Christina, I think I have everything here complete, although I am finishing the materials on this page: http://JoanAitken.org/CA382/ExampleStudy.htm  Let me know if you have any questions.  Thanks so much for your help!!!

Joan

 

CA 382 Communication Research

Weekly Unit Content

Lecture

Example http://JoanAitken.org/CA382/ExampleStudy.htm

Video

Discussion

Self Check Quiz

HERE IS A SELF CHECK QUIZ OR MORE FOR EACH WEEK

Week 1

APA Style Quiz http://www.niu.edu/writingtutorial/style/quizzes/APA.htm

APA Quiz 2 http://dnn.epcc.edu/student/tutorial/writingcenter/Handouts/criticalanalysisresearchpaper/researchpaper/Quizzes/APAquiz.htm

 

Week 2

Chapter 1
Scientific Understanding of Behavior http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch1.html

http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch10.html

Chapter 2
Where to Start http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch2.html
Chapter 3
Ethical Research
http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch3.html

 Chapter 4
Studying Behavior
http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch4.html

Week 3

Chapter 5
Measurement Concepts
http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch5.html

Chapter 6
Observing Behavior
http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch6.html

Week 4

Chapter 7
Asking People About Themselves: Survey Research
http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch7.html

Chapter 8
Experimental Design: Purposes and Pitfalls
http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch8.html

Week 5

Chapter 9
Conducting Experiments
http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch9.html

Week 7

Chapter 10
Complex Experimental Designs http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch10.html

Chapter 11
Quasi-Experimental, Single Subject, and Developmental Research Designs
http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch11.html

Chapter 12
Understanding Research Results: Description and Correlation
http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch12.html

Chapter 13
Understanding Research Results: Statistical Inference
http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch13.html

Chapter 14
Generalizing Results
http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch14.html

OVERVIEW Mountain climber

WELCOME TO THIS COURSE! Climbing a mountain


We're glad you're here! This course should be practical, fun, and an opportunity to study something specific, which you REALLY WANT TO STUDY! 

You will gain knowledge, skills, and values about communication research. The course is designed to help you understand research and theory building in the field of communication studies. this course will be the first step in completing the senior project for Communication majors.

The plan is for this course to provide a foundation for your more advanced learning in the theories and research of communication studies. We're glad you're here!

COURSE DESCRIPTION
CA382: This course focuses on the most frequently used communication research methods in the areas of journalism, communication studies, and public relations. Students will be introduced to the qualitative and quantitative communication research 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 course may utilize service learning.

3:0:3.
Prerequisite: None
Credit hours: 3

COURSE CONTENT SOURCE CREDITS
Text of lectures, overviews, tests, and similar materials are directly quoted from the sources below or as cited and referenced.

REFERENCES

 

Ker linger, F. N., & Lee, H. B. (2000). Foundations of behavioral research. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 

 

Nardi, P. M. (2003). Doing survey research: A guide to quantitative research. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

 

Neuendorf, K. A. (2002). The content analysis guidebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.  You may want to buy this book if you plan to conduct a content analysis. 

 

Sumser, J. (2001). A guide to empirical research in communication: Rules for looking. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Quiz Content taken from Methods in Behavioral Research Resources for Research in Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences http://methods.fullerton.edu/

Some APA test questions are quoted directly from The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries APA Tutorial (URL: http://lib.usm.edu/legacy/tutorials/apatutorial/quiz.php?type=pre)

Clipart is from Microsoft or the sources as indicated. This material is copyrighted. All rights reserved.
Copyright © Park University 2011.   The material presented in this course is owned by Park University. Unless it is specifically cited in this document or in the Text and Resources pages, the course content is owned by Park University. Some course content such as test questions, PowerPoint presentations, and chapter outlines may be owned by the textbook publisher and are used in the course with permission. If the content is used from other sources under the Fair Use Clause of the Copyright Act or instructor content, the source of the work is cited. You may not duplicate or use any of the course content outside of this course.

EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY Camping tent

This course is designed for Communication majors and minors.  All students from any majors are welcome, and they are encouraged to talk to their professor about how they would like to adapt this course to their particular needs.

 

The emphasis in this course is on research strategies that will work well for online students.  Additional information is provided so that students in Parkville Daytime and Accelerated programs will be able to access the materials they need for their senior projects.

The assignments are designed to give you the skills you need to create a research proposal.  Your proposal is typically  used for the senior project.  If you are not going to complete a senior project, you will find the process of writing a proposal useful in corporate context, graduate school, and grant-writing.

 

 LEARNING OUTCOMES
Canteen

LEARNING OBJECTIVES BY WEEK

 

 

WEEK 1

a.   Demonstrate your progress, if any, toward your senior project prior to this course.

b.   Select an appropriate communication topic for the project.  

c.   Demonstrate current research and writing skills.

d.   Identify characteristics of Science and Theory.

e.   Find Peer Reviewed Journal Articles (Scholarly Sources) in Ebscohost's Communication and Mass Media Complete

 

WEEK 2

a.   Focus your work for the course (core assessment and senior project idea).

b.   Determine the direction of your core assessment project so you will design an appropriate and do-able core assessment research proposal, which can lead to the senior project.

c.   Write an appropriate research question for your research proposal.

d.   Write an abstract

e.   Conduct scholarly database research.

f.     Write an APA style reference list

 

WEEK 3

a.   Write a research question that meets typical scholarly expectations.

b.   Explain the research rationale for a project.

c.   Write an operational definition.

 

WEEK 4

a.   Practice using APA writing style

b.   Write a scholarly review of literature on a communication topic.

c.   Identify the basic principles of using content analysis as a research method.

 

WEEK 5

a.   Identify multiple research methods.

b.   Write a research method section for a project.

 

WEEK 6

a.   Write a complete research proposal using APA style.

 

WEEK 7

a.   Identify a procedure for using statistics in research.

 

 

WEEK 8

a.   Recognize basic research principles.

b.   Identify key ideas learned in the course.

 

 

 

CA 382 COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES

  1. Evaluate the ethical issues involved in a research proposal.
  2. Compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative research questions, methods, and reports.
  3. Develop a research proposal appropriate to their major.
  4. Collect, analyze, and interpret data using multiple methods.
  5. Write effective research questions/hypotheses.
  6. Select the method best suited to research methods/goals.
  7. Write an effective research report in formats appropriate to their major.
  8. Evaluate communication research in terms of validity and reliability.
  9. Apply appropriate statistical tests to specific communication research questions.
  10. Evaluate how service learning has affected their understanding of communication, communication research, and their community.
  11. Effectively uses APA style.
  12. Demonstrates library research ability.


PROGRAM GOALS
Program Goals Addressed In This Course

  1. The graduate recognizes excellence in professional activities and demonstrates the ability to create high level professional work. The graduate demonstrates professional dispositions in all activities.
  2. Not key in this course.
  3. The graduate engages in critical and strategic thinking in personal and professional decision making.
  4. The graduate applies ethical principles in resolving professional questions always recognizing the connection between professional communicators and their communities. The graduate’s personal and professional ethics are in harmony. The graduate expresses the desire to utilize her profession for the good of her community.
  5. Not key in this course.
  6. Not key in this course.
  7. The graduate demonstrates awareness of the modern symbolic environment, discerns the implicit and explicit messages contained in a variety of texts, then applies her understanding of symbols and effects to her personal and professional life.


End of section

COURSE MAP

Mountain climber 

 

Academic Honesty explains the ethical expectations for using your own words in all assignments.  Know that your professor may use plagiarism detection software, such as Turnitin, on your papers in this course. 

Grading Rubrics provides information on how assignments, discussions, quizzes, exams are graded.

Help and Resources provide University support links.

Introductions is where students introduce themselves to the class.

Office and contact Information gives you an array of important administrative details about this course and a discussion board for talking with other students.

Overview provides overall information on the course such as core learning outcomes and grading.

Prof Communication gives you a private dropbox and explains the ways you can communicate with your professor.

Schedule gives you an overview of the tentative schedule and assignment due dates.

Syllabus should link to your professor's course information.

Textbook, Software, Skills and Resources give you information on textbooks, software, skills, and resources for this course.

Weblinks gives you important links you will need to use in the course.

Week 1, 2, etc. will be revealed each week to provide the content for the course, including the lecture, discussion, and quiz for each chapter.  


End of section

WEBLINKS

mountain climber

 

APA Style Guide in the Purdue OWL http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/10/

Ethics Read Park University Website:  http://www.park.edu/grad/catalog.aspx  http://www.park.edu/facultymanual/  and http://www.park.edu/support/ethics.asp

Hefner Research Methods (Assigned Course eBook) http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/researchcontents.html

Hefner Success Orientation Quiz http://allpsych.com/tests/self-help/success.html

Institutional Research Board (Park's IRB) webpage with forms: http://park.edu/irb/

Lectures and tutorials about communication research http://blogs.cofc.edu/fergusond/

NIH Certification (Needed for Institutional Research Board if you conduct research on human subjects): http://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php

End of section

TEXTBOOKS

Mountain climber 

APA (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Heffner, (2003). Research methods. All Psych Online. http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/researchcontents.html

End of section

TECHNICAL PROBLEMS Scenic view from the top.

LINKS CONSTANTLY MOVE

If an Internet link doesn’t work, try copying and pasting the url into your browser outside eCollege.  If the link has moved, you can run an Internet search f for the same or a similar link on your own.

COURSE ERRORS

Your professor has no ability to change or fix anything in the course.  Because of the process for making corrections and copying courses, course corrections may take two terms to fix.  If you find a serious problem, please notify your professor, who can notify the Course Designer and begin the correction process as quickly as possible.

eCOLLEGE COURSE OPERATIONAL PROBLEMS

Your professor cannot assist you with computer problems or operational problems in eCollege.

If you have problems, try shutting down your computer, waiting 10 seconds, and restart. If the problem is still there, please report it immediately.

If the links or phone numbers below do not work, go to the Park webpage and look up the contact information you need.

If the problem is Park-related, contact the Information Technology Services Help Desk, Phone: (816) 584-6768 or 1-800-927-3024, Email: helpdesk@mail.park.edu, Fax: (816) 505-5439

If the problem is eCollege related, please contact eCollege.  Online Classroom Technical Support:  For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email eCollegeHelpDesk@parkonline.org or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275).  They will walk you through any problems if you call and have your course open at the same time.  eCollege can also verify the problem to your professor.

To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the http://parkonline.org website:  click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.

Park Helpdesk:  If you have forgotten your User ID or Password, or if you need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024.

End of section

PROF COMMUNICATIONTent

 

This dropbox is for private communication with your professor. 

 

DISCUSSING GRADES

Because of federal FERPA regulations, faculty are advised not to discuss grades or other private information by email or phone because they cannot be sure they are communicating only with the student. Your professor may want you to communicate through the eCollege Dropbox system.

 

End of section

 

INTRODUCTIONS Tent 

  
HOW DO I ACCESS MY ONLINE COURSE?
If you are inside eCollege, obviously you are here. (grin) To get here, go to http://parkonline.org/ You can look around during the week before the course start date, but please understand that the course may not be completely ready until the first day of the term (Monday).

WANT TO GET TO WORK?
Check your course syllabus for assignments and details about your course at http://www.park.edu/syllabus/list.aspx. This information may also be linked through the "Course Home," "Syllabus" link.

INTRODUCTIONS

Please introduce yourself below so everyone can get to know each other.

End of section

OFFICE Tent

GRADING SCALE
Typically, final grades are earned according to the following scale:
A = 900-1000
B = 800-899
C = 700-799
D = 600-699
F = 599 or below

EXAMPLE POINTS

Weekly discussion: 50 x 6 = 300
Weekly dropbox assignments 50 x 5 = 250
Core Assessment 250
Proposal Revision 50
PowerPoint 50
Final Exam 100

Total 1000 points = 100%

FACULTY RESPONSE

You should expect a response within 48 hours, so if you contact your professor and don't hear back, please contact your professor again. You may want to try a different means of contact for your second contact. If you telephoned, for example, your professor may not understand the return number message or may not have long-distance phone access. In that case, try again or send an email. 

 

GRADES TURN AROUND TIME:

Discussions: Typically, by midnight Tuesday following the final due date Sunday. Weekly dropbox assignments: Typically, by midnight Tuesday--except longer assignments may take more time--following the final due date on Sunday. Core Assessment and Final Exam: within one week after the due date.  

 

COURSE STRUCTURE

Students can see pages under Course Home two weeks prior to the semester starts.

This class is an 8-week course. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday. Every Monday, you will see a new weekly unit available to you. The last day to work on the week unit is Sunday. The final weekly deadline is Sunday at 11:59 PM, unless specified otherwise.  You will start to work on a new week unit each Monday.


