PAUS 8121

Professor Gregory Streib

Classroom South 203CS

Friday 4:30-7:00

Course Number 82529

 

APPLIED RESEARCH METHODS AND STATISTICS, PART ONE

 

This course offers an introduction to applied research methods, statistics, and data analysis.  Students completing this course should be able to produce a meaningful quantitative analysis and they should be wiser consumers of the research findings produced by others.  The skills taught in this course should be valuable to generalist managers, specialists in a wide variety of fields, and analysts.  PAUS 8131 is a continuation of this course, and it offers students more opportunities to develop their skills. 

 

REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS:

Neil J. Salkind. Statistics for People Who Think They Hate Statistics, 2nd edition (Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA 2000).  ISBN: 076192776XThis book should be available in the university bookstore. Notify your instructor immediately, if you have problems getting this book.

 

RECOMMENDED SOFTWARE:

We will be using SPSS version 12 in this class.  Students can use this software in the GSU labs, or they can purchase a student version to use at a more convenient location.  Look for the student version of the SPSS 12 software, which is sold by Prentice Hall:  ISBN: 0-13-147027-2.  The software also comes with a short guide to SPSS that may prove useful.

  

OFFICE HOURS:

Your instructor will hold formal office hours from 2pm-4pm on Tuesday and 2pm-4pm on Friday in room 336 of the Andrew Young School Building.  Meetings can also be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.  Your instructor will also be answering questions via telephone during office hours.  You can reach your instructor by telephone at (404) 651-4448.  Stay on the line for voice mail.  Electronic mail can be sent via the Internet to gstreib@gsu.edu.  You can also Email your instructor from the class home page.  Fax messages can be sent to (404) 651-1378.                                       

 

8121 ON THE WEB:

All important course materials are available on the World Wide Web. The course home page can be found at the following location:  http:/vista.gsu.edu.

This site contains links to class materials, and it also offers access to the 8121 chat facility, a private Email system, access to grades and a bulletin board for class discussions.  The Explorer browser is strongly recommended for this course.  These course facilities are not to be used for personal vendettas, personal advertising, or for political or consumer marketing of any kind.  Postings of these types will be deleted from the bulletin board immediately, without notice of any kind, and they may result in dismissal from this course.

 

ON-LINE CLASSES:

 

This course features a number of on-line classes.  These classes teach you to use on-line meeting software.  This is a  new technology that is growing increasingly popular.  Students tend to appreciate an occasional night away from the GSU classrooms.  Advance preparations are needed, however.  You do need access to a computer with an Internet connection, of course, and you will also need a microphone.  You will receive information about the online classes via GSU Email, so do not delete any mail about Elluminate Live!.  You can learn more by clicking here.

 

CALCULATORS:

A calculator will be necessary during some portions of this course. Students should purchase one of these devices if they do not already have one. Only the most basic functions will be necessary (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and memory). Students should bring their calculators to every class meeting - including exam nights!

 

CLASS ASSIGNMENTS:

Students in this course will be expected to complete four exercises and two statistical reports.  All of these assignments will be submitted electronically, via the class home page.  Each of these assignments will be discussed in greater detail below:

 

Exercise Assignment One: This assignment will introduce you to the SPSS software that we will be using in class.  As you begin, remember that SPSS can only analyze numbers.  The questions do require some coding.  This involves the conversion of text answers into numeric values.  In this case, each answer to the survey questions should be given a unique numeric value.  You also need to identify the codes that should be considered "missing."  Your completed assignment must be submitted electronically from the class home page.  You will receive instructions on how to do this in class.  Please put your name on everything you submit--both on your assignment and in the file name.

Exercise Assignment Two:  Your job is to complete an SPSS exercise that is available on the class home page.  This answer must be submitted electronically as a Word document.  Your SPSS output must be pasted into Word.  Please put your name on everything you submit.

The Statistical Reports: You must complete two short statistical reports in this course. These reports will require the use of the SPSS software.  The data you need is available from the course home page. The tips available for this course offer some good advice on how to do well on these assignments.

Exercise Assignment Three:  This assignment requires you to conduct a statistical inference using a one-sample t-test.  As with assignment two, your answer must be submitted as a Word document.  Your SPSS output must be pasted into Word.  Please put your name on everything you submit.

Exercise Assignment Four:  This assignment requires you to conduct a statistical inference using a paired t-test.  As with assignment two, your answer must be submitted as a Word document.  Your SPSS output must be pasted into Word.  Please put your name on everything you submit.

 

POLICY ON LATE ASSIGNMENTS:

 

There is a substantial penalty for late assignments.  The grade on any assignment turned in after the deadline will be reduced one letter grade.  There will be an additional letter grade reduction for assignments turned in more than 24 hours late.  Assignments more than 48 hours late will be reduced three letter grades.  This policy will be strictly enforced. 

