1 Columbia College Online Campus P a g e 1 POSC/PADM 495 DEA Independent Study in Political Science and Public Administration March 2015 Session March 23 May 16, 2015 Course Description Textbooks Culminating experience for graduation with a B.A. in Political Science and BA or BS in Public Administration. Requires original research project and final paper. Grade of C or higher required. Cross-listed as POSC/PADM 495. Prerequisite: POSC/PADM 395 Proctored Exams: None No textbooks are required. Each week, you will be assigned 1-3 scholarly articles or excerpts from books that are all available in the Content area of the course. The following are recommended (From POSC/PADM 395): Johnson, Janet Buttolph and H.T. Reynolds with Jason D. Mycoff. Political Science Research Methods. 7 th edition. CQ Press, ISBN: Le Roy, Michael K. Research Methods in Political Science: An Introduction Using MicroCase. 8 th edition. Cengage Learning, ISBN: Also recommended: American Psychological Association (2010), Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6 th edition. ISBN: Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order online at (be sure to select Online Education rather than your home campus before selecting your class) by phone at For additional information about the bookstore, visit Course Overview This is a capstone course in which you will demonstrate that you have mastered the political research skills learned in POSC/PADM 395. You will work to conduct an original research project on a political question and write a formal research paper. The research paper should contain the following elements: introduction, literature review, review of research methods used, discussion and
2 Columbia College Online Campus P a g e 2 analysis of results, and conclusion. Since you have done much of the work needed to complete this paper in POSC/PADM 395, your finished paper will be due at the end of Week 5. This will allow time for you to complete other assignments based on that paper such as a PowerPoint, and peer review. Also, during this course, you will read about and discuss the discipline itself so that you see how the skills and knowledge learned in this discipline are applicable outside of academia to a wide variety of other careers. Technology Requirements Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College: A computer with reliable Internet access, a web browser, Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office. You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site. Course Objectives To conceptualize and carry out an original research project incorporating political science and public administration research techniques. To prepare a research article based on this project similar to those found in political science or public administration journals. To demonstrate familiarity with key concepts and theories of the field of political science and public administration. Measurable Learning Outcomes Recognize and evaluate concepts, principles, theories and perspectives of political science and public administration. Identify an appropriate, original research question in political science or public administration. Derive testable hypotheses from that research question. Identify and collect appropriate political data for a research article/paper. Analyze data collected using appropriate methods. Describe and assess the significance of research findings in the context of the discipline as a whole. Develop the ability to present research findings in a professional manner.
3 Columbia College Online Campus P a g e 3 Grading Grading Scale GRADE POINTS PERCENT A B C D F Grade Weights ASSIGNMENT POINTS PERCENT Discussion Questions % Research Design Project (from POSC/PADM 395) 0 0% Article Summaries % Rough Draft of Research Project % Peer Review of Rough Draft % Research Presentation (PowerPoint) % Final Research Project % TOTAL % Schedule of Due Dates WEEK ASSIGNMENT POINTS DUE DATE Discussion 1 10 Wed. & Sun. 1 Dropbox Assignment 1 PADM 395 Research Design Project 0 Wednesday Discussion 2 10 Sat. & Sun. 2 Discussion 3 10 Wed. & Sun. Dropbox Assignment 2 Literature Review Article Assessment 50 Friday Discussion 4 10 Sat. & Sun. 3 Discussion 5 10 Wed. & Sun. Discussion 6 10 Sat. & Sun. 4 Discussion 7 10 Wed. & Sun. Dropbox Assignment 3 Research Article Summary 50 Friday Discussion 8 10 Sat. & Sun. 5 Discussion 9 10 Wed. & Sun. Dropbox Assignment 4 Rough Draft of Research Project 100 Sunday Discussion Sat. & Sun. 6 Discussion Wed. & Sun. Dropbox Assignment 5 Peer Review of Rough Draft 100 Sunday Discussion Sat. & Sun.
