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EC 315 Quantitative Research Methods
Sloboda, Brian


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.

Course

EC/315 Quantitative Research Methods

Semester

F2T 2007 DLD

Faculty

Brian W. Sloboda, Ph.D.

Title

Adjunct Faculty

Degrees/Certificates

Ph.D., Economics, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
M.S., Economics, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
B.A., Economics with a minor in mathematics, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ

Office Location

Online

Office Hours

8 am to 10pm EST

Daytime Phone

301.495.4102

Other Phone

202.268.7826

E-Mail

brian.sloboda@park.edu

brian.sloboda@usps.gov

gr8694@starpower.net

Semester Dates

October 22, 2007 to December 16, 2007

Class Days

Sunday to Saturday

Class Time

TBA

Prerequisites

MA 120 and CS 140.

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:

REQUIRED MATERIALS

A. Soule, Peter, GUIDE to STATISTICAL ANALYSIS for Business and Social Science Using SPSS Version 12.0 and Microsoft Excel.  ISBN 007-312-5326 McGraw-Hill 2005. 

Additional Resources:
EXCEL

Note:  For the various statistical methods used in this course, the EXCEL add-in is a useful choice. When in EXCEL, this is accessed using TOOLS, DATA ANALYSIS. (If the data analysis is not loaded, then load it using TOOLS, ADD-INS, check ANALYSIS TOOL PAK and ANALYSIS TOOL PAK, and then OK.)
 

Also a free version of Minitab can be downloaded.  It is only good for 30 days.  The URL is    http://www.minitab.com/   Then go under the tab <Downloads>  then select <Minitab 14 Demo>.

 

Also a free version of Minitab can be downloaded. It is only good for 30 days.  The URL is    http://www.minitab.com/   Then go under the tab <Downloads>  then select <Minitab 14 Demo>.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

 

List of Statistical References for EC/315:

A electronic text on basic and advanced statistics functions and concepts:

http://www.statsoft.com/textbook/stathome.html

 A set of selected="true" tutorial pages tied to a product offering.

http://www.texasoft.com/tutindex.html

An online reference manual for writers who need to understand and use basic statistics:

http://www.robertniles.com/stats/

A fairly complete eText on beginning statistics.

http://math.uc.edu/statistics/statbook/contents.html

This is a handy reference for using the statistics functions in Microsoft Excel:

http://www.bioss.sari.ac.uk/smart/unix/mbasexc/slides/frames.htm

This is a summary and instructional piece written for Physiologists who need to perform hypothesis testing:

http://panther.bsc.edu/~agannon/Bscstats.htm

Interactive, calculating web pages for statistics applications (somewhat complicated):

http://members.aol.com/johnp71/javastat.html

The Rice Virtual statistics lab:

http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~lane/rvls.html

The Wise, Online Tutorials:

http://wise.cgu.edu/tutorf.shtml

Yet another online tutorial:

http://www.ifigure.com/math/stat/help.htm

The following are easy to find and easy to use texts for statistics review. They include explanations of concepts used in statistics:

This is the least expensive and also the easiest to use as a quick study.

Voelker, David H. MA, Orton & Adams(2001). CliffsQuickReview, Statistics: New York: Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Other useful review and summary texts are:

Koosis, Donald J. (1997). Statistics, A Self-Teaching Guide, 4th edition: New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Downing, Douglas, Ph.D. & Clark, Jeffrey, Ph.D. (1996). Forgotten Statistics: Barron’s Educational Series.

For more in-depth treatment of the course topics with well-worked examples, I found this edition in the local library:

Cohen, S.S. (1988). Practical Statistics: London, Edward Arnold

The following are two widely used business school texts:

Triola, Mario F. & Franklin, LeRoy A. (2000).  Business Statistics, Understanding Populations and Processes: Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.

McClave, James T., Benson, P. George & Sincich, Terry (1998). Statistics for Business and Economics, 7th edition: Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall.

The following text is good but some knowledge of calculus is required. The discussion on the concepts is still good. The following text is often required in engineering schools when students have to take statistics

Devore, Jay. (1999). Probability and Statistics for Engineering and the Sciences , Brooks Cole Publishing. 

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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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:

