Assessment and evaluation of primary and secondary sources of information

| January 29, 2016

This course provides an introduction to academic research. An overview of the research process and research tools prepares learners to undertake research in other courses. Evaluation, selection and documentation of secondary sources are stressed. Exercises in identifying sources of research are integrated with other courses where possible.

Course Format
This is a self-directed online first year research course. You are expected to use and build upon Gary Bouma, Rod Ling and Lori Wilkinson’s (2012). “The Research Process”(Second Canadian Edition). In order to do well in this course, you are expected to complete all assignments on time, participate in discussions and keep up with the required readings. There are no make-up assignments so be sure to hand things in on time or contact me long before a deadline to discuss the possibility of alternative arrangements.

Course Objectives
• Learn how to conduct ethical academic research
• Understand how to create a researchable ‘thesis’ or research question
• Overview of research tools to ensure students know how to search for scholarly sources using different methods: indices, databases, web-based search tools, libraries
• Assessment and evaluation of primary and secondary sources of information
• Learn how to formulate arguments and back them up with evidence
• Working with primary and secondary sources in academic writing and project completion
• Leave this course with a firm understanding of all the pieces that comprise a research project

Required Textbook:
1) Bouma, G. D., Ling, R., Wilkinson, L. (2012). The Research Process (second edition). Ontario: Oxford University Press.
Can be purchased through:
? http://www.amazon.ca/The-Research-Process-Canadian-Edition/dp/0195445384
? Connections Algonquin College Campus Bookstore
? Used from a former student?
? There may also be a copy in the resource library

Assignments and Evaluation
Your grades will be based on weekly activities and questions (see class schedule below), a critical analysis, literature review and referencing assignment and methodological exercises.

Course Requirements
Video Assignment Outline – 5%
Video – 25%
Methodological Exercises – 25%
Weekly Activities and Questions – 20%
Final Exam – 25%
Combined total: 100%

Video Outline (5%)
You are required to submit one group outline of your video project to me on or before Friday January 29, 2016 by 11:59pm. In this outline you are to explain how you will approach the topic ‘what is research’, who is in your group and how each member should be contributing to your group (of course all of this could change with your final product, which is fine). The purpose of this is to allow me the opportunity to provide you feedback on your work before the project gets underway. You are welcome to ask any questions you might have and I will try to provide as much feedback as I can. Remember, the more information you provide to me the more feedback I can give you to strengthen your video presentation. Your grade is based on the quality and quantity of the work submitted. The more detailed the information provided to me about your video, the more likely you are to get a better grade. This assignment can be in point form, 12 point Times New Roman font. Given the timely nature of this assignment, anything submitted late will receive a grade of zero because I cannot guarantee that I can get feedback to you before the final video is due if you hand it in late.

Video Presentation Assignment (25%):
You are required to work in groups with of a minimum of 5 people (no maximum) in order to complete a 5 minute video on the theme: “What is academic research?”. You can apply it to your program, a specific aspect of research, or take an entirely different direction, as long as you address the question above.. You would be responsible for sending me the link to the video, the names of the people in your group and how each member contributed to the project. You will be graded on the quality, creativity and factuality of the information presented. You are free to do whatever you want in the video: animation, students, teachers, random people off the street; you can use music, puppets, cartoons, special effects or whatever you want as long as you address the theme – what is research. The objective is for you to demonstrate your understanding of basic research concepts and present this information in a medium other than a written assignment. This assignment is due on or before Friday February 26, 2016 by 11:59pm.
Please see Blackboard for video examples.
GRADE BREAKDOWN FOR VIDEO:
1. Clear articulation of your topic, research information, a link between your video and ‘what is research’ theme and the accuracy of the information presented – 12.5%
2. Originality, creativity, entertainment value – 2.5%
3. Organization, clarity, consistency, meeting time requirements, quality of the video (i.e. is there volume? Can I hear everyone participating? Can I see it?), etc. – 10%

