Department of Human Development and Family Studies, 
College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University  
HDFS 3390 (Section 001) – Research Methods in HDFS – Summer I 2010
10:00-11:50 a.m., M-F, HS 173

Instructor

Teaching Assistant

Alan Reifman, Ph. D.  
Office:  HS 303   / Phone:  742-3000 x274
Office Hours:
  After class (or other days by appt)
 E-mail:
alan.reifman@ttu.edu

 

CLICK HERE TO JUMP IMMEDIATELY TO LECTURE NOTES

COURSE-RELATED NEWS & UPDATES


Course is over. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Readings

Course packet from campus Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Throughout the university, renewed emphasis is being placed on documenting what, specifically, students are expected to learn in classes, and what they actually are learning.  Beyond grades and test scores, assessment of students' mastery of specific topics is desired.  Expected learning outcomes for HDFS 3390 and how they will be assessed are listed below. 

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to...

Demonstrate a basic understanding of the process of behavioral science research, and the ability to understand the characteristics of research designs that contribute to being able to draw valid conclusions from research.

Evaluate the quality of research relevant to HDFS from the standpoint of measurement, causal inference (internal validity), and generalizability (external validity). In short, students will become responsible consumers of social scientific research.

Gain an appreciation of how scientific research can have practical usefulness in individuals' daily lives (i.e., how research findings can contribute to greater health, work productivity, learning in school, etc.).
 

Achievement of these expected learning outcomes will be assessed by one or more of the following methods...
Examinations, research projects/proposals (including measurement development), critiques of existing research studies, and class discussion.

Requirements

Grades will be based on two mid-term exams (each 20%), the final exam (35%), a media paper assignment (5%), a journal paper (5%), a class research project (5%), and participation in class (group activities; written discussion questions; speaking in class; 10%).  The final exam will contain items mostly from the latter part of the class, but will contain a small number of items from earlier weeks; in this sense, the final will be cumulative.  Exams will all be multiple-choice, plus a small amount of essay questions on the final.  Grades will generally follow a pattern of 90% = A, 80% = B, 70% = C, etc., but I reserve the right to modify the scale in a way that is generous to students.  For example, if the highest anybody got were in the 80s, I would give the highest person(s) an A.  Or, if someone got below 70% but attended regularly and completed all the required work on time, that person could still receive a grade in the C range.  Pluses and minuses (e.g., A-, B+) will be used, so if you fall just below a cut-off you will only be slightly below the next highest grade, as opposed to being a full level below (e.g., A vs. B).  The University will show plus and minus grades on your transcript, but does not factor them into your GPA (e.g., B+, B, and B- are all counted as 3.0).  It could still be useful for some purposes to have a plus or minus there, however (especially a plus).  Attendance will not be taken, but because some of your course grade is based on participation, attendance will contribute to grades in that manner.  Also, poor attendance will probably lead to poor exam and assignment scores anyway, so attendance will further contribute to grades indirectly.

Each time I teach HDFS 3390, I have the class conduct an actual, hands-on research project, the topic of which varies semester to semester.  This semester, we will be continuing a project begun with my Spring class on parental involvement in college students' lives.   Here's a list of my previous class projects.

Administrative Matters

·        Missed Exams/Assignments.  Missed tests and late assignments must be made up, or course passage will be jeopardized.  If you have a compelling reason (e.g., medical emergency), documented by a note, for missing a test or not turning in an assignment on time, you can take a make-up test or get an extension on an assignment without penalty.  The instructor reserves the right to contact the writer of the note for verification purposes.  If you do not have a documented excuse, the work must still be made up, but will be penalized with point deductions (2 points off per working day for an exam; 1 point off per working day for a paper).  If you should fall behind on more than one thing (e.g., a missed exam and a paper not turned in), especially as it starts getting late in the semester, you  run the risk of receiving an F for the course and you might want to drop the class at that point (see below for drop deadlines).