The first week begins on the first day of the term and ends on Sunday. 

WHERE DO I FIND IMPORTANT DEADLINES?

Many important deadlines for the course will be in your syllabus and the course schedule, under Course Home. In addition, you will want to be aware of the different Park University deadlines such as confirmation (payment for courses), adding or dropping a course, or withdrawing from a course. Please be sure to be aware of the academic calendar and if appropriate, review the policies and deadlines for adding, dropping, or withdrawing from a course. Remember, notices will be sent to your Park account only.

 

 

HOW DO I FIND POLICIES AND RESOURCES?

Reading through the catalog-- Undergraduate Catalog --that applies to you is very important. It lists the policies and procedures that you are expected to follow. Another great resource of information is the Student Resource page. This page provides great information that can be referred to for the duration of your degree.

CORE ASSESSMENT
Core Assessment for this course is a proposal for a senior project in communication.


TIME ZONE
Central Time (regular or daylight savings), USA.


LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE ASSIGNMENTS

The US is a monochronic culture, which means that the use of time and deadlines is literal or firm.  As someone studying communication, you should understand the importance of the use of time as nonverbal communication.  Be on time as part of your communication competence.  In addition, be on time because learning in this course is designed to be sequential and cumulative. Your active work throughout each week will be critical to your learning and the health of this interactive learning community. It is crucial that you engage with the class consistently each week of the term.

The online environment requires students to complete the work for each week within the Monday to Sunday window. The weekly dropbox assignments must be completed on time to receive credit.  You will see that each weekly dropbox assignment will become part of the final proposal (core assessment). 

If you need to be late, make arrangements with your professor in advance of the due date.  Please submit in the Dropbox (prior to the due) a physician's excuse or comparable documentation. 

Typically, the maximum extension is one week from the due date. 

If you need special accommodations, contact Debra McArthur, Director of Academic Services, Debra.McArthur@Park.edu.

 

The Core Assessment Research Proposal will not be accepted after Sunday, week 6. 

ACADEMIC HONESTY
Please see the APA and course expectations under "Academic Honesty" under "Course Home."  Also refer to the Park University Undergraduate Catalog.

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. Please refer to Park University Undergraduate Catalog.

ATTENDANCE POLICY
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system. Please refer to Park University Undergraduate Catalog.
The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties. 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 "W". A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course. 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. 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. 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.

INCOMPLETE POLICY NOTE:
Please refer to Park University Undergraduate Catalog. Verification of the problem is required.

PARK UNIVERSITY VISION STATEMENT


Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

COURSE DEVELOPER
The course developer for this course is Dr. J. Aitken, Professor, Communication Arts, on the Parkville campus.  She taught at the University of Missouri before coming the Park in 2005, has published 7 books and dozens of research articles.

FACULTY CONTACT AND BIOGRAPHY

If you use the external email system, please use your @park.edu email address to send your message and give an informative subject line. Park’s email security system screens out most nonPark email as spam, so your professor may never receive emails from an external address.  You will see an email function tab at the top of your eCollege course screen.

To find staff contact information at Park: http://people.park.edu/Public/Default.aspx?TabKey=0&TaskItemKey=2&Screen=0  

8700 NW River Park Drive, Park University, Parkville, MO 64152

Your course professor will give completed contact information and a biography in the discussion board below.

Section divider

COURSE DEVELOPER NOTES Tent

 

Thank you for teaching this course! The Department of Arts and Communication appreciates your contributions to our department and student learning.

 

We hope you will find this course flexible and easy to use. If you notice problems or errors that need correction, please contact the course designer to implement the changes: Christina.Chang@park.edu

 

If you have suggestions for additional materials for the course, please contact Joan.Aitken@park.edu

 

End of section.

 

DISCUSSION AND COMMUNICATIONTent

 

IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE DISCUSSION AND ONLINE ETIQUETTE (NETIQUETTE)

This course requires frequent and active engagement in online discussion. Some tips for posting online include the following.

1. Keep posts short, but provide substance. Encouraging responses--"great post," "interesting comment,"--are always welcome, but do not satisfy the discussion thread assignment.

2. Keep confidences and do not use the real names of people, companies, or organizations.

3. Remember to login and post multiple times per week (e.g., Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday) and respond to others so that you are actively engaged in a conversation, and not making isolated posts.  Due days are a guideline, but Sunday is the final deadline.

4. Avoid sarcasm and humor or indicate clearly (e.g., "Ha, ha," "grin," smiley face).

5. Avoid plagiarism in online discussion and use formal writing style.

6. As you read the course materials, find facts (research-based concepts), which you can apply to your own experiences to use in the discussion.

7. Seek to expand your thinking and experience about communication theories.

8. Seek to be open and nonjudgmental about the ideas of others by using rhetorical sensitivity and effective communication. Use empathy, diplomacy, and rhetorical sensitivity. Express your thoughts in a candid way so that you can be motivated to test yourself and improve your communication.

9. Keep confidences and do not use real names of individuals, companies, or organizations.

10. Use the Discussion Board to apply what you learn in the textbook, lectures, research articles, and other course readings.

 

End of section.

 

ACADEMIC HONESTYTent

 

BE HONEST AND ETHICAL

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, including the research paper. 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.

 

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 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.

 

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 or other published words in a review of literature.

 

Under Park University policy, academic dishonesty can result in a failing grade for the assignment or 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 major course assignment (core assessment assignment) section appears to be plagiarized. 

 

Turnitin Plagiarism Detection LogoBE WARNED!  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.  To learn more about how Turnitin works, for example, see http://turnitin.com/static/index.php

 

Any student who duplicates content--as identified by Turnitin software, for example--without direct quotation marks and proper citation should expect a course grade of "F."

 

APA Publication Manual picture. The Style Manual for Organizational Communication Majors:

 

APA (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

 

READ and KNOW 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.

 

End of section.

Top of the mountain Final Exam Study Guide (WEEK 7)

Read through the course glossary.  Below are practice tests by topic.

Science http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch1.html

Theory http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch2.html

Protecting Subjects http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch3.html

Reliability & Measure http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch5.html

Operational Definitions and Relationships http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch4.html

Validity and Generalizing Results http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch14.html

Methods

Observation http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch6.html

Survey http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch7.html

Experimental Design http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch8.html and http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch9.html and http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch10.html and http://methods.fullerton.edu/quiz_ch11.html

 

End of section.

 



TEXTBOOK, SOFTWARE, SKILLS AND RESOURCES 
 
BackpackTEXTBOOK

Heffner, (2003).  Research methods.  All Psych Online.  Contents

http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/researchcontents.html

We are using an e-book for the main text in this course. There is no hardcopy required textbook for the course, but there are required online readings.  If you prefer using a conventional hardcopy format, you will find that the basic content of conducting social science research is consistent across disciplines (e.g., communication, psychology, sociology, education).  You can check out a basic research textbook from your local library and use that during this course.  The words may be different, but the principles, concepts, and explanations will be the same.

BackpackCOURSE STYLE MANUAL
You will need to buy or have library access to

APA (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

The APA style manual is available at  MBS Bookstore .

BackpackONLINE TEXTBOOK OPTIONS

 There are many excellent options so you can read about the method of research you want to use.  Additional online books about research, which you may help you in this course.



BackpackREQUIRED SOFTWARE


Adobe Reader (PDFs): 
Click here to download Adobe Reader for free  at https://captain.park.edu/cd/oshr/Pages_TechnicalHelp/reader.aspx

Microsoft Office Word or Microsoft Word viewer is free: 
Click here to download Microsoft Office word viewer for free at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=3657ce88-7cfa-457a-9aec-f4f827f20cac&displaylang=en

BackpackREQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS


Knowledge of the most recent American Psychological Association (APA) style.

Skills to compose word documents in doc files (Microsoft Office Word 1997-2007 format) or rtf file (Rich text format if you do not have Microsoft Office Word)

Skills to browse contents in eCollege and use eCollege tools such as discussion, Doc Sharing, Dropbox, and gradebook.

Skills to copy and paste.

Skills to use a Park University online database (Ebsco Host's Communication and Mass Media Complete) to write an academic research proposal.

BackpackRESOURCES

Webliography (WEBLINKS)
The Weblinks in this course include assigned readings, tutorials, and supplements. Internet links constantly change, so we cannot be responsible for links that don't work. If links move or don't work, you can use a search engine to find the site or something comparable. In many cases, if you will copy the link and paste it in your Internet browser, it will work. Operation should be more effective if you right click the link so you  operate the link outside of the eCollege system.

CA 382 Syllabus (URL: http://www.park.edu/syllabus/list.aspx)  

Ebsco Communication and Mass Media Complete Database (URL: https://pegleg.park.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.asp) You will find sources for your written assignments here.

Library Database Tutorial (URL: http://JoanAitken.org/LibraryTutorial/)

Protecting Human Subjects (NIH Certification) (URL:  http://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php)

Purdue's Guide to American Psychological Association (APA) Citation and Reference Style Formatting (URL: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/)  

End of section.

WEEK 1 DISCUSSION
Gather round the campfire!


Gather round the campfire.

1.  Progress Report (due Wednesday)
What is your plan for this week regarding
your communication research proposal?  Any questions for your professor?

2.  Ethics Question (due Friday)

Pat has to conduct a content analysis as original research for a paper on the topic:  "Communication Technology for the Gifted Child."  Pat has to create a reference list for the CA382 review of literature, which is due tomorrow.  Pat is tired, feels worn out, and is looking for shortcuts. Pat thinks for a few minutes and realizes there are at least the following options.

  1. Search Ebsco Host Communication and Mass Media Complete database for possible sources for the reference list.

  2. Copy the abstracts from any articles that look relevant.

  3. Find a research article similar to the topic and copy the reference list from that article.

  4. Submit a bibliography on a similar topic from another course.

  5. Find relevant articles, and just read the abstract, introduction, and discussion section of each article.

QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION

What should Pat do?

3.  Sample Study (option for Sunday)

Comments on this week's example?

4.  Research Can Be Fun  (option for Sunday)

Watch the video. If the links don't work, find one of your own. What is the research question for the experiment? What are the independent and dependent variables?

Week 3: Mythbusters Ask A Ninja

Or: Mythbusters - Powder Trail

discovery.com

5.  Response to Readings (option for Sunday)

Tell us about something you learned from the course lecture, reading, a weblink, or video for this week.

6.  Response to Database Research  (option for Sunday)

Give a summary in your own words of a scholarly journal article you found for your research proposal.


WEEK 2 DISCUSSION

Talk about it!
Talk about it. 


1.  Progress Report (due Wednesday)
What is your plan for this week regarding
your communication research proposal?  Any questions for your professor?

2.  Ethics Question (due Friday)

Teri is working on the review of literature for CA 382.  Teri has several good sources.  Instead of writing the information in Teri's own words, Teri copies the words of the various authors, although Teri is careful to cite the sources and include each in the reference list.

Plagiarism detection software showed that more than 15% of the student's paper was plagiarized, so Teri earned a zero on the assignment.  How can a student to make sure there is no plagiarism in an assignment?

3.  Sample Study (option for Sunday)

Read and discuss the example study for this week.

4.  Research Can Be Fun  (option for Sunday)

Watch the video. If the links don't work, find one of your own. What is the research question for the experiment? What are the independent and dependent variables?

Here is an example about surfing with dynamite. Mythbusters - click here.

Research question: Can dynamite produce a surf-able wave? Independent (cause) or X variable is the explosion. Dependent (effect) or Y variable is the wave.

Or search the Internet for another Mythbusters experiment.

discovery

 

5.  Response to Readings (option for Sunday)

Tell us about something you learned from the course lecture, reading, a weblink, or video for this week.

6.  Response to Database Research  (option for Sunday)

Give a summary in your own words of a scholarly journal article you found for your research proposal.

WEEK 3 DISCUSSION

Take a break from the climb!
Now you're cooking!

1.  Progress Report (due Wednesday)
What is your plan for this week regarding
your communication research proposal?  Any questions for your professor?

2.  Ethics Question (due Friday)

Sammy spent too much time procrastinating on the CA 382 core assessment and not enough time finding, reading, and writing about scholarly research relevant to the topic.  So, Sammy went online and found a bunch of information from websites and used that as the core of the paper's content, then found a dozen scholarly articles and gave a brief citation from each in the paper.  When the professor used plagiarism detection software, it showed that Sammy had copied various websites without citing or referencing the content.  In addition, two of the websites were ones that provide free essays on various topics, which Sammy used as content for the core assessment.  Sammy earned an "F" in the course and the professor reported the student to the Vice President so that the incident would be the student's permanent record.

