DATE: January 2013
Cozby, P. C. and S. C. Bates (2012) Methods in Behavioral Research (11th ed.) Boston: McGraw Hill. In accord with international copy write laws, no photocopied texts will be allowed in the classroom.
Turn off cell phones and pagers. If there is an emergency notification necessity, inform me before that particular class. Texting, looking at texts, checking to see who texted or called, answering calls, etc. are all forbidden during class. It is an uncivil practice that detracts from the goal of learning during the limited class time we have. “Surfing” the web when you are supposed to be investigating course-related information is prohibited: I will ask you to leave class and record an absence for you if are doing so.
MDIS requires that you attend 90% of the meetings of this module. That equates to one missed day. Being on time is important too. Under these rules, there are no excused absences. Missing class for any reason is an absence. If you are late to the start of class you will miss quizzes and points. If you miss significant parts of the class before or after the break you will earn an absence for ½ a period.
Overview: Research methodology is the applied technology of scientific thinking and you cannot master this without understanding and practicing the style of critical thinking called “scientific”. The kind of thinking has also been popularized as “critical thinking”. There are numerous useful ways of understanding the world and you won’t be required to give up your favorite way. I do expect however, that you demonstrate the ability to use this additional style of scientific/critical thinking. The emphasis is on practical knowledge for bachelor level students. The basic knowledge from this course should lead you to make better decisions based on your ability to judge the quality of the information derived from various research methods. Sound methods produce trustworthy information and good decisions are based on good information. It all starts with the way the information is gathered. Course Outcomes:
-- Learn and practice the basics of scientific/critical thinking -- Learn to distinguish journalistic research from scientific research studies -- Learn to design/create proper, sound research studies -- Learn to analyze and interpret the results of research -- Learn appropriate skepticism towards evidence that supports an argument. Your grade is divided into four components:
(I) Group Folder (100 points): Students will break up into small groups of 3-4 students. Each group will identify and discuss with me five media reports of five different methods and designs of research (i.e., questionnaire, correlational, experimental, etc) . A. Five written critiques of a media report (print or online) of actual research. Note that you are not allowed to use the actual research article: from a journalthe media report probably lacks some important information about the research, information you would need to trust the results or conclusions. That is the whole point of the exercise: to get you to practice critical thinking in applying the principles of the module material when you evaluate how trustworthy are the conclusions of the media report. You will plan and draft several of the reports during class and finish the entire five after I leave. During our nine days together I will come around to each group and get oral reports. B. Critical discussion of each research article. Each critique should include parts of the following (use 1-15 as a partial checklist; some items do not apply to every article or discussion and other elements might not be listed here.) You should make a set of notes so that your discussion will be on target. I might ask questions about:
1. What was the purpose and use of this research?
2. What type of research is it basic or...
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