Santa Barbara City College
Communication Research Methods
This course is an introduction to the theoretical and practical concerns underlying procedures most commonly used in communication research. Students will evaluate findings of communication research and better understand research methods. The course serves as preparation for advanced courses in communication.
Understand the implications of methodological choices in studying communication.
- Critically evaluate the fundamental methods used to study and make knowledge claims about communication behavior.
- Understand research concepts such as reliability and validity.
- Design original survey instruments and experimental projects.
- Understand the nature of and be able to pose research questions and hypotheses about the relationships among variables.
- Execute library-based research and write an original review of communication literature.
- Be able to apply a variety of basic statistical procedures using Microsoft Excel.
Reinard, J. C. (2001). Introduction to communication research (3rd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Bourhis, J., Adams, C., Titsworth, S., & Harter, L. (2003). Style manual for communication studies. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Attendance/participation: Given that attendance and participation are critical for your academic success, you will earn points for full class period attendance this semester. Full class period attendance means that you arrive on time, and you stay for the entire period.
Exams: You will complete a midterm and a final exam in this class. The exams will cover textbook material and class lectures/discussions.
Research problem paper: You will complete a short 700-900 word paper (about 3 pages), which explains your research problem and the hypotheses, or research questions you will investigate.
Review of literature/methodology paper: You will complete a review of relevant research which explains/justifies your research problem. This paper will also defend your method and demonstrate how you might measure/test your research hypotheses/questions, and how you might actually conduct your research study. This paper will be longer in length (3500-4500 words; about 12-15 pages) and will include a minimum of 8 sources.
Research Presentation: You will present your hypothetical research project to the class.
Quizzes: We will have 11 quizzes (drop 1), mostly on the textbook material.
Exercises: You will complete various exercises that apply your knowledge of research methods. On occasion, I will give you points for completing the exercises.
||Introduction to the Course
Introduction to the research culture
|Chapters 1 & 2
||Nature of Communication
Asking questions: definitions and variables
||Asking questions: research questions & hypotheses
Finding, reading & using research
|Chapters 4 & 5
||Observing and measuring variables
||Review for Exam #1
Exam #1: Chapters 1-5
||Designing valid communication research
Research Problem due
Review for Exam #2
||Exam #2: Chapters 6-9
|Chapters 10 & 11
Theory of statistics
||Theory of statistics
Analyzing differences between groups
Review of Literature Due
||Analyzing differences between groups
Analyzing relationships between variables
||Analyzing relationships between variables
||Review for Exam #3 (Final Exam)
Back to SBCC Home Page
Last update 03/2004