What do you think of students who try to pass on stolen work as their own or ones who buy assignments from an online "service?" Do you think the student should have been expelled from the university.

3.  Sample Study (option for Sunday)

Read and discuss the example study for this week.

4.  Research Can Be Fun  (option for Sunday)

How To Make a Mentos & Diet Soda

Learning Connection:

How can you make this demonstration a scientific experiment? “The scientific method attempts to explain the natural occurrences (phenomena) of the universe by using a logical, consistent, systematic method of investigation, information (data) collection, data analysis (hypothesis), testing (experiment), and refinement to arrive at a well-tested, well-documented, explanation that is well-supported by evidence, called a theory.”

 

 Warning: I do this outdoors. You might want to use a poncho or wear old clothes and shoes.

Instructions:  Open the Mentos and take the cap off the 2-liters Diet Coke.  As past as you can, push the Mentos in the Diet Coke.

 

Scientific Method

Watch the video. If the links don't work, find one of your own. What is the research question for the experiment? What are the independent and dependent variables?

THE MYTHBUSTERS EXPLAIN DIET COKE & MENTOS

Or: Fish In A Barrel: Mythbusters

discovery.com

 

5.  Response to Readings (option for Sunday)

Tell us about something you learned from the course lecture, reading, a weblink, or video for this week.

6.  Response to Database Research  (option for Sunday)

Give a summary in your own words of a scholarly journal article you found for your research proposal.

WEEK 4 DISCUSSION

Gather round the campfire!
Campfire

1.  Progress Report (due Wednesday)
What is your plan for this week regarding
your communication research proposal?  Any questions for your professor?

2.  Ethics Question (due Friday)

Part A. Leslie finds a measure that is perfect for the proposed study.  The measure is validated, has high reported reliability, and has a copyright.  Although there's supposed to be a charge for each person who uses the measure, none of the faculty have asked about that part.  Leslie runs off copies and considers handing them out to the participants.

Part B. When Leslie runs the pre and post test data, Leslie discovers that there was no significant difference.  By fudging a little on the results, Leslie can show a significant difference and probably be able to publish the study's results.

QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION

What choices does Leslie have?

What are the possible consequences of Leslie's decision?

3.  Sample Study (option for Sunday)

Read and discuss the example study for this week.

4.  Research Can Be Fun  (option for Sunday)

Mythbusters

 

Watch the video. If the links don't work, find one of your own. What is the research question for the experiment? What are the independent and dependent variables?

Mythbusters water heater or find your own to discuss.

discovery.com

\

 

5.  Response to Readings (option for Sunday)

Tell us about something you learned from the course lecture, reading, a weblink, or video for this week.

6.  Response to Database Research  (option for Sunday)

Give a summary in your own words of a scholarly journal article you found for your research proposal.



 

Now you're cooking!

WEEK 5 DISCUSSION

Now you're cooking!

1.  Progress Report (due Wednesday)
What is your plan for this week regarding
your communication research proposal?  Any questions for your professor?

2.  Ethics Question (due Friday)

Sam has a the study's proposal, method, and forms all approved by the IRB.  When Sam begins working with subjects, some slight changes are needed to make the procedures work right.  Sam doesn't want to start over and obtain the IRB approval on everything.

QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION

What choices does Sam have?

What are the possible consequences of Sam's decision?

3.  Sample Study (option for Sunday)

Read and discuss the example study for this week.

4.  Research Can Be Fun  (option for Sunday)

Learning Connection:

How can you make this demonstration a scientific experiment? “The scientific method attempts to explain the natural occurrences (phenomena) of the universe by using a logical, consistent, systematic method of investigation, information (data) collection, data analysis (hypothesis), testing (experiment), and refinement to arrive at a well-tested, well-documented, explanation that is well-supported by evidence, called a theory.”

 

From Robert Krampf's Experiment of the Week: - #482 Burning Steel

To try this, you will need:

steel wool
pliers
matches or a lighter
a bowl of water

Before you read further or do the experiment, do you think the steel wool will burn? If you think yes, how long will it burn? Will it burn twice? What will be left if it burns? *WARNING* This experiment involves the use of fire. Burning steel is VERY hot, and can easily set fire to other materials. BE SAFE. You may want to do this over a sink with water. I've had colleagues complain about the smell, so you may want to try this outdoors.

 

Scientific Method

 

Procedures

 

Light the steel wool.

Stop here until after the experiment------------------


The steel burns, giving off quite a bit of heat in the process, but it does
not burn for long. Notice that the steel does not burn up. The strand that
is left behind does not look like rust, but it is now made up of iron oxide.

Understanding the Science

How can steel burn? Well, usually it doesn't. To understand why the steel wool burns, think about starting a campfire. What would happen if you held a match under a large log? Would that set the log on fire? No. The match does not give off enough heat energy to get the wood hot enough to burn. But, what would happen if you held the match under a small twig? The smaller piece of wood catches fire easily.

The same idea applies to the steel wool, but there is more than just heat at work. Even with a tremendous amount of heat, steel usually does not burn.

The other difference is the amount of oxygen available. In a large piece of steel, only the surface is in contact with oxygen. Most of the steel in inside, where the oxygen cannot reach. With the thin strand of steel wool, all the steel is near the surface, and near the oxygen. That availability of oxygen allows the steel to burn.

So we see that when steel combines with oxygen, either slowly or quickly, it always gives off energy in the form of heat. Even more interesting is that if we measure the energy given off by both rusting and combustion, we will see that we get the same amount of energy from each. The speed of the reaction is different, but the total amount of energy is the same.

You may also find it interesting that after the steel burns, it weighs more that it did originally. When wood, paper, etc. burn, much of their carbon combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which mixes with the air. For those substances, the remains after burning will weigh quite a bit less than the original material. With iron or steel, all the original material stays, as well as the oxygen that it bonded with. The fact that metals gain weight when they burn played an important role in the discovery of oxygen's role in the burning process.

 

 

5.  Response to Readings (option for Sunday)

Tell us about something you learned from the course lecture, reading, a weblink, or video for this week.

6.  Response to Database Research  (option for Sunday)

Give a summary in your own words of a scholarly journal article you found for your research proposal.

WEEK 6 NO REQUIRED DISCUSSION

Campfire




 


1.  Extra Credit Ethical Dilemma (Due Friday)


Jay's supervisor said that because Jay has experience in proposal writing, Jay will be in change of preparing this year's annual departmental proposed goals and budget report.  Jay sees some similarities to writing a proposal for CA 382, but is worried about the report on top of other assigned tasks. 

A coworker says:  "Just take last year's report, change a couple things, and turn it in." 

What are more effective strategies Jay can use in writing a high quality, ethical report and budget.

WEEK 7 DISCUSSION

Congratulations!  You made it to the top of the mountain!
Eagle soaring

1.  Progress Report (due Wednesday)
What is your plan for this week regarding
your communication research proposal?  Any questions for your professor?

2.  Ethics Question (due Friday)

Ethical Question (Due Wednesday)

Lynn prepares a detailed protocol for a senior project in communication.  The study and protocols are approved by Park University's Institutional Review Board.  When Lynn asks people to sign the consent forms, two of the first three refuse to sign and Lynn decides that if no one is asked to sign the form, no one will refuse.  Lynn knows that no one will ask to see the forms, and if they do, Lynn can use different pens and handwriting to fill them out.

QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION

What choices does Lynn have?

What are the possible consequences of Lynn' decision?

3.  Research Can Be Fun  (option for Sunday)

Organizational Communication in the Media Celebrity Apprentice logo

Photo source:  popculturevortex.blogspot.com

 

Watch a television program or film relevant to organizational communication (e.g., Apprentice, Shark Tank, Undercover Boss). Describe a way you could design a study to test an idea presented in the show.

4.  Response to Readings (option for Sunday)

Tell us about something you learned from the course lecture, reading, a weblink, or video for this week.

5.  Response to Database Research  (option for Sunday)

Give a summary in your own words of a scholarly journal article you found for your research proposal.

 

WEEK 8 DISCUSSION

Heading home. . .
Back to the cabin.




 

1.  Ethics Question (due Wednesday)

At the office, Lynn's coworker started gossiping about another coworker.  What should Lynn do?

2.  Closure (due Friday)

Any final thoughts about what you learned in this course?

 

Week 1 Reading and Assignments

Campsite

 

Course Learning Outcome (CLO)  3 Develop a research proposal appropriate to their major.

CLO 10 Evaluate how service learning has affected their understanding of communication, communication research, and their community.

Weekly Learning Objectives:

a.   to demonstrate your progress, if any, toward your senior project prior to this course.

b.   to select an appropriate communication topic for the project.  

c.   to demonstrate current research and writing skills.

d.   to identify characteristics of Science and Theory.

e.   to find Peer Reviewed Journal Articles (Scholarly Sources) in Ebscohost's Communication and Mass Media Complete

 

ASSIGNMENTS

Read

·        APA Style Manual, particularly Chapter 1 and 2.

Discussion

Dropbox Assignment:  Previous paper from another course.

US Navy vessel in Seward, Alaska

Photo Source


Week 2

Reading and Assignments

Campsite 

Course Learning Outcome (CLO) 1 Evaluate the ethical issues involved in a research proposal.  

Weekly Learning Objectives:

a.   to focus your work for the course (core assessment and senior project idea).

b.   to determine the direction of your core assessment project so you will design an appropriate and do-able core assessment research proposal, which can lead to the senior project.

c.   to write an appropriate research question for your research proposal.

d.   to write an abstract

e.   to conduct scholarly database research.

f.     to write an APA style reference list

 

ASSIGNMENT

Reading:

·        Heffner Chapter 1 Introduction to Research http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/introduction.html

·        Heffner Chapter 2 The Research Report http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/theresearchreport.html

·        Heffner Chapter 10 Critical Analysis http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/criticalanalysis.html

·        Read About Content Analysis: http://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~palmquis/courses/content.html  and for more information http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/research/content/

Discussion

Dropbox Assignment: Abstract Draft

 

ADDITIONAL CONTENT ANALYSIS READING  You will probably use content analysis in your research.  This method allows you to analyze communication texts, such as websites, speeches, a film script, or an organization's annual report,  You'll need to read an scholarly journal article that uses content analysis and some explanation of the method.  There are many good sources of information about content analysis on the Internet:

Content Analysis (Colorado State University) http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/research/content/

Content Analysis (PAREonline.net) http://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=7&n=17

The Qualitative Methods Workbook, by David W. Stockburger

Study this visual from http://academic.csuohio.edu/kneuendorf/content/resources/flowc.htm

USS Alaska

Photo Source

 

Week 3 Reading and Assignments

Campsite 

 

Course Learning Outcome (CLO)  5 Write effective research questions/hypotheses.

Weekly Learning Objectives:

a.   To write a research question that meets typical scholarly expectations.

b.   To explain the research rationale for a project.

c.   To write an operational definition.

 

ASSIGNMENTS

Read

·        Heffner Chapter 3 Research Tools of the Trade http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/researchtools.html

Discussion

Dropbox Assignment:  Introduction Draft

 

Blue Angels Alaska

Photo Source


Week 4 Reading and Assignments

 

Campsite

 

Course Learning Outcome (CLO)  12 Demonstrates library research ability.

CLO 11 Effectively uses APA style.

Weekly Learning Objectives:

a.   Practice using APA writing style

b.   Write a scholarly review of literature on a communication topic.

c.   Identify the basic principles of using content analysis as a research method.

 

ASSIGNMENTS

Read

·        Content Analysis Guidebook http://academic.csuohio.edu/kneuendorf/content/

Discussion

Dropbox Assignment:  Review of Literature Draft

 

 

Coast Guard Alaska

Photo Source

Week 5 Reading and Assignments

 

Campfire 

Course Learning Outcome (CLO)  8 Evaluate communication research in terms of validity and reliability.

CLO 6 Select the method best suited to research methods/goals.  

Weekly Learning Objectives:

a.   Identify multiple research methods.

b.   Write a research method section for a project.

 

ASSIGNMENTS

Read

·        Heffner Chapter 4 Single Subject Design http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/singlesubjectdesign.html

·        Heffner Chapter 5 Experimental Design http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/experimentaldesign.html

·        Heffner Chapter 6 Other Research Designs http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/otherresearchdesigns.html

Discussion

Dropbox Assignment:  Method Draft for your proposal

US Coast Guard Swim Drill Alaska

Photo source


Week 6 Reading and Assignments

 

Campsite

Course Learning Outcome (CLO) 12 Demonstrates library research ability.

CLO 11 Effectively uses APA style.

CLO 7 Write an effective research report in formats appropriate to their major.

Weekly Learning Objectives:

a.   Write a complete research proposal using APA style.

 

ASSIGNMENT

No new readings so you can focus on finalizing your proposal.

