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CMST 2RA3 Appl. in Comm. Theory& Methods (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2020

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Philip Savage

Email: savagep@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 325

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23466

Office Hours: Tuesday 11:30-12:30



Course Objectives:

This course builds from the theoretical and methodological foundations introduced in CMST 2TM6, to develop, refine, and apply research skills in a comprehensive research project. It also provides you with an opportunity to master multiple modes of professional and academic writings and the presentation of research communication results.

 

Students working with the professor, TA’s and other students will explore and develop real world applications in research by hearing directly from leading communication research professionals about their work and careers, and then apply these through their own individual/group community-based real-world research projects.

 

This class will combine lectures and tutorials. Much of the material learned in the lectures will be applied in the tutorials. In order to do well in this course you need to attend both and be ready to participate fully.

 

By the end of the course you should be able to understand, evaluate and apply a range of research methodologies as they relate to communication inquiry, including within your own area of interest.

 

 

Like a carpenter with their tools:

  • You will know your own research tool kit; you will know when it is appropriate to reach in and use, say, ethnographic case studies and content analysis (or some combination of these and other research); and,
  • You will be able to look at other research “construction sites” and evaluate if the right tools were used properly.

 

You should also have improved:

  • Critical analysis and application of research – both in the academic and wider public realms, especially through media and strategic communications management of research;
  • Understanding of how ethical insight is applied to communication research projects;
  • Writing and oral presentation skills, particularly as they apply to research proposal, planning and reporting techniques;
  • Team work abilities as they apply to the research process and the various stages of research design, data collection, analysis and reporting.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Bryman, Alan and Edward Bell (2019). Social Research Methods, 5th Canadian Edition. Don Mills: Oxford University Press; available in the McMaster University Campus Bookstore.

Other required and recommended reading will be available on Avenue.

Other than the main text (price set by bookstore; used versions are widely available at a lower cost). There are no material or other fees.


Method of Assessment:

Item

 

Value

Due

 

 

 

 

1. Multiple Choice Quizzes

 

 

10%

Weeks 2-6

Each quiz comprising five multiple choice questions (plus one bonus question) based on the week’s assigned reading. Top 4 of 5 quiz marks are awarded. (DUE: in person beginning of lecture starting January 14/17 (Weeks 2-6 ).

 

2.Tutorials

 

10%

Weekly starting Week 2

Students will be assessed on their attendance and quality of participation in the discussion (Participation in Weeks 2-11); see additional information on tutorials below.

 

 

3. “5-W’s” of Research Methods

5%

Group Presentations in Lecture Weeks 3,4,5

Students will form groups of three and present in 5 minutes to the class their overview of a methodology they would consider using in an applied research project, answering the 5-W’s of the research method; i.e. the who, what, when, where and why of the methods as they could be applied in various communications sectors. (Due in groups at the start of lectures as per sign-up sheets Weeks 3,4 and 5).

 

 

4. On-Line Journals

10%

10 Weekly posts on A2L Weeks 2-11

Each student is required to post a weekly journal on the Sunday evening before lectures 2-11 on Avenue. Students will write 2-3 paragraphs per weekly post in reply to questions; responses based on observations from readings, guest speakers, media, and personal experience. (Due at 8pm Sunday on A2L Weeks 2-11).

 

 

5. RQ’s & Methods

10%

Paper copy due in Lecture & A2L

Week 6

Each student will individually develop in a 3-4 pp. paper a series of research questions and methods to be built on for the applied research proposal. (Due Week 6 in lecture and A2L).

 

 

6. Research Proposal

10%

Individual Paper in lecture and on A2L in Week 7

Each student will write an individual research proposal that will be the basis for the final group research project. It will form the basis for an oral research ‘Pitch’. (Due Week 7 in lecture and A2L).

 

7. Oral Research Pitch

5%

Individual Oral Presentation in Week 8

Each student will individually orally pitch their applied research proposal in class to convince students to participate in their final group of 4-5 students working toward their final Applied Research Project Paper. (Due Week 8 in lecture

 

 

8. Applied Research Project Paper

20%

Final Group Paper in lecture and on A2L in Week 12

Groups of 4-5 students will work together on a final research paper of 12-15 pages dealing with a topic and appropriate methods suitable to applied communications, deranging from the best proposals and pitches as per 4 and 5 above. The paper should include various sections including: Introduction; Literature Review; Theoretical Framework; Research Questions; Findings; Discussion of Results; Limitations; and Recommendations for Improved application in the Communications sector under study. (Due Week 12 in lecture and A2L).

