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SYLLABUS TOUR FOR SOC 340 APPLIED RESEARCH DESIGN
Dr Merrill Ashcraft
The Syllabus Topics
Teaching Methods/Learning Styles
Grading Scale & Rubrics
COLLEGE OF SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
CLASS INFORMATION AND SCHEDULE
FACULTY MEMBER: Dr. Merrill Anderson-Ashcraft TERM: Summer II 2014
COURSE TITLE: Applied Research DesignCOURSE NUMBER: SOC 340
Teaching Methods: Online lectures, internet searches, textbook readings, mini-studies, writing papers, and quizzes
1 Observation Mini-Study Reflection PPT 100
7 Discussion Board/Blogs @ 30 pts each 210
Research Question (20 pts) & Mini-Study DB (20 pts) 40
Survey Style Reaction Paper 50
6 quizzes 250
Comparative-Historical Analysis Activity Board 50
Methods Paper 200
Total possible points 1000
*Note that assignments may change at the discretion of the instructor.
**See Assignment Tab for detailed information of each.
Explanation of grades: This class follows the WU grading policy. Meeting the requirements of an assignment usually means that you have met expectations, which can be translated to a C. Students are advised to understand the nature of letter grades and what they mean in terms of student performance.
Below is the grading scale for the course:
Grading Scale & Rubrics: Students are eligible to earn up to 1000 points. Conversion of total points earned to a letter grade is as follows:
A = 950-1000 B+ = 890-919 points C+ = 800-829 points F = <740 points
A- = 920-949 B = 860-889 points C = 770-799 points FA = Failure to
B- = 830-859 points C- = 740-769 points Attend
Teaching/Learning Demonstration Methods
Nature Vs Nurture
Reliability & Validity
Teaching & Learning Methods Utilized
Text: Neuman, L. W. (2009). Understanding Research. Boston: Pearson.
Power Point Chapter Summaries
Scholarly Sources, Articles, Websites
Special topics (3)
Demonstration of Learning/Evaluation Methods
Discussion Boards & Blogs
Weekly Assignments-30 pts
Special topics (3) varies 20-50 pts
Survey Reaction Paper (2 pages) -50 pts
Final Research Methods Paper (4 pages)-200 pts
Narrated Observational Mini Study Power Point Presentation (7 slides) -100pts
Mini-Studies (Field Research)
Observational (see Paper & PPT)
Survey Reaction (see Paper)
6 weekly (10-25 questions-250 pts)
Final Exam (50 questions-100 pts)
Participation in Discussion
Does not enter discussion.
Sporadically provides comments and some new information. Interacts with only one or two participants by posting queries, comments, and thoughtful responses
Provides comments and new information in a regular and equitable manner. Interacts with a variety of participants by posting queries, comments, and thoughtful responses.
Content of Posting
Does not add to the discussion.
Postings consist largely of personal opinions or experiences.
Postings are accurate, original, and relevant.
Reveals a restricted understanding of the topic limited to information that could be derived from prior posts.
Even better than telling us something new, they raise new questions that lead to further discussion from a variety of people.
Reveals a solid understanding of the topic as evidenced by thoughtful responses and questions.
Survey Reaction Paper (2 pages)
Due end of Week 3
Final Research Methods Paper (4 pages)
Due end of Week 7
Narrated Observational Mini Study Power Point Presentation (7 slides)
Due end of week 6
Demonstration of Learning/Evaluation Mini-Studies I
Mini-Studies (Field Research I)
Discussion Board (2) (starting Week 1- 40 pts)
Narrated PowerPoint Presentation (Week 6-100 pts)
Final Methods Paper (Week 7-200 pts)
Jane Goodall – Whose doing the observing ? (DiMaio, 2013)
Demonstration of Learning/Evaluation Mini-Studies II
Mini-Studies (Field Research II Continued)
Survey Reaction Paper (Week 3- 50 pts)
Cross-Cultural Mini-Study (Comparative Analysis)
Discussion Board (Week 6-50 pts)
Cows are sacred in India’s culture. Traffic stops to ensure cows are not harmed.
C+ = 800-829 points
C = 770-799 points
C- = 740-769 points
F = <740 points
FA = Failure to Attend
A = 950-1000
A- = 920-949
B+ = 890-919 points
B = 860-889 points
B- = 830-859 points
There are 1000 points possible.
