RES600 INTRODUCTORY TO DATA ANALYSIS MODULE 1

Module 1 – Home

THE RESEARCH PROCESS AND ITS COMPONENTS

Modular Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, the student will be able to satisfy the following outcomes:

  • Case
    • Understand the various components and the process of research; the distinction between types of variables and errors; types of experiment design, hypotheses, levels of data (ratio, interval, ordinal, nominal) and causality.
  • SLP
    • Understand key concepts related to and measures of central tendency and dispersion.
  • Discussion
    • Develop critical thinking regarding hypotheses and one’s own research.

Module Overview

This module will mark the beginning of your research career, and as such, it will introduce you to the research process and the very basic components of research. These components, which will receive extensive coverage, include variables and types of variables, hypotheses, theories, levels of measurement, measurement error, validity and reliability. To make sure you can progress in this journey, we will also discuss various types of research methods and approaches, the concept of causality, experimental designs, and the types of errors we have in research.

Module 1 – Background

THE RESEARCH PROCESS AND ITS COMPONENTS

Required Reading

On Research Approaches:

  1. Chapter 1 in Gentle Guide to Research Methods, by Rugg, Gordon and Petre, Marian (2006), ISBN: 9780335219278. Available in the Trident Online Library.
  2. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Research_Methods/Types_of_Research
  3. http://archives.gadoe.org/DMGetDocument.aspx/Types.of.Research.Methods.SERVE%20Center.pdf?p=
    6CC6799F8C1371F6C790A38569315032FE8B3FDBE6A7D64BCE3B4886D72BD474&Type=D

On the research cycle/process/Theories and Hypotheses

  1. Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rZOXhFEGks
  2. Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gklQ3GbmufI
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BmjujlZExQ
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Cl5CeiT7hU

On Descriptive Statistics Variables and Levels of Measurement and Causation

  1. Read: https://statistics.laerd.com/statistical-guides/types-of-variable.php
  2. http://www.indiana.edu/~educy520/sec5982/week_2/variable_types.pdf
  3. http://www.graphpad.com/support/faqid/1089/
  4. Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZxnzfnt5v8

Optional Reading

  1. http://userwww.sfsu.edu/efc/classes/biol458/expdes/expdes.pdf
  2. http://www.stat.cmu.edu/~hseltman/309/Book/Book.pdf
  3. Sharlee, S.H., (2011) Demystifying the research process: Mixed methods. Pediatric Nursing, 37 (1),  28-29.
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyxA96w-gqQ

IBM SPSS GradPack Options

At TUI we are using the IBM-SPSS statistical software program in teaching the research methods courses. Hence, you will need SPSS for your this class and for your quantitative dissertation study.

IBM SPSS GradPacks are single-user licenses that provide students with affordable access to statistical analysis, modeling and survey research tools to support their undergraduate or graduate course work. They come in three options and, of course, different prices:

a. IBM® SPSS® Statistics Base GradPack

b. IBM® SPSS® Statistics Standard GradPack

c. IBM® SPSS® Statistics Premium GradPack

The latest version is IBM SPSS GradPack 20. After consulting with the faculty, we recommend that you purchase/rent the IBM® SPSS® Statistics Standard GradPack.

Although NOT affiliated with TUI, the following vendors (source – IBM’s web site) provide academic students with the SPSS GradPack at great discounts. Please see list below and shop around!

CAVEAT: The “student” version of SPSS is LIMITED in its capacity to calculate SPSS data base files (max of 1500 records and/or 50 variables), therefore it is NOT suitable for our needs.

Online software sources – IBM SPSS Statistics is available for students to purchase or rent through several Web sites:

  1. e-academy – onthehub.com/spss/
  2. com – IBM SPSS Statistics Student Version and IBM SPSS Statistics GradPack are available at www.studentdiscounts.com.Search on “SPSS” to view all of the available options.
  3. Studica – available at studica.com. Search on “SPSS” to view all of the available options.
  4. Creation Engine – available at creationengine.com. Search on “SPSS” to view all of the available options.
  5. Also try Amazon.com.

Module 1 – Case

THE RESEARCH PROCESS AND ITS COMPONENTS

Assignment Overview

Please read the following research paper (available in Trident’s e-library):

Soucek, R., and Moser, K. (2010) Coping with information overload in email communication: Evaluation of a training intervention. Computers in Human Behavior, 26,  1458–1466.

