Matsaganis_Comm301_Syllabus_Fall2008 - EMPIRICAL METHODS IN...

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F ALL 2008 W EDNESDAY RIDAY | 10:00 AM TO 11:50 AM ASC 204 E MPIRICAL M ETHODS IN C OMMUNICATION (COMM 301) Instructor: Matthew Matsaganis, Ph.D. Email: [email protected]du Office Hours: Wednesday 2 to 3:30 p.m. Office: ASC 333 (Metamorphosis Project) Office phone: (213) 740-1260 (during OH) Teaching Assistants: Jae Eun Chung E-mail: [email protected] Meghan Moran E-mail: [email protected] [A] Course OVERVIEW The purpose of this class is to introduce students to empirical methods in communication research. While this class focuses primarily on quantitative methods of inquiry, a wider range of both qualitative and quantitative methods are considered alongside each other whenever possible. The purpose of this class is to show students how to think about, conduct, and interpret research. Being able to identify the most appropriate method to answer a particular question is one of the important skills this class intends to help students develop. However, learning how to apply methods of research without understanding the interplay of theory and methods is like trying to use a blueprint to build an aircraft without having mastered physics. In this class, students will become familiar and learn how to work with the major theories related to a topic of their interest. This is a required course that many undergraduates do not look forward to taking, often because it sounds intimidating. It shouldn’t. In this class our goal is in no way to scare you or make you feel overwhelmed. The purpose, rather, is to help you hone skills that you will be able to apply in your life, regardless of whether the professional direction you follow explicitly involves conducting research. As long as you are committed to keeping up with the pace and stay on top of the work outlined in this syllabus and discussed in class, you should be able to do well in the course. Statistics can be interesting and useful. By the end of this class, you will better understand how to use statistics yourself, and how to decode the results of studies that proliferate in the media to decide if a study’s results are sound. By the end of this class, you will know how to think about research, and will have conducted and completed a research project of your own. [B] Course LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. To demystify and ‘de-terrorize’ the study of statistics and other empirical research methods. 2. To be able to critically analyze the statistics and ‘facts’ that are presented in our media, and by our friends, family, and teachers. 1
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3. To understand and practice the process of inquiry—how research projects are born, developed, and conducted. 4. To develop library and online researching skills, as well as public speaking and writing capabilities. 5. To appreciate how academic research, properly conducted, can be relevant to and inform the
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Matsaganis_Comm301_Syllabus_Fall2008 - EMPIRICAL METHODS IN...

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