HONORS RESEARCH METHODS                                                                                                                               Fall 2016

Dr. Christine A. James

 

HONS 3999 section A, Honors Research Methods,   CRN 80104

MW 2:00pm-3:15pm in the Honors House

 

This syllabus is available online, and may be updated, at http://mypages.valdosta.edu/chjames/3999Fall2016.html

 

Office: 1203 Ashley Hall

Office Hours: MW 3:30pm-4:45pm, TR 2:00pm-3:15pm, and after classes and by appointment as needed or requested.

Telephone:  259-7609 

Mailbox:  Philosophy and Religious Studies Department Office, Ashley Hall North Side First Floor, Ashley Hall 1202

Fax:  259-5011

E-mail address: chjames@valdosta.edu

 

Course content: This course is an interdisciplinary Research Methods course. Interdisciplinary research, which includes analysis and critique of former students’ capstone projects, the planning of a literature review including relevant varieties of research from the student’s major discipline, attention to the research methods used in their discipline, and a completion of a major research paper and presentation highlighting the major disagreements between various schools of thought within the secondary literature. Each graded item in the course works toward the completion of this paper, which should be approximately 25 pages, with an accompanying PowerPoint for presentation at Honors Conferences, the Undergraduate Research Symposium, and so on.

An introduction to a wide range of research methods emphasizing the ability to read, interpret, conduct, report and present research in the student’s discipline area. 

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, the successful student will be able to:

1.    Explain and distinguish among different research approaches used for conducting research in their discipline.

2.    Understanding Human Subjects and IRB ethics/process

3.    Cite research (using approved format from discipline)

4.    Summarize research articles

5.    Understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it

6.    Complete a Literature review

7.    Understand and use basic quantitative and qualitative methods for research

8.    Interpret and report data

9.    Develop a research proposal

10. Present a research proposal

11. Write a major research paper

 

Requirements:  Class participation and attendance, two written examinations, two papers, various Blazeview assignments and discussions.  Pop Reading Quizzes may also be given during the semester.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Course Objectives:

1. To provide students in the University Honors Program/Honors College with the opportunity to pursue an interdisciplinary research project and to present the findings of their research to the University community and to the Honors faculty and students.

2. To create a community of scholars where students have a chance to converse with each other about their research and thus be participants in a semester-long interdisciplinary conversation.

3. To provide a supportive environment for the completion of Honors research projects.

4. To provide students with an opportunity to relate academic research with the interdisciplinary and service learning activities that are a part of the Honors experience.

5. To provide an overall understanding of a variety of interdisciplinary research methods, so that students can take an overarching perspective that is broader than that available within one major discipline.

 

Also note that HONS 3999 works with the Honors College Learning Outcomes through engagement with inquiry, conversation, research, written and oral presentation, and international exchange of ideas:

 Honors College Learning Outcomes:

1. Students will learn the arts of inquiry and conversation, culminating in structured academic research/creative endeavors, academic writing, oral presentation and creative production.

2. Students will practice the organizational skills of collaboration, planning and assessment, and the personal skills of self-discipline and task management culminating in the capacity to guide or direct group-based work.

3. Students will understand the importance of civic involvement and giving back to the larger community, culminating in occasions of service that draw upon scholarship, creativity, and leadership capacities.

4. Students will incorporate an understanding of diverse global and cultural perspectives in their scholarly/creative inquiry, culminating in an international exchange of ideas and activities.

5. Students will incorporate an understanding of diverse disciplinary perspectives in their scholarly/creative inquiry, culminating in a collaborative, interdisciplinary project.

 

All learning outcomes will be evaluated via formative and summative assessments, including research papers, formal presentations in class including verbal expression and Powerpoint presentations, and written work in Blazeview including Discussion postings, Assignment attachments of Word .doc or .docx format, and Assessment quizzes.

 

Required Text:

 

How To Do A Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students, by Colin Robson, Blackwell Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-1405114905, $32, used for as little as $3.

 

Occasionally we will have links to view online and PowerPoints related to specific research methods as well.

 

Be sure to do the reading before the class for which it is assigned. Please bring the relevant book(s) and/or article(s) with you to class, along with a designated notebook and some pens.

 

(In addition, faculty members do encourage you to use the St. Martin’s Handbook, a style guide with a custom VSU edition, which is required in ENGL 1101 and 1102 courses. These books are available for purchase at the VSU Bookstore. The St. Martin’s Handbook is usually shelved in the bookstore near the books for ENGL 1101 and 1102.)

