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Utah Valley University · Dr. Matthew J. Kushin Mattkushin.


Course Syllabus .:. 1

COMM 3020: Communication Research Methods
Fall 2011 Lecture: 2:15pm Text: Location: CS 708 Time: M/W 1-

Professor: Matthew J. Kushin, PhD email: Phone: 801-863-8745 Office hours: LC 237 (or virtually) M:10-12/R:2-4, or anytime door is open / available on chat

· Communication Research: Asking Questions, Finding Answers (3rd edition) · Additional required readings available on course website
PDF file password: _________________________

Course Canvas site: Students are responsible for keeping up with material posted to the course websites. Failure to do so does not excuse incomplete work. Turnitin – Major Written Assignments: will be turned in via Canvas into the Turnitin system. Professor’s website:
I am dedicated to being accessible to my students & use new media as 1 way to do so. That media is available on my website. Consider these various media as free supplemental services that you have the option of using. They include:

Twitter: A stream of updates and reminders. Topics relate from my whereabouts (to help you hunt me down on campus), to reminders for classes, to things going on in and around UVU, to news and bits related to mass comm and new media. ( Note: for class-related questions don’t use Twitter – use email or phone. Virtual Office Hours: Video or text chat with me during online office hours.

Course Overview: Emphasis: Quantitative Research Most communication careers require critical understanding of research, as well as writing competence. The primary goals of this course are: • To provide the skills needed to understand and interpret research applications, methods, and results. • To introduce students to a range of social science and communication studies research methods (qualitative and quantitative perspectives, data collection procedures & analytical procedures). • To teach students using both scholarly & real-world examples of how research applies to the communication fields, and thus their future careers! • To offer practice in basic research writing skills. • To understand the basics of conducting surveys, focus groups, interviews and content analyses • To execute one of these methods for a semester project • To provide the knowledge base and experience with which to pursue advanced research methods. • To make research exciting & fun! This class is designed to challenge you. It will require a substantial time commitment on your behalf, a lot of work, analytical thinking, and the ability to work professionally in a group. I am confident in your ability to rise to this challenge and excel in this course. Grading:

Utah Valley University · Dr. Matthew J. Kushin

Course Syllabus .:. 2

Research Article Review IRB Training, Submission, Approval Midterm Exam Final Exam Research Paper Introduction Literature Review Measurements Methods Results & Discussion Group Report Card Attendance & Participation

23% 23% 3% 7% 11% 3% 6%

6% 4%

11% 3%

Project Presentation See page 4 for information on what else contributes to this grade

** Exams will cover lectures and assigned readings. They will not cover handouts or lecture related to your project.

Tentative Schedule
Notes: Readings are to be completed by the date listed below. Schedule is subject to change. It’s a good idea to have your textbook accessible in class. ALWAYS bring it for “In class Participation” assignments

[Week Da Utah Valley UniversityTopic (separated by semicolon) · Dr. Matthew J. Kushin New assignments to be assigned in italics #] y Due assignments in bold Week of
[1] 8/29 Mon Wed s Mon Wed s Mon Wed s Intro to Class & Overview Intro to Research Methods: The Purpose of Research Labor Day – No Class Research Process; Introducing qualitative & quantitative research Qualitative Research Methods; Focus Groups Research, APA Referencing & Citations; Structure of a Research Article
Participation Exercise 1 – Dissecting a Research Article

Reading Due
Course Syllabus .:. 3

Chapter 1

[2] 9/5

[3] 9/12

Chapter 1 – finish Chapter 2 – ( pp. 1823) Chapter 4 Chapter 2 – (pp. 2431) Read “ Why do consumers open direct mail?” & bring a copy to class (course website) Bring your APA Quick Guide to class Chapter 13 – (243247) Chapter 15 - (284295) Chapter 8 Chapter 3 - (pp. 3542) Chapter 6 - (pp. 97106) Chapter 6 – (pp. 107-119) Skim: Chapters 13 & 16 Bring list of topics you think you might like to study

[4] 9/19


Intro to Content Analysis, Experiments & in-Depth Interviews
Participation Exercise 2 – APA Practice Article Research Review

Wed s [5] 9/26 Mon Wed s

Elements of Research
Research Article Review #1: Qualitative Research

Reliability & Validity
In class: Participation Exercise 3 – levels of measurement

Research Projects Overview; Group Formation
In-class: Participation Exercise 4– Project Focus Group Contracts

Exam review [6] 10/3 Mon Wed s [7] 10/10 Mon

Midterm Exam Ethics; Writing Research Introductions
Research Introduction In class: Participation Exercise 5 – Introductions Group Contracts

Chapter 5

IRB; Writing Literature Reviews
Literature Review

Wed s

CITI Training; Writing Literature Reviews (Cont’d)
In Class: Participation Exercise 6 – Lit Reviews (Parts 1 & 2) Research Introduction Note: Find & bring 2 scholarly articles relevant to your group’s topic that may help you write your lit review to be used in an in-class exercise today IRB Assignment: CITI Training

Chapter 5 – finish Chapter 17 Note: Bring copy of your introduction & participation exercise #3 Print & bring to class or bring your laptop: 1) “Online Social media” Chapter 18 Read “Improving the writing of literature reviews” (pp. 172178) Print & bring to class or bring your laptop: “A Spiral of Silence for Some” “Improving the writing of literature reviews” Bring copy of your introduction &

