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101689 advanced research methods (2011, autumn)


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101689 advanced research methods (2011, autumn)

  1. 1. 101689-Advanced Research Methods Unit Level: 3 Session: 2011-Autumn Campus: Bankstown (Day), Penrith (Day)Contents Unit Information Unit Handbook Description Syllabus Learning Outcomes Where to go for Help and Information Unit Teaching Staff Student Feedback Unit Structure and Requirements Mode of Delivery Attendance and Workload Assessment Overview Relation of Unit Activities and Assessment items to Learning Outcomes Required Textbooks and Equipment Recommended References, Resources and Links Assessment 1: Research Report Assessment 2: Portfolio Assessment 3: Exam Unit Schedule Page 1 of 11
  2. 2. Unit InformationUnit Handbook DescriptionThis unit advances upon the research methods and statistics taught in the prerequisite unit, Experimental Design andAnalysis. It introduces students to nonexperimental, correlational research design, and develops skills in surveyresearch, including questionnaire design and administration, and survey sampling. Knowledge and skills in theconstruction and evaluation of psychological tests are also taught. Accompanying correlational statistical techniques aretaught, together with advanced analysis of variance, and instruction in the use of SPSS. The unit also develops skills inconducting and reporting psychological research.Syllabus• Correlational (nonexperimental) research methodology;• Survey research methodology;• Questionnaire design;• Scale construction;• Reliability and validity of measuring instruments;• Survey administration;• Survey sampling;• Statistical techniques appropriate to the analysis of nonexperimental research data: bivariate correlation andregression, multiple regression, factor analysis, reliability analysis, chi-square;• Advanced analysis techniques: One-way ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric alternative, planned and post hoccomparisons, factorial ANOVA.Learning OutcomesIn this unit, Graduate Attributes are achieved through the following Learning Outcomes attained by students:After successful completion of this Unit, students will be able to:1. Demonstrate an understanding of nonexperimental correlational research methodology, advanced experimentalmethodology and survey research techniques (APAC Graduate Attribute 2);2. Demonstrate competence in writing survey questions, and designing survey questionnaires and understanding surveyethics (APAC GA 4)3. Articulate principles of scale construction (APAC GA 2)4. Demonstrate competence in correlational statistical techniques (APAC GA 2)5. Demonstrate competence in advanced analysis techniques applicable to both experimental and nonexperimentalresearch methods (APAC GA 2);6. Plan, conduct, and report nonexperimental research (APAC GA 2 and GA 5).Where to go for Help and InformationWhere to go for Help and InformationYour first source of help and information should be this Learning Guide. The Learning Guide contains comprehensiveinformation about the unit, including attendance requirements, assessments and a detailed schedule of lectures and duedates. Please refer to this Learning Guide for information about the unit rather than the official Unit Outline, as the outlinecontains only a brief summary of the important aspects of the unit.Combined with this Learning Guide you will find a Psychology Student Resources document, containing generalinformation on UWS support services, academic misconduct (e.g. plagiarism), procedures for applying for assignmentextensions or special consideration, and much more. It is vital that you read through this material to be aware of yourrights and responsibilities as students. In particular, you must be aware of the key policies and information affectingstudents found at the following link: expect you to have searched for answers to your questions in the unit Learning Guide and Psychology StudentResources documents BEFORE contacting any member of staff.Unit eLearning siteYour second source of information should be the unit’s vUWS site. Students are expected to access their vUWS sites ATLEAST once per week (and preferably every 2 or 3 days) to check for any mail or announcements (including anyvariations to the unit outline). E-lectures will be made available through the unit’s vUWS site (see Unit Structure andRequirements for more information).Unit Teaching StaffFor all other unit enquiries, you should contact the appropriate member of the units teaching staff (see below for details). Page 2 of 11
