CA517 Quantitative Methods of Communication Research

for F1P 2012

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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.


CA 517 Quantitative Methods ofCommunication Research


F1P 2012 DL


Dr. J. E. Aitken


Professor, Communication Arts, Park University


BA Communication Theory
MA Curriculum and Leadership; MA Speech
EdD Higher Education and Communication

Office Location

No, distance location (Eastern Standard Time)

Office Hours

By appointment.

Daytime Phone

Phone number is in eCollege contact information and at the bottom of non-eCollege emails.


FAX: 877-334-1737

Skype SMS or video name: aitkenje (Joan Aitken)

Web Page

Class Days


Class Time


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.

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
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 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:


The assignment submission final deadline is typically Sunday weeks 1-7 or Friday week 8, in a single file, which is eCollege compatible, electronic form in eCollege dropbox or discussion board. 

Late Work

1. Weekly assignments, in-class or participation assignments cannot be submitted late because they are in-class or weekly learning activities.

2. Excused time extensions require a physician's excuse or similar verification or arrangements made with your professor in advance of the due date.

3. If you fail to turn in a weekly assignment by the original deadline, even if excused, you should expect a zero.


The core assessment is due week 6. According to Park University policy, a student who fails to complete and pass the course core assessment or final exam has earned a failing grade in the course.


You will need to write an additional research paper on this topic: 

Effective communication through use of time in a monochronic culture. 

The original assignment and research paper are due one week from the original due date (Sunday of week 7). A core assessment will not be accepted after that final due date.

Due in week 7 dropbox:

Acceptable core assessment, which meets the grading rubric expectations. This assignment cannot revised for a higher grade.

3-5 page research paper with 5 references, which is about effective communication through time in a monochronic culture. 


By week 6 in an 8 week course, a student should know if he or she is having difficulty meeting course requirements. According to Park University policy, the student needs to be passing the course at this time. Telephone your professor by phone to work out a solution to the problem in advance of the due date (EMAIL NOT ACCEPTED).  Remember, you must receive instructor approval IN ADVANCE for an option to the core assessment due date. If you received course professor approval in advance of the core assessment due date and have a valid excuse, submit your excuse and a completed contract for incomplete in the dropbox by the due date.  In other words, to receive a time extension, complete the contract for incomplete form and upload it dropbox week 6.

Due in week 6 dropbox:

Completed contract for the incomplete.

Documentation for the excuse (e.g., deployment document, physician excuse, police report, copy of funeral program, court document, hospital discharge document).

Progress on core assessment so far (e.g., draft).


You can download the contract for an incomplete if you go here and right click on the document:  

The student needs to submit the Contract for Incomplete in the dropbox by week 6. The professor will be responsible for requesting approval from the department head. The professor does not enter the incomplete, but the University administration does, so it may take some time.   

If the student submits an acceptable excused, late core assessment and other assignments by Wednesday of week 8, a final course grade will be submitted instead of a grade of "incomplete."

Note, students are blocked from the eCollege course on the last day of the course, so the student is responsible for downloading any information, assignments, or materials needed to complete the course.

The student is responsible for meeting the Contract for Incomplete without additional faculty guidance and the student is responsible submitting all assignments at least one week prior to the due date indicated on the contract (so the professor has grading time). There are no professor or university reminders. If the student fails to comply with the contract, the University automatically converts the "I" grade to an "F."


Being late communicates negatively nonverbally. The research suggests that people who are late consider themselves more powerful and superior to the rest of the group. Consider these findings about people in the US who are late:

"In cultures that value promptness, one of the questions raised about time centers on the person who is constantly late. What does habitual tardiness reveal about the person?

"Chronic lateness, in a formal-time culture, may be deeply rooted in a person’s psyche. Compulsive tardiness is rewarding on some level. A key emotional conflict for the chronically late person involves his or her need to feel special. Such a person may not gain enough recognition in other ways; people must be special in some way, so the person is special by being late.

Other reasons include needs for punishment or power or as an expression of hostility. Tardiness can also be a sign that a person wants to avoid something or that the activity or person to be met is not important enough to warrant the effort to be on time. Procrastinators are often not valued in a linear time-focused culture" (cited in Berko, Wolvin, & Wolvin, 2009, p. 81).

Berko, R., Wolvin, A., & Wolvin, D. (2009). Communicating: A social, career and cultural focus. Boston: Pearson.

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:

Tentative Schedule

Required Reading

Additional Exploration Provided in eCollege

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.

Read Chandler, S., & Richardson, introduction and chapters 1-25.  Student led discussion.

Explore the course and participate in discussion.

Ker linger & Lee, Appendix A.

Photo credit

Discussion Board.

Week 2. Follow the Path!

