PS645: Research Methods for Public
Dr. Jeremy Walling
Office: Carnahan 311R Office phone: 651-2691 Email:email@example.com
Office Hours: MW, 10-11; TTh, 12-12:30; or by appointment
PS645 is designed to meet the methodology
requirement of the MPA program. This course provides a foundation in the theory
and practice of applied research methodology for public administrators, from
conceptualization to data analysis. The goal is to equip you to manage your own
research projects, become a more informed consumer of research, and to help you
develop your Master's internship projects. We will cover qualitative and
quantitative methods, with an emphasis on practical data analysis. The material
to be covered in this course is critical to the professional development of
anyone pursuing a career in public administration, whether or not they plan to
be a research practitioner.
Texts: Applied Statistics for Public Policy, Macfie and Nufrio (Required); Evaluation Research, Weiss (On Reserve). In addition, materials will be placed on reserve and/or online.
Expectations: This course will be administered as a seminar. Although some classes will feature traditional lectures, the emphasis will be placed upon class discussion and interaction. As a result, a high premium is placed upon student participation.
Grades: The grades in this course will be determined by performance on two examinations, a term paper and presentation, two article presentations, and class discussion. Grades will follow the traditional scale (90%=A, 80%=B, etc.).
Exams: 2 @ 100 pts each = 200 pts.
Term Paper = 100 pts.
Homework = 100 pts.
Class Participation = 50 pts.
Total = 450 pts.
Examinations: There will be two major examinations in the course. Since the material is cumulative in nature, the final exam will have a comprehensive component to it. The exams will require you to apply the course material in practical situations. Most likely these will be take home exams. Late exams will suffer a letter grade per day penalty.
a) Students who have not taken GR691: Your paper should consist of the first few sections of your MPA internship paper. Students will meet with me (and probably your advisor) to discuss the direction and scope of this project.
b) Students who have taken GR691 or who are not on the MPA track: Your paper will be a research design of a program evaluation. Although you will not be required to conduct the program evaluation, the paper should contain: a) a literature review of the theories that support your project; and b) a discussion of the theory and methodology that you propose to evaluate the effectiveness of a real government/non-profit program.
In either case, you will be expected to present your projects to the class. Late papers will not be accepted.
Class Participation: Since this is an upper division/graduate course, class participation is expected. Although attendance will not be graded, it should be noted that attendance is a necessary condition for participation.
Homework: The purpose of this course is to provide you with practical skills and techniques to be applied in a professional setting. Weekly assignments are designed to help you to acquire these skills. Late homework will suffer a letter grade per day penalty.
Academic Dishonesty—Please do not pass along work in this class that is not your own. Plagiarism on papers and cheating on exams will not be tolerated.
Special Needs—Please see me if you have a disability that requires alternative arrangements or circumstances. I’ll assist you in any manner possible.
August 23: The Research Question
August 30: Introduction to Methodology and Polystat
--M&N Chapters 1 and 2
September 6: Data Presentation
--M&N Chapter 3
September 13: Descriptive Statistics and
--M&N Chapter 4
September 20: Research Designs: Descriptive and
--M&N Chapter 19
September 27: Probability and Sampling
--M&N Chapters 5, 6 & 7
October 4: Survey Research Methodology/First
--Reading to be announced
October 11: Data Collection and Analysis/First
--Reading to be announced
October 18: Introduction to Hypothesis Testing
--M&N Chapter 8
October 25: Hypothesis Testing Continued
--M&N Chapters 9 & 10
November 1: Measures of Association and ANOVA
--M&N Chapters 14 & 15
November 8: Correlation and Regression
--M&N Chapters 16, 17 & 18
November 15: Program Evaluation 1
--Weiss Chapters 1, 2 &3
November 22: Thanksgiving, no class
November 29: Program Evaluation 2/Final Exam Distributed
--Weiss Chapters 4-6
December 6: Paper presentations/Final Exam Due
December 13: Paper Presentations/Paper Due