  3. 3. Where it becomes necessary to seek advice from lecturers or tutors, it is expected that students come adequatelyprepared, having done as much background work as possible themselves, and with clear questions rather than vaguerequests about what to do. Please note that staff will NOT reply to emails where answers are already available in theLearning Guide or Psychology Student Support Resources, or that relate to trivial matters for which information is readilyavailable elsewhere. Note also that in email communication students are required to use their UWS email account. Emailcommunications will be attended to during consultation times. Unit coordinator: Dr David Arness Consultation times and Monday 10am - 11am, Kingswood, bldg V, room V.1.35 location: Friday 11am - 12pm, Bankstown, bldg 24, level 3, room 18 These consultation periods will be used primarily for responding to email Consultation instructions: queries and vUWS discussion items. However, if necessary, please email to arrange a face-to-face consultation during these times.Student FeedbackStudent feedback plays a vital role in improving the quality and educational effectiveness of UWS units, and in ensuringacademic staff keep in touch with student needs. At the end of the semester you will be given the opportunity to completea Student Feedback on Units (SFU) questionnaire to assess the unit. If requested by your lectures or tutors, you mayalso have the opportunity to complete a Student Feedback on Teaching (SFT) questionnaire to provide feedback forindividual teaching staff.For further information on student feedback and to view examples of the questionnaires, go to: changes made to the unit in response to student feedback:The University values student feedback in order to improve the quality of its educational programs. As a result of studentfeedback, the following changes and improvements to this unit have recently been made:  Increased flexibility and provision of content through the use of e-lectures, supported by vUWS interactive discussion that also allows for greater interactivity among students and between students and lecturer.  Increased opportunity for students to ask questions and enter into discussion in the online environment that can be less threatening than a live context.  Greater integration/explanation of the written assessment within lectures. Page 3 of 11
  4. 4. Unit Structure and RequirementsMode of DeliveryLectures will be conducted online, with interactive exchange facilitated through the use of a vUWS Discussion Board toenable communication among students throughout the week, and with the lecturer during the scheduled emailconsultation time.Physical attendance at lectures or tutorials is not compulsory, as all materials are available on vUWS. However, it is thestudents responsibility to adopt an adult-learner approach to their education and schedule a regular time to study thematerials. This should be developed in consideration of the Unit Schedule contained in this learning guide.Students who cannot access the materials online using their own equipment can do so in the university computerlaboratories (students will need to obtain their own headphones for use in computer laboratories).Those students who like to work in the company of others are advised to arrange their own study groups so they canview and discuss the e-lectures collectively.The tutorials consist of computer laboratory exercises relating to the statistical analysis techniques presented in thestatistics e-lectures.Students are required to complete these and compile them into a Laboratory Exercises Portfolio that will be assessable.Students are also permitted to work together on the laboratory exercises, however, they must prepare their portfoliosindividually, and must submit individual copies of all printouts from SPSS. ANY IDENTICAL COPIES WILL BE GIVENAN IMMEDIATE FAIL.Attendance and WorkloadPhysical attendance at lectures and tutorials is not compulsory, however, students must complete all lecture andtutorial/laboratory activities in the weeks in which they are scheduled. Students who choose not to attend lectures and/ortutorials must assume full responsibility for satisfactory completion of the necessary activities.Students who choose not to attend must also assume responsibility for completing work in the week it is scheduled, andnot leave everything until the end, for if you do so, you will almost certainly fail the unit. It is also the responsibility ofeach student to begin working on the first exercise in week 1 to determine whether you will benefit from face-to-faceteaching.Students are expected to spend a total of 10 hours per week working on this unit: approximately 3-hours per week oneach of the lectures (in attending or studying the lecture itself, and completing any associated quizzes, and textbook orother readings), and approximately 3-hours per week in completing the laboratory exercise and compilation of theLaboratory Exercise Portfolio. At least 1-hour per week should be allocated to the major written assignment.(Note: These times can vary depending on individual differences in reading and working speed. It is the responsibility ofstudents to make their own realistic determinations in this regard. The specified time should normally be regarded as aminimum).Assessment OverviewThe table below provides an overview of the assessment items for this unit. Detailed information on each assessmenttask is provided in the following sections of the Learning Guide.In order to pass this unit you must complete the assessments marked below as Compulsory and obtain a minimumcombined overall mark of 50%. Final marks and grades are subject to confirmation by the School and CollegeAssessment Committee which may scale, modify or otherwise amend the marks and grades for the unit, as may berequired by University policies. Number & Title Format Length/Duration Due day/time Weighting Assessment 1: Research Report 2500 words Section 1: 5pm on 45% Research Report Wednesday, April 6, 2011Section 2: 5pm on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 Page 4 of 11