 

9. Final Exam

20%

In-class overview be provided in late March

Scheduled by the University. The final exam will cover the entire course and will be a mixed format (multiple choice/short answer questions/research essay). Comprehensive review and preparation for the final exam will be done both in lectures and tutorials.

 

       
 

(N.B. For assignments #3 and #8 above, students should provide the instructor /TA’s a 1-paragraph description of their contribution to the group presentation and paper.

A Note on Lecture and Tutorial Participation:

Being a student in this course comes with several responsibilities.

  • Please come to the lecture class with the readings completed, and ready to discuss readings and engage in class activities.
  • Please be punctual, and stay for the entire session, as you are responsible for any announcements made at the beginning and/or end of class.
  • If you miss class, it is your responsibility to get notes from a classmate, and to be prepared for the next class meeting, with all assignments/readings ready.
  • Please also be present—existentially speaking—in class and tutorials. If you are on your devices (social media, texting, etc.) you are not present, and you are also disturbing the people around you.

Tutorials: Tutorials will begin the week of January 13, 2020. Each student must register for and attend weekly tutorials. Tutorials have two purposes: 1. to help you work through course material and apply the concepts to new situations; 2. to deliver skills-building activities relevant to your university studies.

Tutorial is mandatory; attendance will be taken. Participation is required, with the same guidelines outlined for lectures (immediately above). TAs will discuss additional assignments and activities. Evaluation will consist of participation and completion of assignments.

       
         
         
         
         

 

 


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Submission of Assignments: All assignments must be personally submitted at the beginning of class on the date it is due.  Do not drop off assignments in the CMST office (it will be considered late unless handed in to me in class).  If you submit an assignment late you may only do so in the next scheduled class.

Late Assignment Policy: Late assignments will be penalized 10% per late class.  Extensions will be given only for documented medical reasons, and must be discussed before due date.

Hard Copies/Back-ups: All assigned work must be submitted on paper, not mailed electronically (with exception of the on-line forum). Always maintain electronic or other back-up copies of whatever you submit.  

Turn It In: In this course we will be using a web-based service (Turnitin.com) to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. Students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to Turnitin.com or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by Turnitin.com) so it can be checked for academic integrity (this applies even for assignments taht require a hard copy for TA's and or Instructor.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Integrity

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at https://secretariat.mcmaster.ca/university-policies-procedures-guidelines/

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  • plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  • improper collaboration in group work.
  • copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Authenticity / Plagiarism Detection

Some courses may use a web-based service (Turnitin.com) to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. For courses using such software, students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to Turnitin.com or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by Turnitin.com) so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or Turnitin.com must still submit an electronic and/or hardcopy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to Turnitin.com or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). To see the Turnitin.com Policy, please go to www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity.

Courses with an On-Line Element

Some courses use on-line elements (e.g. e-mail, Avenue to Learn (A2L), LearnLink, web pages, capa, Moodle, ThinkingCap, etc.). Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of a course using these elements, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in a course that uses on-line elements will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Online Proctoring

Some courses may use online proctoring software for tests and exams. This software may require students to turn on their video camera, present identification, monitor and record their computer activities, and/or lockdown their browser during tests or exams. This software may be required to be installed before the exam begins.

Conduct Expectations

As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the "Code"). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students' access to these platforms.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or sas@mcmaster.ca e-mail to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

Request for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar "Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work".

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar's Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.

Copyright and Recording

Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.

Extreme Circumstances

The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.


Topics and Readings:

 

Dates

 

Topic/Projects Due

Readings

1.

(Sect 2)

Jan 7th

 

(Sect 1)

Jan 10th

 

 

Research Orientations/

Research Design in Applied Communications.

 

Research Ethics in Applied Communications

 

[NO TUTORIALS]

Bryman & Bell, Chapters 1, 2, 3

 

2.