 

Please note that I am not obligated to accept late work or to allow “make up” work after the date an assignment or exam or paper is completed by the other members of the class. When you have extenuating circumstances, you should talk with me about it ahead of time.

I also make no promises about extra credit items, although I will routinely announce events on campus that can result in some extra credit points for you.

 

How grades will be calculated:

A          = 100 - 90%            Class participation, attendance in class and discussion in Blazeview = 10%

B          = 89 - 80%               First Discussion, Quiz, and Dropbox = 5%

C          = 79 - 70%               3 Quizzes at 5% each = 15%

D          = 69 - 60%               Summary and Analysis of a Past Student’s Work = 10%

F          = 59 - 0%                     Literature Review = 10%

                                                Charting Schools of Thought = 10%

                                                Presentation of First 10 Pages = 10%

                                                Single Person Draft Day, Full Draft = 10%

                                                Final Version of Full Paper and PowerPoint in Blazeview = 20% 

Total = 100% possible

                                                                               

 

Since research is a major component of the Capstone course, you should try to become familiar with the primary and secondary source material available through our library:

http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/library/welcome.php

In completing your research papers, you may find that the databases of peer-reviewed journal articles will be especially helpful. The direct link for the database (Academic Search Complete) is

http://www.galileo.usg.edu/express?link=zbac   (Click on Academic Search Complete to open the first page with the search box.)

If you are accessing the library website from an off-campus computer, please use the Anywhere Access to log in to our library’s resources: http://library.valdosta.edu:2048/login

Attendance Policy: I do care that you attend class regularly.   VSU policy states that missing 20% of class meetings results in an automatic grade of “F”.  Faculty can also institute added attendance policies in their syllabi. Our class will have a 10% rule for absences.  You can miss up to 10% of the class meetings with no grade penalty.  10% of our 30 class meetings is 3.  On absence number 4, your final grade for the course will be reduced by one whole letter grade; on absence number 5, your final grade for the course will be reduced by two whole letter grades; on absence number 6, you will automatically fail the course.  Be considerate of your fellow students – don’t be late, and don’t leave your cell phones and pagers on.  Note that if you are regularly late to class, or leave class early, I will begin to count each as an absence.  Please note that this policy makes no distinction between excused and unexcused absences.

Access Statement: Students with disabilities who are experiencing barriers in this course may contact the Access Office for assistance in determining and implementing reasonable accommodations. The Access Office is located in Farbar Hall. The phone numbers are 229-245-2498 (V), 229-375-5871 (VP) and 229-219-1348 (TTY). For more information, please visit VSU’s Access Office or email: access@valdosta.edu

Title IX Statement: Valdosta State University (VSU) is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive work and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment.  VSU is dedicated to creating an environment where all campus community members feel valued, respected, and included. Valdosta State University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex (including pregnancy status, sexual harassment and sexual violence), sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national origin, disability, genetic information, or veteran status, in the University's programs and activities as required by applicable laws and regulations such as Title IX. The individual designated with responsibility for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning nondiscrimination policies is the University's Title IX Coordinator: Maggie Viverette, Director of the Office of Social Equity, titleix@valosta.edu, 1208 N. Patterson St., Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia 31608, 229-333-5463. 

Participate! Once you arrive at class, make an effort to get involved in the conversation. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need clarification or would like more information: if you are confused, it is likely that others are too! The participation percentage you receive will depend on a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) the frequency and helpfulness of your contributions to class discussions and the care you take when peer editing.

Pop Reading Quizzes: If I notice that there are many students who are not keeping up with the reading, I may periodically administer reading quizzes in class. These will not be announced in advance. No “make-up” quizzes will be given, and a missed quiz will result in a grade of zero.  These quizzes are a solid reward for attending class, participating, and keeping up with the readings.

Online Discussions: During certain weeks of the semester, you also will be expected to participate regularly in on-line discussions using Blazeview, our campus version of Desire2Learn Brightspace. Use this opportunity to comment on the week’s readings, ask questions, raise objections, and respond to what others have written or said in class.

