SOCIAL MEDIA QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

COURSE MANUAL

CMNS 362:NEW QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

to Study Social Media

PROF. LINDA HARASIM                  Email: harasim@sfu.ca

T.A.: DUNCAN LOW       Email: djlow@telus.net

Lecture:  SFU Harbour Centre, Wednesdays, Room 1325 – 5.30pm – 8.20pm.

May 9-August 1, 2012

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COURSE DESCRIPTION

CMNS 362 focuses on Qualitative Research methods to advance students’ skills and ability to study social application of new communication technologies and new media. In CMNS 362 students undertake a field research project on a topic of interest and relevance. This includes developing a research design to frame research questions, collect appropriate data, apply data analyses methods to generate results and conclusions to their research questions.  Students investigate empirical sources of data using such qualitative research methods as study of the literature, document review, online interviews, online discourse analysis, online surveys and usage data. This is not a library research course, but one which requires identifying, collecting, and analyzing real field data.

CMNS 362 builds on CMNS 262 to develop student understanding of research methods for communication professionals and scholars. This course provides students with the framework and tools to observe social communication and ask important questions that can generate evidence-based answers and insight into the what, why, who, when and so what of that phenomenon. Assignments provide students with opportunities to design, implement and present communication research, with especial focus on the use of new communication technologies and social media, and the use of online research tools.

CMNS 362 addresses both traditional research methods (f2f interviews, document review) and contemporary online methods (online interviews, surveys, discourse analysis).  The course pedagogy includes f2f lectures, class discussions, tutorials, group projects and in-class student presentations.   Students are expected to engage actively and mindfully.

GRADING and ASSIGNMENTS:

Mid-Term exam:                                                        15%

Participation                                                              20%

Assignment #1: Research Methods                     10%

Assignment #2: Research Design (team)           10%

Assignment #3: Research Presentation (team) 15%

Assignment #4: Final Paper (Report)                   25%

Peer Assessment                                                     5%

1.         MID-TERM Exam                                        15%

= multiple choice, short answer questions to review knowledge of analytical terms

and concepts

=individual grade

2.         PARTICIPATION                                         20%

= class discussion, tutorials + feedback reports

=individual grade

3.         Assignment 1:  Research Methods       10%

=assignments related to conducting online interviews, surveys, and/or discourse            analysis

=groupgrade

4.         Assignment 2:ResearchDesign             10%

=complete the Research Design Matrix (Template)

= group grade

5.         Assignment 3: Class Presentation        15%

=teampresents their draft Research Results

= group grade

 

6.         Assignment 4: Final Paper                      25%

=submit the completed Research Report

= group grade

 

7.         Peer Assessment                                       5%

=team assesses the contribution of each member

= individual grade

Week

Date

Topic

1

May 9

Introduction to the Course
  • Self-Intros: Interest and questions about the course
  • Introduction to the Curriculum, Assignments, Grading
  • What is research? Why is research important? Interesting? What is Qualitative Research?
  • 3 MAJOR COMPONENTS ofQualitative Research
  • Completing a Field Research Study for the Course

2

May 16

 PART 1: RESEARCH DESIGN

  • RESEARCH DESIGN: What does this mean? What is required?
    • Identifying the Research Focus & Generating
    • Fitting the RQ within a Research Design Matrix.

3

May 23

Part 2: RESEARCH METHODS 

  • QUALITATIVE DATA COLLECTION SOURCES & METHODS
  • Qualitative Data (WORDS) and/or [Quantitative Data (NUMBERS)]
  • METHODS to COLLECT Qualitative  DATA (sources of data):

QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS

  • Once data have been collected, they are analyzed: How to organize and analyze data?

SURVEY MONKEY

4

May 30

Part 3: RESEARCH CONCLUSIONS:

  • Preparing for Assignments 1-4

Workshop on Data Collection/Data Sources:

Identifying and collecting the best data

Hands on Practicum in conducting online interviews, surveys, discourse analysis

Research Ethics

5

June 6

Data Collection Workshop continuedSubmit Assignment 1 by 5:30pm

6

June 13

MID-TERM EXAM (5:30-7pm)The Research Design Template (7-8:20pm)Selecting Group Presentation DatesInterpreting the results/ Assessing & Reporting your Evidence

7

June 20

F2F Class Workshop and group work: Data Analysis:Interpreting the results/ Assessing & Reporting your Evidence

  • Spreadsheets, Tables and Charts (Excel)
  • Visualizations (TopicMark)

Complete and submit Assignment 2 in Tutorial

8

June 27

F2F Class WORKSHOP: Work Groups Analyze your Data

9

July 4

F2F Class: Preparing your presentation

10

July 11

Class Presentations: Assignment #3Groups 1-5

11

July 18

Class Presentations: Assignment #3 Groups 6-10

12

July 25

WORKSHOP on Preparing a Final Research Report

13

Aug. 1

Final Assignment #4 – Due by 5pm 

CLASS POLICIES AND EXPECTATIONS:

1.   In-Class Participation 

For the purposes of this course, the in-class participation grade depends on the following:

  • Regular and on-time attendance to class, not missing any classes without an acceptable excuse (e.g., illness, of you or a family member, accident, moving, any uncontrollable event).  In the case of foreseeable reasons, you are expected to give advance notice.
  • Doing the assigned homework (reading the course material critically, doing research in the library, online, etc.)