Jan 14/17

Applied Ethnography

 

[Weekly journals start Sunday January 13]

 

[Quiz #1, In-Class]

 

 

[Tutorials Start]

 

 

Bryman & Bell, Chapters 9, 10

 

Recommended:

- Brody, Hugh (1981). Maps and Dreams, Indians and the British Columbia Frontier. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, [pp. xi-13]

- Chuck Chakrapani and Ken Deal (2005). Modern Marketing Research. Toronto: Pearson. [p. 173, Ethnography]

3.

Jan 21/24

Quant and Qual Interviewing in Applied Communications

 

[Quiz #2, In-Class]

 

[5-W’s Prezzies;

In-class groups of 3]

Bryman & Bell, Chapters 4, 5, 11

 

Recommended:

Chakrapani/Deal, pp. 168-173 [In-depth Interviewing]

 

4.

Jan 28/31

 

 

Focus Groups in Applied Communications

 

[Quiz #3, In-Class]

 

[5-W’s Prezzies;

In-class groups of 3]

 

Bryman & Bell, Chapter 11

 

Recommended:

Chakrapani/Deal, pp. 146-168 [Focus Groups]

5.

Feb 4/7

 

 

Content Analysis in Applied Communications

 

[Quiz #4, In-Class]

 

[5-W’s Prezzies;

In-class groups of 3]

Bryman & Bell, Chapter 12

 

Recommended:

- Savage, P. and Marinelli, S. (2011) “Sticking to their Knitting: A content analysis of gender in Canadian newspaper op-eds”. Journal of Professional Communication 1(1): 169-183, 2011.

- CAB 2004 Content Analysis of Diversity on Canadian TV

http://www.cab-acr.ca/english/social/diversity/taskforce/report/phase5/cdtf_phase_5.pdf [pp. 1-17]

 

 

6.

Feb 11/14

 

Semiotics/Hermeneutics/

Conversation Analysis/

Discourse Analysis in Applied Communications

 

 

[Quiz #5, In-Class]

 

[Individual Paper:

RQ’s & Methods]

Bryman & Bell, Chapter 12

 

Recommended:

- Roland Barthes (1973). Mythologies. London: Paladin. [pp. 117-149 [“Myth Today”], and pp. 69-71 [“Steak and Chips”]

- Chakrapani/Deal, p. 173 [Semiotics]

 

Study Break: February 18-25

 

7.

Feb 25/28

 

 

Data Analysis in Applied Communications

 

 

[DUE: Research Proposal

PAPER (Individual)]

 

Bryman & Bell, Chapters 5, 8

8.

Mar 3/6

 

 

Research Management & Planning in Applied Communications

 

[DUE: Oral Research Pitch (Individual)]

 

Bryman & Bell, Chapter 16

 

Recommended:

- Research Project Management Manual (adapted from the CSMM-MCM Capstone Guide).

9.

Mar 10/13

 

Workshop:

Group Projects

 

N/A

10.

Mar 17/20

 

Workshop:

Research Writing

 

Bryman & Bell, Chapter 15

 

11.

Mar 24/27

 

Workshop:

Project Management

 

N/A

12.

Mar 31/

Apr 3

 

Exam Review

 

[Final Group Paper]

 

N/A


Other Course Information:

Online component: In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn (A2L). Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Email: It is the policy of the CSMM Department that all email communication between students and instructors (including TAs) must originate from their official McMaster University email accounts. This policy protects the confidentiality and sensitivity of information and confirms the identities of both the student and instructor.

Contingencies: The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.

Submission of Assignments: All assignments must be personally submitted at the beginning of class on the date it is due. Do not drop off assignments in the CMST office (it will be considered late unless handed in to me in class). If you submit an assignment late you may only do so in the next scheduled class.

Late Assignment Policy: Late assignments will be penalized 10% per late class. Extensions will be given only for documented medical reasons, and must be discussed before due date.

Copies/Back-ups: All assigned work (unless otherwise specified on the course outline) must be submitted on paper, and also made available on Avenue to Learn (A2L). Always maintain electronic or other back-up copies of whatever you submit.

Style Guides (Referencing): Please use APA or MLA styles; see library guides:

https://libguides.mcmaster.ca/APA

https://libguides.mcmaster.ca/MLA