Case Assignment

Based on the above information, write a paper addressing the following issues:

  1. What are the key research questions in this study? Summarize the key findings in this paper.
  2. Do the study hypotheses rely on a theory or theories? If so, discuss one of these theories and explain how the theory has led to one of the hypotheses.
  3. Discuss levels of measurement of the key variables in this study.
  4. Discuss the study design.
  5. Discuss potential biases in this study, measurement errors, and validity issues.
  6. Are causality arguments appropriate in this study?
  7. What is your overall evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of this study? Provide criticism on the study design, and suggest possible ways to tackle such issues in future research.

Please organize your paper in a scholarly way. Add section titles when necessary. Explain your logic, and when appropriate, use external sources with proper citations. Conclude your report with a paragraph or so evaluating the entire exercise in terms of what you have learned and your reflections on the topic.

The paper is usually between 5 and 12 pages long.

Assignment Expectations

  1. Student understands the key research questions in this paper.
  2. Student identifies research elements in a paper, including hypotheses, theory, types of variables, and levels of measurement.
  3. Student answers the questions with clarity, depth, and critical thinking.
  4. Completeness and coherence: Chain of thought is easy to follow.
  5. Student uses relevant evidence and additional papers/resources to support the propositions.
  6. Paper is clearly written with appropriate format. Reference list is complete. Citation is properly done.

Your assignment will be graded using the following criteria:

  1. Assignment-Driven Criteria: Student demonstrates mastery covering all key elements of the assignment.
  2. Critical Thinking: Student demonstrates mastery conceptualizing the problem. Viewpoints and assumptions of experts are analyzed, synthesized, and evaluated. Conclusions are logically presented with appropriate rationale.
  3. Scholarly Writing: Student demonstrates mastery and proficiency in scholarly writing following required structure and organization of the assignment, using relevant and quality sources to support ideas, using in-text citations of sources and properly formatting references (bibliography).
  4. Professionalism and Timeliness: Student demonstrates excellence in taking responsibility for learning, adhering to course requirement policies and expectations. Assignment submitted on time or with professor’s pre-approved assignment extension.

Module 1 – SLP

THE RESEARCH PROCESS AND ITS COMPONENTS

  1. Indicate whether the following measures are nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio scales. Explain your logic.
    Please also indicate the appropriate descriptive statistics (e.g., mean, std. dev., range, percentile, frequency, etc.) for each measure.

    1. Gas prices
    2. Gender: Male and Female.
    3. Employment status (fully employed, partially employed, unemployed)
    4. Grades: A, B, C, D, or F
    5. Grade Point Average (GPA)
    6. Body temperature
    7. Distance from student homes to Trident University.
  2. Develop a hypothesis regarding the association between age and income.
    1. Briefly justify it using logic and external sources.
    2. Would it be appropriate to imply causality in your hypothesis? Explain why.
    3. Use the cycle of research framework to explain the next steps you would take in order to test your hypothesis.

SLP Assignment Expectations

  1. Answer all questions with clarity and depth. Show your critical thinking ability.
  2. Show necessary reasoning.
  3. You do not need to write an essay for SLP assignment; answering the questions is sufficient.

Your assignment will be graded using the following criteria:

  1. Assignment-Driven Criteria: Student demonstrates mastery covering all key elements of the assignment.
  2. Critical Thinking: Student demonstrates mastery conceptualizing the problem. Viewpoints and assumptions of experts are analyzed, synthesized, and evaluated. Conclusions are logically presented with appropriate rationale.
  3. Scholarly Writing: Student demonstrates mastery and proficiency in scholarly writing following required structure and organization of the assignment, using relevant and quality sources to support ideas, using in-text citations of sources and properly formatting references (bibliography).
  4. Professionalism and Timeliness: Student demonstrates excellence in taking responsibility for learning, adhering to course requirement policies and expectations. Assignment submitted on time or with professor’s pre-approved assignment extension.

Module 1 – Outcomes

THE RESEARCH PROCESS AND ITS COMPONENTS

  • Module
    • Identify and understand key elements of research.
    • Understand the components of the research cycle.
  • Case
    • Understand the various components and the process of research; the distinction between types of variables and errors; types of experiment design, hypotheses, levels of data (ratio, interval, ordinal, nominal) and causality.
  • SLP
    • Understand key concepts related to and measures of central tendency and dispersion.
  • Discussion
    • Develop critical thinking regarding hypotheses and one’s own research.

Discussion: Academic/Scientific Research

 

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Reflect on your experience, and describe a possible hypothesis you may want to test, and how you might test it. Justify your choices using logic as well as external sources. Briefly acknowledge the limitations of your approach.