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Strongly Recommended Text: APA Manual, Sixth Edition

You will need email and internet access for this course.

If you choose to attend virtually, please use a camera so we may have productive interactions. It is fine to use your phone to "attend" class and have a computer ready to interact with the various documents we will use during class.

You can expect me to respond to your emails within 24 hours during the work week. I expect you to respond to mine within 48 hours. If this will be a problem, please let me know now.

Objectives (in no particular order):

Class requirements:






Research papers: Each student will be required to orally present the results of four research pilots and write three research papers. All four will be on the same/similar topic of human communication/organizational behavior and will utilize the same essential literature review (12 - 15 credible sources). However, they will use different methods of gathering and analyzing data. The first research oral presentation will use a qualitative approach; the second research paper will let you practice observational methods (content analysis) with statistical analysis; the third paper will use survey/scale methods with statistical analysis; and the final with be a paper using pseudo-experimental research methods with statistical analysis. Class members can be used as participants (if appropriate for the population of interest) and can help recruit other participants. Papers must be in APA style, 12-15 pp. (20 pp. max) with cover page, abstract and no identifying self references within the text of the paper.

Research Paper Guidelines

Research Paper Rubric

Literature Review Rubric

Also check out the services available from Helmke Library

If you intend or want to be able to submit your paper for a conference or publication, you MUST complete and receive human subjects permission. You can find information on human subjects as well as the forms to complete under human subjects on the Purdue Human Subjects website.

Sharing results: Each student is also required to share the findings of the lit review and each pilot in class on the day it is due. Limited use of ppt or other visual aid is allowed for tables, images, etc. 4-6 minutes.

Class participation (homework and in-class exercises): Unless you are already very conversant with research methods and statistical procedures, your attendance and completion of homework assignments is essential to your learning as they offer you the chance to practice the skills you will need in your research papers both in this class and out. Please let me know when you have questions. There are many useful websites on statistics (some are listed under spcecific topics in the agenda below). Here is a general stats site:


Tentative Agenda
Date Topics


by class

Homework Due by Friday at noon



Orientation to the class

Topics and Literature Reviews

18 Martin Luther King, Jr Day - no class    

Literature Reviews: Theories, RQ/H

Paper Structure


--5-7 sources for your topic with main points from each - NOT an annotated bib. Write one paragraph with the argument your literature review will make with in-text citations.

--Theory, RQ and paper structure sources and questions




Qualitative Methods and Ethics


Discussion of Project/Oral Presentation 1


Be prepared to discuss questions about Qualitative Methods

Be prepared to discuss questions about Ethical Conduct of Research




Qualitative Analysis



Be prepared to discuss Qualitative Data Analysis Methods

Literature Review Drafts Due





Content Analysis Method

Content Analysis - method and intercoder reliability

Scott’s pi - (have a calculator or calculator app handy)

Discussion of Paper 2

Perpetual Handbook Content Analysis

  Intercoder reliability homework




Qualitative Analysis Presentations

Literature Review Revisions Due












Coder Training

Content Analysis: Data Analysis

Set up statistics for Paper Two

Explanation of one-sample chi-square (Goodness of fit test)

Explanation of Chi-square independent test

To check your work with chi-square (for one-sample or 2 x 2 contingency tables)

Another free calculator for chi-square independence test


Coding manual in Google Drive with RQ or H

Data accessible to coders

Chi-Square homework




Spring Break - no class    



Survey/Scale Method: Creation

Perpetual Handbook: Survey

Content Analysis Papers







Survey/scale Methods: Reliability & Validity

Article on scale creation: Measuring Student Engagement in the Online Course

Reliability and Validity













Survey/scale Analysis: Sampling and Correlation


Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive Statistics Formulas

Cronbach Alpha

Confidence Interval

Discussion of Paper Three


Descriptive statistics homework

Website to calculate descriptive stats


Cronbach alpha homework

Extra credit homework - Confidence Interval Exercise



Survey/Scale analysis: correlation and t-tests

t-test: Explanation


More indepth information on correlations

Set up statistics for Paper Three




ttest homework

ttest extra credit

t-test formulas

website for t-test

another helpful website for t-test

Correlation homework

Correlation calculator website

Website to find p values for correlation homework







Experimental Methods

Read articles and be prepared to answer all questions

Discussion of Paper Four

Perpetual Handbook Experimental


Survey/Scale Papers




Experimental Analysis

Experimental data analysis: ANOVA (only be concerned with one-way and two-way ANOVAs)


Set up statistics for Paper Four



ANOVA homework

ANOVA online calculator :)

Another ANOVA calculator

F-Table for critical values

Using SPSS for ANOVAs (not required :)






Work Week







8:00 - 10:00 pm (probably)

Which method worked best for your topic?

Experimental Papers Due




COM 582 Descriptive and Experimental Research in Communication


Office: KT 176 --- Phone: 481-6558

Office hours: M 4:00 - 5:30 - please sign up for an appointment

Questions? Email Dr. Dixson