See BlackBoard under Rubrics/Grading Criteria
Link to WILMU Grading Policy
Note that quizzes are based on the Research Methods textbook for the course.
Quizzes consist of multiple choice questions.
The following assignments are pre-course assignments due before the course begins:
Self-Introductions in Discussion Board
Pretest (non graded)
Neuman Ch 1-2
Blog Entry #1
RQ Submission DB
Mini-Study DB Overview
Quiz # 1
Neuman Ch 3 & 10
Mini-Study Confirm Site/ Plan
Discussion Board #1
Finalize RQ based feedback by commenting on your DB
Quiz # 2
Neuman Ch 5 & 6
Submit Protocol via DB
Discussion Board #2
Survey Reaction Paper
Quiz # 3
Neuman Ch 7 & 9
Blog Entry #2
Submit scholarly article
Quiz # 4
Neuman Ch 4
Discussion Board #3
Blog Entry #3
Submit scholarly article that uses survey results
Neuman Ch 11
Mini-Study PPT Due
Comparative-Historical (cross cultural analysis) Activity via DB
Quiz # 6
Neuman Ch 8 & 12
Discussion Board #4 (7)
Information Literacy Assignment (Final Methods Paper)
RQ Submission Discussion Board (DB)
Mini-Study Discussion Board (DB) Overview
Mini-Study Confirm Site/Plan
Submit Scholarly Article
Neumann Ch 11
Information Literacy Assignment (Final Methods Paper)
Policies/Things Students Should Know
Weekly Online Attendance
Late Assignment Penalty
Assignment Manager Submittal
Graded Assignments Returned One Week After Due Date.
Adhere to Academic Integrity Policy
Phone: 757-465-5230/Cell: 757-576-9028
Blackboard Collaborate (Virtual Office)
Tuesdays 7:00-7:30 weekly
Type (doc, docx)
Page set up
1” margins all around
Font type Times Roman Size 12
APA style format
Help for Students for Writing
Student Success Center
Blackboard Online Tutoring
Dartmouth Writing Center
Pix Source: Wilmington University: Student Support Center (n, d)
As in a typical face to face class, I like to go over the syllabus with you.
From your blackboard class select the Syllabus item link from the left side (3 item from top).
The syllabus window opens and from there you need to download the syllabus to your desktop. The first page is shown here on the right.
In the syllabus you will find all the requirements and activities for this class. We will look at teaching methods and evaluation producures, grading, the course schedule and course policies.
We will use a variety of teaching and learning styles to keep things interesting such as readings, lectures, discussions, blogs, videos, and mini-studies. You will demonstrate the application of your learning with the mini-studies, as well as online quizzes and written reports.
Your textbook, Neuman (2009) Understanding Research, is well written with lots of real life examples. You will be learning new terminology. You may find certain sections more difficult as new learning occurs where we feel unsure. We need to ask questions .
I found that writing down concepts in margins of texts books reinforces my learning.
Review the power point slides before you take your weekly quizzes.
We will also have other readings and video content to aid in our learning, such as scholarly articles, blogs and news related to the topics.
We will also learn from each other, by responding to discussion boards and blogging about the topics.
If you ever have any questions please feel free to contact me or post them in the discussion board or the Cyber Cafe. My contact information is on Blackboard.
Part of learning something new is being able to demonstrate what you have accomplished. This course is not different. Here you can see the diversity and variety of assignments. I will discuss each type separately on the next slides.
The weekly discussion Board/Blogs are worth 30 points. There are a total of seven, 3 Blogs and 4 discussions. Basically you want to respond to the questions or perform activities posted to demonstrate your ability to apply new knowledge. Cite scholarly sources, when and where appropriate. You are to post your responses for discussion boards and blogs by Wednesday of each week. Look for your instructor’s comments as well. In addition, provide though provoking feedback to two of your peers by Sunday every week. Feedback should help clarify and add value. The posted a snippet of the rubrics here to give you an idea. The rubrics for all assignments can be found in Blackboard under “Rubrics/Grading Criteria.” Please note, discussion board and blog rubrics shows only a score of 5 points but assignments are worth anywhere from 20 to 50 points. This means I will multiple your raw scores by either 4, 6 or 10 for your total scores. The evaluation criteria does not vary although the final scores will.
There are three special topics on the discussion board. Two are related to the Observational Mini-Study you will be conducting as part of this class. These discussions help you refine your research question and to help guide your study, each is worth 20 points.
