PA508 Research and Analysis

for F2P 2010

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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.

Hauptmann School for Public Affairs Mission Statement
The Hauptmann School of Public Affairs offers a citizen-centered, professional program of graduate study that is grounded in the liberal arts tradition.  As participants in HSPA's vibrant academic community, faculty and students consider, with the coursework, the larger issues of democracy, stewardship, and technology.  In so doing, HSPA seeks to prepare students for the courage and discernment to act for the common good in the global context.  Going beyond competence, students develop knowledge, skills, and values requisite for leadership and service in and across all sectors of society, including government, business, and nonprofit.  HSPA cultivates public affairs as a life-long passion that is fundamental to citizenship in a free society.

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.

Hauptmann School for Public Affairs Vision Statement
The Hauptmann School for Public Affairs will serve the common good by graduating leaders who exercise authority responsibly, make ethical decisions, act with moral courage, and advance human dignity world-wide.


PA 508 Research and Analysis


F2P 2010 GSD


Hartle, Jeffery A.


Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Affairs


M.S. Industrial Safety Management, University of Central Missouri
Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS)
Member, Institution of Fire Engineers (MIFireE)

Office Location

Virtual. We can schedule a meeting before or after class.

Office Hours

Virtual. Email answered within 48 hours under normal circumstances. Contact by phone between 09:00 and 21:00; leave a message with phone number.

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

October 18, 2010 - December 11, 2010

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM

Credit Hours

2-3 hours (variable credit based upon catalog)


The following texts are required.

Creswell, John W. 2009. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Approaches, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN 978-1-4129-6556-9 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-1-4129-6557-6 (Paperback).

Harris, Robert A. 2005. Using Sources Effectively: Strengthening Your Writing and Avoiding Plagiarism, 2nd Ed. Glendale, CA: Pyrczak. ISBN 1-884585-57-4 (Paperback).

Stebbins, Leslie F. 2006. Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: How to Locate and Evaluate Information Sources. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 1-59158-099-4 (Paperback).

In addition to these textbooks, we will use the internet to visit reputable websites related to our topics. Additionally, you will be required to read journal articles in .pdf format. You will be required to read all of these materials during the course.

If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer (required to read .pdf files), you can download a FREE copy at this site:

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.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
PA 508 Research and Analysis: This course explores the appropriateness of various analytic, research, and investigative techniques for specific purposes. Students critically examine the nature of information and its various forms of storage and access. Research designs are explored, focusing on qualitative methods, interviewing, and other designs are explored, focusing on qualitative methods, interviewing, and other techniques of community-based problem-solving research and applied research. Scholarly standards of query formulation, mechanisms of information retrieval and principles of information evaluation, in relation to both traditional and modern research resources, are emphasized.

Educational Philosophy:

Let me offer a few comments about this course. First, graduate coursework requires you, the student learner, to become an active participant in the learning process. I will not pour material into your until it is full, then request you to regurgitate the material back to me. Second, you will be responsible for what you learn. Each of you will learn something different this term, but all of you will accomplish the objectives of the course identified below.

All of us come to this course with different experiences and different perspectives. I will encourage each of you to share your experiences and perspectives with your fellow learners. Of course, we must all be respectful of each other. We will offer comments when appropriate, and listen (or read) carefully to avoid miscommunication. When necessary, we will attempt to clarify comments and concepts to ensure understanding.

This course will blend theory and practice, a key goal of the HauptmannSchool for Public Affairs. In addition, we will discover “the complex nature and ambiguity of most contemporary public problems” (Park University Graduate Catalog 2010-2011, 108), another key goal of HSPA. My job is to guide you as you explore these difficult issues, and lead you to resources that illustrate the concepts we are exploring. In return, you will pursue intellectual inquiry and develop a critical and analytical approach to understanding the concepts discussed in this course, and discover your unique perspective on these concepts.

Each week, we will review different aspects of qualitative research. Each week, we will practice our scholarly writing, seeking to minimize our errors and become more effective in communicating our ideas to others. Our discussions will help us explore the readings, the assignments will assist you in identifying key principles, and your regular participation will help all of us conclude this term as wiser and more knowledgeable practitioners of public affairs.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Differentiate between various qualitative research methods and summarize the characteristics of each method. and summarize the characteristics of each method.
  2. Compile and evaluate source material and justify the inclusion of appropriate source material in academic and applied research.
  3. Critique their own academic writing and integrate scholarly writing techniques into academic assignments.
  4. Formulate qualitative research questions suitable for applied inquiry into public affairs issues.
  5. Design and write a qualitative or mixed-methods research proposal intended to seek answers to community-based problems.

