Applied Research Methods
Topic - Unobtrusive Research
Summer 2021 Syllabus
Canvas Login and Tutorials
Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 1st, 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.
You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.
Covers fundamental principles, processes, values and roles of research for professional application in information organizations. Students will become critical consumers of research products. Emphasis will concentrate on developing, planning, and producing a quality research proposal.
This section provides an overview of the frequently used unobtrusive research methods, including but not limited to content analysis and analysis of existing statistics. Unobtrusive research methods allow us to collect and analyze existing content/data to answer our research questions. We can implement our research studies unobtrusively, without having to impose on human subjects for data collection such as in survey research or experimental research.
INFO 285 is required for all students who entered the MLIS program from Spring 2007.
Waiver Option: If a student has taken and passed a graduate-level research methods course within the last 5 years (as documented by an official transcript), the student can petition the Coordinator of Admissions and Academic Advising to waive the INFO 285 requirement.
Please send an electronic copy of the transcript (scanned as a pdf file) to the Coordinator of Admissions and Academic Advising.
A waiver, if granted, does not reduce the total units required for the MLIS degree. It simply means that you are not required to take INFO 285 as one of your MLIS classes.
This class is conducted online through Canvas.
- As a student, you are expected to read and carefully consider all the readings, participate fully in all activities and discussions during the class duration, as well as turning in assignments by the designated time.
- Due dates are not negotiable. If the instructor needs to change a due date, you will be notified as soon as possible. Because due dates are not negotiable, procrastination should be avoided. If you employ procrastination as a time management tool, this can limit your time in dealing with unexpected problems. The instructor has the right not to accept late assignments or to add significant grade penalties. If you foresee any difficulty in completing your assignment on time, you need to contact the instructor at least 36 hours before the due date to request an extension. In addition, as the instructor schedules grading time for assignments, students turning in late assignments may receive their assessment much later than the rest of the class.
- If you do not understand assignments, readings, etc., it is your responsibility to inform the instructor. If you are having difficulty, please contact me early so that we can resolve problems before your final grade is unchangeable. You may also ask for help from your classmates through the various discussion methods. You must complete all assignments to pass the course.
Assignments and Evaluation
- Research assignments (47%, corresponds with CLO#1, CLO#2, CLO#3, CLO#4, three assignments due on 6/27, 7/11, 7/25 respectively )
- Literature review - studnets will practice writing a literature review for a research project
- Content analysis practice - students will practice conducting content analysis inductively and deductively
- Analysis of existing statistics - students will practice using statitical methods to quantitatively analyze existing data from various sources
- Research ethics training (5%, corresponds with CLO#4, due on 6/6)
Complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) online workshop titled: "Students conducting no more than minimal risk research." Completion of this workshop is required by all San José State University faculty and students intending to do research with living human subjects. The course can be located at CITI Program Human Subjects Research - https://about.citiprogram.org/en/series/human-subjects-research-hsr/.
- Class discussions (48%, corresponds with CLO#1, CLO#2, CLO#3, CLO#4, due on 6/13, 6/20, 7/5, 7/18, 8/1, 8/8)
Students are expected to participate in a series of class discussions. Students' individual contribution to the discussion topics is as important as their responses to colleagues’ postings. Basically, students will be evaluated for their involvement in, and intellectual contribution to, the collaborative learning environment. Part of the graduate education experience is to help you learn how to present information with support, and not simply say “Well, I think that….” This also applies to agreeing with someone; the statement “I agree” should be presented with support.
Assignment due dates are tentative and subject to change with fair notice.
All assignments are must be turned in by 11:59 pm of the day they are due. Late submissions will be reduced by 5% of the total points for the assignment for each day they are late.
Course Workload Expectations
Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.
Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.
Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.
INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204.
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Understand the difference between primary and secondary research.
- Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles and processes of conducting research.
- Articulate the research method(s) covered in the course, appropriately apply them, and understand their strengths and liabilities.
- Understand appropriate data collection/analysis tools, and ethical concerns related to research.
Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)
INFO 285 supports the following core competencies:
- L Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the ability to design a research project, and the ability to evaluate and synthesize research literature.
No Textbooks For This Course.
The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:
|97 to 100||A|
|94 to 96||A minus|
|91 to 93||B plus|
|88 to 90||B|
|85 to 87||B minus|
|82 to 84||C plus|
|79 to 81||C|
|76 to 78||C minus|
|73 to 75||D plus|
|70 to 72||D|
|67 to 69||D minus|
In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:
- C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
- B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
- A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.
Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).
Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: https://www.sjsu.edu/curriculum/courses/syllabus-info.php. Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.
In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.
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