To use Blazeview, you will need access to a computer with an internet connection. Your computer and its software will also need to meet certain technical specifications, like allowing pop-ups and updating Java. You are solely responsible for all technical matters. Although you do not need to be on campus in order to access Blazeview, it is worth remembering that computer labs are available at VSU. Sometimes if you have a lot of work to do, your wireless internet connection can be cut off if your computer or iPad goes into sleep mode – the library computers will have more reliable “wired” connection. For technical help, please contact the VSU Help Desk (located in Odum Library, to the left of the Circulation Desk) at 229-245-4357 or by e-mail at helpdesk@valdosta.edu

To log in to Blazeview and the course “shell,” go to the VSU homepage and click on My VSU. Your username and password are probably the same as for your e-mail account.

When posting in an online Discussion board, like those in the Discussion area of Blazeview, you must (1) post at least one original message of your own, (2) read all the messages posted by others, and (3) respond substantively to at least one message from another student. Your postings are due the same day as the readings are listed in the schedule below (i.e., no later than 11:59 p.m. on the relevant dates.) Normally, in Blazeview, you should respond to my topic first, and then come back and reply to at least two other students. Try not to simply repeat what others have said already, and remember that citing the text is important.

When you are ready to respond to someone else, do so by opening their message and hitting the “Reply” button. This will create a “thread” that others can add on to. Keep in mind that although it is fine to disagree with what someone else has said, it is important to do so in a way that is polite and constructive. If someone says something that makes you angry, pause and take a breath before firing off a reply! You can preview your message before you send it, but once you have hit “Post,” people will be seeing what you posted!

Blazeview allows me to keep track of how many messages you have read and posted, like a set of statistics on a scoreboard. I will monitor student activity and may from time to time add a message of my own.

Academic Honesty: Members of the Valdosta State University faculty value honesty and integrity extremely highly and do not tolerate cheating of any kind. Anyone caught cheating will automatically fail the course. Cheating includes – but is not limited to – plagiarism, giving or receiving assistance on a quiz, having someone else do work on your behalf, doing work on someone else’s behalf, and working with a partner or in a group on an individual assignment. By enrolling in this course, you are in effect promising to maintain the bond of trust on which the professor-student relationship is based.  In addition, VSU has a new Academic Honesty Policy.  Here is a link to the Academic Honesty Policies and Procedures:

http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/vp-office/academic-honesty-at-vsu.php

E-Mail:

VSU policy mandates that all official communication by e-mail take place through VSU e-mail accounts or through the Blazeview Mail tool.  Please check your VSU (@valdosta.edu) e-mail account regularly.

Note: This syllabus is not a legal contract; the content of this course is subject to revision by the professor.

 

 

                                              Schedule                                         

8/15 M

Introduction to the class.

What is your background, and what would you like your Capstone Research Project to be?

Syllabus

First reading together: Academic Integrity

            http://mypages.valdosta.edu/chjames/acinlandscape.pdf

           

For the next class, begin reading the class textbook, How To Do A Research Project. Also take a look at how other universities do Capstones:

http://honors.syr.edu/wp-content/ext/CapstoneGuide.pdf

http://www.uab.edu/faculty/images/Faculty_Development/QEP/Kurata-Handout.pdf

 

 

(Each date in the class after this one assumes that you will have read that day’s assigned discussion reading before class.)

Be sure to look in the new Blazeview for your first Discussion, Quiz and Dropbox!

Blazeview appears under MyVSU and: http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/elearning/blazeview-d2l.php

 

8/17 W

Discussion of How To Do A Research Project, pages 5-17 on Preliminaries and Planning

Please note that by Saturday, 8/20 at 11:59pm, you should have completed your first Discussion, Dropbox, and Introductory Quiz in Blazeview. These are all short items that simply show you are learning how the Blazeview course works.

8/22 M

Discussion of How To Do A Research Project, pages 18-46 on the variety of approaches to research/research methods

8/24 W

Discussion of How To Do A Research Project, pages 47-69 on topic selection and beginning the search for source material

8/29 M

Discussion of How To Do A Research Project, pages 70-94 on qualitative research methods and interviewing techniques

Short Quiz on Qualitative Research Methods due in Blazeview Quizzes by 11:59pm

8/31 W

Discussion of How To Do A Research Project, pages 95-111 on data collection and laboratory research in the sciences

Short Quiz on IRB and Quantitative Research Methods due in Blazeview by 11:59pm

9/5 M

No Class, Labor Day

9/7 W

By this date, bring in evidence that you have completed at least the Basic course training within the CITIProgram.org basic course for IRB, IACUC, and other types of research. Print out the page that says you have completed the work with the percentages at the end of the training.