4 Columbia College Online Campus P a g e 4 7 Discussion Wed. & Sun. Place Research Project Presentation into Discussion 14 0 Wednesday Discussion Friday Dropbox Assignment 6 Research Project Presentation 140 Sunday 8 Discussion Wed. & Sat. Dropbox Assignment 7 Final Research Project 400 Saturday Discussion Saturday Total 1000 Assignment Overview Reading Assignments: The reading assignments include a mix of topics dealing with the research project, scholarly research and the discipline in general. Please complete the assigned readings prior to posting to that week s discussion. : There will be two Discussion topics each week related to that week s content and assignment. Students are required to make an original post in each topic and respond to at least one other person in each topic. Initial posts for the first discussion each week are due on Wednesday with all responses due on Sunday (except for Week 8 which ends on Saturday). Initial posts for the second discussion each week are due on Saturday with all responses due on Sunday (except for Week 8 which ends on a Saturday). Points will be deducted for late posts made during the assigned week. No credit will be given for responses posted after Sunday at midnight. All due dates are at 11:59 pm Central Time. Dropbox Assignments Research Design Project: On Wednesday of Week 1 of the course, students are required to submit a copy of the Research Design Project they completed in POSC/PADM 395 for instructor review. The instructor will review and return to the students with comments and suggestions. The instructor may ask that more work be done on the POSC/PADM 395 project to improve it for the Final Project for POSC/PADM 495. Students also need to be comfortable conducting the research and analyzing the data presented in the POSC/PADM 395 Research Design Project for the final project within the eight-week term of POSC/PADM 495. Literature Review Article Assessment: Students will locate a scholarly, peer-reviewed article that is an example of a Literature Review, write a brief summary of that article and include an assessment of why the article is or is not an example of a useful literature review and how it is or is not helpful to the student in writing/structuring their own literature review. By Friday of Week 2, students must post that assignment to the Dropbox. They must also post the assignment in the area as a thread and provide a link to the original article. For guidance on how to find a literature review article using the Stafford Library s Databases, please visit the course Content area. Research Article Summary: Find a scholarly, peer-reviewed article related to research and public policy and/or government and/or politics. The purpose of this assignment is to illustrate the connections between academia, research, and real world decisions made by policy-makers, bureaucrats, and government officials. Submit a summary of the article to the Dropbox (provide a link to the article). Due midnight Friday Week 4. For guidance on how to find a research article using the Stafford Library s Databases, please visit the course Content area. Rough Draft of Research Project: On Sunday of Week 5, a Rough Draft of the Final Research Project is due. The Rough Draft should include the introduction, literature review, discussion of methodology and analysis of results and conclusion. Since this is a rough draft, there is no expectation that all documentation will be completed. Also, if you are still working on the analysis and conclusion, you might
5 Columbia College Online Campus P a g e 5 include what you expect to find and conclude. This will allow your peers to ask questions that might be helpful. Once the Rough Drafts are submitted, the instructor will assign each of the students a classmate s paper to critique and review for the next Dropbox assignment. Peer Review of Rough Draft: Each student will receive an from the instructor on Tuesday evening of Week 6 with a peer s research paper attached (via CougarMail). You will then have until Sunday of Week 6 to upload a 2-3 page double-spaced, Peer Review/Critique of a classmate s paper in the Dropbox. The reviewer should consider such questions as whether the hypothesis addresses the question, whether the data set is the right data set to test the hypothesis, and whether the analysis is correct and the conclusions in line with the results. Are there questions that are left unanswered in the research? Are there things the researcher could/should have considered or done differently? What things did the researcher do well? This should be an exercise in constructive critique rather than criticism. Note: Students should use the Peer Review rubric in the Content area to complete this assignment. Research Presentation: On Sunday of Week 7, students must submit a PowerPoint-style presentation suitable for a professional conference presentation summarizing their hypothesis, results, analysis and conclusions. The format for the presentation should be either.ppt or.pptx. Slide notes should be included. Students are required to post the presentation in the Discussion 14 topic in the area on Wednesday of Week 7, and subsequently submit the final draft of it to the Dropbox by Sunday midnight of the week. Final Research Project (due by Saturday midnight of Week 8): The final project is a page final paper, not including appendices of tables and graphs and the bibliography. The final paper should include an introduction, literature review, discussion of methodology, analysis of results and conclusion. The paper should be submitted using APA documentation. Note: All assignments must be completed and submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. CST on the date due; see Schedule of Due Dates above. Documents should be submitted in.rtf,.doc or.docx format. Complete instructions for each Dropbox assignment are located in the Content area of the course. Course Schedule Week 1 Research Design Project: Review Buttolph Johnson, J., & Reynolds, H. T. (2012). Political Science Research Methods. (7 th ed.). Washington, DC: CQ Press. Chapter 15. Avehard, H., & Sharp, P. (2013). A Beginner s Guide to Evidence-Based Practice in Health and Social Care (ebook). Maidenhead: Open University Press. (pp. 1-49). (Please refer to the course Content area for a link to this e-book article.) Dropbox Assignment 1: Please upload a copy of your Research Design Project from POSC/PADM 395 for instructor review. Due by Wednesday of Week 1. Discussion 1: Introduce yourself in the Introductions topic of the area of the course. Please give us more than your name. Include your profession, hobbies, interest in politics/public administration/government and any other information that can help us get to know you. Discussion 2: Briefly explain your research project proposal to your classmates. Complete a selfassessment of your project proposal completed in POSC/PADM 395. What did you learn during the process? What do you need to change moving forward? What problems do you anticipate having? Plagiarism Tutorial Quiz: View the Plagiarism Tutorial in the Content area of the course and take the Plagiarism Quiz in the Quizzes area of the course. This assignment is not graded but will help you