 

 

 

ATTENDANCE POLICY:

 

Attendance is not required.  This class offers all materials in electronic form, including course lectures. Some students may be able to do well without attending class, though this may be risky. Class sessions often address issues that may well help with assignments and exams. The online materials are complete, but they cannot fully replicate the dynamics of a live class session.

 

 

BASIC QUALITY EXPECTATIONS FOR WRITTEN WORK:

There are some special challenges in preparing materials for this course. Most students have not had much experience presenting data from a quantitative analysis. As a minimum requirement, all work produced for this course must meet the following standards:

1)     All arguments should be carefully presented and clearly articulated.

2)     Grammar and spelling errors should be minimal.

3)     Any tables or graphics must be free of distortion.

4)     The style of presentation of quoted materials, bulleted information, footnotes, etc. should conform to a consistent style.

5)     Any facts or ideas used from other sources should be properly cited.

6)     Every paper should include a title, your name, the date, and page numbers.

Students who feel that their writing skills need work are encouraged to take advantage of the many helpful training courses offered by Georgia State University. Additional paper tips can be found on the class home page.

   

THE GSU COMPUTER LABS:

The GSU labs are state-of-the-art facilities which allow students to connect to the Internet, access mainframe computers, use SPSS and other software, and print a number of different types of output. Each lab has its own hours, and there are some rules to master. Take the time to get acquainted with these facilities. You should be totally comfortable with the lab well before any assignments are due. For additional information, call 651-2686 or check out the web link. Please notify your instructor immediately if you run into any problems when using the labs.

 

KEEP GOOD RECORDS:

Given the cumulative nature of the material presented in this course, students are strongly advised to maintain good records. This means keeping good, organized notes, and copies of computer output. It is a good idea to buy a good notebook to store materials. Since these materials can be used in the exams, they will be essential to doing well in this course. They will also be useful for students taking Public Administration 8131.

 

ACCESSING CLASS MATERIALS:

Most class lectures will be accompanied by at least one PowerPoint presentation. The PowerPoint slides, along with any handouts (in Adobe Acrobat format), are available from the network survey in the main computer lab at GSU. They will also be available on the class home page on the Web. The lab materials are saved in the following directory:

 

F:\PUBLIC\CLASSES\PAUS\STREIB

 

The slides are designed for the Office XP version of PowerPoint.  You will be able to access all course materials by using Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 5.0 or later and the Adobe Acrobat reader.  Both of these products are available for free. 

 

EXAMINATIONS:

There will be two exams in this course. The midterm will consist of a series of short answer questions that will be completed online.  Students will be allowed to use books and notes for this exam; however, there will be a strict time limit.  The final is a take-home exam, which must be submitted electronically via the class home page.  Students must complete examinations on the dates listed in the course outline.  Any changes must be prearranged with your instructor.

 

GRADING POLICY:

Final course grades will be determined as follows:

 

First Exercise Assignment

50 Points

Second Exercise Assignment

50 Points

Two Statistical Reports (150 Points Each)

300 Points

Statistics Exam One

250 Points

Third Exercise Assignment

50 Points

Fourth Exercise Assignment

50 Points

Statistics Exam Two

250 Points

Total Possible Points

1000 Points

 

Students must earn 900+ points to receive a grade of "A," 800+ points to earn a "B," and 700+ points to earn a grade of "C."   In this class, a B is the expected grade for good, competent work.  Grades in the A range are reserved for excellent work.  Excellent work goes beyond the minimum in some important way.  Grades of incomplete are not common in this class.  Prior arrangements and evidence of personal hardship are required.

You will be able to check your scores on the class home page.  Grades on the statistical reports and tests will be presented on a 100 point scale, so that you can better evaluate your performance.  If you wish to total your points on your own, multiply statistical report scores by 1.5 and test scores by 2.5.  The point total is also available on the home page.  This is the total number of points you have earned, out of 1000.

  

PLAGIARISM OR CHEATING:

Plagiarism is the act of stealing or passing off as one's own the ideas or words of another. Cheating is violating rules dishonestly. A student who cheats or plagiarizes another student's work, purchases papers, or presents previous work as this quarter's assignments, faces disciplinary action. In this course, students are expected to do their own work on all tests and assignments. Anyone found distributing their work to others or using the work of others will receive an "F" in this course. If you are not sure you understand exactly what constitutes plagiarism, ask -- because you are responsible for understanding.

 

SOME WORDS FOR BEGINNERS:

For those of you who have had very little experience working with computers or statistics, you should always keep in mind that most students in the MPA, Urban Studies, and Human Resource Development programs have backgrounds similar to yours. This class takes more time than some, but students will find that with a bit of extra effort they will be able to greatly increase their knowledge of computers, research methods, and statistics.  Be patient!  Your research skills will take some time to develop.