If you will use human subjects or animals, you should make an appointment to see Elizabeth Ann Olphie in the Office of Sponsored Programs & Research Administration, in the third floor of the Psychology Building, to chart out your process for IRB/IACUC approval.

Instruction sheet for VSU:

https://www.valdosta.edu/academics/graduate-school/research/office-of-sponsored-programs-research-administration/documents/citi-training-program.pdf

Excess financial aid should be mailed/direct deposited on this date.

9/12 M

Meeting with research librarians at the Honors House, normal meeting room and time.

Quiz on Plagiarism and citation in your discipline due in Blazeview Quizzes by 11:59pm

9/14 W

Discussion of How To Do A Research Project, pages 113-138 Analyzing and Interpreting Data, with sections on qualitative and quantitative research

9/19 M

Discussion of How To Do A Research Project, pages 139-152 Writing

9/21 W

Presentations of a summary and analysis of a past student’s Capstone Research Work (as found inside Blazeview)

1.  Kristy Clark

2.  Sean Jankowski

3. Lizzy McCullers

4. Logan Crace

5. Hailey Lee

6.  Melissa Wilcox

The weekend of 9/24 is Parents’ Weekend.

9/26 M

Presentations of a summary and analysis of a past student’s Capstone Research Work (as found inside Blazeview)

7.  Bailey Coursey

8.  April Salas

9. Jazmin Serrano-Arce

10. James O'Rear

11.

12.

9/28 W

Presentations of your own literature review, with at least 10 sources, each summarized in a formal Précis or Executive Summary. Bring in copies for everyone to critique.

1.  Kristy Clark

2.  Sean Jankowski

3. Lizzy McCullers

4. Logan Crace

5. Hailey Lee

6.  Melissa Wilcox

On this date, In Progress grades are being entered in Banner. These grades give you a sense of where your performance is in the class.

10/3 M

Presentations of your own literature review, with at least 10 sources, each summarized in a formal Précis or Executive Summary. Bring in copies for everyone to critique.

7.  Bailey Coursey

8.  April Salas

9. Jazmin Serrano-Arce

10. James O'Rear

11.

12.

Remember that registration for Spring and Summer 2017 courses will begin on Monday October 31, and as Honors College Students you can register on the first day. You should see your advisors, both for your major and for Honors, before this date.

10/5 W

Charting out the major “schools of thought” in your literature review, and how your paper will locate itself within the debate. Everyone must bring their chart to class on this date, and upload it into the Blazeview Dropbox.

October 6 is the official “Midterm Date” of Fall 2016. Some classes will have a “midterm exam” but our class is graded by activities spread out over units, so we do not have a “midterm exam.”

10/10 M

No Class, Fall Break

10/12 W

Sample of Paper with PowerPoint Presentation: Kidney Donation, Ethics, Markets

 

Presentations of your first 10 pages of the paper. Bring in copies for everyone to critique.

 

The last date to withdraw from a VSU full fall semester class with a grade of W, instead of WF, is Thursday 10/13. Remember that VSU students are limited to 5 W grades in their entire Bachelor’s degree.

 

10/17 M

 Presentations of your first 10 pages of the paper. Bring in copies for everyone to critique.

1. Kristy Clark

2. Sean Jankowski

3. 

4.

5.

10/19 W

Presentations of your first 10 pages of the paper. Bring in copies for everyone to critique.

6. Melissa Wilcox

7. Bailey Coursey

8. April Salas

10/24 M

Presentations of your first 10 pages of the paper. Bring in copies for everyone to critique.

9.  Jazmin Serrano-Arce

10. James O'Rear

10/26 W

Presentations of your first 10 pages of the paper. Bring in copies for everyone to critique.

11. Lizzy McCullers

12. Hailey Lee

VSU Registration for Spring 2016 classes begins Monday 10/31.

10/31 M

Single person full draft day – bring in full draft, give copies to everyone and read it out loud.

1. Kristy Clark

2.  Sean Jankowski

11/2 W

Single person full draft day – bring in full draft, give copies to everyone and read it out loud. 

3. Lizzy McCullers

4.

11/7 M

Single person full draft day – bring in full draft, give copies to everyone and read it out loud.

