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PS 307 Statistics for Social Sci.
Payne, Kevin Joe


Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.

Course

PS 307 Statistics for Social Sci.

Semester

FA 2011 HO

Faculty

Payne, Kevin J.

Title

Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator of Sociology

Degrees/Certificates

Ph.D. -- University of Missouri-Columbia

Office Location

416F Mabee Learning Center ("The Underground")

Office Hours

T 12:00-1:00 & R 10:00-1:00 OBA

Daytime Phone

816-586-6556

E-Mail

kevin.payne@park.edu

Web Page

http://kjpayne.com

Semester Dates

Monday 15 AUG 2011 - Friday 09 DEC 2011

Class Days

--T-R--

Class Time

1:00 - 2:15 PM

Prerequisites

MA 131 and an introductory social science class (i.e., SO141, PS101, CJ100 or SW 205)

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:
Huff, D.  (1954/1993).  How to Lie with Statistics, 1993 Reissued Edition.  W. W. Norton & Co.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Web links and handouts, as appropriate.  These may be distributed via e-mail, the course shell, or my website.  I'll let you know on a case-by-case basis.

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 helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
PS 307 Statistics for Social Sciences: Statistical methods are a primary tool for all of the social and behavioral sciences. This course introduces a wide variety of common statistical techniques and their conceptual bases, including: basic descriptive and inferential statistics, analyses of association and variance, effect sizes, and others in their parametric and nonparametric forms. It provides a background in the relevant theories of probability, sampling, and measurement. And the student will learn how to become a more discerning consumer of statistical information as well as gaining practical experience calculating these statistics by hand and computer. Prerequisites: MA 135 and an introductory social science class (i.e., SO141, PS101, CJ100 or SW 205)

Educational Philosophy:
For the remainder of this term, this class is your job.  And my job is to help you succeed at your job.  Learning is work, but it can be the most enjoyable and rewarding of jobs if we let it.  Online learning requires a high degree of motivation and commitment, and we must all be involved for a successful class.  To succeed in this class, you should do what you would to succeed at any job: take your job seriously, work hard, enjoy your work, do your own work, come to work when you’re expected and on time, come to work prepared, ask questions when you are unsure of your job, be a good colleague by helping others to do their jobs well and acknowledging others’ contributions to your work, and demonstrate your mastery of the job through learning the necessary tools and using them consistently, well, and creatively.

And what is your job in this class?  At the most basic, it is to know and understand the facts, issues, perspectives, methods of inquiry, and applications we will study.  But it is also much more than that.  These are simply the “tools of the trade,” and you must then use them in your work.  Real learning is not rote memorization or parroting back the answer you think I will approve.  Real learning is an effortful and interactive process that keeps you engaged with the material, your student colleagues, outside sources, and me.  Real learning requires you to think rigorously, empirically, critically, and creatively.  It demands evidence of your work as you learn to communicate you mastery properly, clearly, directly, and actively to a variety of well-defined audiences.  It requires that you impart your own contributions by analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating, applying, and otherwise using it.  And it clearly demonstrates your effort and growth.  I will grade you on your evidenced contributions to our job.

I often employ the “Socratic Method” and play “Devil’s Advocate” in class discussions, taking contrary positions and pushing you to explore your positions with a variety of questions.  I will ask tough questions, and I expect the same from you.  I expect you to be able to defend your assertions with sound reason and appropriate evidence.  Social science is not opinion.  In fact, it is often about getting over what you thought you knew.  You should be prepared to evidence a positively critical stance toward yourself and positions to which you adhere, other students’ perspectives, the readings, and even toward me.  But critical thinking does not imply intractability or contrarianism.  If you agree with something, you should be able to explain why, and you should still be open to the limitations of any perspective.  If you disagree, you should also be able to explain why, and be prepared to offer and defend what you feel to be a better alternative.  Sociology classes often explore emotionally charged topics that generate a great deal of controversy.  It is good to remember that others have thought deeply and conscientiously on these matters and reached conclusions with which you will differ.  We can respectfully disagree with one another and refrain from personal attacks, but we can and should hold one another to the highest standards of reason and scientific evidence.

Each of us has different strengths and weaknesses, and any one method of assessment with advantage some and disadvantage others.  Therefore, I attempt to incorporate several different sources for grades in order to measure different forms of learning and aptitude (as per Gardner,1983 & 1993, for example).  Typically, this means that a class will include several grading opportunities selected from essays, projects, discussion, participation and quizzes or tests.

The social sciences are messy and full of contention and debate.  I will not attempt to “clean it up” for you.  Instead, I will encourage you to develop the tools necessary to arrive at and defend your own perspectives through the careful application of appropriate reasons and evidence.  We will cover a great deal of material in this course.  I will relate as much relevant “state of the field” information that I can.  But social and demographic facts tend to change over the years and new research is always changing our understanding of self and society.  Social scientists often do not agree and it is more honest to present the material as such.  It also forces you to wrestle with the material and develop your own positions.  And that, I think, is the most important objective of this course: to present you with good data, influential theories, and effective methods through which you can better understand yourself and the changing world around you.  The social sciences are useful, no matter what you do for a living.  You have the capacity to contribute meaningfully to the very personal and public issues we study, and one goal of this class is to give you the tools and confidence necessary to become better involved in these issues that affect us all.

