Research Methods and Statistics
Mc Nair Scholars Summer Program 2002
Mondays and Thursdays 9:00-11:00

Instructors: Katrina Bledsoe and Dr. Theodore Joseph
Phone: (909) 621-8084, (909) 607-7433
e-mail: Katrina.Bledsoe@cgu.edu, Theodore.Joseph@cgu.edu
Office Hours: Bledsoe - Tuesdays & Thursday 11:00 am-12:00pm; Joseph- Mondays and Wednesdays 11:00-12:00


Course Description:

This course is designed to acquaint and equip students with both the qualitative and quantitative methodological and statistical issues involved in conducting research in the social sciences.  Through course lectures and class assignments, students will learn the basics of a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods (as well as statistical methods), how they are used, and in what situations they are most useful. Special emphasis will be placed on statistical programming, writing research proposals, ethical issues, and hands-on training. 


Course Objectives:

·        To provide students with a basic understanding of research and statistical methods which are used in a variety of settings including political, psychological, economics and business.

·        To enhance students analytical and research skills in evaluating critical issues that affect society on a daily basis.

·        To heighten students’ awareness of how methodological and statistical procedures are used within diverse groups of individuals and communities.

·        To provide students with a toolkit—Writing Research Proposals using American Psychological Association (APA) style and format, Statistical Programming using Statistical Programming for the Social Sciences (SPSS), Survey Research, and Presentation Skills—of basic and methodological procedures that will enable them to independently conduct and evaluate research.


Required Texts:

Ray, William, J. (2002) Methods: Toward a Science of Behavior and Experience, 6th ed. Wadsworth, Thompson Learning: Belmont, CA.

 

Esterberg, Kristin G. (2002). Qualitative Methods in Social Research. McGraw Hill: San Francisco, CA.

 

 

Suggested Texts

 

Schwandt, Thomas, A. (2001). Dictionary of Qualitative Inquiry, 2nd ed. Sage Publications: CA.

 


Course Requirements, Schedule, and Grading- QUANTITATIVE:

Attendance Policy. Due to the accelerated pace of the course, students are expected to attend every class. Students with excessive unexcused absences will be dropped from the course. In the event that you do miss a class, it is your responsibility to arrange to obtain the class notes and assignments from a classmate. You will be held responsible for all assignments and their due dates.

 

Readings. You will receive the required readings material before the start of class. On the inside front cover of the package, you will find the schedule of readings. You are expected to be current.

 

Homework Assignments.  There will be 4 homework assignments that will help you to master the concepts, methods and strategies that are critical to the course. Homework assignments will also help students gain hands-on experience in mastering certain skills.  Each assignment will be worth 25 points, i.e., a total of 100 points.  Homework assignments are due on Tuesdays at the beginning of class.  You can consult each other, but the home-work must be turned in individually. 

 

Take Home Midterm Exam. A take-home midterm exam will be given. It will cover all material covered thus far.  It is an individual exercise. No assistance is expected from anyone else. You will be allowed to consult your notes, text etc. The midterm is worth 50 points.

 

Final Exam. The final exam for the quantitative section will be comprehensive and will test your knowledge of the basic and applied concepts discussed during the semester. The final is worth 100 points.

Final Grade.  Please note that the final grade for this course will be the mean of the grades received from the quantitative and qualitative sections, respectively.


Course Schedule:

Quantitative Component

 

Date

Topic

Assignment

June 17 & 19

Intro to Scientific Research, Theories, Hypotheses

Chapters 1, 2, 3.

Reading 1 

Home Work 1

June 24 & 26

Measurement, Validity, Descriptive and Inferential Statistics 

Home Work 1 due

Chapters 4, 5, 6

Reading 2

Home Work 2

July 1 & 3

Intro to Statistical Programming (SPSS): Entering, Analyzing, and Interpreting Data

Home Work 2 due

 

Reading 3

Take Home Midterm

July 8 & 10

Experimental Designs, Randomization, Experimental Biases

Turn in Mid-Term Exam

Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10

Reading 4

Home Work 3

July 15 & 17

Non-Experimental Designs: Correlational Studies, Surveys, Quasi-experiments, Threats to Validity

Home Work 3 due

Chapter 11, 13

Reading 5

Home Work 4

July 22 & 24

Statistical Analysis (SPSS) Presentations

Home Work 4 due 

In-class Final

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Course Grading:

Grades for the Quantitative portion of the course will be based on a 300-point scale. Please refer to the point allocation and percentages listed below.

