CA382 Communication Research Methods

for F1T 2012

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CA 382 Communication Research Methods


F1T 2012 DL


Hollis, Michael J.


Adjunct Faculty



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Wed, Fri, Sun 3-6pm and individually as needed

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Credit Hours


Heffner (2003). Research Methods (accessible online through the course site).
APA (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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Course Description:
CA382 Communication Research Methods - This course focuses on the most frequently used communicationresearch methods in the areas of journalism, communication studies, and public relations. Students will be introduced to the qualitative and quantitative communication ressearch methods including content analysis, participant observation, interviewing, textual analysis and experimental research.It will emphasize understanding communication research reports and developing research and writing skills appropriate for both communication professionals and students seeking advanced degrees. The coursemay utilize service learning. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
My educational philosophy is one of inclusion and interactiveness based upon the readings, discussions, and lecture materials. I am here to serve as a guide and mentor through your educational journey.

Class Assessment:
Your primary assessment in the course is the development of a research proposal. You will be graded on weekly submissions and discussion boards with a final multiple choice proctored exam.

Discussions (50 points each) 350 points
Weekly Papers (50 points each) 350 points
Final Research Proposal (250 points)
Proctored Final Exam (100 points)

Total: 1050 Points

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Due to the comprehensive nature of the course and the need for collaboration amongst peers, there will be minimum of 10 percent off for any late work. No late work will be accepted more than three days after the due date except in extreme circumstances. No discussion boards will be accepted late because if one student is late it will in turn make the others late.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
n an online class the primary thing that I expect is civility. This is a learning environment. All ideas are welcome and we need to be open and respectful to each others ideas. Secondly, I also expect each student to approach their discussion posts in an academic manner. I am looking for far more than Facebook style, likes and dislikes. Each post needs to add something substantial to the conversation.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Communication Research Methods

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of academic research methods in the Communications field. We will be learning about the scholarly research and writing process and producing a proposal for a hypothetical research project in the students’ area of interest.


Week 1 (Science Theory)

Read: APA Style Manual (emphasis on Chapters 1 and 2)

Assignments: Discussion and Dropbox (Previous Paper)

For this first week of the course we will be discussing the basic principals of scientific research, scientific theory and how it relates to academic writing. We will also begin our study of APA style.

Week 2 (Scholarly Research Databases)

Read: Heffner Chapters 1, 2, and 10 and links in the course site

Assignments: Discussion and Dropbox (Abstract Draft)

As we continue our study in research methods we will learn how to find articles in scholarly databases. We will also learn how to judge the quality of peer-reviewed and other academic sources.

Week3 (Research Questions)

Read: Heffner Chapter 3

Assignments: Discussion and Dropbox (Introduction Draft)

For this week we will focus on one of the fundamental aspects of academic research: How to design and select research questions.

Week 4 (APA Style of Literature Review)

Read: Link in class site.

Assignments: Discussion and Dropbox (Review of Literature Draft)

As we pass the midterm of the course we will discuss the literature review. Having had time to learn about the quality of academic literature we will now put it together into the literature review chapter of your selected research proposal topic.

Week 5 (Research Methods)

Read: Heffner, Chapters 4, 5, and 6.

Assignments: Discussion and Dropbox (Method Draft)

For week five we will get more into the discussion of how to pick and design the proper research method for your proposed study. We will discuss both quantitative and qualitative designs.

Week 6 (Research Proposal)

Read: (none this week)

Assignments: Dropbox (Final Proposal)

This week we will wrap up our first draft of the proposed research design. Your proposal is due this week and you will have time to go over the feedback before the end of the course.

Week 7 (Statistics)

Read: Hoffner, Chapters 7, 8, and 9

Assignments: (none this week)

For week seven we will go into more depth in regards to quantitative research methods. We will discuss the wide range of statistical tests used in academic research.

Week 8 (Ready for the next step)

Read: (none this week)

Assignments: Final Exam

For the final week we will wrap up the course and put everything together into a refined project proposal. We will also take the final exam for the course this week.

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 ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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 95

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.
ONLINE NOTE: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course related question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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Last Updated:8/20/2012 2:16:56 AM