Dropbox Assignment: Final Proposal

Army Alaska Northern Lights

Photo Source

 

Week 7 Reading and Assignments

 

Campsite

Course Learning Outcome (CLO)  4 Collect, analyze, and interpret data using multiple methods.

Weekly Learning Objectives:

·        Identify a procedure for using statistics in research.

 

ASSIGNMENTS

Read

·        Heffner Chapter 7 Variables, Validity, and Reliability http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/variablesvalidityreliability.html

·        Heffner Chapter 8 Descriptive Statistics http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/descriptivestatistics.html

·        Heffner Chapter 9 Inferential Statistics http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/inferentialstatistics.html

Due as Discussion Attachment:  PowerPoint Presentation

US Army Alaska

Photo Source

 

Week 8 Reading and Assignments

Heading home!

 

Course Learning Outcome (CLO) 2 Compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative research questions, methods, and reports.

CLO 9 Apply appropriate statistical tests to specific communication research questions.

Weekly Learning Objectives:

a.   Recognize basic research principles.

b.   Identify key ideas learned in the course.

 

ASSIGNMENTS

No new readings so you can focus on proctored the final exam.

Final Exam

 

US Army Skier in Alaska

Photo Source

 



Week 1 Video Tools to help you get the job done!

Choosing a topic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOtYf42Zcjo

Week 2 Video Camp stove

Using Your Own Words—Paraphrasing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1t0G7ZnRG8

Summarizing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64o8z2gxf3A

Budget Your Time for Research http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkQoO33TPvs

Week 3 Video Tools to help you get the job done!

Using Microsoft Office Word for Formatting a Research Paper in APA Style  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reFXrhdvnmw

Communication and Mass Media Complete Tutorial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYp1CkXMRKE

Sample Research Proposal http://clem.mscd.edu/~randellc/RM1%20Sample%20Research%20Proposal.pdf

Week 4 Video Camping tools

Communication and Mass Media Complete Search Tutorials http://www.twu.ca/library/Flash_Tutorials/comm_basic_demo/comm_basic_demo.htm

APA References http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOEmM5gmTJM&playnext=1&list=PL7B1C53FCE1D433DC

Literature Review http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IUZWZX4OGI

Literature Review Step 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoYpyY9n9YQ

Week 5 Video Canteen

Writing the APA Methods Section http://vimeo.com/10638464

Week 6 Video Camper's knife

Video APA Formatting Citations http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pbUoNa5tyY

Week 7 Video Camper's knife

PowerPoint 2007 Tutorial - PeakDavid

Week 8 Video Camper's tool set

Just for fun--Cruise Alaska http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92QgMM2B5Ek&feature=related

Alaska's Glaciers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QICw51ZwyGs&feature=relmfu

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE Mountain climber

Course Learning Outcomes (CLO)

Weekly Objectives

Learning Topics

Heffner & Other Reading

Written Assignments

Wk 1

CLO 3 Develop a research proposal appropriate to their major.

CLO 10 Evaluate how service learning has affected their understanding of communication, communication research, and their community.

a.   to demonstrate your progress, if any, toward your senior project prior to this course.

b.   to select an appropriate communication topic for the project.  

c.   to demonstrate current research and writing skills.

d.   to identify characteristics of Science and Theory.

e.   to find Peer Reviewed Journal Articles (Scholarly Sources) in Ebscohost's Communication and Mass Media Complete

 

Science
Theory
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles (Scholarly Sources)
Ebscohost's Communication and Mass Media Complete

Read APA Style Manual, particularly Chapter 1 and 2.

 

Discussion

Dropbox Assignment:  Previous Paper

Wk 2

CLO 1 Evaluate the ethical issues involved in a research proposal.  

a.   to focus your work for the course (core assessment and senior project idea).

b.   to determine the direction of your core assessment project so you will design an appropriate and do-able core assessment research proposal, which can lead to the senior project.

c.   to write an appropriate research question for your research proposal.

d.   to write an abstract

e.   to conduct scholarly database research.

f.     to write an APA style reference list

Abstract
Scholarly Database Research
Reference List

Week 2

Heffner Chapter 1 Introduction to Research http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/introduction.html

Heffner Chapter 2 The Research Report http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/theresearchreport.html

Heffner Chapter 10 Critical Analysis http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/criticalanalysis.html

Read About Content Analysis: http://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~palmquis/courses/content.html  and for more information http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/research/content/

Discussion

Dropbox Assignment: Abstract Draft

Wk 3

CLO 5 Write effective research questions/hypotheses.

 

a.   To write a research question that meets typical scholarly expectations.

b.   To explain the research rationale for a project.

c.   To write an operational definition.

Research Question
Research Rationale
Operational Definitions

Heffner Chapter 3 Research Tools of the Trade http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/researchtools.html

Discussion

Dropbox Assignment:  Introduction Draft

Wk 4

CLO 12 Demonstrates library research ability.

CLO 11 Effectively uses APA style.

 

a.   Practice using APA writing style

b.   Write a scholarly review of literature on a communication topic.

c.   Identify the basic principles of using content analysis as a research method.

APA Style
Review of Literature

Content Analysis Guidebook http://academic.csuohio.edu/kneuendorf/content/

Discussion

Dropbox Assignment:  Review of Literature Draft

Wk 5

CLO 8 Evaluate communication research in terms of validity and reliability.

CLO 6 Select the method best suited to research methods/goals.  

 

a.   Identify multiple research methods.

b.   Write a research method section for a project.

Methods

Heffner Chapter 4 Single Subject Design http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/singlesubjectdesign.html

 

Heffner Chapter 5 Experimental Design http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/experimentaldesign.html

 

Heffner Chapter 6 Other Research Designs http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/otherresearchdesigns.html

Discussion

Dropbox Assignment:  Method Draft

Wk 6

CLO 12 Demonstrates library research ability.

CLO 11 Effectively uses APA style.

CLO 7 Write an effective research report in formats appropriate to their major.

 

a.   Write a complete research proposal using APA style.

Research Proposal

No new readings so you can focus on finalizing your proposal.

Dropbox Assignment: Final Proposal

Wk 7

CLO 4 Collect, analyze, and interpret data using multiple methods.

·        Identify a procedure for using statistics in research.

 

Statistics

Heffner Chapter 7 Variables, Validity, and Reliability http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/variablesvalidityreliability.html

 

Heffner Chapter 8 Descriptive Statistics http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/descriptivestatistics.html

 

Heffner Chapter 9 Inferential Statistics http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/inferentialstatistics.html

PowerPoint Presentation

Wk 8

CLO 2 Compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative research questions, methods, and reports.

CLO 9 Apply appropriate statistical tests to specific communication research questions.

 

a.   Recognize basic research principles.

b.   Identify key ideas learned in the course.

Ready for the Next Step

No new readings so you can focus on proctored the final exam.

Final Exam

 

GRADING RUBRICS AND ASSIGNMENTS

Mountain climber 

Table of Contents

Discussion Board

Final Exam

Core Assessment

End of assignment

 

WEEKLY DISCUSSION BOARD 

Example Grading Rubric

MASTERY

100%

Demonstrate learning, self analysis, and skill improvement:

Example points: 50

NEARING MASTERY (LACKS ONE ELEMENT)

90%

BASIC STANDARDS (LACKS TWO ELEMENTS)

70%

35 points

INCLUDES ITEMS BELOW

  1. Use your own words. Avoid direct quotations, but use APA citations and reference style for paraphrasing.
  2. Show reading and learning by correctly applying principles from the course materials.
  3. Demonstrate application of the learning through discussion of course materials.
  4. Make substantive posts totaling about 200-500 words per week, which give facts, theories, or principles from the research, textbook, lectures, or related readings.
  5. Post to all required threads and others of your choice or your professor's choice for a total of at least 6 posts per week.
  6. Respond with substance to a couple posts from other students.
  7. Use rhetorical sensitivity, tact, and empathy to create a nonconfrontational and supportive learning community.
  8. Use formal writing style, grammar, capitalization.  Use speller.  No e-lingo.  APA citation and reference style of quality sources.
  9. Keep confidences and do not use real names of individuals, companies, or organizations, unless it's public information.
  10. Post on multiple days during the week so you are part of an interactive conversation with other students (e.g., by Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday).

End of assignment

 

FINAL EXAM

The evaluation of your answer will be based on whether you answered all parts of the question correctly, including your explanation or justification as required.

End of assignment

WEEK 1  CA 348 Core Assessment (Dropbox) due week 1:  Paper from CA 348 or another course. 

Learning Objectives:

(a.) to demonstrate your progress, if any, toward your senior project prior to this course.

(b.) to select an appropriate communication topic for the project.  

(c.) to demonstrate current research and writing skills.

Instructions:  Submit the core assessment research paper you completed for CA 348.  In this course you will continue on the same topic as you complete the full research paper for your senior project.

Research Study Progress

If you have not completed CA 348, simply submit an example research or other major paper you have completed in another course. 

50 POINTS--Grading:  There is no professor evaluation of your work from a previous course, so you simply receive credit for submitting your work or no credit for failing to submit your work by the Sunday deadline. 

End of assignment

 

WEEK 2 CA 348 Core Assessment (Dropbox) due week 2, Sunday 11:59 PM:  ABSTRACT

Learning Objectives

(a.) to focus your work for the course (core assessment and senior project idea).

(b.)  to determine the direction of your core assessment project so you will design an appropriate and do-able core assessment research proposal, which can lead to the senior project.

(c.) to write an appropriate research question for your research proposal.

Assignment:  As a communication major, you will need to conduct a senior project.  At this stage, write a brief abstract for your core assessment for this course, which can lead to an appropriate and do-able senior project.  An abstract is a summary of your proposed research study.  You can complete the following sentences:

The purpose of this study will be

This study is important because

The research question is

The method of research will be

An example abstract might look like the following:

Grading criteria

1.    Brief length (approximately 50 words)

2.    Purpose of the study makes sense.

3.    Correct formal writing style used, with no personal pronouns (e.g., I, my) and no contractions (e.g., don’t).

4.    Importance of study indicated.

5.    Topic is clearly relevant to communication.

50 POINTS--Grading:  The assignment may be pass/fail or the student may receive 10 points for each element contained in the abstract. Because you are at the beginning stage of this process, this abstract does not need to be exact or perfect.  Your professor will give you any feedback about needed changes so you can clearly focus your research proposal for the course (core assessment).

End of assignment

WEEK 3 CA 348 Core Assessment Draft (Dropbox) due week 3, Sunday 11:59 PM:  INTRODUCTION

Learning Objectives:

(a.) to explain the importance of a research study.

(b.) to connect scholarly research with a communication topic for study.

(c.) to write a research question to guide a study, which is clear, focused, about communication, and open-ended..

Instructions:  Write the introduction to your research proposal.  This proposal is a plan or prospectus you can use for a possible  research study (the senior project, for example).  See the APA style manual for an explanation of content appropriate for a proposal.

50 POINTS--Grading:  This assignment may receive a pass/fail grade.  Your professor may give you suggestions for improving your introduction in your final research proposal (core assessment due week 6).

End of assignment

WEEK 4 CA 348 Core Assessment Draft (Dropbox) due week 4, Sunday 11:59 PM: REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Learning Objectives:

(a.) to find relevant scholarly journal articles.

(b.) to apply correct APA style for references and citations.

(c.) to show an application of two or three threads of communication research that serve as a foundation for the proposed study.

Instructions:  Demonstrate your understanding of how to conduct a review of literature, which provides a theoretical foundation for a research study.  Follow the APA style manual.

50 POINTS--Grading:  This assignment may be pass/fail grade.  Your professor may give you suggestions for improving your review of literature in your final research proposal (core assessment due week 6).

End of assignment

WEEK 5 CA 348 Core Assessment Draft (Dropbox) due week 5, Sunday 11:59 PM: METHOD

Learning Objectives:

(a.) to apply a content analysis method to answer the research question, or select the method best suited to research goal.

Instructions:  Write a detailed methods section using content analysis to answer your research question.  If you use a different method, you will need to include Institutional Research Board application information, a copy of your NIH certification, a copy of the measure you plan to use, and other relevant information indicated in the APA style manual regarding the method section.

50 POINTS--Grading:  This assignment may receive a pass/fail grade.  Your professor may give you suggestions for improving your method section in your final research proposal (core assessment due week 6).

End of assignment

WEEK 6 CA 348 Core Assessment (Dropbox) due week 6, Sunday 11:59 PM: FINAL RESEARCH PROPOSAL (CORE ASSESSMENT)

Learning Objectives:

(a.) to develop a research proposal appropriate to your major.

(b.) to develop a research proposal that could be used for a senior project in communication.

(c.) to meet key objectives of the course required by the department of Communication Arts.

