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Group assignments and webpage links

Required Texts: Boyle, M.P. & Schmierbach, M. (2015). Applied communication research methods: Getting started as a researcher. New York: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-7656-4233-2 (paperback) 978-1-315-71864-4 (ebook)

Strongly Recommended Text: APA Manual, Sixth Edition

You will need email and internet access for this course.

Objectives (in no particular order):

Class requirements:

Research papers (4) 80%
Sharing results (website, ppt, blog, and in-class) 5%
Class participation (homework and in-class exercises): 15%






Research papers: Each student will be required to write four research papers. All four will be on the same/similar topic of human communication/organizational behavior and will utilize the same essential literature review (15 credible sources). However, they will use different methods of gathering and analyzing data. The first research paper will use a qualitative approach; the second will let you practice observational methods (content analysis) with statistical analysis; the third survey/scale methods with statistical analysis; and the final pseudo-experimental methods with statistical analysis. Class members can be used and can help recruit other participants. These papers will illustrate the students’ abilities to meet objectives two, three, four and five above. Papers must be in APA style, 15-20 pp. (25 pp. max) with cover page and no identifying self references within the text of the paper.

Research Paper Guidelines

Also check out the services available from Helmke Library

If you intend or want to be able to submit your paper for a conference or publication, you MUST complete and receive human subjects permission. You can find information on human subjects as well as the forms to complete under human subjects on the Purdue Human Subjects website.

Sharing results: Each student is also required to share the findings of the lit review and each pilot via the internet. You may utilitize Blackboard tools or another website/blog. Each time a paper (or the lit review) is due, your results should be summarized and added to your site the same day.
Do not post your papers!! You will also share your findings in class. If you use something other than Blackboard, please send me the link no later than 24 hours before your literature review is due.

Some tips for creating good webpages

Some more tips about layout

Class participation (homework and in-class exercises): Unless you are already very conversant with research methods and statistical procedures, your attendance and completion of homework assignments is essential to your learning as they offer you the chance to practice the skills you will need in your research papers both in this class and out. Please let me know when you have questions. There are many useful websites on statistics (some are listed under spcecific topics in the agenda below). Here is a general stats site:

HyperStat Online Textbook

Tentative Agenda

Date Topics

Research Due

(Papers, webpages/blog/wiki, short presentations)

Homework Due by Monday following class



Course orientation; Brainstorm topics

The research process and the literature review/argument

18 Chapter 3: Reading the literature. Doing a literature search. Writing a research question (RQ) and hypothesis (H)    

Chapter 4 Ethics of Research

Group 1: Potential outline for lit review with references



Chapter 12 Qualitative Research Method

Discussion of Paper 1


Group 2: Potential outline for lit review with references


Chapter 13 Qualitative Data Analysis

Group 1: Literature review due  


Research paper editing marks and comments

Group 2: Literature Review Due




Chapter 11 Content Analysis - method and intercoder reliability

Scott’s pi - (bring a calculator)

Discussion of Paper 2

Group 1: Paper One Due

Intercoder reliability homework



Chapter 15 Content Analysis - data analysis - read to page 376.

One-Sample Chi-Square and Chi-square independent

To check your work with chi-square

Set up statistics for Paper Two

Group 2: Paper One Due Chi-Square homework - due Monday, March 13th
8 Spring Break - no class    


Chapter 8: Sampling

Confidence Interval

Chapter 6: Reliability and Validity

Article on scale creation: Measuring Student Engagement in the Online Course

Cronbach Alpha

Group 1: Paper Two Due

Cronbach alpha homework

Extra credit homework - Confidence Interval Exercise

Scale Design and Descriptive Statistics: Chapter 14: pp. 332-341

website for descriptive stats

Discussion of Paper Three

Group 2: Paper Two Due

Central tendency homework



Chapter 15 pp. 381-385- Correlation questions you should be able to answer

More indepth information on correlations

Chapter 15 Data Analysis 376-378: t-tests

t-test formulas

website for t-test

another helpful website for t-test

Set up statistics for Paper Three


Correlation homework

Website to find p values for correlation homework

ttest homework

ttest extra credit




Chapter 9 Experiments: pp. 211-227- general overview

Read handout pp. 396-406 - which experimental design will you use? Be prepared to discuss this.

Discussion of Paper Four
Group 1: Paper Three Due





Chapter 15 Experimental data analysis pp. 378-381: ANOVA


ANOVA online calculator :)

Using SPSS for ANOVAs (not required :)

Set up statistics for Paper Four
Group 2: Paper Three Due ANOVA homework


Paper Four Questions




Test your knowledge! Read this brief critique of published research. Do you agree or disagree with Shafer? What other information would you want to know to form an opinion about this research?

"Putting the Duh Into Divorce"

Group 1: Paper Four Due




6:00 - 8:45 pm Group 2: Paper Four Due






COM 582 Descriptive and Experimental Research in Communication


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