Research Methodology ( SPRING 2010) by pnx67864


									                                Research Methodology (SPRING 2010)
             SOCI 4000-01 (11591) & CRIM 4000-01 (11542): Tuesday/Thursday 1230-145 p.m.
        SOCI 4000-02 (11593), SOCI 5000-01 (11624) & CRIM 4000-02 (11543): Wednesday 530-8 p.m.
                                               TLC 1116

Todd Matthews, Ph.D.
Office: Pafford 209-B
Phone: 678-839-6325
Office Hours: T 2-4 p.m.; W 1-5 p.m.; R 1030 a.m.-1230 p.m.; and by appointment

                                          COURSE DESCRIPTION:
From An introduction to the logic and procedures of
quantitative and qualitative research methods. Focuses on research design, use of computer and
statistical packages, data interpretation, the relation of research and theory, and the writing of scientific
research reports.

                                         COURSE OBJECTIVES:
  Adapted from list at
       Be able to communicate (orally and in writing) how sociological and criminological research
       contributes to an understanding of social reality.
       Develop the ability to link method and methodology to sociological and criminological theory.
       Understand methodological approaches to the description and interpretation of social data.
       Ability to ask relevant questions and engage in research to explore issues in sociology,
       criminology, and criminal justice, including their effects on the larger society.
       Understand the scientific approach to identifying the nature of culture and social structure.
       Understand the scientific approach to identifying the roles of race/ethnicity, class, and
       sex/gender in human behavior and society.
       Ability to apply methodological principles, concepts, and techniques to address ―real life‖
       problems—i.e. to think/analyze critically.
       Ability to utilize appropriate technology in conducting research in sociology, criminology, and
       criminal justice.
       Knowledge of career options (including criminal justice), and continued academic study in
       sociology and criminology, that demand research skills.
       Ability to engage in ethical behavior while conducting professional research.

                                                REQUIRED TEXT:
        The Basics of Social Research (4th edition) by Earl Babbie

The assigned readings are indicated in the ―Course Outline‖ below. The readings are critical for your
understanding of the concepts and ideas you are expected to master in this course. It is expected that
you will complete the readings IN ADVANCE of the date listed. Any additional readings, websites,
etc. will be made available on the WebCT/Course Den site.

                                             WEBCT NOTE:
This course uses WebCT/Course Den (available at
For those unfamiliar with this technology, please see the following website as soon as possible:

Handouts on the use of WebCT are available there. See Dr. Matthews IMMEDIATELY with other
questions about this technology!
Exams (80% of final grade): Exams will consist of multiple choice, matching, definitions, short answer,
and/or essay questions. The first four exams will each count for 20% of your final grade. The final exam
will be cumulative, and will serve as an optional opportunity to drop one of your lower test grades if you
choose. It will also serve as a makeup for any exams you may have missed during the semester; thus
there will be NO EXAM MAKEUPS! More details on each exam will be provided at least one week
before the scheduled exam date. Make sure you purchase four small Scantron sheets (#229629) and four
Blue Books for the exams (five of each if you take all the exams).

Assignments (15% of final grade): Periodic short assignments will be given, both in and out of class.
More details will be made available with each assignment. The lowest assignment grade will be
dropped; thus no make-ups will be allowed! Note – you will NOT be able to drop the final

Discussion and Attendance (5% of final grade): You are expected to participate in the discussion of all
readings. If the class as a group is generally NOT reading the material, unannounced reading quizzes
may be used to ensure that you do your reading, with these grades counting towards your assignment
average. You do NOT automatically gain 100% in this category simply for attending class each day.
Further, students in sections that meet once per week will automatically receive zero percent for this
category if you have more than TWO unexcused absences! Students in sections that meet twice per
week will automatically receive zero percent for this category if you have more than FOUR unexcused

Extra credit: There will be NO extra credit opportunities in this class. PLEASE DO NOT ASK!!!

Your final grade will be based on the percentage of your total accumulated points, using the following
scale: 90% + = A; 80-89% = B; 70-79% = C; 60-69% = D; 59% and below = F. If you miss an exam, you will
have to take the cumulative final to make it up (ONLY IF YOU HAVE AN OFFICIAL EXCUSE, which
you must present to me immediately upon returning to class). Other assignments cannot be made up.