Core Assessment:

All Park University courses must include a core assessment that measures the course's Core 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 Comprehensive Final Examination to be administered in all sections of MG 365. This exam is worth at least 30 percent of the student's final grade and will test students' mastery of the Core Learning Outcomes (as listed on this syllabus) through definitions, essay, and/or multiple choice questions. 

This core assessment is a CLOSED BOOK, CLOSED NOTES comprehensive examination that must be administered and proctored in the classroom and may not be given as a take-home examination. Students should not have access to the exam or its questions before it is administered. The duration of the exam can be no longer than two hours. 

No computers, or materials other than a writing instrument and a calculator without text functions and communication may be used for the exam; this applies to all students, regardless of whether the exam is for on-line or face-to-face students. Completion of the exam is strictly individual; students may not work in groups to complete the exam.

Class Assessment:

There are four major assessment categories in this course. The total points possible during the term are 470 points for students enrolled for 2 hours credit; 575 points for students enrolled for 3 hours credit. These points are allocated as follows:

§         Final Project – A Research Proposal. 150 points = 32% of grade for students enrolled for 2 hours; 26% of grade for students enrolled for 3 hours. This project will be assigned during Week 1 and will be turned in at the end of the term.

§         Mid-Term Take Home Exam. 100 points = 21% of grade for students enrolled for 2 hours; 17% for students enrolled for 3 hours. This exam will be assigned during Week 4.

§         Essays/Article Reviews. Students enrolled for 2 hours credit: 100 points (4 assigned x 25 points each) = 21% of grade; Students enrolled for 3 hours credit: 125 points (5 assigned x 25 points each) = 22% of grade.

§         Weekly attendance/participation. Students enrolled for 2 hours credit: 120 points (8 weeks x 15 points/week) = 26% of grade; Students enrolled for 3 hours credit: 200 points (8 weeks X 25 points/week) = 35% grade.

Each of these major categories will be discussed in more detail in class. There will be no surprises or assignments at the last minute, so you can plan your term as much as possible. Grading rubrics indicating my specific expectations will be provided as each assignment is scheduled.


Grading Scale: The grading scale is:

          A = 90.0% - 100%

          B = 80.0% - 89.99%

          C = 70.0% - 79.99%

          D = 60.0% - 69.99%

          F = <60.0%

Grading Guidelines:

§         An ‘A’ signifies work that clearly exceeds expectations exemplified by the student who prepares for class discussions and consistently indicates having thought about the material. Written work falling into this category will demonstrate clarity of purpose, organization, and communication. It will also demonstrate original interpretation of course material.

§         A ‘B’ signifies work that meets expectations, meaning that all aspects of the assignment are completed, but it lacks some aspects ‘A’ work, particularly inconsistent preparation for class discussions or written work that demonstrates less significant insight in the material, frequent grammatical errors, or failure to follow citation requirements.

§         A ‘C’ denotes written work that minimally meets the intent of the assignment and is poorly constructed, supported, or inconsistent arguments, or works with multiple spelling and grammatical errors, or multiple failures to follow citation requirements.

§         A ‘D’ falls short of the intent of the assignment in multiple areas and signifies a student who regularly misses class discussions, is otherwise unprepared on multiple occasions, or whose written work fails to meet the minimum expectations of graduate students.

§         A ‘F’ indicates failure to meet minimum requirements, demonstration of consistently poor work, or demonstrated inability to improve performance, cheating, or plagiarism.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late work receives no credit, unless the student has made prior arrangements. Requests for extensions after the due date are not normally granted.

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 20


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 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 20

PLEASE NOTE: As your instructor, I refuse to grade plagiarized materials.

Attendance Policy:

Instructors 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 for two successive weeks, without approved excuse, will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Executive Director for the Graduate School, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 24

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: .

Essay-Article Review Grading Rubric


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Last Updated:10/17/2010 9:36:36 PM