 

Assignment

Point Allocation

Percentage of Grade

Homework Assignments

100 (25 points each)

33.3%

Take Home Midterm

50 points

16.7%

Presentation

50 points

16.7%

In-Class Final

100 points

33.3%

Total

250 points

100%

 

Note: I reserve the right to change the syllabus and course schedule as deemed necessary.

 


Course Requirements, Schedule, and Grading- QUALITATIVE

Attendance Policy. As with the quantitative component, students are expected to attend every class. Students with excessive unexcused absences will be dropped from the course. In the event that you do miss a class, it is your responsibility to arrange to obtain the class notes and assignments from a classmate (not the instructor!). You will be held responsible for all assignments and their due dates.

 

American Psychological Association Writing Standards.

Students will learn and be responsible for demonstrating writing according to the American Psychological Association. The APA standards of writing are widely used throughout the social sciences. All course assignments will be completed using these standards; students will incur loss of points if APA style is not used.

 

Class Participation in Hands-on Activities. Due to the nature of the qualitative component, students are expected to participate in all class discussions and experiential activities. These discussions and activities are meant to enhance students’ understanding of the material, as well as prepare them to complete course assignments and the final exam.

 

Readings.  Occasionally, supplementary readings will be provided. They will be housed at the McNair Scholar’s Office. You are expected to borrow, copy, and read them according to the reading list provided.

 

Homework Assignments.  There will be four (4) homework assignments designed to give you firsthand experience in using qualitative methodology.  Each assignment will be worth 25 points for a total of 100 points. Together all course assignments account for 25% of the course grade. Homework assignments for the qualitative component are due on Mondays at the beginning of class. 

 

Culminating Project: Research Proposal. For the culminating project, students are expected to complete a proposal on a research topic of their choice, demonstrating their understanding of the research methods process. Proposals will be 12-15 pages in length, not including references and/or appendices. Students may choose to do either a quantitative or qualitative project. Additionally, students will present their research in a formal conference-like setting. Further information will be provided in additional handouts. The entire project is worth 150 points and the presentation worth 50 points for a total of 200 points accounting for 50% of the course grade.

 

In-class Final Exam. An in-class final exam will be distributed and will cover material discussed throughout the entire term.  The test will be closed book and closed note. Prior to the exam, a study guide will be provided. The exam is worth 100 points, accounting for 25% of the course grade.

 

Final Grade.  Again, please note that the final grade for this course will be the average of the two grades received from the quantitative and qualitative sections, respectively.

 

 


Course Schedule:

Qualitative Component

Week of

Topic

Assignment

June 18 & 20

What is Social Science Research; Ethics, American Psychological Association's Writing Standards

·        Chapters 1, 3

·       Supplemental Reading #1

·        Homework # 1

June 25 & 27

Strategies for Beginning Research, Observational Research

Homework #1 due

·        Chapters 2, 4

·        Supplemental Reading #2

·        Homework #2

July 2nd (4 hour class to make up for 7/4/00) 

Interviews, Unobtrusive Measures

Homework #2 due

 

·        Chapters 5, 6

·        Homework # 3

July 9 & 11

Narrative Analysis, Ethnographic Research

Homework # 3 due

 

·        Chapter 9

·        Supplemental Reading #3

·        Homework #4

July 16 & 18 

Action Research, Makin Sense of Data, Writing

Homework #4 due

·        Chapters 7, 8, 10

·        Supplemental Reading #4

 

July 23 & 25

Research Proposal Due; Presentation of Proposals, Final Exam Review

In-class Final

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Course Grading:

Grades for the Qualitative section of the course will be based on a 400-point scale. Please refer to the point allocation and percentages listed below.

 

Assignment

Point Allocation

Percentage of Grade

Homework Assignments

100 (25 points each)

25%

Research Proposal and Presentation

200 points

50%

In-Class Final

100 points

25%

Total

400 points

100%

 

Note: I reserve the right to amend or change the syllabus and course schedule with appropriate notice.