  5. 5. Assessment 2: Portfolio 3 exercises Due at beginning of tutorial 10% Portfolio class, week starting 30/05/11. Assessment 3: Exam 3 hours The 3-hour examination will 45% Exam be held during the formal examination period.Relation of Unit Activities and Assessment items to Learning OutcomesThis unit continues the teaching of research methods and statistics began in the prerequisite unit, Experimental Designand Analysis. Firstly, it introduces students to nonexperimental, correlational research design, and develops skills insurvey research, including questionnaire design and administration, and survey sampling (outcomes 1 - 4). Secondly,accompanying correlational statistical techniques are taught, together with advanced analysis of variance, andinstruction in the use of SPSS (outcomes 4 & 5). The unit also develops skills in conducting and reporting psychologicalresearch, specifically through the scale evaluation project which involves gathering and analysing questionnaire data(outcomes 1, 3, 4, & 6). Finally, the exam assesses understanding of principles involved in survey construction andanalysis, and practical familiarity with nonexperimental research design and analysis, as well as advanced ANOVAprocedures (outcomes 1 - 5).Required Textbooks and Equipmentde Vaus, D. A. (2002). Surveys in social research (5th ed.). Sydney: Allen & Unwin.Hills, A. M. (2011). Foolproof guide to statistics using IBM SPSS (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, Sydney: Pearson EducationAustralia.Recommended References, Resources and LinksAmerican Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Czaja, R., & Blair, J. (2005). Designing surveys: a guide to decisions and procedures (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.Foddy, W. H. (1993). Constructing questions for interviews and questionnaires: theory and practice in social research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Howell, D. C. (2002). Statistical methods for psychology (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. [This text is particularly recommended for anyone wanting to go on to fourth year, especially Honours, as it is a very comprehensive reference text].Neuman, W. L. (2006). Social research methods: qualitative and quantitative approaches (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.Schuman, H., & Presser, S. (1996). Questions and answers in attitude surveys: experiments on question form, wording, and context. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Suzuki, L. A., & Ponterotto, J. G. (2008). Handbook of multicultural assessment: clinical, psychological, and educational applications. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Wiley.Tourangeau, R., Rips, L. J., & Rasinski, K. A. (2000). The psychology of survey response. New York: Cambridge University Press. Page 5 of 11
  6. 6. Assessment 1: Research Report Assessment Format: Research Report Weighting: 45% Length/Duration: 2500 words Assessment Date and Time: Section 1: 5pm on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 Section 2: 5pm on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 Assessment Location: Hand in to appropriate school of psychology assignment box (Bankstown: Building 24, Level 2. Penrith: Building V, Level 1) Is the Assessment Compulsory? You must complete this assessment to be eligible to pass the unit overall. Cover-Sheet Required? YesDescription and InstructionsScale Evaluation Project and ReportDetailed guides to the conduct of the project and content of the sections of the report will be provided in vUWS.The aim is to evaluate a psychological scale. Students can begin immediately to research the content area whendetails are provided on vUWS at the beginning of the semester.Objectives: To develop skills in: 1. Evaluating a psychological scale: Students will complete a psychological scale in vUWS. The collated dataset will be provided to students, who will be required to carry out appropriate analyses to evaluate the structure and psychometric properties of the scale. 