·        Incompletes.  A grade of “I” will be awarded only by permission of the instructor prior to the end of the semester and only when a small amount of work remains to be completed for the course.  A grade of “I” is awarded only in case of emergency (see above procedures on notes and verification) and when class performance at the time of the request is satisfactory.  Poor planning or excessive absences are not valid reasons for requesting a grade of incomplete.

·        Withdrawals.  If illness or other problems keep you from attending class and/or lead to the missing of assignments and tests, then you should plan to drop the class by one of the deadline dates (June 7 and 22), as shown on the university calendar of major deadlines on the web. Do not simply stop coming to classes as this may jeopardize your grade point average.  Do not plan on an “I” under these circumstances; it will not happen, nor will there be special assignments or extra credit for these circumstances. 

·        Disability Needs.  Any student who requires special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact the instructor to make necessary accommodations.  Students should present appropriate verification from Disabled Student Services, Dean of Students Office (this must be done before accommodations can be implemented).  Students requiring special arrangements (particularly taking exams at the PASS Center) should bring the necessary documentation to the instructor as soon as possible, ideally within the first few class sessions.  First requesting to take an exam at the PASS Center on the day of the exam will not be looked upon favorably.

·        Academic Integrity.  Students are expected to abide by all of the rules for academic integrity, as specified in the Undergraduate Catalog or in the web-based guidelines for academic integrity.  Any violations of these rules will be reported to the proper authorities for disciplinary review.


SUMMER I  2010
Schedule of Topics, Readings, Tests, and Assignment Due Dates
(reading assignments in parentheses; when your group letter is shown, you should think up a
discussion question on the reading and e-mail it to Dr. Reifman  by 9:00 a.m. the next morning)

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

 

June 2

Intro to Course;
Unit of Analysis
(online reading; Why Research? pp. 3-5; How a Research Process Affected Practitioners, pp. 26-27, pp. 56-57;
QUESTIONS BY GRP A)

3

Theories/Hypotheses; Inductive/Deductive Research

(Packet: Jaccard & Jacoby; GROUP B)

4

Designing a Research Project (in general); Introduction to Class Project

7

Research Ethics
(online reading;
Part II, Ch. 3; and packet: Aronson et al.;
GROUP C
)

8

MEDIA PAPER DUE
Ethics (continued)

9

Measurement

10

Finish Measurement,
Review for Exam

11

EXAM I
After exam:
Reliability, Validity
(Packet: Carver & Scheier; A waived)
Moved from June 9

14

Self-Report Measurement,
Response Modalities
(Packet: Groves et al.;
GROUP B)

15

Observation, Archival, Content Analysis Methods
(Packet: Copeland & White; GROUP C)

16

Sampling
(online reading;
GROUP A
)

 

17

Sampling (continued)

 

18

 Review for Exam

21

 EXAM II

22

Causal Inference
(Packet: Remler & Van Ryzin; GROUP B)

 

23

Experimentation
(online reading;
Part I,
Ch. 3;
GROUP C)

 

24

Program Evaluation(online reading;
pp. 27-top of 31; and
packet: Babbie;
GROUP A)

25

JOURNAL PAPER DUE
Prog Eval (continued)

28

Statistics
(online reading)

 

29

Statistics (continued)

 

 

30 

Review for final

 

 

July 1 (Thursday)*

*Those with documentable holiday travel plans may schedule alternative exam times on these days.

SATURDAY
JULY 3
FINAL
9:00-10:30 a.m.

(Course schedule says it starts at 8:00, but test won’t require that much time; Final Exam Schedule)

July 2 (Friday)*

 

Lecture Notes

Introduction
Organizing Data-Units of Analysis
Theories and Hypotheses
Conducting a Research Study
Choosing Research Questions
Ethics in Research
Intro to Measurement
Reliability and Validity
Self-Report
Observation
Archival and Content Analysis
Sampling
Causal Inference-Experimentation
Program Evaluation
Longitudinal Analysis
Statistics

Thanks to Shera Jackson for informing me when the links on the lecture-note pages become outdated and providing me with new links on the same topics.