconsistent with the virtual classroom concept and will result in a lower evaluation as to quality.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week one
January 11 - 17, 2010
Discussion topic: select a research topic and explain why it is significant and what variables 
ill be involved (including the identification of the dependent variables and related independent variables). 
Assignment:   Explain how the terms such as – concepts, variables, statements, and hypotheses are related to one another. Use a specific theory to illustrate the relationship. Identify a theory and from that theory identify a concept a
nd variables. From those variables, develop a statement and a hypothesis. 
Respond to Student Survey
Submit Research Proposal Topic in Proposal Topics thread
Read Chapters 1 and 2 of text; and, read CJ430 Research Proposal found in D
oc Sharing.   
Quiz:   Chapters 1 and 2

Week two

January 18 - 24, 2010
Discussion topic: Provide a definition of reliability and validity.  Further, provide a 
definition of internal and external validity.  Provide examples with each of your definitions.
AssignmentSubmit your research topic, problem statement, research hypothesis, null hypothesis, and at least five references (articles, websites, 
books) in APA format.
Read Chapters 3 and 4 of text. Read Thesis Proposal in Doc Sharing
Quiz:  Chapters 3 and 4

Week three

January 25 - 31, 2010
Discussion topic: Provide definition for the levels of measurement:  nominal, 
ordinal, interval, ratio.  Provide a definitive and informative example of each level of measurement.
Assignment:  Decided on your methodology and written a detailed methodology about 
what you are going to do
Read Chapters 5 and 6 of text. Read SPSS Primer__Learner in Doc Sharing 
Quiz: Chapters 5 and 6

Week four
February 1 - 7, 2010
Discussion topic: Identify and discuss at least five (5) threats to internal validity in experimental designs.
Assignment:  Proposal including possible appendices, tentative charts or tables, 
chapters, etc. Include completed literature review.
Read Chapter 7. Read Constructing a Questionnaire in Doc Sharing.
Mid-Term Exam Chapters 1 - 7

Week five
February 8 - 14, 2010
Discussion topic: Provide a definition and explanation of at least three sampling methods 
discussed in your text.  Provide a detailed example of the sampling methods 
that you have defined.
Assignment:   Submit the questionnaire that you utilized with your classmates in the drop-box.  Submit an excel spreadsheet that provides the variables utilized data entry.  Identify the type of  
variables utilized in your questionnaire.
Read Chapter 8 and 9. 
Quiz                   Chapters 8 and 9           

Week six
February 15 - 21
, 2010
Discussion topic: Identify the differences between randomized designs and quasi-experimental d
esigns. Give an example of the appropriate use of each. Do not simply u
tilize the examples of your classmates. 
Assignment:   Identify the various methods that can be used to record observations. Offer an explanation of which method, in your opinion, is most effective and why. Also, which method, in your opinion, is least effective a
nd why.
Read Chapters 10 and 11.

Week seven
February 22 - 28, 2010
Discussion topic: Identify the differences between randomized evaluation designs and Quasi-experimental designs.
Assignment:       Identify the strengths and weaknesses of quasi-experimental designs. 
Explain how the use of quasi-experimental designs may be more useful than classical experiments for conducting criminal justice research.
Research Proposal: Submit final research proposal in drop-box nlt midnight Sunday.
Quiz Chapter 12  

Week eight

March 1 - 7, 2010
Discussion topic: Differentiate between descriptive and inferential statistics

Assignment:        Explain 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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
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 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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.
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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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 .

Additional Information:
There is important information available to Park criminal justice students at the following sites (URL): 




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:12/9/2009 11:23:12 AM