2. Writing a research report according to APA format, adapted to the specific research purpose of scale evaluation.Due Date for Written Report: In response to student feedback, the report is to be submitted in two sections, so as toallow more timely feedback on assessment.The first section: consists of the Title Page, Introduction, Method, and Reference List. It will be worth 20% of the 45%total allocated for this assessment item.The word length for the Introduction and Method is 1,200 words (Title Page and References are not counted).It is to be submitted in the designated School of Psychology assignment box AND uploaded through the "turn-it-in" linkin vUWS, no later than 5pm on Wednesday, April 6, 2011.The second section: consists of the Abstract, Results and Discussion sections. It will be worth the remaining 25% ofthe 45% total allocated for this assessment item. The word length for this second section is 1,300 words.It is to be submitted in the designated School of Psychology assignment box AND uploaded through the "turn-it-in" linkin vUWS, no later than 5pm on Wednesday, May 11, 2011.Assessment Criteria and StandardsThe project report is the major written component of the unit and is expected to demonstrate a high degree of effort andeffective application of knowledge and skills taught in the unit. In order to obtain a pass mark of at least 50% of theavailable marks there must be an adequate standard of presentation, literacy, and academic writing skills; closeadherence to APA report writing conventions; adequate competence demonstrated in the use, interpretation, andreporting of relevant statistical techniques; and adequate understanding demonstrated of scale evaluation principles.More advanced standards and skills will be required in order to attain higher marks.A more detailed outline of the standards and criteria for each section will be posted on the unit vUWS site. Page 6 of 11
  7. 7. Assessment 2: Portfolio Assessment Format: Portfolio Weighting: 10% Length/Duration: 3 exercises Assessment Date and Time: Due at beginning of tutorial class, week starting 30/05/11. Assessment Location: Hand in at start of tutorial class Is the Assessment Compulsory? You must complete this assessment to be eligible to pass the unit overall. Cover-Sheet Required? YesDescription and InstructionsAll students must attend the tutorial in Week 14 (starting May 30), bringing their portfolios with them so they can bephysically sighted by the tutor. The portfolio needs to contain completed exercises 1 through to 11. Any studentswithout a portfolio in the required format will be penalised up to 5 of the allocated 10 marks.After initial sighting, each student will be asked to submit three exercises (a different set selected at random for eachtutorial group). Because marking of portfolio exercises will occur during STUVAC, if students wish to receive theirexercises back after marking, they must also provide a stamped, self-addressed A4-sized envelope to the tutor forpostal return.Assessment Criteria and StandardsStudents are to compile their completed laboratory exercises into a Portfolio. As a minimum this should consist of ahard file with dividers for each of the 11 laboratory exercises. Each section should contain the completed laboratoryexercise sheet and self-assessment score, corrections made once answers have been checked, and computerprintouts cross-referenced to the exercise questions.For a minimum standard with this content and basic presentation students can expect to receive around 5 to 6 marks;evidence of more careful presentation and more detailed content (e.g., relevant notes made on the printouts) will attractaround 7 to 8 marks; evidence of exceptional conscientiousness in presentation together with some additional content(e.g., exercise answers supplemented with content from lectures or texts) will be needed to attract 9 to 10 marks.A more detailed overview of the criteria and standards for this assessment item will be provided on the unit vUWS site. Page 7 of 11
  8. 8. Assessment 3: Exam Assessment Format: Exam Weighting: 45% Length/Duration: 3 hours Assessment Date and Time: The 3-hour examination will be held during the formal examination period. Assessment Location: University examination location Is the Assessment Compulsory? You must complete this assessment to be eligible to pass the unit overall. Cover-Sheet Required? NoDescription and InstructionsThe examination is based on lecture and laboratory content, and will consist of 110 multiple choice questions. Aproportion of examination questions will be based on content from the lecture quizzes. However, please note that thequizzes are learning exercises, not assessment items. They are not compulsory. They are mastery items intended toassist in the acquisition of unit content knowledge and skills; encourage independent learning skills; and providestudents with practice in answering questions representative of those found in the exam.There will be 6 quizzes, each consisting of approximately 10 to 15 questions. Because they are intended as a learningexperience students may have unlimited attempts at each quiz. The quizzes will remain open until the end of theformal examinations period, but conscientious students will attempt each one as it becomes available.Assessment Criteria and StandardsThe objective of the examination is to assess conceptual understanding of the lecture and laboratory content. It will notinvolve calculations or memorising of formulae, but it will involve interpretation of computer outputs from statisticalanalyses. Page 8 of 11
