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Communication
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College of Arts
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Judy Sims - communication journalism

RESEARCH METHODS

Communication/Journalism  300

Prerequisites 

  • Completion of 45 credits; grades of C or above in CJ 105 and one of the following: 
  • CJ 201; CJ 222, CJ 235, CJ 241, CJ 250, CJ 265, CJ 270.
  • Minimum resident and total GPA of 2.50.
  • Not for GE.
  • Note: CJ 300 is a prerequisite for many upper division CJ courses (see your catalogue)!
    Students who are required to complete those classes must earn a grade of C or above in CJ 300!

Required Texts, etc.

  • Frey, L. R., Botan, C. & Kreps, G. L.  (2000). Investigating communication: An introduction to research methods(3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. 

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

  • Calculator:  You will need a stand-alone calculator that is hard-wired for simple descriptive statistics (i.e., one that is labeled by the manufacturer
    as "scientific" or "statistical," has a summation key, and a square root key).  

  • Desire2Learn (D2L): We will be using a course management system, Desire2Learn (D2L). You will find course documents and grades posted on it.

Catalogue Description

Study of research methods, measurement techniques, and data analyses (quantitative and qualitative) common to communication, journalism and mass communication.  Emphasis on basic information-gathering and research skills needed to design, conduct, and critically consume research.

Course Description

  • This course provides an introduction to the nature of the social scientific research.
  • This topic will be explored through lecture, discourse, assignments, guest speakers, videos, quizzes, and exams designed to promote critical
    and creative thinking.  Active, rather than passive learning will be emphasized
    .

 Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes (by the completion of this course, you should):

  • Be able to use the language (vocabulary) of social-scientific research;

  • Understand why & how social-scientific research (proprietary and scholarly) is used in organizational communication, public communication,
    broadcast journalism, print journalism, advertising & public relations

  • Be able to find & use communication and journalism sources in McIntyre Library, as well as sources from databases & Internet sites;  

  • Be able to use American Psychological Association (APA) style;

  • Be able to distinguish between three research methodologies common to the disciplines of communication and/or journalism: 
    experiment, survey &  textual analysis;

  • Know why one uses a particular methodology;

  • Know the three techniques used to measure (interviews, questionnaires & observation)

  • Know three operational procedures (self-report, others' reports & behavioral acts);

  • Understand the meaning of a concept &  how it becomes a variable;

  • Be able to distinguish between two types of variables: (1) nominal &  ordered and (2) dependent &  independent;

  • Know the two types of Research Questions that researchers ask (i.e. describing & relating);

  • Be able to distinguish between a one-tailed &  two-tailed Research Hypothesis;

  • Know the meaning of a Review of Literature, as well as its function;

  • Know the difference between a random sample &  a non-random sample, as well as types of random &  non-random samples;

  • Be able to distinguish between &  design four types of measurement scales (e.g., nominal, ordinal, interval & ratio);

  • Know the difference between quantitative & qualitative data;

  • Know how to design, conduct,  & write a scholarly research study;

  • Know the four moral principles related to the ethical treatment of research participants;

  • Understand the meaning of reliability & validity in research;

  • Know descriptive statistics and understand the basics of SPSS & inferential statistics;

  • Know why one should be a critical consumer of research.

 

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Comments:
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Updated: August 2009