Utah Valley University · Dr. Matthew J. Kushin

Course Syllabus .:. 4

Final Exam: Time __12/14, 1-3pm___________

Location:__normal class location_

Final Grades: Final grades will be determined with the following scale:
A= 94-100% =0-59.9% A- = 90-93.9% B+ = 86-89.9% B = 83-85.9% C = B- = 80-82.9% C+ = 76-79.9% D+ = 66-69.9% 60-62.9% F

73-75.9% D = 63-65.9% C- = 70-72.9% D- =

Course Policies Participation Grade: A portion of your grade comes from participation. These are not “free” points distributed to students just for showing up. They must be earned. This grade is calculated based on various “participation exercise” in-class assignments I will assign throughout the semester, general participation in classroom discussion and evidence of preparation (e.g., attending class having completed the readings), and the student’s contribution to a productive, inclusive and respectful educational environment for the professor and fellow students. Attendance, Being On Time, & Leaving Early: Attendance will be taken every class. Students may miss up to, but no more than, 4 class periods throughout the semester without penalty. For every class missed beyond 4, a students semester grade will be reduced by .5%. Grade reduction due to missing classes will not exceed the total Attendance & Participation grade value of 6%. High-fives will be given to students who miss no more than 2 classes at the end of the semester; two-handed high fives for students who miss no classes. Do not expect a warning or notification of grade reduction. Class participation is important for the success of the class and to your success. You are expected to attend class regularly and on time and to stay for the duration of class. Students who arrive more than 5 minutes late or leave lecture before it is complete without notifying the instructor prior to the start of class will receive a reduction in their overall attendance & participation grade. Classroom Environment: Use of Internet devices to take notes & gather information to inform classroom discussion is encouraged. Social interaction on devices is discouraged, please minimize use during class. If your ringer goes off during class, please turn it off. Please turn your ringers off or to vibrate before class. If you feel the call may be an emergency, please step out of class. If your use of a computer or device becomes disruptive to other students, the other student will select a seat not near you or may ask you to please sit somewhere not near them. Please be respectful of these requests. Make-up Exams: Make up exams will be offered only once per student and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Make-up exams will be offered during office hours and must be complete by the end of the same working day the student returns to class. Late assignments: Late assignments will be accepted for a 10% reduction in grade per WEEKDAY they are late (except participation exercises – which cannot be made up as this defeats the purpose of an in-class assignment. The solution? Show up to class). Late assignments will not be accepted beyond 1 week. An assignment is late per day it is turned in after 2:30pm (the end of the normal class period) whether we meet that day or not. WEEKENDS will not be calculated in determining a late grade. Example: A paper due Monday turned in Thursday before 2:30pm is 3 days late, or 30% off. A paper due Monday turned in Thursday at 5pm is 4 days late, or 40% off. A paper due Wednesday, turned in the following Monday by 2:30pm is 3 days late, 30% off, and so forth.

Utah Valley University · Dr. Matthew J. Kushin

Course Syllabus .:. 5

Students are responsible for remembering to turn in assignments (online for Turnitin) or in person prior to end of class on the due date. For non-turnitin assignments: In the rare case that a student is not able to attend class on the date an assignment is due, the student may submit the assignment electronically PRIOR to the start of class on the assigned day for full credit. If you are having email/internet issues, you can fax it to the communication department or slide it under Dr. K’s office door. Email & Electronic Communication Policy: I will prioritize & make every effort to respond to communications sent during virtual office hours ASAP. However, for electronic communication occurring outside of established Office Hours:  Students can expect to get a response to an email from me within 48 hours of sending it, often much sooner. If you don’t hear from me within 48 hours, send a polite reminder.  If you send me an email or any other electronic communication and I do not respond to it, then I did not receive it. You will always get a response from me if I received something.  Students should not expect responses on weekends or after 6pm.  Email subject lines should include: Class Title & Your name. e.g., “Comm 2000 – Jane Doe”  In case of real emergency needing response ASAP, add “[emergency]” to subject line. Don’t abuse this! Academic Dishonesty. The Statement from the UVU “Students’ Rights and Responsibilities Code“ reads: “Each student is expected to maintain academic ethics and avoid dishonesty in all its forms, including but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism, and fabrication as defined hereafter.” Please read the complete "Student Rights and Responsibilities" section in the UVU catalog so you are aware of your academic responsibilities. Students who plagiarize or cheat on an exam will fail the entire course and be placed on notice with the Communication’s Department Chair. Should the student be found guilty of another infraction in this or any other class, and it is reported to the Chair, this student will be expelled or suspended from the communications department (depending on the severity of the infraction) at the discretion of the department chair. Students with Disabilities: Students who need accommodations because of a disability should contact the UVU Accessibility Services Department (ASD), located on the Orem campus, in LC 312. To schedule an appointment, or speak with a counselor, call the ASD office at 801-863-8747, or for Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals, use the video phone number, 886-760-1819. Firing Team Members: Groups will be allowed to fire a team member who they agree is not holding up his/her share of the work, as decided by the group. Course policies agreed on by the class are discussed in detail in the team contract and the petition to fire team members documents.