 

THE COURSE OUTLINE

  


PART ONE: INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE


 

CLASS ONE: COURSE INTRODUCTION

(August 27)

We will discuss the importance of applied research methods and work with the SPSS software.  Read Chapter one in the Salkind book (Statistics for People Who Think they Hate Statistics)

Your instructor will also provide an additional reading about using the SPSS software.  The reading will be saved in Acrobat format, and you will need the Acrobat reader to look at it.  You will also find an excellent overview of SPSS features in Appendix A of the Salkind book.

You may practice submitting an assignment tonight. (This is highly recommended, though there are no points available for completing this task.) 

A student data sheet is available.  Please take a minute to complete this short survey.  This is anonymous, but the aggregate results will be shared with the class.

There is a practice assignment to work on.  This practice assignment will help you to prepare for the graded exercise available next week. 

 


PART TWO: USING DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS


 

CLASS TWO: COUNTING RESPONSES FOR A SINGLE VARIABLE

(September 3)

We will learn some basic procedures for counting the number of responses for a single variable.  Your instructor will provide an extra reading on the class home page.    

A practice quiz is available.  Class quizzes are designed to help you to prepare for the midterm.  The midterm will function much like the practice quizzes.

The first exercise assignment is due by 12 noon on Wednesday, September 8th.  Please note that all class assignments must be turned in electronically. 

 

CLASS THREE: COMPUTING DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS

(September 10)

We will learn how to calculate some basic descriptive statistics.  Read chapters two and three in the Salkind book.  

 A practice quiz is available.  Class quizzes are designed to help you to prepare for the midterm.  The midterm will function much like the practice quizzes.

A set of practice problems is also available.  We will review these problems in our next class.

 

CLASS  FOUR: COMPARING GROUPS OF DATA--Shall we meet on-line?

(September 17)

We will learn some techniques for comparing groups of data.  Read chapter four in the Salkind book.  There will also be an additional reading on the class home page. 

The second exercise assignment is due by 12 noon on Wednesday, September 22nd.

Review the sample statistical report that is part of the class materials available for tonight.  We will review this sample in class to prepare you for completing your own report.  This exercise will you to better understand my expectations.

 

CLASS FIVE: CROSSTABULATION TABLES

(September 24)

We will learn basic techniques for crosstabulation analysis. 

The first statistical report is due by 12 noon on Wednesday, September 29th.

There is a sample statistical report on the class home page that includes detailed comments.  It will help you to review this paper and the comments prior to class.  We will discuss the requirements for the assignment in class and the previous paper. 

A set of practice problems is also available.  We will review these problems in our next class.

 

CLASS SIX: PLOTTING DATA--Shall we meet on-line?

(October 1)

We will learn how to produce a number of different plots. 

An ungraded practice midterm is available.  This practice midterm will operate exactly like the real midterm.

 

CLASS SEVEN: MID-TERM EXAM

(October 8)

Remember that you may use your books, notes, and any handouts you have collected and that there will be a strictly enforced time limit. 

 


PART THREE: INFERENTIAL STATISTICS


 

CLASS  EIGHT: INTRODUCTION TO HYPOTHESIS TESTING

(October 15)

We will review the mid-term exams and discuss hypothesis testing.   Read chapter seven in the Salkind book.  There will be a course evaluation survey available on the class home page after this class.

 

CLASS  NINE: STATISTICAL INFERENCE--Shall we meet on-line?

(October 22)

 Read chapter nine in the Salkind book.  The second statistical report is due by 12 noon on Wednesday, October 27th.

 

CLASS  TEN: THE NORMAL DISTRIBUTION

(October 29)

We will learn how to conduct one sample z-tests.   Read chapter eight in the Salkind book. 

 

CLASS  ELEVEN: INTRODUCTION TO T-TESTS

(November 5)

We will learn how to conduct one sample t-tests.  The third exercise assignment is due by 12 noon on Wednesday, November 10th.

 

CLASS  TWELVE: HYPOTHESES ABOUT TWO RELATED MEANS--Shall we meet on-line?

(November 12)

We will learn how to evaluate differences between two related means.   Read chapter 11 in the Salkind book. 

 

CLASS  THIRTEEN: HYPOTHESES ABOUT TWO INDEPENDENT MEANS

(November 19)

We will learn how to evaluate differences between two independent means.   Read chapter 10 in the Salkind book.  The fourth exercise assignment is due by 12 noon on Wednesday, November 24th.

 

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY (November 26)

 

CLASS  FOURTEEN: MEASURES OF ASSOCIATION

(December 3)

We will practice the skills that are needed to complete the final by working on a statistical analysis.  You will receive the take-home final exam. 

 

CLASS  FIFTEEN: FINAL EXAM REVIEW

(December 10)

We will practice the skills that are needed to complete the final by working on a statistical analysis.  You will receive the take-home final exam. 

 

FINAL EXAM

(December 17)

Your take-home exam must be turned in to your instructor by 12 Noon on Friday, December 17th.  No exams will be accepted after the deadline. 

Please note that your access to the class Web site will end soon after the the exams have been graded.

 

 

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