FORMAT: The usual format for our sessions will be lecture/discussion on Tuesdays and Thursdays in GYM 215 and work on data analysis and research projects conducted in smaller lab section groups on Tuesday (Section 1) or Thursday (Section 2) as scheduled in the computer lab (HSS 380).

PREREQUISITES: PLSI 200 (American Politics) or equivalent. A course in critical thinking is strongly recommended. Computer experience you must have to take this course: zero. Math background? Not much, but you will have difficulty passing this course if you have trouble with basic arithmetic (fractions, percentages, etc.) and simple algebra (e.g., solve for X if 15 = 5 + 2X; graph this linear equation.)

NEEDED MATERIALS: (1) a formatted 3.5 floppy disk; (2) a calculator (nothing fancy); (3) some graph paper (8-10 sheets should do); (4) ruler or straight-edge. (Note: The Bookstore sells single diskettes. If you can't get pre-formatted diskettes, that's okay -- you can format them in the lab. If you don't know what any of this means, don’t worry: you will learn.)

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: (1) two exams; (2) a data collection and analysis exercise using the computer; (3) various problem sets, lab projects, and homework assignments to hone specific research and analytical skills; (4) a term research project to be described later that will involve original data analysis, hypothesis testing, and writing an 10-12 page technical report.

SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS: POINTS & DUE DATES

Requirement Percent of Grade Due
Computer Skills Project 15% March 25
Exam # 1 (Research Design) 20% March 16
Exam # 2 (Quantitative Methods) 20% May 4
Problem sets, homework total 20% As scheduled, varying points
Final Research Paper 25% May 27, noon

 

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