Instructions:  Write a complete research proposal for a study in communication.  Typical faculty expectations include the following:

  1. 10-20 pages

  2. 15-20 scholarly references from Ebscohost's Communication and Mass Media Complete

  3. APA style reference list and written content

  4. all content paraphrased using the student's own words AND cited using APA style

  5. no opinions expressed in the proposal

  6. do-able research proposal on a specific communication topic

  7. clear research method described, such as a content analysis

250 POINTS--Grading:  This assignment is a long and an important one, so please do not expect a grade and feedback in less than a week.

Your professor may use the rubric approved by the department or a more detailed rubric such as the one below.

End of assignment

WEEK 7 CA 348 Core Assessment Draft (Dropbox) due week 6, PLEASE SUBMIT BY FRIDAY: POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

Learning Objectives:

(a.) to clearly summarize a proposed communication study.

(b.) to provide an effective oral presentation.

(c). to demonstrate effective use of PowerPoint with narration.

Instructions:  Create a very brief PowerPoint with sound narration, which summarizes your posed study.  Use principles of effective PowerPoints and effective oral presentations.  The length can be 2-3 minutes.  eCollege has no limit to the size or time in uploading files, but your service provider may have a limit.  Be aware that some students with Macs seem to have difficulty creating this assignment.

50 POINTS--Grading:  This assignment may receive a pass/fail grade or according to specific criteria set up by your professor. 

End of assignment

WEEK 8 REVISION

Learning Objectives:

(a.) to improve writing clarity, APA style, or other qualities needed for an effective communication research proposal.

(B.) to identify key principles discussed in the course materials through a proctored final exam.

Instructions:  Your professor may give you the option to improve your proposal through a rewrite (revision).  Note, not all faculty use this option.

NO POINTS--Grading:  Your professor may give you an option to revise your core assessment based on his or her feedback.  If your professor gives you this option, your professor will decide the additional extra credit points you may earn with your revision.

End of assignment

 

WEEK 1 LECTURE

THE ADVENTURE: YOU CAN HIKE TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN
Climbing to the top of the mountain

 

Many students learn well by analogies, so the course is designed to compare research to the exploration you might do if you climb a mountain. We do not expect all our students to start from the same place. We'll take a somewhat unique approach because students come from various backgrounds and a wide array of preparation--or lack of preparation--for this course. We will focus on mastery of content as applied to the individual student objectives for a research project proposal.

Some of you may feel tired at just the thought of learning about communication research and not feel ready to explore.

Some of you have arrived at base camp, but are still looking for a cup of coffee to help you get started.

Some of you are in shape from your prior coursework and experiences, so you are well prepared and ready to set out on the trek.

Although you may not have climbed many real mountains, you have climbed up and down many figuratively.



This problem-solving journey can be life-altering as you prepare your research proposal (prospectus or plan for your project) within a framework of research in communication and leadership. Some of you may have a prospectus idea. Others may have no idea what you want to study. Your prospectus will be the core assessment of the course.

Let's begin!





ABOUT THIS COURSE



I'm Dr. Aitken, the course developer.

In this course, we are going to compare the research process to the exploration you might do if you are climbing a mountain. The analogy provides a learning anchor for students who learn well through visuals and those who learn through analogies. 

We do not expect all our students to start from the same place.

I've taught research to many students over the years. I've found that students come from various backgrounds and a wide array of preparation--or lack of preparation--for this course. Some of you have studied communication theories, research in the physical sciences, and taken a course in statistics.  You are well prepared and ready to set out on the trek. Others are wondering if you have any background for this course. Some of you are well-nourished by your prior coursework and experiences. Others have not prepared for this journey at all, but that's okay too!

I consider learning to be an adventure, and although I've only climbed one mountain--I found the experience to be interesting, fun, hard, exhilarating, and a life-altering experience. I hope the journey in this course will be a powerful experience as you prepare a research or project proposal within your framework of understanding about communication and leadership research. Remember, your proposal will be the core assessment of the course.

Some of the content of this course may be quite new to you. This course will help you understand enough about research to be able to effectively use scholarly databases and read communication journals. You won't get lost! Your professor will stick with you as your guide through the process of communication research. And when we come down off the mountain, you will have the skills to complete a senior project!

What is the senior project in communication?

The purpose of the project is to answer a question about communication. This project may be a research study on a communication topic or a creative project.

Your first step is to find a fascinating topic in communication, because the project will take much time and work. Hopefully, you have completed CA 348, Theories of Communication, and you have selected a topic to study in that course.  If not, that's okay, but the earlier you focus on a topic, the easier this process will be.

The subject of your proposal may come from two general sources:

1. The communication environment, with which you have first-hand experience.

2. A traditional research investigation of a particular aspect of corporate or organizational communication or leadership.

Photo Credit

RESEARCH IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES

This course attracts a range of students--people working on an additional degree in communication, people with other majors who are unfamiliar with communication studies, and people just starting the program. So, we will begin with a refresher or review about the field of communication. This information may help you think about a topic you want to explore in the course. The main assignment for the course will be the design of a research project. Let's brainstorm about our field!

Adapted from a National Communication Association presentation by
Bill Balthrop, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill

Jim Gaudino, Executive Director, NCA

Scott Poole, Texas A&M University

Ellen Wartella, University of Texas--Austin

Communication and Leadership Research

Backpack

Modern Communication Research

World War II and Post-War Era

Concerns with attitude formation and change

Emergence of social and behavioral science approaches

Late 20th Century

Concerns with mass communication, communication policy, and media

Concerns with new communication technologies, cultural approaches

COMMUNICATION RESEARCH AREAS

Communication Studies: Scientific and critical research on human communication, including interpersonal, organizational, public, and intercultural communication and communication in various social, cultural, and political contexts. Leadership studies can be a broad field that fits into this area.

Mass Communication and Media Studies: Research on media institutions, media texts, media effects, and how media are used to produce and transform culture.

Speech and Rhetorical Studies: Research focused on political and social rhetoric, audience analysis, argumentation, rhetorical criticism, and rhetorical theory.

Telecommunication Studies: Research on the development, use, regulation, and effects of telecommunication technologies, including radio, television, Internet, and telephony.

Communication research is carried out in academic programs with school and department titles such as:

free desktop wallpaper

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Communication scholars from discipline-based departments conduct major research projects with colleagues in such fields as:

Communication research employs a wide range of methodologies, including all types of quantitative and qualitative social scientific research methods as well as humanistic and critical/cultural approaches:

Picture of Alaska Glaciers

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Communication is a Research-Based Field, which works toward theory-building

Example Journals in Communication

Picture of Scenic Tours Canada

Photo credit

There Are Some Beautiful Theories and Research, Which You Can Explore in Various Ways

http://www.eielson.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/070417-F-3649W-005.jpg

http://www.eielson.af.mil

EXAMPLE SKILLS TO DEVELOP THROUGH YOUR RESEARCH PROJECT

Developing Competence through this Research Project:
Preparation for Corporate Contexts and Advanced Graduate Study.

EMPLOYMENT FOR COMMUNICATION AND LEADERSHIP MAJORS AND MINORS

A few examples: Advancement Officer, Bank Officer, Industrial & Labor Relations Specialist, Print Production Coordinator, Claims Adjuster/Examiner, Insurance Agent/Broker, Promotions Manager, Media Manager, Research Worker, Training & Development Specialist, Stockbroker, Service Representative, Travel Agent, Technical Writer, Broadcast Advertising Salesperson, Lighting Technician, Lobbyist

For more ideas, see the following sites:
1.
UNC
2.
CSC
3.
NatCom

http://www.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/070221-F-2842R-040.jpg

http://www.af.mil/

Communication educators are committed to developing knowledgeable, ethical, skilled, caring, and inclusive leaders for a diverse and changing world.  That leadership may take place in many different contexts:

Organizational Research can help you develop a better understanding of the following:

Air Force base

http://www.af.mil

YOUR RESEARCH PROCESS

CA 348 helps you learn how to use Communication and Mass Media Complete database and write a review of literature on your topic.

CA382 guides you through developing your senior project proposal, including the method of your planned research.

CA491 is when you finish your senior project by carrying out the plan in your proposal.

 

WRITING THE RESEARCH PROPOSAL

Quoted or closely adapted from APA (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. 5th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Hikers getting on a train.

Check mark.Parts of the Proposal Manuscript

Red bulletTitle Page
Author's name and institutional affiliation, running head. Use a strictly factual title.

Red bulletAbstract
Write an accurate, self-contained, concise and specific, nonevaluative, brief, coherent, and readable abstract (less than 100 words). An abstract of a report of an empirical study should describe:

Red bulletIntroduction

Introduce the problem. No opinions. Why is this problem important?

State the purpose, rationale, and your research question.

Red bulletReview of Literature

Theory building.
Develop the background. What is the theory-building or theoretical foundation--cite specific theories--for the research?  Use subheadings such as the following:

Background

Previous Research Studies

Hiker in the snow.

http://multimedia.bostonherald.com

Red bullet Method

Describe the design of your study.  Most students conduct a content analysis, although there are other methods you might use. If you use a content analysis, explain the method, what you will examine, and how you will categorize data.

In other words, explain with detail, your planned procedures (what you will study and exactly how you will study). Summarize or paraphrase instructions. Tell the reader what you will do and how you will do it in sufficient detail so that a read could reasonably replicate your study.

Omit this part in the proposal, but include in your senior project.

Red bullet Results

Summarize the data collected.  Restate hypothesis(es) or research question.

Red bullet Discussion (Not included in the proposal).  Explain your results.  In this section, you can include your opinions based on your research.  Opinions are not appropriate in any other section.

Red bullet References (emphasize peer-reviewed articles from Ebscohost's Communication and Mass Media Complete database. 

Red bullet Appendix (e.g., screenshots of the websites you analyzed).

Hiker

Your APA Publication Manual can be your guide about how to write the research proposal.

You can obtain information by reading the American Psychological Association Publication Manual and Elements of Style, by Strunk and White. An electronic version of the Strunk and White book is available: click here.

WRITING THE REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Quoted directly or adapted from: Sumser, (2001).  Chapter 5. Sumser, J.  (2001).  A guide to empirical research in communication:  Rules for looking.  Thousand Oaks:  Sage. 

Rock climbing

Row of skiers looking at snow.

A theory is an attempt to explain or represent some aspect of reality. Theories are abstract. They are rich enough to create hypotheses that can be tested and found to be either valid or invalid. A theory must be capable of generating testable hypotheses.

As you write, tell us why the research is interesting in itself, interesting because it has some qualities; It links to other ideas, or it provides a novel way of looking at something. Needs to be as objective as possible.

Some say never use the first person pronoun. The point of the rule is to force writers to think in general terms, outside of themselves.

Photo by Joan Aitken (Copyright 2008)

A review of literature is conducted for a number of reasons:

  1. To find out (and incorporate) the most current theoretical thinking

  2. To place a question within a scholarly context

  3. To find out (and build on) the results of recent (and historical) empirical research.

  4. To see how variables have traditionally been operationalized

  5. To find, borrow, and build on the research designs of others

hikers

In short, the review of the literature allows you to put your ideas into a scholarly context in order to clarify them and to allow you to build on what is already known. Use Ebscohost's Communication and Mass Media Complete database to find sources in communication

Your review of literature provides the knowledge and information required to move your ideas to the point where they can be tested empirically. 

The research questions is a rule for looking for something. In the hypothesis, the researcher says what he or she expects to find. A hypothesis requires a statistical test for you to support or reject the hypothesis based on the results of your study. 

Most students use a content analysis or conduct some type of qualitative study for the senior project.  Typically, they use a research question instead of a hypothesis to guide the study.  A research question is a way of letting your reader know exactly what you are looking for.

Scenic picture of sky and land.

METHOD

The design has to be clear enough that if someone wanted to replicate your work, it would be possible to do so. In other words, you need enough detail about how you will conduct your study that someone else could do the same thing and receive the same results. 

Hiker Your ideas have to be linked to the appropriate literature (scholarly journal articles in communication). And your research design has to be capable of generating answers to the question you are asking

Group of soldiers in the snow.

Photos by Ned Rozell www.gi.alaska.edu

 Congratulations on your progress this week. You're on your way up now! End of Lecture

WEEK 2 LECTURE

Any research project that uses human subjects--except archival--needs to be cleared through the Park Institutional Review Board  http://www.park.edu/irb/ 

For most students, the most efficient approach to planning a study is to do archival research.  In archival research, you will study communication that is public record.  These communications are usually called artifacts, and they include films, television shows, scripts, speeches, webpages, company annual reports, and similar information open to the public.

BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE

Direct quotation or paraphrased from Kerlinger & Lee, 2000, Chapter 1.