Methodological Exercises (20%):
You are required to complete five methodological exercises, which are designed to help you develop your data collection and analytic skills. The five exercises include: a content analysis, discourse analysis, observation exercise, interview and survey. You can work alone or in groups, that is entirely up to you (no maximum group size). Along with the ‘exercises’ you are required to define each of these methodological tools, and explain what you did and how you did it (assuming this is not clear from the data collection and analysis itself). There is no page length to this assignment, as it will vary depending on the topics you choose, the amount of data analyzed and your discussion. You are welcome to use point form for this assignment as well as charts, pictures, graphs, or anything else required to support the information presented. This assignment should be emailed to me in ONE Word Document attachment by 11:59pm (EST – “Ottawa time”) Friday April 1, 2016.

Please see Blackboard for a more detailed assignment outline to help guide you.

Weekly Activities and Questions (20%):
All weekly activities are outlined in the class schedule below, your textbook, or as an additional detailed outline on Blackboard under the appropriate unit. Activities are to be emailed directly to me each week all together in ONE Word document attachment unless otherwise specified in the class schedule below. I prefer the one attachment for all of the given activities in a week so that I can ensure nothing gets lost in the shuffle. Grades for weekly exercises are determined based on the quality and quantity of the work handed in. You will receive half your grade for these activities at the mid-point of the semester (approx. March 1). This will allow you the opportunity to improve on your grade for the second half of the term. Do not hesitate to contact me if you are concerned that you are not properly understanding the activities and/or not doing well on them.

All activities, assignments, papers, etc. should be emailed to me at girarda@algonquincollege.com. All emailed assignments, papers and projects should be emailed as Word document attachments, double-spaced with 12 point Times New Roman font. The document itself should be saved as: your name, course number/abbreviation and assignment name (i.e.: girard, A.PHI2000, week 1 activities). Since I teach a number of online courses this ensures that I receive your assignment and put it in the appropriate file for grading. If your submission does not conform to these requirements it will not be saved and, therefore, it will not be graded. Please factor in any computer issues, internet access, etc. that you may have when deciding when to write and submit your assignments. Also, if you are concerned about whether I received an assignment or not, please click on add: ‘send receipt’ with your email submission. This means that you will automatically receive a reply email when I open your email. Due to the number of students I cannot reply to each individual student to let them know I have received their submission.

Final Exam (20%):
There will be one final cumulative exam for this course. All information available to you on Blackboard and in your textbook is fair game for the exam. The questions will be in a variety of formats including, but not limited to: multiple choice and short answer. The exam will be made available to you through Blackboard at the designated time and date allotted. Around the middle of March I hope to provide the date and time requirements, if a password is required and any more information that I have about the test. I will work with your program coordinator to ensure there is no overlap with any other classes, because there is NO make-up for this exam – so be sure to plan your schedule accordingly and let me know if you have a course conflict well before the month of April.

You are not allowed any outside resources to complete this exam unless the question asks for you to do so. If caught cheating – using the textbook, internet, etc. unless asked to do so – you will receive a grade of zero.

General Course Information
All class requirements including lectures, PowerPoint slides, assignment outlines and activities will be posted on Blackboard early in the semester with clearly marked deadlines. This will allow you to work all assignments into your schedule and determine for yourself the appropriate amount of time you will need to complete each activity on time.

*All students must have access to Blackboard and their Algonquin email account. Please check all files very early in the course to ensure that you are able to open everything.

Time Requirements – This course will require as much time as a face-to-face course. You are expected to keep up with readings, listen to lectures and check Blackboard (see time management tips on Blackboard). The weekly outline below should help keep you on track.

Trouble Shooting Questions Contact:
You can try posting something on the discussion board to get help from either myself or other students. However, if you cannot even get on the discussion board contact:
IT Services – http://algonquincollege.com/its/index.htm
(613) 727-4723 Ext. 5555
Registrar’s – http://www.algonquincollege.com/RegistrarsOffice/
613-727-0002
*For all academic questions contact me through Blackboard or email.

Grading
Grades in the Interior Design program consist of:
A+ 90-100
A 85-89
A- 80-84
B+ 77-79
B 73-76
B- 70-72
C+ 67-69
C 63-66
C- 60-62
D+ 57-59
D 53-56
D- 50-52
F 0-49

A passing grade of C- (60%) is required to progress to the next level.

