||Social research is the foundation for the
scientific understanding of social phenomena. This course introduces
students to the theory and methods of social research. Although the course
content focuses on sociology, the research methodology covered in this
course is applicable to other social science disciplines (and science in
general). Students can expect to learn the entire process for conducting
scientific research and evaluating research conducted by other researchers.
Course activities involve library research (this can be accomplished
on-line), practical assignments that lead to the development of research
skills and a research proposal, and participation in discussion groups to
practice research communication skills.|
||The primary objective of this course is to
give students the skills needed to design research projects to answer
questions about social phenomena and to evaluate the research that others
have conducted. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be
able to design research projects to: 1) examine a variety of social science
topics concerning group/individual attitudes and behavior, and 2) evaluate
the effectiveness of groups, programs, and organizations. |
||Course prerequisites include Introduction to
Anthropology, Psychology, Political Science, Sociology, or other social
science. While not a prerequisite, some background in social statistics is
suggested. An introductory social science course (preferably Sociology) is
an important prerequisite because it introduces students to social research
subject matter, and the theoretical perspectives and research techniques
used in social research. An understanding of social statistics will help
students better understand and critique existing social science research.|
||Topics covered in this course include the
meaning of social science, selecting an appropriate research topic,
reviewing and critiquing research, formulating hypotheses, developing a
study design and sampling plan, data collection techniques, data analysis,
and technical writing.
||Students should be proficient in the use of a
word processor for completing course assignments and papers--preferably
Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, and an Internet browser for accessing the
course and surfing the Internet, such as Netscape or Microsoft Explorer.|
|Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software
Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to
obtain textbook information for this course:
||Pentium 133 or better; 32
Megabytes of RAM or better; Windows 95 or higher; CD-ROM; communications
software; a 28.8 modem or faster; and a dependable internet service
||Microsoft Word or WordPerfect|
|Assessment and Grading|
||Students are required to complete two timed
online examinations that may consist of any combination of multiple choice,
true or false, short answer, and essay questions. Students will also need to
complete 6 short quizzes that cover the material in 6 of the assigned
||Assignments, exams., paper, and class
participation and quizzes will be used to assess the expected learning
outcomes. Students will be evaluated against a class norm (average). High
achievement in this course is performance that is significantly better than
the class average.
10 assignments @ 10 points each 100
2 exams. @ 100 points each 200
1 paper @ 100 points 100
Class Participation 100
6 Chapter quizzes @ 10 point each 60
TOTAL 560 points
|Assignments and Participation|
1) Learning WebCt, Research Tools, Scientific Process;
2) Study Purpose and Selecting a Research Topic;
3) Grounding Research in Theory;
4) Research Questions and Hypotheses;
5) Conceptualizing and Operationalizing Variables;
6) Sampling Plan;
7) Experimental Research Design;
8) Questionnaire Construction;
9) Data Analysis Plan: Selecting Appropriate Statistics;
10) Reviewing Literature.
The ten (10) required assignments illustrate different
steps in the scientific research process. They are designed to help students
understand, and develop skills in, each of these steps.
In addition, the ten assignments together will form the
skeleton of the research proposal-the paper project. Therefore, students
should treat each assignment as leading to this final paper. Hints for
revising assignments for inclusion as sections of the research proposal
1) Use comments from instructor's evaluation of assignments to improve on
that step of the research process;
2) add additional support from the research literature for arguments, ideas
and decisions expressed in assignments; and
3) rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite to improve the presentation of ideas.
PROJECT: A 7-10 page paper that is a Research Proposal for
a study that the student would like to conduct.
||Students must communicate with other students
using the bulletin board to post insights gained from reading the textbook
and reviewing published research articles. To receive full credit for class
participation, students must contribute a minimum of 3 questions, insights,
or answers to classmates' questions each week. Posts to the bulleting board
must reference/discuss specific theories, findings or methods of social
research, and must reference the relevant chapter and/or sources to count
toward class participation points.|
||Reading assignments are due Mondays by 4:00
p.m., chapter assignments are due Fridays by 4:00 p.m., and examinations and
papers must be completed and submitted (when appropriate) by the scheduled
dates and times. There will be no late submissions, make-ups, or
extra-credit. If a scheduling conflict is anticipated, arrangements should
be made in advance of due dates.|
|Course Ground Rules|
||Students are responsible for what they
achieve in this class--neither cheating nor plagiarism will be tolerated.
Students with learning disabilities or any other
conditions which may necessitate accommodations to be made on exams or other
assignments are to notify the instructor by the second week of class.
Students must access their course account at least every
other day and stay abreast of new developments ("pop" quizzes, questions,
assignments, course changes). Participation is required.
Students are expected to Learn how to navigate in WebCT,
must use the assigned class e-mail address as opposed to a personal e-mail
address, address technical problems immediately, and observe course
etiquette at all times.
|Guidelines for Communications|
The following are examples of email etiquette:
Always include a subject line.
Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong
way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful
in some cases.
Use standard fonts.
Do not send large attachments without permission.
Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc.
should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other
Respect the privacy of other class members.
||The following are examples of
discussion group etiquette:
Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering
the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new
Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other
members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other's ideas.
Be patient and read the comments of other group members
thoroughly before entering your remarks.
Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.
following are examples of chat room etiquette:
Introduce yourself to the other learners in the chat
Be polite. Choose your words carefully. Do
not use derogatory statements.
Be concise in responding to others in the chat
Be prepared to open the chat session at the scheduled
Be constructive in your comments and suggestions.
Columbia Guide to Online Style
by Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor
Citation Styles Online
Tennessee Board of Regents Virtual Library is available
to all students enrolled in the Regents Degree Program. Links
to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases,
interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps,
and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to
complete online assignments and as background reading must be included
in all courses.
Students With Disabilities
||Qualified students with
disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic
accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability
services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability
accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written
verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from
the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's
responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's
disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for
having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.
|| The instructor reserves the right
to make changes in the syllabus if necessary due to time constraints or other unforeseen
events. If this is necessary, members of the class will be notified as soon as
possible BY E-MAIL and posted on the BULLETIN BOARD.
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