Kerlinger, F. N., & Lee, H. B.  (2000).  Foundations of behavioral research.  New York:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Map

The scientist's approach to problems must be clearly understood. When understood, it will seem natural and almost inevitable what the scientist does.

Science and common sense differ sharply in five ways. These disagreements revolve around the words systematic and controlled.

1. The uses of conceptual schemes and theoretical structures are strikingly different. Scientists systematically build theoretical structures, test them for internal consistency, and put aspects of them to empirical test.

2. Scientists systematically and empirically test their theories and hypotheses.

3. The scientist tries to systematically rule out variables that are possible "causes" of the effects under study other than the variables hypothesized to be the "causes."

4. The scientist is constantly preoccupied with relationships among phenomena. The scientist, while personally espousing one or another viewpoint, insists on systematic and controlled testing of relationships.

5. The scientist, when attempting to explain the relations among observed phenomena, carefully rules out what have been called "metaphysical explanations."

Scenic view.

Scientists are concerned with things that can be publicly observed and tested. If propositions or questions do not contain implications for public observation and testing, they are not scientific propositions or questions.

Pierce identified four methods of knowing.

1. Tenacity. People hold firmly to the truth, the truth that they know to be true because they hold firmly to it, because they have always known it to be true.

2. Authority. The method of authority is based on established belief.

3. A priori method is a method of intuition. A priori propositions "agree with reason" and not necessarily with experience. The idea seems to be that people, through free communication and intercourse, can reach the truth because their natural inclinations tend toward truth.

4. Science. The scientific approach has a characteristic that no other method of attaining knowledge has: self-correction. There are built-in checks all along the way to scientific knowledge. Scientists insist on testing evidence. They also insist that any testing procedure be open to public scrutiny. Science uses objectivity or agreement among "expert" judges on what is observed or what is to be done or has been done in research.  The concern in this course is to use a scientific approach.

Photo copyright Joan Aitken, 2008

There seem to be three popular stereotypes that impede understanding of scientific activity.
1. The white coat--stethoscope--laboratory type.
2. Brilliant individuals who think, spin complex theories, and spend their time in ivory towers aloof from the world and its problems.
3. Requires engineering and technology.

Two broad views of science are the
static and dynamic.
1. The static view seems to influence most laypeople and students, suggesting an activity that contributes systematized information to the world. The scientist's job is to discover new facts and to add them to the already existing body of information. Science is even conceived to be a body of facts.
2. The dynamic view regards science more as an activity, what scientist do. In the heuristic view, scientists seek to discover or reveal. This view emphasizes theory and interconnected conceptual schemata that are fruitful for further research.

What is theory?
Theory can predict. The adequacy of a theory is its
predictive power.
Theory is
generalizable. Much valuable social scientific and educational research is preoccupied with the shorter-range goal of finding specific relations, that is, merely to discover a relation is part of science. Modest, limited, and specific research aims, then are good. Theoretical research aims are better because, among other reasons, they are more general and can be applied to a wide range of situations.

Scientific research is systematic, controlled, empirical, amoral, public, and critical investigation of natural phenomena. It is guided by theory and hypotheses about the presumed relationships among such phenomena.
1. Scientific investigation is so ordered that investigators can have critical confidence in research outcomes.
2. If the scientist believes something is so, that belief must somehow or other be put to an outside independent test. Subjective belief, in other words, must be checked against objective reality.
3. In science there is peer review.
4. Knowledge obtained scientifically is not subject or moral evaluation. The results are neither considered bad or good, but in terms of validity and reliability. The scientific method is, however subject to issues of morality; that is, scientists are held responsible for the methods used in obtaining scientific knowledge.

Dewey's Scientific Approach

Remember fifth grade science? Those science experiments follow the same basic procedures as you will follow in your research here. You will propose a question about communication and use a scientific method to answer the question.


1. Problem - Obstacle - Idea
formulate the research problem or question to be solved.


2. Question.
formulate a question about the relationship between phenomena or variables


3. Reasoning - Deduction
scientist deduces the consequences of the question. This can lead to a more significant problem and provide ideas on how the question can be tested in observable terms.


4. Observation
This is the data collection and analysis phase. The results of the research conducted are related back to the problem.

Look at this research Emoto. Now look at this site: click here or click here. What is science?

 RULES FOR LOOKING

Directly quoted or closely adapted.  Chapter 1. Sumser, J.  (2001).  A guide to empirical research in communication:  Rules for looking.  Thousand Oaks:  Sage. 

We develop theories or explanations about the way the world is, and then we look to see if the world is in fact the way we have supposed.

Social science research methods are the rules of the game of "looking." Research methodology is the link between thinking and evidence. True is not a word that is used much in research methodology. Social scientists, like all scientists, are a cautious lot, less interested in discovering things than in trying to determine the relationship between things. They are less concerned with fact, to put it another way, than with explanations.

The possibility of being wrong is one of the anchors of science. Scientists are seeking knowledge about what happens when you look at the world. We have a shifting and overlapping set of plausible accounts created by different theories, resulting in different tests.

The Rules of Looking are agreed upon by those who make claims about the world. Research methodology is dependent on theory and conceptualizations. Social scientists, like all scientists, understand that their conclusions cannot be separated from the processes that created them.

Research is empirical when the questions that one asks can most appropriately be answered by looking at the world rather than by thinking about it. Questions about what we should do are not empirical questions.

Between truth and opinion is knowledge. A research process is reliable if you get similar results each time you repeat it. There are exceptions to even the strongest patterns of behavior, and we have to make sure that our results reflect the rule rather than the exception. Validity reflects reality in some meaningful way.

Research should be designed in such a way that is possible for the researcher to find out that his or her ideas are wrong. Research is designed to provide support for ideas and rule out alternative explanations.

The research needs to be useful. We don't ask if the research is true. Instead, we ask about its reliability and validity. We want to know if the research actually leads us somewhere new and serves a critical purpose. Finally, we want to determine how useful the research is in some realm--intellectual, practical, or social

Alaska adventure travel

Photo credit

USING VARIABLES IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES

Directly quoted or closely adapted from Sumser (2001), Chapter 2. Dividing up the World: Using Variables in the Social Sciences.  Sumser, J.  (2001).  A guide to empirical research in communication:  Rules for looking.  Thousand Oaks:  Sage. 

In the social sciences, we are concerned with how things work in general rather than with why any particular person did any particular thing. Thinking about the world in terms of variables is known as the variable analytic approach or nonmothetic. The narrative approach, which is often seen in historical studies and in anthropological and sociological fieldwork is ideographic

Dividing the world into variables is a way of simplifying it so that we can understand what is going on. The use of variables gets rid of information that is seen as irrelevant and allows us to obtain more usable information. The way we use variables depends on what kind of research methods we are using and the theories and hypotheses we have. What something means and which method you use are dependent on what you want to do and the sorts of explanations you are interested in testing. Methods and data are things you use. The more you delve into a topic, the more your ideas will be shaped by the theories and research of fellow scholars.

Because variables are simply categories that we make up in order to make sense of the world, there is virtually no limit to the number of variables we could use.

Variables are ways that we divide the world rather than ways the world is divided.

The attributes of a variable need to have two qualities: They must be mutually exclusive and they must be exhaustive. A variable's attributes are mutually exclusive if it is not possible for whatever is being examined to have two attributes. A variable is exhaustive if its attributes cover all possible cases.

Photo by Joan Aitken (Copyright 2008)

Congratulations on your progress this week. You're on your way up the mountain!

End of Lecture

 

WEEK 3 LECTURE

Direct quotation or paraphrased from Ker linger & Lee, 2000, Chapter 2. Problems and Hypotheses.

  • Formulating the research problem is not an easy task. The researcher starts with a general, diffused, and vague notion and then gradually refines it. Research problems differ greatly and there is no one right way to state the problem.

  • Three criteria of a good problem and problem statement:
    a. The problem should be expressed as a relationship between two or more variables.
    b. The problem should be put in the form of a question.
    c. The problem statement should imply the possibilities of empirical testing.

  • A hypothesis is a conjectural statement of the relationship between two or more variables. It is put in the form of a declarative statement. A criteria for a good hypothesis is the same as (a) and (b) in criteria of a good problem.

  • Importance of problems and hypotheses:
    a. It is a working instrument of science and a specific working statement of theory.
    b. Hypotheses can be tested and be predictive.
    c. Advance knowledge.

  • Virtues of problems and hypotheses:
    a. Direct investigation and inquiry.
    b. Enable the researcher to deduce specific empirical manifestations.
    c. Serve as the bridge between theory and empirical inquiry.

  • Scientific problems are not moral or ethical questions. Science cannot answer value or judgmental questions.

  • Detection of value questions: Look for words such as better than, should, or ought.

  • Another common defect of problem statements is the list of methodological points as sub-problems.
    a. They are not substantive problems that come directly from the basic problem.
    b. They relate to techniques or methods of sampling, measuring, or analyzing; not in question form.

  • Problems and hypotheses need to reflect the multivariate complexity of behavioral science reality.

  • The hypothesis is one of the most powerful tools invested to achieve dependable knowledge. It has the power of prediction. A negative finding for a hypothesis can serve to eliminate one possible explanation and open other hypotheses and line of investigation.

Exploration
Each day, there are more and more resources available on the Internet. You may want to find reliable Internet sources to provide alternative ways of describing course concepts, definitions to new terms, and to provide additional information. External links constantly change and are beyond our control. Therefore, here are multiple links offered as prompts--when working--that may help you learn course content.

VARIABLES

Direct quotation or paraphrased from Ker linger & Lee, 2000, Chapter 3. Constructs, Variables, and Definitions.

  • Scientists operate on two levels: theory-hypothesis-construct and observation. More accurately, they shuttle back and forth between these levels. Whenever scientists utter relational statements and use concepts, or constructs as we shall call them, they are operating at one level. Scientists must also operate at the level of observation. They must gather data to test hypotheses. They must define constructs so that observations are possible.

  • The terms concept and construct have similar meanings, yet there is an important distinction. A concept expresses an abstraction formed by generalization from particulars.

  • A construct is a concept consciously INVENTED or adopted for a special scientific purpose.

  • Scientists somewhat loosely call the constructs or properties they study "variables." Some examples of important variables in our field may be gender, income, education, social class, organizational productivity, occupational mobility, and achievement. It can be said that a variable is a property that takes on different values. Putting it redundantly, a variable is something that varies.

  • A variable is a symbol to which numerals or values are assigned. For instance, x is a variable; it is a symbol to which we assign numerical values. The variable x may take on any justifiable set of values, for example, scores on an intelligence test or an attitude scale.

  • Words or constructs can be defined in two general ways. First, we can define a word by using other words, which is what a dictionary does. Second, we can also provide a behavioral or observational definition. Scientists use the types of definitions just described in a more precise manner. A constitutive definition defines a construct using other constructs. For instance, we can define weight by saying that it is the heaviness of objects. An operational definition assigns meaning to a construct or a variable by specifying the activities or operations necessary to measure it and evaluate the measurement. Alternatively, an operational definition is a specification of the activities of the research in measuring a variable or in manipulating it. An operational definition is a sort of manual of instructions to the investigator. It says, in effect, Do such and such in a so and so manner. In short, it defines or gives meaning to a variable by spelling out what the investigator must do to measure it and evaluate that measurement. For example, an operational definition might be: Intelligence is the score as measured by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Third Edition (WISC-III).


 

Types of variables.

  • *1. The independent variable is varied and has a presumed cause on another variable, the dependent variable. In an experiment, it is the manipulated variable. It is the variable under the control of the experimenter. In a nonexperimental study, the independent variable is the variable that has a logical effect on the dependent variable.

  • *2. The dependent variable's effect alters concomitantly with changes or variations in the independent variable.

  • independent variable = x (the variable predicted from)

  • dependent variable = y (the variable predicted to)

  • Example: High mother interaction with infants (x or independent variable) during the first six months increases intelligence (y or dependent variable).

  • In reading journal articles, you may find additional terms used to describe variables:
    3. An active variable is manipulated. Manipulation means that the experimenter has control over how the values change.

  • 4. An attributive variable is measured and cannot be manipulated. A variable that cannot be manipulated is one where the experimenter has no control over the values of the variable.

  • 5. A continuous variable is capable of taking on an ordered set of values within a certain range. Between two values there are an infinite number of other values. These variables reflect at least a rank order.

  • 6. Categorical variables belong to a kind of measurement where objects are assigned to a subclass or subset. The subclasses are distinct and nonoverlapping. All objects put into the same category are considered to have the same characteristic(s).

  • 7. Latent variables are unobservable entities. They are assumed to underlie observed variables.

  • 8. Intervening variables are constructs that account for internal unobservable psychological processes that account for behavior. It cannot be seen but is inferred from behavior.