5. Hailey Lee

6. Melissa Wilcox

11/9 W

Single person full draft day – bring in full draft, give copies to everyone and read it out loud.

7. Bailey Coursey

8. April Salas

 

11/14 M

Single person full draft day – bring in full draft, give copies to everyone and read it out loud.

9. Jazmin Serrano-Arce

10. James O'Rear

11/16 W

Single person full draft day – bring in full draft, give copies to everyone and read it out loud.

11.

12.

11/21 M

How To: Present with a PowerPoint

11/23 W

No Class, T-Day

11/28 M

Presentations of your paper with PowerPoint. Do not bring copies, forms will be used.

1.  Kristy Clark

2.  Sean Jankowski

3. Lizzy McCullers

4.

5. Hailey Lee

6. Melissa Wilcox


11/30 W

Presentations of your paper with PowerPoint. Do not bring copies, forms will be used.

7. Bailey Coursey 

8. April Salas

9. Jazmin Serrano-Arce

10. James O'Rear

11.

12.

12/5 M

No Class, Dr. James has a conference trip to Belgium

Final Versions of Research Papers and PowerPoint Presentations Due in Blazeview Dropbox by the time assigned for our final exam, Tuesday 12/6 at 2:45pm.

 

The last official class meeting day for all Fall Semester classes is Monday, December 5.

FINAL EXAM: 

For classes that normally meet MW at 2:00pm, the Registrar has set the official exam time for Tuesday, December 6 at 2:45pm. For our course, we will have the final versions of your research papers and PowerPoints that will be due in the Blazeview Dropbox by the time this final would begin.

If you are not sure about how the final exam times are assigned for your other courses, check this link to the Final Exam Schedule here:

https://www.valdosta.edu/academics/registrar/documents/fall-2016-final-exam-schedule-revised.pdf

 

Honors Fundamentals of Philosophy    Short Summary of Graded Items

Date

Grade Item

Percentage of Final Grade

In Class or Online

If Online, Location in Blazeview

By Saturday 8/20

First Introduction Discussion, Dropbox and Practice Quiz in Blazeview

5%

Online

Discussions

Dropbox

Quizzes

Regularly

Class participation, attendance in class and discussion in Blazeview

10%

In Class and Online

 

8/29, 8/31, 9/12

3 Quizzes at 5% each

15%

Online

Quizzes

Begin 9/21

Summary and Analysis of a Past Student’s Work

10%

In Class and Online

Present in Class and Upload to Dropbox on your date

Begin 9/28

Literature Review

10%

In Class and Online

Present in Class and Upload to Dropbox on your date

10/5

Charting Schools of Thought

10%

In Class and Online

Present in Class and Upload to Dropbox on your date

Begin 10/12

Presentation of First 10 Pages

10%

In Class and Online

Present in Class and Upload to Dropbox on your date

Begin 10/31

Single Person Draft Day, Full Draft

10%

In Class and Online

Present in Class and Upload to Dropbox on your date

Begin 11/30

PowerPoint Presentation Days

Chance to correct yourself before Final Version Due

In Class and Online

Present in Class and Upload to Dropbox on your date

Tuesday 12/6 at 2:45pm

Final Version of Full Paper and PowerPoint in Blazeview Dropbox

20%

Online

Dropbox

 

Online Course Evaluations

Student evaluations are extremely important in helping faculty members plan and revise their courses.  Rather than completing these evaluations during class time, students will need to access evaluation forms via BANNER and complete them in a period during the last few weeks of class.  Please take the time to complete this important evaluation (or opt out of providing an evaluation) during the designated period.  If you do not do so, you will not be able to access the grade for this class, scheduled to be posted on the Monday after the final examination days. They will be in Banner under Answer a Survey. Students will receive an email notification through their VSU (valdosta.edu) email address when the SOI is available (generally at least one week before the end of term.) SOI responses are anonymous to instructors/administrators. Instructors will be able to view only a summary of all responses two weeks after they have submitted final grades. While instructors will not be able to view individual responses or access any of the responses until after final grade submission, they will be able to see which students have or have not completed their SOIs, and student compliance may be considered in the determination of the final course grade. Some professors give extra credit for completing the SOI and some do not, please do not pressure any faculty member about giving extra credit - it's an individual instructor choice. These compliance and non-compliance reports will not be available once instructors are able to access the survey.