Late Assignment Policy:
Anything submitted after 11:59 pm (EST) on the Friday that it is due is administered a 30% late penalty. You then have one week after the due date to submit the assignment to receive a grade. After that week the assignment is given a zero grade. The exception to this is the video assignment outline because there will not be enough time between the submission, grading return and completion of the final assignment to submit these late (i.e. you won’t have time to get feedback from me and implement it into your project).

Availability of Instructor:
I will be on Skype by appointment. At this time I can address any immediate questions that you might have and allow you the opportunity to speak to me directly in case there is some confusion on the discussion board or through email. This is not mandatory, if you feel your questions can be addressed by email and the discussion board you do not have to set up a Skype meeting. If you do at any time want to Skype, email me your username and some suggested dates and times for a meeting and we will set it all up.

Otherwise, you can post on the Blackboard discussion board or email me anytime day or night; however, I am not online 24 hours a day, seven days a week (I do not check regularly on weekends). Usually you can expect a reply to your email, comment or question within 24 hours or less. If you post on Blackboard you can receive (and give) feedback from your peers. This can be helpful for you and your others in the course.

All activities, assignments, papers, etc. should be emailed to me at girarda@algonquincollege.com. All emailed assignments, papers and projects should be emailed as Word document attachments, double-spaced with 12 point Times New Roman font. The document itself should be saved as: your name, course number/abbreviation and assignment name. For instance: April_Girard_PHI2000_Week1Activities. Since I teach a number of online courses this ensures that I receive your assignment and put it in the appropriate file for grading. If your submission does not conform to these requirements it will not be saved and, therefore, you will receive a zero. Please factor in any computer issues, internet access, etc. that you may have when deciding when to write and submit your assignments. Also, if you are concerned about whether I received an assignment or not, please click on add: ‘send receipt’ with your email submission. This means that you will automatically receive a reply email when I open your email. Due to the number of students I will reply to each individual student to let them know I have received their submission.
Class Schedule

While this schedule is a guide to help keep you on track, you will be penalized for submitting assignments late (beyond the deadline listed below). However, you are welcome to submit any assignment before the deadline if this helps fit into your schedule better. The earlier I receive assignments from you the faster you get your grades back, but do not feel obligated to submit early.

Module/Week* Readings: Assignments
Part 1 – The Basics

1: Introduction Detailed Course Outline

2: What is Research?

Bouma, G. D., Ling, R., & Wilkinson, L. (2012). The Research Process (Second Edition). Don Mills: Oxford University Press. Chapters 1 & 2

Helpful Video Link(s):
The research process – getting started: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuJLRjd9vAc&feature=related
Choosing a research topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_cYq256YEA&feature=related
1) Complete “Questions for Review” Chapter 1 p. 6; Chapter 2 p. 24

Due Friday January 22

3: Creating Research Questions
Bouma, G. D., Ling, R., & Wilkinson, L. (2012). The Research Process (Second Edition). Don Mills: Oxford University Press. Chapter 3 1) Using the internet, choose a topic and find 5 academic/scholarly sources that could be used to write a paper about that topic – email to instructor.
2) Library search exercise: See Week 4 – Engaging the Online Learner assignment outline on Blackboard in Weekly Activity and Assignment outlines folder.
• Use the Checklist for Reliable Sources document on Blackboard for help with these assignments.

4: Creating Research Questions (continued) Evaluating web resources and writing research papers: http://algonquincollege.com/lrc/library/research/tipsonevaluatingwebresources.html

Powerpoint material from Brenda Mahoney available on Blackboard
If you have any questions about her material email her directly at:
mahoneb@algonquincollege.com

Helpful Video Link(s):
Google key word search:

Citation Searching (google scholar) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fhOocJ1pR4&feature=related
How to find scholarly articles:


Creating a research question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIJDfS33IWw
1) Complete “Questions for Review” Chapter 3 pgs. 42-43.

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