An important element of research is the concept of statistical significance. The .05 level means that an obtained result that is significant at the .05 level could occur by chance no more than five times in 100 trials. A level; of statistical significance is to some extent chosen arbitrarily. The .05 and .01 levels have been chosen widely. There is a newer trend of thinking that advocates reporting the significance levels of all results. That is, if a result is significant at the .12 level, say, it should be reported accordingly. Some practitioners object to this practice. They say that one should make a bet and stick to it. (Ker linger & Lee, pp. 232-233).

  

HikerKeep moving forward.  Make sure you are working on your review of literature for your proposal.  You're making progress!

End of Lecture.

End of lecture

WEEK 4 LECTURE

Direct quotation or paraphrased from Kerlinger & Lee, 2000, Chapter 5. Relations.

  • People who study communication are concerned about relationships: relationships between people, relationships between events, relationships between experiences and behavior. Scientists are concerned about relationships, or what they more typically call "relations."

  • Relations are the essence of knowledge. Almost all science pursues and studies relations. What is important in science is not knowledge of particulars but knowledge of the relations among phenomena. We know that large things are large only by comparing them to smaller things. We thus establish the relations "greater than" and "lesser than." Educational scientists can "know" about achievement only as they study achievement in relation to nonachievement and in relation to other variables, for example.

  • Relations in science are between classes or sets of objects.

  • Ways of studying relations include graphs and tables, plots, and correlations.

http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/Alaska.html


Direct quotation or paraphrased from Ker linger & Lee, 2000, Chapter 6. Variance and Covariance.

  • Variances come in a number of forms. When you read the research and technical literature, you will frequently come across the term, sometimes with a qualifying adjective, sometimes not. To understand the literature, it is necessary to have a good idea of the characteristics and purposes of these different variances. And to design and do research, one must have a rather thorough understanding of the variance concept as well as considerable mastery of statistical variance notions and manipulations.

  • Differences between measurements are needed in order to study the relations between variables.

  • A statistical measure used in studying differences is the variance.

  • The variance along with the mean is used to solve research problems.

  • Some kinds of variance.
    1. The variability of a variable or characteristic in the universe or population is called the population variance.
    2. A subset of the universe is called a sample and that sample also has variability. That variability is referred to as sample variance.
    3. Since the statistic computed from sample to sample differs, this difference is referred to as sampling variance.
    4. Systematic variance is the variation that can be accounted for. It can be explained. Any natural or human-made influences that cause events to happen in a predictable way are systematic variance.
    5. One type of systematic variance is called between-group variance. When there are differences between groups of subjects, and the cause of that difference is known, it is referred to as between-group variance.

  • Covariance is the relationship between two or more variables.

 

Direct quotation or paraphrased from Ker linger & Lee, 2000, Chapter 7. Probability.

  1. Probability is an obvious and simple subject; it is a baffling and complex subject. It is a subject we know a great deal about; it is a subject we know nothing about. Kindergartners and philosophers can study probability. It is dull; it is interesting. Such contradictions are the stuff of probability.

  2. Take the expression "laws of chance." The expression itself is seemingly contradictory. Chance or randomness, by definition, is the absence of law. If events can be explained lawfully, they are not random. Then why say "laws of chance?' The answer, too, is seemly contradictory. It is possible to gain knowledge from ignorance if we view randomness as ignorance. This is because random events, in the aggregate, occur in lawful ways with monotonous regularity. From the disorder of randomness the scientist welds together the order of scientific prediction and control.

  3. It is not easy to explain these disconcerting statements. Indeed, philosophers disagree on the answers. Fortunately, there is no disagreement on the empirical probabilitistic events--or at least very little. Almost all scientists and philosophers agree that if two dice are thrown a number of times, there will probably be more 7s than 2s or 12s. They will also agree that certain events like finding a $100 bill or winning a sweepstakes are extremely unlikely.

  4. Definition of Probability:
    a priori: The probability of an event is the number of favorable cases divided by the total number of (equally possible) cases (p = probability). This definition is the basis of theoretical mathematical probability.

  5. a posteriori (relative long-run frequency): In an actual series of tests, probability is the ratio of the number of times an event occurs to the total number of trials. With this definition, one approaches probability empirically by performing a series of tests, counting the number of times a certain kind of event happens, and then calculating the ratio. The result of the calculation is the probability of the certain kind of event. Frequency definitions have to be used when theoretical enumeration over classes of events is not possible. A statement that a diamond cutter is 95% accurate indicates that out of every 100 diamonds this person has cut in the past, 95% of them were cut correctly. This long-run relative frequency approach is the most prevalent in behavioral science research.

Suppose you are answering a multiple choice question, where you don't know the answer. There are four choices--a, b, c, d--so what is the probability of you guessing the right answer? Suppose you can eliminate response b; what is the probability of guessing the right answer? Suppose you look up the answer on the Internet; what is the probability of guessing the right answer?

 

You are making progress toward the summit!

End of Unit's Lecture

 

WEEK 5 LECTURE

OPERATIONALIZATION

Direct quotation or paraphrased from Sumser, Chapter 3 Operationalization: Just Exactly What Do You Mean by That?  Sumser, J.  (2001).  A guide to empirical research in communication:  Rules for looking.  Thousand Oaks:  Sage. 

  1. The key to good research is clarity.

  2. The definition (also known as conceptualization) tells us what sort of thing to look for. The operationalization spells out the criteria for saying that something is, or is not, an "act of violence." The point of operationalizing a term or a concept is to:
    State clearly exactly what we mean by the term, in the context in which it is being research.
    State clearly what it means for something to be included or excluded from a category.
    Make it possible for another researcher to replicate (repeat) or expand on our study.

  3. The purpose of adhering to research methods guidelines is to design a research program that has the potential (a) to produce conclusions that run counter to your expectations and beliefs and (b) to convince people who do not agree with your positions.

  4. A great deal of content analysis research blends these two approaches because content analysis frequently involves both interpretation and counting.

http://www.funnydog.net/images/snow-dog.jpg

http://www.funnydog.net/

Different students will use different method--the method that best fits your problem well--to reach your research destination

.

Photo by Joan Aitken (Copyright 2008)

SURVEY RESEARCH

Direct quotation or paraphrased from Ker linger & Lee, 2000, Chapter 25. Survey Research.

  • Survey research is a type of quantitative field study.

  • Survey research attempts to find relations between sociological and psychological variables.

  • Survey research is a development of the twentieth century.

  • The general focus of survey research is on people.

  • Interviews, schedules, panels, telephone and mail surveys are different types of surveys.

  • The type of survey that yields the best information is the interview. Mail surveys contain the greatest amount of problems.

  • Survey research can obtain a wide range of information, but cannot provide in-depth information. It is more extensive than intensive.

  • The methodology of survey research includes a "flow plan." This plan outlines the design and implementation of a survey.

  • The construction of the questionnaire or survey is one of the important parts of the plan. Another part is the sampling plan (i.e., who to sample and how will the sampling be done?).

  • Data collection can be a laborious task. If interviews are used, then interviewers need to be trained properly.

  • Getting the data into machine-readable form is another big task in survey research. This would also include the analysis of the data.

  • Survey research can be expensive in terms of time, money, and labor. In a large survey, findings are not quickly accessible before the end of the study.

  • Meta-analysis is a form of survey research. Experimental research usually uses an individual participant as a unit of measurement. In meta-analysis, the individual studies are themselves the unit of measurement.

  • Meta-analysis involves collecting a number of studies on a similar topic and summarizing the findings. The goal is to define some general law of behavior.


Direct quotation or paraphrased from Sumser (2001).  Sumser, J.  (2001).  A guide to empirical research in communication:  Rules for looking.  Thousand Oaks:  Sage. 

It's not the mountains ahead that wear you out. It's the grain of sand in your shoe. -Unknown.

Qualitative analysis is challenging. It requires an eye for nuances but also superior writing skills to organize your notes into a coherent narrative.

FIELDWORK

Field research allows us to watch people in natural settings and to engage them in conversation, asking them to explain what it is they are doing. The goal is to understand what people are doing from their perspectives, or a study of conceptualization as observation.

Fieldwork has very high validity, meaning the data is relevant to real life, but very low reliability. Fieldwork is relatively unscientific because there is little or not control or ability to repeat the research. The ability to repeat research is replication, which enables reliability. Ethnography is when the researcher does not attempt to manipulate the situation being examined. Sometimes researchers take a more aggressive role and manipulate the environment or situation in such a way that the research becomes a blend of fieldwork and experimentation that is called a field experiment or quasi-experiment. Ethnographic is nonintrusive. As an outsider, the researchers has to fit into the environment in some way. One of the problems with fieldwork is that if you have a narrowly focused question it may be hard to collect data. By manipulating the situation, you introduce variables into it. Variables are used to simplify and standardize situations. Field experiments can range from being mildly aggressive manipulations to fairly rigidly structured experiments. Fieldwork is used to generate, rather than test, conceptualizations, so it is associated with grounded theory, which is the effort to base theories on empirical observations.

Hermeneutic circle is the constant evolution of concepts as one looks, then thinks, then looks, then thinks. You approach the situation to be studied without a preconceived conceptual framework. You let the ideas rise out of the experience and then use the ideas to help focus your experience. The hermeneutic circle suggests that at first you study pretty much everyone and then focus on select people as you learn more. Invisible people or marginal people in every organization can provide much information.

The key to sampling in fieldwork is being systematic and really thinking about what you want to talk about. Snowball sampling is when you ask each person you speak to if he or she knows of someone else you might be able to talk to. Its primary weakness is that you may end up avoiding marginal people.

US Air Force Rescue

Photo source

SURVEY RESEARCH

When we are interested in values, opinions, perceptions, concerns, ideas, or attitudes, we can--with a great deal of caution--simply ask people what they are thinking. Survey research ranks very high on reliability. Like experiments, surveys are easily repeated because it is possible to exactly duplicate both the data collection (the questions asked) and the sampling design. Survey researchers, like experimenters, have a great deal of control.

http://www.hickerphoto.com/data/media/166/alaska-grizzly-bears_218.jpg

http://www.hickerphoto.com

Surveys tend to be cross-sectional rather than longitudinal. Surveys are not generally designed to examine changes. Surveys attempt to find out how people are thinking at a given time. There are three basic types of longitudinal studies: cohort, panel, and repeated cross-sectional. A cohort study follows a group of people who have some sort of shared identity. A panel study looks at the same individuals each time a survey is conducted. There is a problem of attrition. Repeated cross-sectional studies assume any representative sample will do.

Picture of Alaska Adventures

Photo credit

A validity concern is that people will shade their responses toward what they think are the researcher's biases or toward what they believe will put them in a better light. People do not want to label themselves as extremists. There is a statistical regression to the mean if people repeat.

In constructing questions:
a. Ask one question at a time.
b. Don't ask loaded questions.
c. Ask positive questions.
d. Keep the questions short.

Photo by Joan Aitken (Copyright 2008)

http://jackiemosley.blogspot.com



Keep moving. You are making serious progress! End of Unit's Lecture

LECTURE WEEK 7

SAMPLING AND RANDOMNESS

Direct quotation or paraphrased from Ker linger & Lee, 2000, Chapter 8. Sampling and Randomness

Imagine the many situations in which we want to know something about people, about events, about things. To learn something about people, for instance, we take a few people whom we know--or do not know--and study them. After our "study," we reach certain conclusions, often about people in general. Some such method is behind much folk wisdom. Common sense observations about people, their motives, and their behaviors derive, for the most part, from observations and experiences with relatively few people. We might make statement such as: "People nowadays have no sense of moral values." The basis of the statement is a conclusion based on our limited experience. People sample their experiences of other people.

Sampling refers to taking a portion of a population or universe as representative of that population or universe. This definition does not say that the sample taken--or drawn, as researchers say--is representative, but they are considering the sample to be representative.

In research, a representative sample means that the sample has approximately the characteristics of the population relevant to the research in question.

A sample drawn at random is unbiased in the sense that no member of the population has more of chance of being selected than any other member. We cannot ever be sure that the sample is accurate and the research is correct. Random samples are more likely to include the characteristics typical of the population if the characteristics are frequent in the population.

The notion of randomness is at the core of modern probabilistic methods in the natural and behavioral sciences. In fact, scientists are quite systematic about randomness; they carefully select random samples and plan random procedures.

We say events are random if we cannot predict their outcomes. Randomness means that there is no known law, capable of being expressed in language that correctly describes or explains events and their outcomes. When events are random we cannot predict them individually. Strange to say, however, we can predict them quite successfully in the aggregate. That is, we can predict the outcomes of large numbers of events. We cannot predict whether a coin tossed will be heads or tails, but if we toss a fair coin 1,000 times, we can predict, with considerable accuracy, the total numbers of heads and tails.