The last special topic you will post your results of a mini-cultural study which will be discussed later in this presentation.
You will also write 2 papers and have 1 presentation, points vary from 50 to 200 pts,
The first one occurs early on in week three and documents your reaction to taking an online survey and its limitations.
The second paper is a more comprehensive paper that covers what you learned about research design in conducting your mini-study, specifically you will discuss the research method and its limitations.
Writing help is available and you can find this information on the slide 18. If you need help with APA format please check out the audio presentation I posted at the bottom of week 1.
You will also provide a narrated Powerpoint presentation about your Observational Mini Study. This is a great exercise as we are often asked to present our findings to others. For example, I would do financial analysis and uncover problems and present my findings to my peers, subordinates and my boss., I would also have to write reports, and presentations always made writing reports easier.
You are given a suggested template for the seven slides in the narrative description of the project.
Always read the narrative explanations of what is expected as well as the rubrics before and after you write your papers/presentations to make sure you have included all the components that will be evaluated.
Mini-studies help us connect theories and concepts learned in class to real life. There are three mini studies that represent 44% of your grade. So I will spend a little time here discussing each one. You will start planning the main mini-study, field observation in the very beginning of class and conduct the observation by the 4th week. Some examples are :
Sitting outside of Wawa stores and observing peoples' behavior in terms of holding the door open for oncoming or outgoing customers.
Sitting in the Acme or Walmart parking lot and tracking customers' behavior in terms of what they do with the shopping cart. Do they take it back to the store, put it in the corral or leave it in the lot?
If you are a waiter/or waitress or know one who would be willing to inform you of their tips, you could keep track of the amount of tips he/she gets from various races or genders.
When I was in school for a class similar to this I did study on the age of a car one drove to a more upscale supermarket. I proposed that more people who shopped at the upscale supermarket had cars that were less than 5 years old. I stood by the entrance and explained I was conducting a study as part of a class project and I would ask if the would mind participating, They just had to respond to whether the car they drove to the supermarket was less than 5 years old or not. I only needed a yes or no answer. I recorded my data. As it turned out I was wrong and their were more people driving older cars than newer ones. I wonder if the same would be true today if I choose a “Trader Joes” type supermarket.
You need to pick a research question based on what it is you want to learn. You need to describe the setting, record what happens, analyze your data, and what you learned from the process both about the RQ but also about the process of conducting natural observations. Include your field notes as appendices to the paper and remember to cite the sources using the American Psychological Association (APA) format from your textbook, articles and websites or other scholarly learnings.
You will be discussing this study on the discussion board in two places. The first focuses on developing the research question and the second focuses on the planning aspect of your mini-study. You will conduct the study in week 4. In week 6 you will develop a narrated Power Point presentation of observation, In the week 7, you will write a final paper on this observational mini-study. There is guidance on both the presentation and the paper as well as rubrics to help guide you.
Picture source DiMaio, B. 29 March 2013. TDQ investigates: The Jane Goodall plagiarism scandal [picture]. Retrieved from http://www.thedailyquarterly.com/articles/2013/03/29/tdq-investigates-the-jane-goodall-plagiarism-scandal/.
The survey observation is much simpler. You will take a brief online survey on a topic of your choosing. Then you will write a short paper on your reaction to the survey answering questions like, did you understand the purpose of the study, was the study well designed, did the study accomplish its purpose, what would you have done to make it a better survey, etc. You will complete this task by week 3.
Lastly, the cross-cultural study asks you to hone your research skills to find the five similarities or differences between your home culture and another culture. I visited India once and their culture was quite different from ours. For one, if a cow crossed the road all traffic stopped to wait till the cow passed. I learned that the believed cows special for their ability to sustain human life by the milk they produce. This should be a fun exercise.
Next we will look at quizzes.
Every week will end with a quiz. Quizzes and the final exam are opened on Thursday and close on Sunday at 11:59 PM. You may take a quiz twice and your last score will be recorded. Quizzes are multiple choice questions and you must pick the best option as some questions are arranged lists where only one choice is correct.
I recommend you read the text early in the week, review the PowerPoint slides available in the “Readings and Activities” and make sure you understand key words and concepts before you take the test.
The quizzes are timed (1 minute per question and 5 to 10 minutes extra each quiz). The fact that you can use an open book will not help you if you do not know the material. Quizzes help identify your strengths and weaknesses. When you get a question wrong try to figure out the right answer. This will help you be prepared for the final exam.
