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Communication Research Methodology Spring2006

Mass Media Research. BRC 325 (at SUNY Oswego) and TVR 22 (at Brooklyn College).
On-line meetings TBA
On-line classroom
Course Description
An introduction to a variety of communication research methodologies. While the primary focus of the course will be an introduction to quantitative research methodology, the course will explicitly integrate primary qualitative methodologies in a way that will illustrate the relationship between qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Students will be introduced to a range of methods, including observational, interview, survey, archival, content analytic, and experimental research methodologies, will try out a number of them in a cursory way, and try out a few in more detail through a combination of individual and group tasks. It is expected that students will learn how to read statistics and to do basic descriptive statistics, but this course is focused on teaching methodology rather than statistical data analysis. Students with an interest in exploring statistical analysis will have the opportunity to do so, but there is no expectation that students will be able to demonstrate skill in anything statistical beyond reading tables and figures.

Baxter, L.A. and Babbie, E. (2005). The Basics of Communication Research". Appears to be a repackaging, probably mostly by Baxter, of Babbie's other methods texts in the social sciences, but it appears to provide a reasonably complete introduction to communication research methods.

Tentative Course Outline

Session Subject Matter Reading Due
1 Course Introduction None.
2 An overview of communication methods. B&B, pp. 1, 103 - 105, 297-299.
3 Making knowledge claims in the field of communication. B&B, Chapter 1.
4 Knowledge Paradigms in Communication. B&B, Chapter 3.
5 Reviewing Literature. B&B, pp. 17-30 (from Chapter 2); Appendices A, B, C, and D.
6 From Purpose to Hypothesis. B&B, pp. 30-38 (from Chapter 2).
7 An Introduction to Observation B&B, pp. 300-304 (from Chapter 13).
8 The Process of Participant Observation B&B, pp. 304-322 (from Chapter 13).
9 Creating a Research Design. B&B, pp. 38-43 (from Chapter 2).
10 Writing a Research Proposal. B&B, pp. 43-44 (from Chapter 2); Appendices D and E.
11 Ethical Issues in Research. B&B, p. 84-93 (from Chapter 5).
12 The Process of Research Ethics. B&B, p. 93-100 (from Chapter 5).
13 Theory, Logic, and Research: Deduction. B&B, p. 68-78 (from Chapter 4).
14 Theory, Logic, and Research: Induction. B&B, p. 78-82 (from Chapter 4).
15 Conceptualization and Operationalization. B&B, p. 106-119 (from Chapter 6).
16 Reliability and Validity. B&B, p. 119-129 (from Chapter 6).
17 The Logic of Sampling. B&B, p. 131-140 (from Chapter 7).
18 Probability and Sampling Distribution. B&B, p. 140-150 (from Chapter 7).
19 Obtaining Representative Samples. B&B, p. 150-165 (from Chapter 7).
20 Planning the Interview. B&B, p. p.324-336 (from Chapter 14).
21 Language and the Art of the Question. B&B, p. 166-176 (from Chapter 8)
22 Mid-Term Good Luck
23 Building s Survey. B&B, p. 176-187 (from Chapter 8)
24 Doing an Interview Interview. B&B, p. 336-345 (from Chapter 14).
25 Administering Surveys. B&B, p. 187-201. (from Chapter 8)
26 Archival Analysis. B&B, TBD.
27 Introducton to Experimentatal Methods. B&B, p. 204-216 (from Chapter 9).
28 Experimental Design. B&B, p. 216-229 (Chapter 9).
29 Qualitative Analysis of "Text". B&B, p. 347-353 (from Chapter 15).
30 Approaches to "Text" Analysis. B&B, p. 353-363 (from Chapter 15).
31 Qualitative Data Analysis. B&B, chapter 16.
32 Quantitative Analysis of "Text": Research Questions and Sampling B&B, p. 230-240 (from Chapter 10).
33 Methods of Quantitative "Text" Analysis. B&B, p. 240-254 (from Chapter 10).
34 Secondary Analysis: Turning texts into data. B&B, TBD.
35 Building Data Sets B&B, pp. 256-260. (from Chapter 11)
36 Doing Descriptive Statistics. B&B, pp. 260-268. (from Chapter 11)
37 Inferential Statistics: Probability, Significance, and Error. B&B, p. 242-282 (from Chapter 12).
38 Inferential Statistics: Chi-Square and T-Test. B&B, p. 282-287 (from Chapter 12).
39 Inferential Statistics: ANOVA and Regression. B&B, p. 287-294 (from Chapter 12).
40 Exploratory Statistics TBD.
41 Data Mining. TBD.
42 Course Conclusion. TBD.

-- Last edited September 18, 2015

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Foulger, D. and other participants. (September 18, 2015). Communication Research Methodology Spring2006. MediaSpaceWiki. Retrieved on from
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