A table of random numbers contains numbers generated mechanically so that there is no discernible order or system in them.

Kinds of Samples. Simple random sampling is not the only kind of sampling used in behavioral research. Indeed, it is relatively uncommon, at least for describing characteristics of populations and their relations between such characteristics. Is nevertheless, the model upon which all scientific sampling is based.

Other kinds of samples can be classified broadly into probability and nonprobability samples (and certain mixed forms). Probability samples use some form of random sampling in one or more of their stages. Nonprobability samples do not use random sampling; they thus lack the virtues being discussed, but are still often necessary and unavoidable. Their weakness can to some extent be mitigated by using knowledge, expertise, and care in selecting samples, and by replicating studies with different samples.

Hiker in Alaska.




You'll be able to get to the top and back home now.  You are doing great!

End of Unit's Lecture

 

US Air Force Mountain Rescue

Photo source

 

RESERACH DESIGN

Directly quoted or adapted from Kerlinger & Lee, 2000. Chapter 20. General Designs of Research.

  1. The design of a study is its blueprint or plan for the investigation.

  2. The experimental design is where at least one of the independent variables used in the study is manipulated.

  3. Nonexperimental designs are those designs where there is no randomization to equate the groups prior to administering treatment.

  4. For experimental designs, usually the most appropriate statistical method to use is analysis of variance.

  5. The experimental group--control group design with randomized participants is the best design for many experimental behavioral research studies.

 



 

You're near the end of the journey now!

End of Unit's Lecture

Unit 7: Wk7 Writing, Interviews, and More: You've Reached the Summit (Apr 14 - May 09)


YOU'VE ARRIVED!

Here is a view at the top of the world--Barrow's North Point, Alaska--which is the most northern land in North America. Yes, the ocean is still frozen. How is your view now that you've achieved your goal for the course?

Photo Copyright Joan Aitken.

 


Week 7 (Unit 7): The Summit

Additional Exploration: Ker linger & Lee, 2000, Ch. 29.



Interviews and Interview Schedules.

http://copsontop.net/denali01/Stu_on_the_Summit_of_Denali_small.jpg

http://copsontop.net


 Bear near a tent

What are criteria for writing items or questions in the schedule?
1. Is the question related to the research problem and the research objectives?
2. Is the type of question appropriate?
3. Is the item clear and unambiguous?
4. Is the question a leading question?
5. Does the question demand knowledge and information that the respondent does not have?
6. Does the question demand personal or delicate material that the respondent may resist?
7. Is the question loaded with social desirability? People tend to give responses that are socially desirable; responses that indicate or imply approval of actions or things that are generally considered to be good. Unless we are careful, we will get a stereotyped response.

The focus group method is an unstructured interview using a small number of participants. These are low in cost and quick to do. Focus group research is qualitative research. Focus groups have a problem in generalization.

What is an interview schedule?


Week 7 (Unit 7) Additional Exploration: Ker linger & Lee, 2000, Ch. 30.



Objective Tests and Scales.

  1. The test or scale is the most utilized method in the behavioral sciences for collecting data. A goal is to develop and use tests that are objective. Scientific objectivity does not depend on the characteristics of the scientist. Scientific objectivity involves agreement between expert judges. Methods of observation and data collection have different degrees of objectivity.

  2. A test is a systematic procedure to determine the behavior of individuals.

  3. A scale is a set of symbols or numerals constructed in a way such that these numerals or symbols can be assigned to individuals using some rule. Scales and items can be divided into three types: Agreement-Disagreement, rank order, and forced -choice.

  4. The research should take the time to determine if a test already exists for the study. There are a number of published and unpublished sources for tests. A new test should be created only if no test exists for the researcher's purpose.

Now here's a view! Mt. McKinley (Denali), Alaska. Photo by Joan Aitken (Copyright 2008)




OBSERVATIONS OF BEHAVIOR

Quoted or adapted from: Ker linger & Lee, 2000, Ch. 31. .

Alaska Small Ship Cruise

Photo credit

RV Alaska :: Kenai :: Portage Glacier, the most popular tourist site in Alaska

Photo credit

Now you should be ready to write your full proposal.  Hope you're enjoying your journey!

End of Lecture

End of lecture 

WEEK 7

CALCULATING STATISTICS

Hikers with backpacks


 

The emphasis in this course is on research design for a proposed communication study. If you are doing qualitative research--such as most content analysis--you will not need to use statistics. 

If you are answering a research question, you probably don't need to use statistics.

Because some students may want to use statistics, information is provided here to help students understand how to use statistics in their studies. 

If you test a hypothesis, you will need to run the appropriate statistical test so you can accept or reject your hypothesis.  Although we cannot teach statistics in this course, we do need to give some guidance to students who plan to use statistics in their research project.

If you want to learn statistics, you will want to take a statistics course to understand the nature and logic of statistics. Knowing about statistics will better understand some of the scholarly articles you read.

Today, computers make this process easy.  You need to (a) know the kind of statistics to use by checking a chart like this one (b) enter the data into Excel or some other calculator, and (c) check the results to determine whether they are significant. Microsoft Excel provides a set of data analysis tools— called the Analysis ToolPak— that you can use to save steps when you develop complex statistical analyses. You provide the data and parameters for each analysis; the tool uses the appropriate statistical functions and then displays the results in an output table. Some tools generate charts in addition to output tables.

End of section

USING EXCEL TO RUN STATISTICAL TESTS

Excel is a spreadsheet program inside Microsoft Office (e.g., the same program suite as ). For most statistical tests, you can use the Tools function, Data Analysis in Excel. If the Data Analysis command is not available,
you need to load the Analysis ToolPak add-in (add-in: A supplemental program that adds custom commands or custom features to Microsoft Office.) program.

If the add-in program you want is not in the list under Add-Ins available in the Add-Ins dialog box, you might be able to install the add-in from the Microsoft Office Web site.

Now you can enter the data and run the statistical tests inside Excel.

Microsoft - UCDavis Tutorial
 

End of section

USING ONLINE CALCULATORS TO RUN STATISTICAL TESTS


If you don't have Excel, there are
online sources for free which will allow you to run statistical tests. Here are some examples, but
if the link doesn't work, you can find your own by searching the Internet.

Graphing calculators can help you visual what you input, click here or click here. Firefox addon.

Descriptive statistics. For example, calculate the mean:
here.

Deciding which test: here.

Chi-square here.

t-test:
here. Or here.

ANOVA: here.

correlation: here.


End of section

USING SPSS TO RUN STATISTICAL TESTS

SPSS will be available on campus for Parkville students in the Fall, 2006. SPSS works pretty much like Microsoft Office software, and you can upload data from an Excel spreadsheet straight into SPSS. To help you figure out what statistical test you should use, you can go to "Help" in the upper right of SPSS and select "Statistics Coach." These pages will walk you through figuring out the most appropriate test to use. Below is an example page. It's great!

End of section

MEASURES

A measure is a test, also known as the apparatus.

One of the best ways to figure out good design and an appropriate measure is through reading quantitative scholarly journal articles related to your topic. Pay close attention to how they design and conduct their studies. Journal articles using the measure--especially the first--usually contain the measure.

Reliability is consistency of a test. You want a measure with reliability—as expressed as a statistical correlation—of at least .6 is a correlation and .8 is exceptionally good.

Validity is that the test actually measures what it is supposed to measure.

The Heffner text has a good explanation of reliability and validity: http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/validityreliability.html

The best measure to select for your project--if you need one--is an accepted one, which has reliability and validity established. This approach is much better than designing your own measure for which you will have to establish reliability and validity.

Here is a site of measures by McCroskey and his colleagues, which you can use http://www.jamescmccroskey.com/measures/ McCroskey has his doctorate in measurement, and he's the most published journal author in our field.

To conduct a project using a measure (that is, a survey instrument or test), you will have to show paperwork to the Institutional Research Board (IRB) that you have author approval to use the measure. Some of the more extensively known measures have per test charges, while other some are free. McCroskey often provides his work for free to students.

End of section

STATISTICS:  PURPOSE, APPROACH, METTHOD

Direct quotation or paraphrased from Ker linger and Lee (2000), Chapter 11.

  • The basic principle behind the use of statistical tests of significance is to compare obtained (observed, empirical) results to chance expectations.

  • Four purposes of statistics are to
    1. reduce data to manageable and understandable forms
    2. aid in the study of populations and samples
    3. aid in decision making
    aid in making reliable inferences from samples to populations.

  • Binomial data consists of two admissible outcomes.

  • Under certain conditions, the normal curve can be used to approximate binomial distribution.

  • The law of large numbers states that the larger the sample, the closer the sample value approaches the true (population) value.

  • Chance events tend to distribute themselves in the form of a normal curve.

  • Using the normal curve simplifies the interpretation of data analysis.

  • The normal curve has certain mathematical properties that make it attractive to use in statistical analysis and interpretation.

http://www.comfsm.fm/~dleeling/statistics/normal_curve.gif

http://www.comfsm.fm/~dleeling/statistics/normal_curve.gif

  • The normal curve is the a standardized test that has a normal distribution of scores comparable to the general population.  Stardized IQ scores are often discussed this way.  The normal curve regarding IQ in the US always looks the same, with the same percentages.  Average intelligence is an IQ of 100. 

  • http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/paedagogik/Seminare/moeller02/06hochbegabung/NormalCurveRod.gif http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/

  • Standard scores, Z, are linear transformations (reexpressions) of raw scores. Use of Z-scores enhances interpretability of data because they are expressed as standard deviation units. Z-scores from different distributions can be meaningfully compared to one another. Converting normally distributed raw scores to Z-scores allows one to use the table for the normal curve to determine percentages, areas, and probabilities.

End of section

TESTING HYPOTHESES AND THE STANDARD ERROR

Direct quotation or paraphrased from Kerlinger & Lee, 2000, Chapter 12.

Selecting a statistical test

What Statistical Test is Appropriate? click here.
Online stats calculator:
click here.

Type of Data click here.

Goa

Measurement (from bell-shaped, normal Gaussian Population)

Rank, Score, or Measurement (from Non- Gaussian Population)

Binomial
(Two Possible Outcomes)

Survival Time

Describe one group

Mean, SD

Median, interquartile range

Proportion

Kaplan Meier survival curve

Compare one group to a hypothetical value

One-sample t test

Wilcoxon test

Chi-square
or
Binomial test **

Compare two unpaired groups

Unpaired t test

Mann-Whitney test

Fisher's test
(chi-square for large samples)

Log-rank test or Mantel-Haenszel*

Compare two paired groups

Paired t test

Wilcoxon test

McNemar's test

Conditional proportional hazards regression*

Compare three or more unmatched groups

One-way ANOVA

Kruskal-Wallis test

Chi-square test

Cox proportional hazard regression**

Compare three or more matched groups

Repeated-measures ANOVA

Friedman test

Cochrane Q**

Conditional proportional hazards regression**

Quantify association between two variables

Pearson correlation

Spearman correlation

Contingency coefficients**

Predict value from another measured variable

Simple linear regression
or
Nonlinear regression

Nonparametric regression**

Simple logistic regression*

Cox proportional hazard regression*

Predict value from several measured or binomial variables

Multiple linear regression*
or
Multiple nonlinear regression**

Multiple logistic regression*

Cox proportional hazard regression*

Relating Research Designs to Appropriate Statistical Analyses click here.

Scales of Measurement
Nominal (category, not numerical)
Ordinal (array, greater than)
Interval (equal intervals)
Ratio (zero point, equivalent intervals)
 

Photo by Joan Aitken (Copyright 2008)

If you decide to use a complicated statistical procedures for your project, you may want to ask a statistician to help you.

 

Congratulations! How's your view from the top? End of Unit's Lecture

End of section


WEEK 8 LECTURE

WOW!  We're at the end!

Heading Home

Alaska

Photo credit



You have read, analyzed, argued, researched, written, and proposed during this course. In just eight weeks, you have learned skills, values and dispositions that will serve you during this program and beyond. Congratulations on your outstanding effort. There is no lecture this week so you will focus on your proctored final exam. Let your professor know how to help you succeed in this final stage of the process.

Heading home

Course Glossary

 

  1. About a problem in communication, preferably related to organizational leadership.

  2. About a topic you are very interested in.

  3. Answerable.

  4. Challenging.

  5. Identifies the independent and dependent variable.

  6. Singular without multiple parts (ask only one question).

  7. Not answerable with a yes or no (open-ended).

  8. Not too general or too narrow, but focused and specific.

  9. Realistic given time, money, and other constraints.

 

Glossary taken from a variety of sources, including textbooks, http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/ , and  http://www.dur.ac.uk/stat.web/glossary.htm .

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