See my General Rubric and Notes (2011Rubric.pdf) for additional details.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify poor statistical reasoning and evaluate the quality of statistical data and the conclusions drawn from it.
  2. Operationalize a theoretical question or practical concern as a testable hypothesis.
  3. Identify the principles of sampling and determine which is appropriate for a given research problem.
  4. Demonstrate the principles of measurement, including index and scale construction, and how those choices guide the application of specific statistical techniques.
  5. Identify and apply the logic and importance of effect size and statistical significance.
  6. Demonstrate an ability to reason from samples to populations, and recognize the limitations of statistical inference.
  7. Interpret and evaluate basic descriptive statistics and correlations.
  8. Apply common parametric and nonparametric statistical techniques.
  9. Demonstrate competency with the general linear model (GLM), including simple and multiple regression, dummy regression, and analysis of variance (ANOVA).
  10. Collect, analyze, and critically evaluate empirical data.
  11. Present research results to specific audiences.
Class Assessment:
Core Assessment:

Data Analysis Project: (max. 2500 words, plus tables and figures) Students will be provided with a data set and asked to respond to the following: “tell me everything interesting about these data.”   The essay must include the following components:

1.       A clear hypothesis (or set of related hypotheses) that is defensible and testable, given the available data. This includes identifying each variable, discussing how they are measured and constructed, and how the student hypothesizes their relations.

2.       Calculation and discussion of the descriptive statistics, and direct, part and partial correlations (when relevant), for the chosen variables.

3.       Application of more than one advanced statistical technique (regression or ANOVA variants), including a discussion of effect size and statistical significance), and a comparison of those results.

4.       Analysis of statistical significance for all relevant statistics. Discuss the prospects for generalization from these data.

5.       Critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the data and their chosen analyses.

6.       Discussion of the practical implications of their findings for real people and policies. Explain how these data might be used, and by whom.

7.       Suggestions for future data collection and analysis that could advance our understanding of their research question beyond what is available through the current data.

In this assignment, the student will be asked to identify patterns in the data, demonstrate competency with appropriate hand and computer-aided calculations, defend their analytical choices, and translate what these numbers mean in plain language. All reasoning and conclusions must be explained and supported through references to specific statistical procedures and results. You will be judged on the quality, clarity, and completeness of your choices, analyses, and presentation.


Class Assessment:
See detailed instructions and rubrics for all PS/SO307 assignments.  They will be distributed via email.

Core Assessment (200 points = 20%)
The CA is a small data analysis project and your take home final examination.

Regular Assignments (510 points total = 51%): unit problem sets and short answer conceptional and application questions.
Unit 1 Assignment (85 points = 8.5%)
Unit 2 Assignment
(85 points = 8.5%)
Unit 3 Assignment (85 points = 8.5%)
Unit 4 Assignment (85 points = 8.5%)
Unit 5 Assignment (85 points = 8.5%)
Unit 6 Assignment (85 points = 8.5%)

Discussion and Participation (290 points = 29%)
Attend class and participate in discussions each class session, on time and according to instructions.

Grading:
Total Points Possible = 1000

A >= 900
B = 800-899
C = 700-799
D = 600-699
F <= 599

See attached file (2011Rubric.pdf) and the assignment instructions for additional details.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late work is not accepted under any circumstances.  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).

See my General Rubric and Notes (2011Rubric.pdf) for additional details.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
The class is a professional environment and should be a safe place for everyone to explore the legitimate range of possible interpretations applicable to the relevant data.  Your contributions should be respectful and substantive.  Disagreements should center on the ideas, and not the individuals.  Violations of basic decorum will not be tolerated and will result in appropriate disciplinary actions.

See my General Rubric and Notes (2011Rubric.pdf) for additional details.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Schedule and due dates will be announced in class (another reason attendance is important).

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93
See the Park University 2011-2 Undergraduate Catalog for more details on the official university policy, and see my General Rubric and Notes (2011Rubric.pdf) for additional detail about my own stance.

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93
See the Park University 2011-2 Undergraduate Catalog for more details on the official university policy, and see my General Rubric and Notes (2011Rubric.pdf) for additional detail about my own stance.

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, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. 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".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96
See my General Rubric and Notes (2011Rubric.pdf) for additional details.

The attendance policy is a minimal standard and does not constitute adequate participation.  You must be involved in your education to actually learn.  Your participation grade will include both attendance and involvement in the classroom.

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 .

Additional Information:
See my General Rubric and Notes (2011Rubric.pdf) for additional details.


Attachments:
General Rubric and Notes

Copyright:

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

Last Updated:8/15/2011 9:26:40 AM