CA517 Quantitative Methods of Communication Research

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.

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 ofCommunication Research


F2P 2010 MC


Dr. J. E. Aitken


Professor, Communication Arts


Doctorate in Administration & Communication and Masters in Speech (Univ. Arkansas).  Masters in Curriculum & Leadership (UMKC).  Bachelors in Communication Theory. (Michigan State).

Office Location

229 Copley, Parkville Campus

Office Hours

CO 311 5-5:30 PM Wed., after class, and by appointment.

Daytime Phone

Contact information is in the Doc Sharing in for CA 517


joan.aitken@park.ed  Please use your address so your email isn't blocked.

Web Page

Semester Dates

F2P 2010

Class Days


Credit Hours





APA (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Heffner’s Online Research Textbook: Heffner, (2003). Research methods. All Psych Online. Click here.

Heffner’s Online Statistics Textbook is here


If you want a hardcopy textbook, you can buy any good text in the social sciences. 

Various other textbooks have provided information for lectures. You are welcome to borrow from the library or buy and read any of those sources that seem appropriate for your research plan.

STATISTICS BOOKS AND STATISTICS CALCULATORS Few areas of study have such high quality, free, Internet instruction as research and statistics. Here is the book you will read in this course. The following is quoted directly from Social Psychology Network, maintained by Wesleyan University

Online Statistics Textbooks:

Online Statistical Calculations:

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. Please read or reread these this book 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

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 your thesis, project, or reflection research.  Theoretical and pragmatic approaches are combined.  The emphasis is on preparing an MA thesis or project proposal of a scientific experiment 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.  This course’s content and discussion is about science not opinion. Read and do the activities BEFORE posting to the discussion board (or discussing in class).

Class Assessment:



See course handout(s) inside eCollege or eCompanion for details and updates.
COURSE PRIORITY:  1. Core Assessment is a research proposal (prospectus) for your real Master's Degree thesis or project proposal in Communication and Leadership. = 40% (e.g., 40 points).  Weekly progress must be submitted on time for any credit.
A student can only have one thesis or project proposal in this program.  A fictitious research proposal is unacceptable.

If you are beginning the program, you’ll start from scratch and try to figure out that proposal in this course. 

  • Everyone is required to submit your paper or proposal in the dropbox week one from any of these courses you have taken:  CA500, CA516, CA700, and CA799 the first week of the course. 
    If you have a proposal from CA 516 you think you want to use, submit that proposal week 1 as your starting point course.
    If you have enrolled in at least one thesis or project hour(s), submit that proposal week 1 as your starting point for this course. 

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 cannot be made up.

The core assessment is due week 6.



All assignments are due as hardcopy or an electronic file in eCollege at the beginning of the class meeting of the due date. For online students, they are due by Sunday midnight weeks 1-7 or Friday midnight 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. If your core assessment is late, submit an additional research paper on using time for effective communication.  Final chance for submission is Wednesday, week 8. The additional assignment should be of good 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.
To make sure there is a positive course environment with correct information for students:  Expect your professor to remove discussion postings that are in the wrong thread, provide incorrect information, seem hostile toward others, are off topic, or are excessively long.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:



Reading Due

Assignments Due--Major Assignments Highlighted in Yellow

Online students, please see the "Assignments" link at the lower left of the eCollege screen.

Week 1. Examine the Map!

Intro & Library Research

 Heffner chapter 10.

Photo credit

  1. Your paper or proposal from any of these courses you have taken is due in the dropbox:  CA500, CA516, CA700, and CA799.
  2. Begin assignments due week two.
  3. Participate in learning activities (e.g., discussion board, chat).
  4. Decide on a research topic for a proposal for a scientific research study you can use or are already using for your thesis or project topic. Find 20 quantitative, communication, peer- reviewed articles related to the topic, which you may want to analyze for the course. Use Communication and Mass Media Complete (EBSCO), here.

Week 2. Follow the Path!

Scientific Experiment

Read APA ch. 1 in detail, then use it for the course.

Heffner Chapter 1-5.

IMPORTANT: See eCollege "Assignments" link at lower left of the screen. There are two types of assignments due each week:

1. PROPOSAL V 1 DUE IN eCollege dropbox or in person for Core Project (Research Proposal).

2. Read the in learning activities and complete several, then discuss what you did in the discussion board. Remember, this course is about science, not opinion.

Week 3. Get Your Feet Wet!

Sampling & Probability.

Writing APA Style

Read APA ch 1, with emphasis on pp. 10-20.

Heffner Chapter 6, 7, 8.

1. PROPOSAL V 2 DUE IN eCollege dropbox or in person for Core Project (Research Proposal).

2. Read the in learning activities and complete several, then discuss what you did in the discussion board. Remember, this course is about science, not opinion.

Week 4. Watch Your Step!

Review of Literature for the Research Proposal

Read APA ch 2-5

1. PROPOSAL V 3 DUE IN eCollege dropbox or in person for Core Project (Research Proposal).

2. Read the in learning activities and complete several, then discuss what you did in the discussion board. Remember, this course is about science, not opinion.

 Week 5. Just Hard Work!


Heffner chapter 9 & 10

1. PROPOSAL V 4 DUE IN eCollege dropbox or in person for Core Project (Research Proposal).

2. Read the in learning activities and complete several, then discuss what you did in the discussion board. Remember, this course is about science, not opinion.

Week 6. Stretch Yourself!

Research Proposal

Double check APA before submitting your proposal.

1. PROPOSAL V 5 (FINAL) DUE IN eCollege dropbox or in person for Core Project (Research Proposal).

Week 7. The Summit!

Measurement, Observation, and Data Collection

1. PROPOSAL DEFENSE DUE IN discussion board thread.


Week 8. Heading Home

Please submit all revisions by Wed. Final exam due Friday.

Proposal Oral Defense

1.     PROPOSAL REVISION DUE WED or onground class day. Final submission opportunity.

2.     FINAL EXAM DUE FRIDAY or onground class day. 

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
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 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 20


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:

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: .


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

Last Updated:10/20/2010 12:51:10 PM