Note for Graduate Students: Any graduate students in this course will have additional expectations. You
will be expected to schedule a meeting with Dr. Matthews during the first week of the semester to discuss
and formally codify these expectations.

        Turn off ALL devices (cell phones, PDAs, etc.) before entering the room.
        Do not utilize ANY classroom technologies for non-course related purposes.
        Complete reading assignments prior to class (see ―Course Outline‖ below).
        Avoid tardiness and leaving class early (without a valid excuse).
        Do not carry on ―side conversations,‖ interrupt or speak disrespectfully to anyone.
        Do not do any kind of work unrelated to this course in this classroom.
        Do not threaten, intimidate, or harass fellow students or myself in any way.
        Do not make insensitive comments or perform inappropriate actions.
        Avoid displays of anger when we politely and intelligently criticize your views.
        Do not demean, devalue, or in any way ―put down‖ people for their experiences.
        Avoid any other forms of disruptive, socially unacceptable behavior.
Violation of these standard expectations can lead to you being asked to leave the class for the day, or to
you being removed from the course should these violations become repetitive.
                                         ACADEMIC HONESTY:
The faculty in the Department of Sociology and Criminology has created a zero-tolerance policy on
academic dishonesty. In this class, evidence of academically dishonest behavior will result in a failing
grade for the course.

Wednesday January 6                Classes begin
January 6- Tuesday January 12      Drop/add and late registration
Monday January 18                  Martin Luther King Holiday (offices closed, no classes)
Monday March 1                     Last day to withdraw with grade of W
Monday March 22- Saturday March 27 Spring Break (no classes)
Wednesday April 21                 Last day of Wednesday class
Tuesday April 27                   Last day of Tuesday-Thursday class
Thursday April 29                  Reading Day
Saturday May 8                     Graduation – Saturday (exact times and order of colleges TBD)

                                               COURSE OUTLINE:
               *please note that all dates are tentative and subject to change if conditions warrant*
Date:           Topic or Activity:
Week 1          Introduction
Week 2          Ch 1: Human Inquiry & Science
Week 3          Ch 2: Paradigms, Theory & Research & Ch 3: The Ethics & Politics of Research
Week 4          EXAM 1 (Chapters 1-3)
Week 5          Ch 4: Research Design & Appendix A: Using the Library
Week 6          Ch 5: Conceptualization, Operationalization & Measurement & Ch 6: Indexes, Scales &
Week 7          Ch 6 & Ch 7: The Logic of Sampling
Week 8          EXAM 2 (Chapters 4-7)
Week 9          Ch 8: Experiments & Ch 9: Survey Research
Week 10         Ch 9: Survey Research
Week 11         Ch 10: Qualitative Field Research
Week 12         NO CLASSES – Spring Break
Week 13         EXAM 3 (8-10)
Week 14         Ch 11: Unobtrusive Research & Ch 12: Evaluation Research
Week 15         Ch 14: Quantitative Data Analysis & Ch 15: Reading & Writing Social Research
Week 16-17      EXAM 4 (11-12 & 14-15)
Finals          CUMULATIVE FINAL EXAM (see date below)

Class Dates (Wednesday night section)
Week 1 (1/6), Week 2 (1/13), Week 3 (1/20), Week 4 (1/27), Week 5 (2/3), Week 6 (2/10), Week 7 (2/17),
Week 8 (2/24), Week 9 (3/3), Week 10 (3/10), Week 11 (3/17), Week 12 (3/24), Week 13 (3/31),
Week 14 (4/7), Week 15 (4/14), Week 16 (4/21), Final Exam (W 5/5 530-730 p.m.)

Class Dates (Tuesday/Thursday section)
Week 1 (1/7), Week 2 (1/12 & 14), Week 3 (1/19 & 21), Week 4 (1/26 & 28), Week 5 (2/2 & 4),
Week 6 (2/9 & 11), Week 7 (2/16 & 18), Week 8 (2/23 & 25), Week 9 (3/2 & 4), Week 10 (3/9 & 11),
Week 11 (3/16 & 18), Week 12 (3/23 & 25), Week 13 (3/30 & 4/1), Week 14 (4/6 & 8),
Week 15 (4/13 & 15), Week 16 (4/20 & 22), Week 17 (4/27), Final Exam (R 5/6 11 a.m.-1 p.m.)

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