CA517 Quantitative Methods of Communication Research

for F1P 2010

Printer Friendly

Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.


CA 517 Quantitative Methods of Communication Research


F1P 2010 DL


Dr. Aitken




Doctorate in administration and communication
Two MA degrees:  General Speech and Curriculum & Leadership
BA Communication theory

Office Location

229 Copley, Parkville campus, MO

Office Hours

By appointment

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours




APA (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Heffner, (2003). Research methods. All Psych Online.


Sumser, J. (2001). A guide to empirical research in communication: Rules for looking. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Other Professors may require other books, such as Ker linger, F. N., & Lee, H. B. (2000). Foundations of behavioral research. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. You don't need to buy Strunk and White because it is available totally online. These book will provide needed information about writing the proposal and using correct formatting and style. You may have already read both Please read or reread these two books during week/unit one.

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
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
CA 517 Quantitative Methods of Communication Research: A study of the basic principles used to construct quantitative designs, test hypotheses, and apply methods of behavioral science to communication.

Educational Philosophy:
This course is designed to help prepare you for reading, analyzing, an conducting advanced research.  Theoretical and pragmatic approaches are combined.  The emphasis is on preparing an MA thesis or project proposal of a scientific experiment or quantitative research in communication.  Assignments are designed to provide a challenge and engagement in the learning process.  A major assignment is due each week to ensure progress on the core assessment (MA thesis or project proposal).  Learning activities are designed to help students learn course information in a way that engages students.

Class Assessment:

EXAMPLE ASSIGNMENT WEIGHT (see gradebook for your particular section) 

  1. Core Assessment is a research experiment proposal (prospectus) appropriate for a Master's Degree thesis or project in Communication and Leadership. = 40% (e.g., 40 points).  Weekly progress must be submitted on time.

2. Minor Assignments
= 42%
Class discussion and learning activities. 

3. Final Exam
= 18%
Make sure you are clear about your individual professor's expectations.  If you have questions, please ask.  

Example Scale: 
90-100 A. 
80-89.99 B.
100 points equals 100%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Submit each assignment by the deadline in order to receive a grade.  In class learning activities/discussion threads cannot be made up. Weekly assignments are not accepted late.

The core assessment is due week 6.



All assignments are due Sunday midnight Parkville, MO time weeks 1-7 or Friday week 8 in electronic form in eCollege.



Different courses and levels may have different requirements.

1. Excused time extensions require a physician's excuse or similar verification.

2. If you fail to turn in a weekly assignment by the original deadline, even if excused, you should expect a zero. You cannot revise the assignment to raise your grade. In-class participation, in-class assignments, or collaboration assignments cannot be made up outside of class. Because of the unique performance nature of many communication course, students need to be prepared to make presentations when scheduled.
3. For major assignments, if you are late, submit an additional research paper on using time for effective communication. Both assignments are due within one week of the original due date, typically doubling the work. No extra credit points for this assignment. The additional assignment should be of comparable quality and substance. In addition to the required research paper, the original assignment is typically docked 10-50% (e.g., 10% if less than one week late, 20% if less than two weeks late).


See additional information here:

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Alternative viewpoints are welcome and encouraged in the framework of respect.

Here are expectations from the Course Developer:   Your professor may have additional or different expectations.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:


Tentative Schedule

Required Reading

Additional Exploration

Assignments Due

Week 1. Examine the Map!

Intro & Library Research

Read Heffner chapter 10.

Read in detail APA ch. 1, 2, 6. Read and KNOW these ethics sections:

Discussion of ethical behaviors pp. 11-20 and compliance checklist p. 20.

8.04 Complying With Ethical, legal, and Policy Requirements, p. 231-236.

Crediting Sources pp. 169-174.

Explore the course and participate in discussion.

Ker linger & Lee, Appendix A.

Discussion Board.

Week 2. Follow the Path!

Scientific Experiment

Read and Discuss Professor's Information in Syllabus and here:

Read Heffner Chapter 1-5. 
Student led discussion about study design and IRB application.

Neuendorf ch. 1 (Content Analysis)

Nardi ch 1, 2, 3.

Ker linger & Lee, chapters 1-6, 22, 25.

Sumser ch 1-3, 5, 7.


Discussion Board.

Week 3. Get Your Feet Wet!

Sampling & Probability.