Teaching economics seems like an easy task for those with a terminal degree in the discipline, but when students often hear they need to take an economics course(s), often a chill goes down their spine and fear sets in.  All of us experience economics everyday whether we realize it or not.  An appealing way to attract students to economics is to incorporate current events and popular news articles. Headlines which mention the unemployment rate, the release of the GDP growth rates, the increase in poverty rates in 2003, the size of trade deficit has reached its highest level, and other headlines.   These current events provide great classroom discussion to enhance the abstract concepts presented in the textbooks and lectures.  Once the discussion of these current events commences, the students realize that the economic principles and theories makes more sense than it does from reading the required readings.   Despite the incorporation of current events into the course discussion, the students still need to master the underlying economic theory and principles.  The presentation of these concepts requires the presentation to be as simple as possible.  That is, the principle of KISS (Keep it Simple, Silly) should be applied in the lectures.  The focus is not to water-down the material but to improve the level of comprehension of the students with the material.  The goal of the KISS principle is to allow all students in the course to learn the material, not just teach the superior students.  If a student is enrolled in a course, it is the job of the professor to teach all students enrolled in the course. Of course, it is too much to expect that all or even a majority of students will absorb the most material adequately through reading and a single lecture alone.  Consequently, the professor needs to provide avenues for students to receive clarification of the course material via office hours and responding to emails.  Also it should be strongly encouraged that students use office hours as a means to receive additional clarification of the course material.  Also the instructor should accommodate students who cannot come to formal office hours by making an appointment.  By providing such accommodation gives the student a feeling that the instructor is there and has concern for the academic well-being of the student.  Additionally, it also gives the student more self-confidence and greater motivation to put the required effort into the course. In a classroom, the learning process should be collaborative between the students and the professor.  However, this collaborative relationship can only occur if the professor treats the students as equals.  In order to promote an active dialogue in a classroom, the students need to be able to speak and not fear repercussions for misspeaking on a point.  Instead the professor should point out positive points from their response and guide the student to the correct answer.  Following this approach should avoid any embarrassment of the student or making them feel dumb.  If this should occur, I would shift that burden to me and make myself look embarrassed.  Then, I just move on.  Enjoy the course!!

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:

The final course grade will be determined using the following measurements:

  • Homework Assignments
  • Mid Term Examination  
  • Proctored Comprehensive Final Examination
  • Instructor evaluation/class participation which is made up of the following factors:
    1. Posting your introduction to the conference during the first week of the course.
    2. Weekly discussion activities 
    3. Having a completed, correct proctor form received and approved by the end of week 4. There will be a link to the proctor form provided in week 1.
    4. Other course related activities.

Research Topic Proposal

As preparation for the final research paper, formulate an original theory about the correlation between four measurable independent variables (causes) and one measurable dependent variable (the effect). The topic proposal should include the following four items which serve as the foundation for the final research paper after instructor feedback is given.

1) Purpose Statement 

In one paragraph, state the correlation and identify the primary independent variable.
State the correlation:

“The dependent variable _______ is determined by independent variables ________, _________, ________, and ________.”

Identify and defend the “primary” independent variable, or the variable believed to have the strongest impact on the dependent variable:

 “The most important independent variable in this relationship is ________ because _________.”
2) Definition of Variables 
For each variable, write a single definition paragraph (five paragraphs total). Paragraphs should be in this order: dependent variable, primary independent variable, and remaining three independent variables.
In addition to defining the independent variables, defend why each determines the dependent variable.

For the primary independent variable, at least two research sources that discuss the variable also must be cited. These sources need not be technical documents but should contain evidence to justify the relationship between the primary independent variable and the dependent variable. List these sources on the Works Cited (reference) page. Citations from encyclopedias, abstracts, or non-governmental websites are not acceptable research sources.
3) Data Description
For each of the five variables, at least 30 observations of cross-sectional data must be obtained. Thus for the final research paper, a data matrix that is at least 30 rows by five columns must be presented.
In one paragraph, identify the data sources and describe the data (i.e., which government agencies supply the data, which methods are used to compile them, when they were collected, etc.). Attach a Xerox copy of the original data tables from which the data will be compiled after the proposal is reviewed and approved by the instructor. 

4) Works Cited Page

The final page of the proposal should be a Works Cited page listing the two research sources for the primary independent variable and the data sources, with a separate citation for each table of data, including specific table numbers for each of the five sources. The appropriate format should be employed (see below).

Final Research Paper
Purpose Statement and Model
1) In the introductory paragraph, state why the dependent variable has been chosen for analysis. Then make a general statement about the model:

The dependent variable _______ is determined by variables ________, ________, ________, and ________.”

2) In the second paragraph, identify the primary independent variable and defend why it is important.

“The most important variable in this analysis is ________ because _________.”   In this paragraph, cite and discuss the two research sources that support the thesis, i.e., the model. 

3) Write the general form of the model, with the primary independent variable as X1:

The model is:


 

Y =


Where 

Y: brief definition of Y


 

X1: brief definition of X[etc. for each variable]


Definition of Variables

4) Define and defend all variables, including the dependent variable, in a single paragraph for each variable. Also, state the expectations for each independent variable. These paragraphs should be in numerical order, i.e., dependent variable, X1, then X2, etc.  

In each paragraph, the following should be addressed:
<        How is the variable defined in the data source?

<        Which unit of measurement is used?

<        For the independent variables: why does the variable determine Y?

<        What sign is expected for the independent variable's coefficient, positive or negative? Why?

Data Description

5) In one paragraph, describe the data and identify the data sources. 
<        From which general sources and from which specific tables are the data taken? (Citing a website is not acceptable.)

<        Which year or years were the data collected?

<        Are there any data limitations?

Presentation and Interpretation of Results
 
6) Write the estimated (prediction) equation:

The results are:


 

 =


 

7) Identify and interpret the adjusted R2 (one paragraph):

<        Define “adjusted R2.”

<        What does the value of the adjusted R2 reveal about the model?