  9. 9. Unit ScheduleSession Week Week Starts Lectures Tutorials Assessments Methods lecture 1 (online) Exercise 1 • Introduction An SPSS Refresher • The role of questionnaires in behavioural research No live tutorials, but Week 1 DeVaus, Chs. 1-3 must complete this 28/02/2011 Teaching exercise during week 1 Statistics lecture 1 (online) Correlational research design Hills (2010), Ch. 18 Methods lecture 2 (online) Exercise 2 The process of scale Bivariate correlation and construction regression DeVaus, Chs. 4, 11 Week 2 Teaching 7/03/2011 Live tutorials begin Statistics lecture 2 (online) Bivariate correlation and regression Hills (2010), Chs. 18, 19 Methods lecture 3 (online) Exercise 3 Psychometric properties of Reliability analysis scales: Reliability and validity Week 3 Teaching 14/03/2011 DeVaus, Ch. 4, 11 Statistics lecture 3 (online) Reliability analysis Hills (2010), Ch. 21 Methods lecture 4 (online) Exercise 4 Questionnaire design: Factor analysis (Part 1: • Questionnaire layout Assumption checking and • Question wording factor extraction) DeVaus, Ch. 7 Week 4 21/03/2011 Teaching Statistics lecture 4 (online) Factor Analysis • Purpose, types, assumptions • Factor extraction Hills (2010), Ch. 22 Methods lecture 5 (online) Exercise 5 Week 5 Questionnaire design: Factor analysis (Part 2: • Response formats Rotation and Complete online DeVaus, Ch. 7 interpretation) questionnaire by 5pm Week 5 Teaching 28/03/2011 Friday April 1, 2011 Statistics lecture 5 (online) Factor Analysis • Factor rotation • Interpretation Methods lecture 6 (online) Exercise 6 Scale Evaluation Project Survey research One-way chi-square Section 1 (Title page, • Introduction Introduction, Method, and • Sampling Reference list) due in DeVaus, Chs. 1, 2 , 5, 6 assignment box by 5pm Wednesday April 6, 2011 Week 6 Teaching 4/04/2011 Statistics lecture 6 (online) Must also submit through One-way chi-square the "turn-it-in" link in the Hills (2010), Ch. 23 unit vUWS site by due date Early data release to students who answered the questionnaire Page 9 of 11
  10. 10. Methods lecture 7 (online) Exercise 7 Survey research Two-way chi-square • Types of probability and nonprobability sample Week 7 Teaching 11/04/2011 DeVaus, Ch. 6 Statistics lecture 7 (online) Two-way chi-square Hills (2010), Ch. 23 Mid-semester break Mid-semester break Data released to Week 8Intra-Session Break 18/04/2011 students who did not answer questionnaire Methods lecture 8 (online) Exercise 8 Survey administration Standard multiple issues regression DeVaus, Ch. 8 Week 9 25/04/2011 Teaching Statistics lecture 8 (online) Multiple regression (MR) • Purpose • Standard MR Hills (2010), Ch. 20 Methods lecture 9 (online) Exercise 9 Survey administration Factorial ANOVA methods concepts DeVaus, Ch. 8 Week 10 Teaching 2/05/2011 Statistics lecture 9 (online) Factorial ANOVA • Concepts • Purposes • Assumptions Hills (2010), Ch. 12 Methods lecture 10 (online) Exercise 10 Scale Evaluation Project Interviewing Factorial between- Section 2 (Abstract, • Interview types subjects ANOVA: Main Results, and Discussion) • Interview skills effects due in assignment box by DeVaus, Ch. 8 5pm Wednesday May 11, 2011 Week 11 Statistics lecture 10 (online) 9/05/2011 Teaching Factorial between-subjects Must also submit through ANOVA the "turn-it-in" link in the • In experimental research unit vUWS site by due • Analysis of group date differences in survey research Hills (2010), Ch. 12 Methods lecture 11 (online) Exercise 11 Survey research analysis Factorial between- DeVaus, Ch. 9-10, 12-18 subjects ANOVA: Chapters 12-17 of de Vaus Analysing interactions deal with statistical analysis, and should be read in conjunction with the relevant statistical lecture topics. You are not Week 12 Teaching 16/05/2011 expected to have extensive knowledge of this content over and above that covered in the statistics lectures. Statistics lecture 11 (online) Factorial between-subjects ANOVA: Analysing interactions Hills (2010), Ch. 12 Page 10 of 11
  11. 11. No more methods lectures Exercise 12 Factorial and mixed Week 13 Statistics lecture 12 (online) repeated measures 23/05/2011 Teaching Factorial and mixed ANOVA repeated measures ANOVA Hills (2010), Ch. 14 Statistics lecture 13 (online) Exercise 13 Laboratory Exercises Factorial and mixed Factorial and mixed Portfolio due at beginning Week 14 repeated measures repeated measures of registered tutorial 30/05/2011 Teaching ANOVA: analysing and ANOVA: analysing and classes, week starting interpreting interactions interpreting interactions Monday May 30, 2011 Hills (2010), Ch. 14 Stuvac and university Week 15 examination period Study Vacation 6/06/2011 Week 16-18 Examination Period 13/06/2011NotesGiven the significant online presence, it is essential that students study the timetable and plan their approachto learning and assessment items carefully! Page 11 of 11