Writing APA Style

Read APA ch. 1, 2, 6 again, with full comprehension.

Read Park University Website:



Student led discussion about chapters,  study design and IRB application.

Heffner Chapter 6, 7, 8.

Ker linger & Lee, chapters 4, 7, 8, 9, 26.

Nardi ch 5 & 6.


Discussion Board.

Week 4. Watch Your Step!

Review of Literature for the Research Proposal

Read Heffner chapter 9.

Read APA ch 3, 4, 7.

KNOW APA sections (if you didn't learn it week one):

n     Discussion of ethical behaviors pp. 11-20 and compliance checklist p. 20.

n     8.04 Complying With Ethical, legal, and Policy Requirements, p. 231-236.

n     Crediting Sources pp. 169-174.

Student led discussion about study design and IRB.

Review Sumser, chapter 5.

Ker linger & Lee, chapters 17, 18.

Week 4 Proposal Step--RESEARCH DESIGN DUE

Discussion Board.

 Week 5. Just Hard Work!


Read Park information

Read Heffner chapter 5, click here and Heffner chapters 6-8. 

Student led discussion about collecting data.

Sumser, ch 6 & 8.

Nardi ch 4, 7, & 8.

Ker linger & Lee, chapters 11, 12.


Discussion Board.

Week 6. Stretch Yourself!

Research Proposal

Double check APA and ch 5 before submitting your proposal.

In class--complete NIH Certification:

Ker linger & Lee, chapters 19, 20, 21.


Discussion Board.

Week 7. The Summit!

Measurement, Observation, and Data Collection

Read Park IRB webpage with forms:

Student led discussion about completed study.

Nardi ch 9 & 10.

Ker linger & Lee, chapters 29, 30, 31.

Week 7 Proposal Step--Complete Protecting Human Research Participants (PHRP) tutorial and submit certification.

Discussion Board.

Week 8. Heading Home

Student led discussion about study results.

Week 8 Proposal Step--ORAL DEFENSE

Discussion Board.

Final exam.

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 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog Page 31
Please follow the APA citation and reference style.


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 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog Page 31-32


What is ethical student behavior?

US society values private ownership, including ownership of ideas. Cite and reference all sources of information and ideas according to APA style.  Academic integrity is crucial to this course. You will see basic expectations in your Park University catalog and in your APA manual.

USE YOUR OWN WORDS in everything you write or present in this course.

USE PRIMARY SOURCES and cite everything you paraphrase.


BE RESPONSIBLE.  When conducting research and preparing assignments, take precise, correct, and careful notes.  Use your own words by paraphrasing, but remember to record a reference listing of the source you will use.  Any notes where you copy the words of others need to be indicated by quotation marks and referenced so you remember the source.  If you are unsure, go back and look it up.

What is unethical student behavior?

Plagiarism in this course is failure to use APA style by crediting the source of ideas or information.

Some examples of plagiarism include the following:
1. Using words from a journal article without using quotation marks.
2. Using a review of literature information from a journal article without indicating that you are citing the secondary source.  You should look it up in the original source--primary source--if you plan to use the information.
3. Failing to use quotation marks when providing a direct quotation.
4. Failing to cite and reference the source of paraphrased ideas.
5. Using part or all of an assignment written by the student, but turned in previously in another course.
6. Using part or all of an assignment written by another student or someone else.
7.  Copying information with citations without using quotation marks for the real author's words and citing the information as a secondary source.
8.  Citing the source of information, but failing to use quotation marks to indicate the words were written by that source.

Academic dishonesty includes unethical behavior, such as falsification of data. Some examples of unethical research or writing include the following:

1.  Quoting more than 200 words from a single source, even when using quotation marks, a citation, and reference listing.

2.  Quoting an author's abstract.

3.  Turning in part of an assignment you submitted for another course.

Under Park University policy, inappropriate citation or academic dishonesty as described above can result in a failing grade for the assignment or for the entire course. Previously in some communication courses, students have earned an "F" for an individual assignment that used words written by someone else without using correct APA citation.  Students have earned an "F" in the course when a major course assignment (core assessment assignment) used some words written by someone else without using correct APA citation.

Faculty may use plagiarism detection software to determine whether the content can be found through the Internet, published sources, or in an assignment submitted by another student at another university.

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences 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 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog Page 35

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: .


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

Last Updated:6/7/2010 6:46:47 PM