The reading assignments include a mix of topics dealing with the research project, scholarly research and the discipline in general. Please complete the assigned readings prior to posting to that week’s discussion.
There will be two Discussion topics each week related to that week’s content and assignment. Students are required to make an original post in each topic and respond to at least one other person in each topic. Initial posts for the first discussion each week are due on Wednesday with all responses due on Sunday (except for Week 8 which ends on Saturday). Initial posts for the second discussion each week are due on Saturday with all responses due on Sunday (except for Week 8 which ends on a Saturday). Points will be deducted for late posts made during the assigned week. No credit will be given for responses posted after Sunday at midnight. All due dates are at 11:59 pm Central Time.
Research Design Project
On Wednesday of Week 1 of the course, students are required to submit a copy of the Research Design Project they completed in POSC/PADM 395 for instructor review. The instructor will review and return to the students with comments and suggestions. The instructor may ask that more work be done on the POSC/PADM 395 project to improve it for the Final Project for POSC/PADM 495. Students also need to be comfortable conducting the research and analyzing the data presented in the POSC/PADM 395 Research Design Project for the final project within the eight-week term of POSC/PADM 495.
Literature Review Article Assessment
Students will locate a scholarly, peer-reviewed article that is an example of a Literature Review, write a brief summary of that article and include an assessment of why the article is or is not an example of a useful literature review and how it is or is not helpful to the student in writing/structuring their own literature review. By Friday of Week 2, students must post that assignment to the Dropbox. They must also post the assignment in the Discussions area as a thread and provide a link to the original article. For guidance on how to find a literature review article using the Stafford Library’s Databases, please visit the course Content area.
Research Article Summary
Find a scholarly, peer-reviewed article related to research and public policy and/or government and/or politics. The purpose of this assignment is to illustrate the connections between academia, research, and “real world” decisions made by policy-makers, bureaucrats, and government officials. Submit a summary of the article to the Dropbox (provide a link to the article). Due midnight Friday Week 4. For guidance on how to find a research article using the Stafford Library’s Databases, please visit the course Content area.
Rough Draft of Research Project
On Sunday of Week 5, a Rough Draft of the Final Research Project is due. The Rough Draft should include the introduction, literature review, discussion of methodology and analysis of results and conclusion. Since this is a rough draft, there is no expectation that all documentation will be completed. Also, if you are still working on the analysis and conclusion, you might include what you expect to find and conclude. This will allow your peers to ask questions that might be helpful.
Once the Rough Drafts are submitted, the instructor will assign each of the students a classmate’s paper to critique and review for the next Dropbox assignment.
Peer Review of Rough Draft
Each student will receive an email from the instructor on Tuesday evening of Week 6 with a peer’s research paper attached (via CougarMail). You will then have until Sunday of Week 6 to upload a 2-3 page double-spaced, Peer Review/Critique of a classmate’s paper in the Dropbox. The reviewer should consider such questions as whether the hypothesis addresses the question, whether the data set is the right data set to test the hypothesis, and whether the analysis is correct and the conclusions in line with the results. Are there questions that are left unanswered in the research? Are there things the researcher could/should have considered or done differently? What things did the researcher do well? This should be an exercise in constructive critique rather than criticism. Note: Students should use the Peer Review rubric in the Content area to complete this assignment.
On Sunday of Week 7, students must submit a PowerPoint-style presentation suitable for a professional conference presentation summarizing their hypothesis, results, analysis and conclusions. The format for the presentation should be either .ppt or .pptx. Slide notes should be included. Students are required to post the presentation in the Discussion 14 topic in the Discussions area on Wednesday of Week 7, and subsequently submit the final draft of it to the Dropbox by Sunday midnight of the week.
Final Research Project - due by Saturday midnight of Week 8
The final project is a 20-25 page final paper, not including appendices of tables and graphs and the bibliography. The final paper should include an introduction, literature review, discussion of methodology, analysis of results and conclusion. The paper should be submitted using APA documentation.
Note Regarding All Assignments
All assignments must be completed and submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. CST on the date due; see Schedule of Due Dates above. Documents should be submitted in .rtf, .doc or .docx format. Complete instructions for each Dropbox assignment are located in the Content area of the course.