The final exam is comprehensive and covers all the material you learned. You will see questions similar to the ones used in the quizzes you have taken. I have allowed 1 hour for this exam.
If you are confused about a topic after reading your text or any of the other readings or videos please feel free to contact me.
Next slide we will discuss the grading plan for this course.
The grading system follows the Undergraduate policy for Wilmington University for the Behavioral Science. Anything below a C- is failing.
The next page of your syllabus is devoted to a class schedule
The class schedule helps you plan your weekly readings and assignments. Let’s look a little closer in the next few slides at the course schedule.
Here you see the readings from the Neuman text and your assignments that are due. You will have other readings in Blackboard and videos to supplement your text. The first week we will introduce ourselves, start thinking about our research question for our mini-study and some thoughts about the mini study . In this blog we will explain what your research question is and why you selected this topic. Blog or Discussions initial entries are due by Wednesday and post your feedback to follow students starting on Thursday. Complete all entries by Sunday.
Each week you will take a quiz – you make repeat the quiz one time and your last result will be entered as your grade. Do not attempt the quiz without reading the text.
Week two you will enter your first discussion where you will discuss you top three of the five recommendations for taking field notes that you learned in our text. You will continue to work on mini-study design and finalize your research question in the discussion board.
Week 3 we submit our mini-study protocol and take an online survey. After taking the survey with will write our reaction to it in a brief 2 page paper due by Sunday. In the Blog 2 we will be discussing reliability and validity,
Week 4 (midway) we will conduct our mini-study. We will be doing another activity in our textbook where you will read about an experiment and its results. You will be asked to identify threats to internal validity based on the information given. Submit a scholarly article connected to your topic of interest based on your mini-study (no points). This is important for seeing how others have conducted research on your topic and for citing sources later in your final paper.
Week 5 we will have both a blog and a discussion board entries. Both are due by Wednesday and feedback NLT Sunday. In the discussion you will have an activity to describe the sampling details of one scholarly article that uses survey results. Submit the article as part of this assignment. In the blog you will discuss what you feel is the difference between quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
In week 6 your Mini-Study Narrative PowerPoint presentation (7 slides) is due by Sunday.
In the discussion board you will report on your cross-cultural analysis. Initial posts are due on Wednesday and feedback is to be completed by Sunday.
Our last week, by now you will have learned so much, You will enter your last discussion by Wednesday which will focus on what you learned in this class that might help you in other classes and to discuss what if any biases you may have discovered. Complete feedback by Sunday.
You will submit your final methods paper (which builds from your PowerPoint) on your observational mini-study process.
Lastly you will take your final exam. I recommend you review before the test. The questions are similar to the one you have had in the quizzes except there are 50 of them.
This brings us to the class policies.
You should already familiar with these policies.
1. You must participate in the discussion boards/blogs weekly. I will report your weekly attendance based on this.
2. Submit assignments in the assignment manager. Assignments that are late are assessed a 2 pt penalty for each day late and no assignment will be accepted one week past the due date. I will return your graded assignments no later than one week after due date.
3. Do not plagiarize materials. Students can get in a lot of trouble doing this. Things that are common knowledge do not have to be cited such as eating sweets can contribute to being overweight or money motivates people. Most of the time students do not realize they are stealing someone else’s contributions. When in doubt citing is safer. If you learned something from reading or watching a video you must acknowledge the source. I will submit your work to safe assign if I suspect you have plagiarized. Plagiarism has severe consequences including failure of this class.
4. Submit your best work as I will not have any time available to re-grade. Please review my comments and improve your next submittal.
5. I want you to feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments. I am on blackboard instant messenger, where when I am online I can respond immediately, Feel free to e-mail me I try to check my e-mail every day. You can call me at home or on my cell and I will hold virtual office hours on Tuesday at 7:00-7:30. Please don’t call before 11:00 AM or After 9:00 PM I am kind of a night owl.
6. Please use Word, times roman and font size 12. APA requires 1” margins all around.
7. Writing help is available from several sources listed on this slide.
Last slide , these are all the topics we have covered. I look forward to learning with you!not attempt the quiz without reading the text.
Week 4 (midway) we will conduct our mini-study. We will be doing another activity in our textbook where you will read about an experiment and its results. You will be asked to identify threats to internal validity based on the information given. Submit a scho