Doing the above will help you to develop your responses as listed below, which will in turn affect your in-class participation grade positively.  Therefore, a student who demonstrates a high level of in-class participation does the following:

  • Listens: alert, eyes on the speaker, nonverbal signs of attention demonstrated
  • Responds:        answers questions when asked directly
  • Volunteers:       contributed to discussion, without being asked, takes notes
  • Speaks:            to the point being discussed
  • Self-assesses: changes behaviour based on feedback from the lecturer and fellow students
  • Reflects:           writes reflections during class and analyzes own behaviour
  • Becomes a contributing group member who solves problems and fosters positive communication
  • Does not sit back and wait for directions
  • Does not watch the clock and wait for the class to end
  • Does not start getting ready to finish and leave the class before the lecturer says so


2.   Adhere to SFU Policies on Plagiarism

3.   Grammar checkers and plagiarism detectors:

  • GRAMMARLY.com

www.grammarly.com/Cached – Similar

You +1’d this publicly. Undo

Grammar check, instant proofreading, and plagiarism detection. Improve your writing with Grammarly – the leading online English grammar checker.

  • CITATIONMACHINE.com

http://citationmachine.net/index2.php

Citation machine helps students and professional researchers to properly credit the information that they use. Its primary goal is to make it easy for student researchers to cite their information sources.


KEY READINGS:

Week

      Topic   

READINGS

1

Qualitative Research(Using the Internet) 362 Course Syllabushttp://www.qsrinternational.com/what-is-qualitative-research.aspxhttp://www.okstate.edu/ag/agedcm4h/academic/aged5980a/5980/newpage21.htmhttp://wagner.nyu.edu/leadership/publications/files/Qualitative_Research.pdf

Wiki Definition:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualitative_research

2

Research Design:What is a good RQ?Formulate and develop the RQ. http://www.socscidiss.bham.ac.uk/s1.html  (All contents)http://homeworktips.about.com/od/researchandreference/a/topic.htmhttp://www.esc.edu/htmlpages/writerold/menus.htm#develophttp://www8.esc.edu/htmlpages/writerold/menus.htm#develop

http://www.williamcronon.net/researching/questions.htm

 

3

Research Methods:Data CollectionDeveloping Online Surveys and Online Interviews http://www.restore.ac.uk/orm/questionnaires/quescontents.htm

http://www.aect.org/edtech/ed1/40/40-02.htmlhttp://www.restore.ac.uk/orm/interviews/intcontents.htm

http://www.okstate.edu/ag/agedcm4h/academic/aged5980a/5980/newpage21.htm

http://www.surveymonkey.net/

Berger, A.A. (2011). Chpt. 1, 2, 7, 12.

4

Research Methods:Data Collection:Online Discourse AnalysisResearch Ethics

Research Design Template

http://www.aect.org/edtech/ed1/40/40-03.html

http://www.aect.org/edtech/ed1/40/40-05.htmlhttp://www.restore.ac.uk/orm/ethics/ethcontents.htm

http://www.restore.ac.uk/orm/futures/futurescontents.htm

Survey Monkey

OCL Discourse Analysis (Harasim, 2012 Handout).

5

Google Search LessonsSearch EnginesSearch TechniquesFeatures & Operators https://sites.google.com/site/gwebsearcheducation/

https://sites.google.com/site/gwebsearcheducation/lessonplans (all 9 lesson plans)

6

MidTerm EXAMResearch Design Template  

7

Online Surveys Sue & Ritter, Chapters 1-4

8

Conducting Online Interviews Salmons, J. (2010). Chpt. 1,2,6,7.

9

Presentation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbSPPFYxx3o

http://www.slideshare.net/jessedee/steal-this-presentation-5038209

10

Student Presentations andStudent Scorecard CMNS362 Manual: Section on Assignment 3: pp. 21-24 

11

Student Presentations andStudent Scorecard CMNS362 Manual: Section on Assignment 3: pp. 21-24 

12

Writing the Final Report http://www.edu.plymouth.ac.uk/resined/writingup/WRITING%20UP%20RESEARCH.htm

13

 

 

Required Readings:

Berger, A.A. (2011). Media and Communication Research Methods: An Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4129-8777-6.

Harasim, L. (2012). CMNS362 Course Manual.

Salmons, J. (2010).Online Interviews in Real Time.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Paperback ISBN: 9781412968959.

Sue, M.V. & L.A. Ritter.(2011) Conducting Online Surveys. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Publications.ISBN: 9781412992251 $39.95

http://www.francescoianni.com/Digital%20Portfolio/pdf%20files/EDU7900%20Qualitative%20Research%20for%20Education.pdf

http://www.fhi360.org/NR/rdonlyres/etl7vogszehu5s4stpzb3tyqlpp7rojv4waq37elpbyei3tgmc4ty6dunbccfzxtaj2rvbaubzmz4f/overview1.pdf

Additional Readings:

Ford, N. (2011).The Essential Guide to Using the Web for Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN: 9780857023650 $37.95

Hewson, C. Yule, P., Laurent, D. and C. Vogel. (2003). Internet Research Methods: A practical guide for social and      behavioural sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Jones, S.(Ed.) (1999).  Doing Internet research: Critical Issues and Methods for Examining the Net. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage          Publications.

Mann, S., Stewart, F. (2009 edition).  Internet Communication and Qualitative Research: A Handbook for Researching Online.   Sage Paperback 09-05-2000 $59.95

Salmons, J. (2011).Cases in Online Interview Research.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Paperback ISBN: 9781412991803 $34.95

Wheeldon, J. Ahlberg, M.K. (2012). Visualizing Social Science Research.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

http://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=FjBw2oi8El4C&oi=fnd&pg=PP23&dq=examples+of+qualitative+research&ots=buo2jFKHvE&sig=YJ4-eN2SIlStjdqxD4zxnDDrZoU#v=onepage&q=examples%20of%20qualitative%20research&f=false

 

Making Powerpoint presentations:

Guy Kawasaki, The Art of the Start talks and his 10/20/30 rule.

Don Mcmillan’s Life after death by powerpoint:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbSPPFYxx3o