PS645: Research Methods for Public Administrators
Instructor: Jeremy Walling
Office: Carnahan 205 Office phone: 651-2691 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: MW, 10-10:50; W, 5-6; 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
Text: Research Methods for Public Administrators, Fourth Edition, O’Sullivan, Rassel, and Berner (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.
Article Presentations = 50 pts. (2@25 pts. each)
Class Participation = 50 pts.
Total = 500 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.
Article Presentations: Students will lead class discussion on two readings, providing the class with critique and insight. More than likely, the readings will be available on the internet through www.jstor.com.
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 25: The Research Question and Models
--O, R, B Chapter 1
September 1: Research Designs: Descriptive
--ORB Chapter 2
September 8: Research Designs: Explanatory
--ORB Chapter 3; Weiss Chapter 1
September 15: Measurement
--ORB Chapter 4; Weiss Chapter 2
September 22: Sampling Techniques
--ORB Chapter 5; Weiss Chapter 3
September 29: Survey Research Methodology
--ORB Chapter 6; Weiss Chapter 4
October 6: Primary Data Collection
--ORB Chapter 7; We still need to discuss Weiss Chapters 3
October 13: Ethical and Logistical Issues/First Exam Distributed
--ORB Chapter 8; Weiss Chapter 5
October 20: Secondary Data Analysis/First Exam Due
--ORB Chapter 9
October 27: Index Construction
--ORB Chapter 10; Weiss Chapter 6
November 3: Univariate Analysis
--ORB Chapter 11
November 10: Hypothesis Testing
--ORB Chapter 12
November 17: Measures of Association and ANOVA
--ORB Chapter 13
November 24: Thanksgiving. No Class.
December 1 : Regression and Correlation
--ORB Chapter 14
December 8: Completing the Project/Final Exam Distributed
--ORB Chapter 15
December 15: Paper Presentations/Final Exam Due