CSS 504 — Research Methods: Assignments

All assignments are to be prepared to be turned in for the class session during which they are due. A digital copy is requested (turned in by email to keitel@uidaho.edu) along with a paper copy (if needed) to be used in class. 

Overview:

  1. Ideas for a phenomenon that you want to study as a group (for practice) (Team A: due February 13, Team B: due January 30) (5 points)
  2. Complete the Research Planning Template (Team A: due March 6, Team B: due March 13) (20 points)
  3. Results of practice study (data) (Team A: due March 6, Team B: due March 13) (10 points)
  4. Presentation of proposed methods for your M.S. project (Team A: due March 6, Team B: due March 13) (20 points)
  5. IRB protocol submission (Team A: Friday, April 3; Team B: Friday, April 10) (not graded, moral shame if not completed)
  6. Presentations on in-depth exploration of your particular techniques (Team A: Friday, April 3; Team B: Friday, April 10) (20 points)

1. Ideas for a phenomenon that you want to study as a group (for practice) (Team A: due February 13, Team B: due January 30)

Assignment: please choose a “phenomenon” to study through different paradigms. Specifically, we’ll be using this to practice thinking about questions in different frameworks, and how quantitative and qualitative methods help to answer different kinds of questions. Please identify a broad phenomenon (for example, where people choose to sit in the dining lodge) and come prepared to discuss various ways you could approach investigating the phenomenon through different research frameworks.  You will be using this idea as a practice project and you will actually be doing data collection to help answer your research questions around the topic you choose.

2. Complete Research Planning Template (Team A: due March 6, Team B: due March 13) (20%)

Assignment: You will be introduced to the “research planning template” during class. This template is meant to help you think through the logical progression of your research (your M.S. project) from question to analysis to conclusions. By our third class meeting, I would like for you to complete this as thoroughly as possible and be prepared to present it and explain your logic from question to methods to analysis.

3. Results of practice study (data) (Team A: due March 6, Team B: due March 13)

Assignment: Through your practice project, you will generate various types of data from qualitative to quantitative through surveys, interviews, document review, or various other methods as appropriate. You will be responsible for recording this data and bringing it to class in a form that you can work with it — so, for example, a spreadsheet, transcribed interviews, or actual documents (photocopies of anything that is a primary document).

4. Presentation of proposed methods for your M.S. project (Team A: due March 6, Team B: due March 13) (20%)

Assignment: During proposal development class you will be responsible for presenting your proposed methods for your project. During research methods class, we will spend time discussing these methods and their appropriateness for answering your question or for solving the problem you propose to solve.

5. IRB protocol submission (Team A: Friday, April 3; Team B: Friday, April 10)

Assignment: If you are going to be conducting research with humans you need to have approval from the University of Idaho Institutional Review Board. During the fourth week of class you will be responsible for having a draft of the application for human subjects review completed. You can do this in the online portal available here: http://www.uidaho.edu/ora/IRB-Electronic-Protocol-Submission

6. Presentations on in-depth exploration of your particular techniques (Team A: Friday, April 3; Team B: Friday, April 10) (20%)

Assignment: During class you will be responsible for presenting and discussing a particular technique that you will be using in your research or project. For example, if you are going to be using a survey instrument, you will talk about your selection of that particular instrument, how it was developed, its reliability and validity, the constructs that it addresses, and the way the data are analyzed. Or, if you are going to be conducting a focus group, you will present on how to facilitate a focus group, what questions you will be asking, and how you will analyze the data.

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