<        If the adjusted R2 is low, how has the choice of independent variables created this result?

8) Identify and interpret the F test (one paragraph):

<        Using the p-value approach, is the null hypothesis for the F test rejected or not rejected? Why or why not?

<        Interpret the implications of these findings for the model.

9) Identify and interpret the t tests for each of the coefficients (one separate paragraph for each variable, in numerical order):

<        Are the signs of the coefficients as expected? If not, why not?

<        For each of the coefficients, interpret the numerical value.

<        Using the p-value approach, is the null hypothesis for the t test rejected or not rejected for each coefficient? Why or why not?

<        Interpret the implications of these findings for the variable.

<        Identify the variable with the greatest significance.

10) Analyze multicollinearity of the independent variables (one paragraph):

<        Generate the correlation matrix.

<        Define multicollinearity.

<        Are any of the independent variables highly correlated with each other? If so, identify the variables and explain why they are correlated.

<        State the implications of multicollinearity (if found) for the model.

11) Other (not required):

<        If any additional techniques for improving results are employed, discuss these at the end of the paper.

Works Cited Page

12) Use the proper format to list the works cited under two headings:

 Research: two sources

 Data: a separate citation for each of the five variables

Grading:

Grading Criteria – 
Evaluation Item Points

Homework

100

Weekly

Course Participation

100

Weekly

Project Topic and Feasibility Paper

70

Week 1

Open-Book, MID-TERM TEST

150

Week 4

Term Project Proposal

150

Week 5

Term Project Report

130

Week 7:

PROCTORED FINAL EXAM

300

Week 8

TOTAL

1000

 

Course Participation requires participation in the Conference Area threaded discussions.

Grading:

The following percentages will be used to assign course grades:

  • 90% - 100% = A
  • 80% - 89% = B
  • 70% - 79% = C
  • 60% - 69% = D
  • Below 60% = F
  

Final examination - The student's grade will directly reflect their overall course average provided they pass the final exam.  IT IS A COURSE REQUIREMENT THAT THE STUDENT MUST PASS THE PROCTORED FINAL EXAM WITH A GRADE OF 60% IN ORDER TO PASS THE EC315 COURSE REGARDLESS OF THEIR OVERALL AVERAGE IN THE COURSE.   A final proctored examination will be taken in a proctored testing environment during the 8th week at one of the Park University Campus Centers. 

 

All final exams will be comprehensive and will be closed book and closed notes.  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 Associate Dean.

 

The Proctored final exam for online courses must be passed with a grade of 60% or higher in order to pass the course regardless of the overall average.  The grade for students who pass the proctored final will be based on the overall average of homework and tests taken during the course.  The proctored final exam must address only material which the student has been taught in class.

  

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:
The assignment for each week must be completed by the end of that week. Comprehensive solutions will be distributed after the deadline. After a solution is posted under DOCSHARING, the student can no longer submit the assignment.  However, late or not, it is important that you complete all assignments since these exercises will help you in the preparation for the examinations.  

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Park University wishes to promote a positive, collegial atmosphere among students faculty and staff.  The students should present his/her answers in a civial manner and respond to others in a civil manner.  Disruptive students will not be tolerated and will be dealt with.  Disruptive behavior may have sanctions ranging from a private email warning to reporting to the Academic Dean.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Homework

100

Weekly

Course Participation

100

Weekly

Project Topic and Feasibility Paper

70

Week 1

Open-Book, MID-TERM TEST

150

Week 4

Term Project Proposal

150

Week 5

Term Project Report

130

Week 7:

PROCTORED FINAL EXAM

300

Week 8

 

 

Final examination - The student's grade will directly reflect their overall course average provided they pass the final exam. IT IS A COURSE REQUIREMENT THAT THE STUDENT MUST PASS THE PROCTORED FINAL EXAM IN ORDER TO PASS THE EC315 COURSE REGARDLESS OF THEIR OVERALL AVERAGE IN THE COURSE. The Core Assessment is the three part term project ( the project topic and feasibility paper, the term project proposal and the final term project). A final proctored examination will be taken in a proctored testing environment during the 8th week at one of the Park University Campus Centers.

 

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
Academic honesty is highly valued at Park University. A student must always submit work that represents his or her original words or ideas. If any words or ideas are used that do not represent the student's original words or ideas, the student must cite all relevant sources. The student should also make clear the extent to which such sources were used. Words or ideas that require citations include, but are not limited to, all hardcopy or electronic publications, whether copyrighted or not, and all verbal or visual communication when the content of such communication clearly originates from an identifiable source. At the School of Online Learning at Park University, all submissions to any public meeting or private mailbox fall within the scope of words and ideas that require citations if used by someone other than the original author.

Academic dishonesty in an online learning environment could involve:

Having a tutor or friend complete a portion of your assignments
Having a reviewer make extensive revisions to an assignment
Copying work submitted by another student to a public class meeting
Using information from online information services without proper citation

Plagiarism:
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

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 .



Rubric

CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Critical Thinking                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Outcomes
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Outcomes
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Outcomes
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:10/17/2007 7:58:29 PM