Scientific Experiment

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

Read Heffner Chapter 1-5.

Read Chandler, S., & Richardson, introduction and chapters 26-50.  Student led discussion about chapters,  study design and IRB application.

Neuendorf ch. 1 (Content Analysis)

Nardi ch 1, 2, 3.

Kerlinger & 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.

n    Read Park University Website:


Heffner Chapter 6, 7, 8.

Student led discussion about study design and IRB application.

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.

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 If you haven’t read Heffner chapters 6-8, do so now. 

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 2012-2013 Graduate Catalog Page 21-22
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.  
EVERY ASSIGNMENT NEEDS TO BE ORIGINAL WORK PREPARED BY THE STUDENT ONLY FOR THIS COURSE.  See Park University policy, American Psychological Association Publication Manual guidelines, and the information below.
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.
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 turned in previously in another course.
6. Using part or all of an assignment written by another student or someone else.
7.  Coping cited text without using quotation marks for the real author's words.
8.  Using a “service” that provides student assignments.
9.  Using material taken from the Internet.
Academic dishonesty includes unethical behavior, such as falsification of data.
Some examples of unethical research or writing include the following:
1. Taking any material—even a sentence—directly from another source without using quotation marks.
2. Quoting more than 200 words from a single source, even when using quotation marks, a citation, and reference listing.
3.  Quoting an author's abstract or other published words in a review of literature.
Under Park University policy, academic dishonesty can result in a failing grade for the assignment, course, or expulsion. Previously in some communication courses, students have earned an "F" for assignments that appear to be plagiarized or an "F" in the course when a section of the major course assignment (core assessment) appears to be plagiarized. 
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.  Warning, plagiarism detection software may be used on student work.  Any student who duplicates content--as identified by Turnitin software--without direct quotation marks and proper citation should expect a course grade of "F."

The Style Manual for the Communication Studies is APA:
APA (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
READ, KNOW, and USE American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Requirements for this program:
Expectations of ethical behaviors pp. 11-20.
Compliance checklist p. 20.
Complying With Ethical, Legal, and Policy Requirements, p. 231-236.
Crediting Sources pp. 169-174.
Self-plagiarism, pp. 16, 29, 170.

The Communication Arts faculty agree that RESPECT is an over-riding expectation in our courses. Respect includes an appreciation for the other person. There should be respect for authority and for peers. This respect includes no name calling, no verbal attacks, no public criticism, no threats, no aggressive communication.

Be aware that to challenge ideas, including your perceptions of the course material, the professor may make challenging statements, ask challenging questions, or correct students who present information that goes against scientific knowledge based on communication research.

Contribute to a Supportive Learning Environment
Rhetorical sensitivity is the process of communicating with the context in mind, so that you are concerned about the other person's perspective. Any course in communication expects rhetorical sensitivity regarding topics such as gender, ethnicity, race, life-style, marriage and family, sexual orientation, disability status, religion, socio-economic class, education, minority group status, veteran status, and culture. Strive to create a positive learning community in all aspects of your learning at Park University.

Consider the importance of saving face (protecting another person's pride), which calls for you to suspend judgmental talk or actions about the other person's values, attitudes, and behaviors. You will want to focus on ideas and avoid prejudicial or stereotypical comments.

Posts and presentations must be G-rated (appropriate for a general audience).  
The people in this course pay to learn course material, not be shocked or manipulated by other students. That means no offensive content in words or visuals.  


Plagiarism is 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 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21

WARNING 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:

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 2012-2013 Graduate Catalog Page 26

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: .

Additional Information:
Graduate School 816-559-5629  Grad advising information:

If you have a question more technical in nature, please contact eCollege Helpdesk or Park University Helpdesk directly (not your professor). eCollege Helpdesk: email: . Or call 1-866-301-PARK (7275). Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have forgotten your Student ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email  or call  1-800-927-3024. The helpdesk hours are 8-5 CT Mon-Fri.

To find contact information about faculty and staff at Park, go to people@park:


  • Professor, Communication Arts, Park University.  Located in Orlando, Florida

  • Authored 7 textbooks, 6 instructor’s manuals (3 in second or later edition), Web development for 4 publishers, 50 book chapters, articles, and reports.

  • Edited National Communication Association's The Communication Teacher (3 years) and editorial board NCA's Communication Education (3 years).

  • Obtained $3.5 million in competitive grant funding, including $1.5 million as primary grant writer, others as collaborative team member.

  • Educated at Michigan State University, University of Missouri, University of Arkansas, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

  • Professor Emerita, Communication Studies, University of Missouri - Kansas City.

  • Worked internationally in Jamaica and People's Republic of China.


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

Last Updated:7/19/2012 10:09:51 AM