SO 308 Prin of Social Research
F1B 2010 BL
Ph D, Anthropology, Rhodes UniversityMA, Anthropology, San Diego State UniversityBA, Anthropology, San Diego State University
Contact me by email or phone if you have additional concerns/ questions outside the classroom or we may discuss before or after class
Must dial (1915) 988-2550 (Call any day from 9am-9pm)
August 9 to October 3, 2010
7:40 - 10:10 PM
Introductory social science class (i.e., SO141, PS101, CJ100, or SW205) and SO307 (Statistics). MA120 allowed for students under 2006 and previous catalogs.
Babbie, E.R. (2010). The Practice of Social Research (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning-Wadsworth, ISBN-10: 0495598410. (Bundled by MBS with the SAGrader Methods Course Pack from IdeaWorks.)
Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore
Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore
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Educational Philosophy: My educational philosophy is that students are an integral part of the learning partnership between teacher, student, and the information they are to learn. Student grow to understand the place of research and statistics in sociology during active learning through classroom discussions, lectures, readings, assignments, group work, hands-on use of research techniques, and writing. Each student will be required to analyze, criticize, and synthesize presented information. Each student will be required to demonstrate these skills through the written word. I will engage your learning in the course through interactions and feedback within each component. Feel free to ask questions as you have them.
Instructor Learning Outcomes
See detailed instructions and rubrics for all assignments at http://parkonline.org.
Research Proposal (Core Assessment)
The Core Assessment for this class requires you to write a detailed proposal for research you could conduct. You will not actually do this research (though it might form the basis for a senior research project or some research relevant to your job), but your proposal should be a “blueprint” detailed enough that you could hand to others and guide them through its successful completion. The research proposal will consist of four sections:
1. Problem Statement: (max. 1500 words) an overview of the topic your research will investigate. It introduces and justifies your research question, key variables, their hypothesized relations, and your guiding theoretical perspective. It explains how your planned research is unambiguous in its goals and methods, concerned with a significant issue that will add to the store of human knowledge, theoretically justifiable and testable, practical and feasible to implement, ethical and respectful of human rights, and builds on existing knowledge in the field.
2. Literature Review: (max. 1500 words) a critical summary of existing research your project will build upon. Your review will evaluate at least five other relevant research projects from original sources in reputable, peer-reviewed journals. The lit review discusses previous research, as it influences the proposed project. It evaluates the methodological, theoretical, or substantive strengths or weaknesses of those studies and explains how they shape your research plans.
3. Ethics & Conduct of Research: (max. 1500 words) summarizes potential ethical dilemmas, political consequences, and practical challenges associated with designing, conducting, implementing, and disseminating your research. It explains where your research process might go wrong and the safeguards you will put into place to minimize those risks.
4. Design & Procedures: (max. 2000 words) describes and justifies your plans for measurement, sampling, design, analysis, and interpretation of results. It explains which data you would collect, when you would collect it, and what you would do with it to make sense of your topic and shed new light on your research question - and how and why. This section is a set of “how to” instructions for actually turning your “good idea” into a real plan for scientifically answering your original question.
Your research proposal is a carefully constructed argument for why your question should be answered and how a valid and reliable answer might be obtained. It should be a meticulous set of instructions for generating an answer according to the rules of scientific method, and it should make the case to interested parties for how such an answer can be achieved.
Link to Class Rubric
Data Analysis Project:
Each class member will participate in five common types of data collection and contribute to the final data set. You will use the final data set as the basis for your final exam data report.
1. Unobtrusive Research/Identifying your Research Topic: This is a brief (400 to 500 word) overview of your research topic. This assignment introduces your research question, justifies why your proposed research question is necessary, clearly identifies key variables, and their hypothesized relationship. Your research question must be a sociological topic. You will need a minimum of two academic references cited from the internet to support your statements: at least one reference will need to be data collected and reported on your research topic. You will analyze and evaluate the data; and then write about and elaborate in detail your observations and conclusions of the data.
2. Experiment: Participate in the experiment, administer that experiment to three other participants, and record and submit those data to your instructor in the format provided. Write up a brief (400 to 500 word) reflection on your findings and the experience of both taking and administering the experiment.
3. Survey: Participate in the survey, administer that survey to nine other participants, and record and submit those data to your instructor in the format provided. Write up a brief (400 to 500 word) reflection on your findings and the experience of both taking and administering the survey.
4. Interview: Administer the interview schedule to one person. Your interview will take about 30 minutes to one hour. Write up and submit your detailed interview notes in the format provided. Then write up a brief (400 to 500 word) reflection on your findings and the experience of conducting your interview.
5. Field Observation: Select two different public locations where members of at least two groups interact with one another. Each observation will last a minimum of 30 minutes and you will take copious notes. Write up and submit your detailed field notes in the format provided. Then write up a brief (400 to 500 word) reflection on your findings and the experience of conducting your field observations.
An extra credit Discussion Thread will be available each week through eCompanion. It is highly recommended that you participate each and every week.
There will also be a two point extra credit pre-assignment Discussion Thread on Ethics in Research during Week 1. It is required that you participate in this Discussion Thread.
Total Points Possible = 100
NOTE: Assignments and Core Assessment paper (Research Proposal) must be submitted through the “Dropbox” in eCompanion.
Late Submission of Course Materials: Late work is accepted with prior approval. You should begin work on your assignments early enough to cope with those unforeseen circumstances that inevitably arise. I may make accommodations for extreme circumstances, but you must discuss these with me as early as possible (beforehand, if possible, or immediately after the fact, in unforeseen circumstances).
Classroom Rules of Conduct: Please, no cell phone usage in class unless required for on-duty military personnel. Your contributions should be respectful and substantive. Disagreements should center on ideas and not individuals. Violations of basic classroom decorum will not be tolerated and will result in appropriate disciplinary actions.
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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92
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. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96
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 .
Last Updated:8/5/2010 10:29:33 AM