6 Columbia College Online Campus P a g e 6 understand plagiarism and how to avoid it. Week 2 The Literature Review Note: This week, the instructor will return to you your research project design that you developed in POSC/PADM 395 and submitted in Week 1. It is your responsibility through this course to conduct the research you proposed, analyze the results, and present them as a page final project, plus appendices and bibliography, for this course. Buttolph Johnson, J., & Reynolds, H. T. (2012). Political Science Research Methods. (7 th ed.). Washington, DC: CQ Press. (pp ). Avehard, H., & Sharp, P. (2013). A Beginner s Guide to Evidence-Based Practice in Health and Social Care (ebook). Maidenhead: Open University Press. (pp ). (Please refer to the course Content area for a link to this e-book article.) Dropbox Assignment 2: Using the Stafford Library Databases, find a scholarly, peer-reviewed article that s an example of a literature review. (For tips on locating an article, visit the course Content area.) Write a brief summary of that article and include an assessment of why the article is or is not an example of a useful literature review and how it is or is not helpful to the student in writing/structuring their own literature review. On Friday of Week 2, post the assignment along with a link to the article in the Dropbox, and post the assignment in Discussion 4 as well (see below). Due Friday by midnight. Also, work on improving your literature review, adding references and improving your original proposal. This is not due in Dropbox. Discussion 3: Choose one of the following sets of questions to discuss. Set 1: What problems are you having with your literature review? What role is it playing in your own research? How as a researcher are you benefitting from doing the literature review? Set 2: What is the purpose of the literature review? What is its importance to the social science researcher? What do the authors say about choosing the literature and transforming it? Discussion 4: By Friday, post your Dropbox article assignment as a discussion thread in this topic (with link to article). By Saturday, answer the following questions: Are literature reviews (your article, for example) just for academics? How could they be beneficial to those working in government, politics, public policy or public administration? If you are currently working in any of these fields or in a related field, please feel free to discuss whether you see literature reviews as beneficial to your position. Week 3 Conducting Research in the Social Sciences Klein, L. (Fall 1964). Writing Problems in the Social Sciences. Journal of Business Communication, 2 (1), 1-9. Klingemann, H.-D., & Goodin, R. E. (1996). A New Handbook of Political Science (ebook). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 24, Public Policy and Administration (Nelson, B.). Dropbox Assignment: Nothing due this week. Be sure to be doing your research, collecting your data and analyzing your results.
7 Columbia College Online Campus P a g e 7 Discussion 5: What problems have you had, or are you having, conducting your research? Have you addressed them, and if so, how? How have you had to make adjustments to your original project proposal? Discussion 6: In the Klingemen/Goodin article, the authors say that public policy is distinguished by four intellectual imperatives, which, as the authors mention, have often been at odds. Briefly discuss these imperatives. How would you like your own research project to be used in the policy process? Week 4 The Discipline : Riccucci, N. (2010). Public Administration: Traditions of Inquiry and Philosophies of Knowledge. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. Chapters 1 & 3. Dropbox Assignment 3: Using the Stafford Library databases, locate a scholarly, peer-reviewed article related to research and public policy and/or government and/or politics. The purpose of this assignment is to illustrate the connections between academia, research and real world decisions made by policymakers, bureaucrats and government officials. Submit a summary of the article to the Dropbox and provide a link to the article. Due Friday by midnight. For guidance on how to find a research article, please visit the course Content area. Discussion 7: Briefly explain the politics/administration dichotomy as presented in the readings. What are your thoughts about what the study of public administration should be and should include? Is it an art or a science and what should it prepare you for? Discussion 8: Post your Dropbox article summary (with link to article). Then answer the following question: What did you learn from the article in regards to the relationship between academic research and real world application in the fields of public administration, government, public policy and/or politics? Week 5 The Discipline Klingemann, Hans-Dieter; Goodin, Robert E. Oxford : Oxford Univ. Press ebook. A New Handbook of Political Science. Chapter 2, The History of the Discipline. Avey, P. C., Desch, M. C., Maliniak, D., Long, J. D., Peterson, S., & Tierney, M. J. (2012, Jan/Feb). The Beltway vs. the Ivory Tower. Foreign Policy, (191) 1-3. Dropbox Assignment 4: Rough Draft of Research Project due by Sunday of Week 5. The Rough Draft should include the introduction, literature review, and discussion of methodology and analysis of results and conclusion. Since this is a rough draft, there is no expectation that all documentation will be completed. Also, if you are still working on the analysis and conclusion, you might include what you expect to find and conclude. This will allow your peers to ask questions in the peer review (next week s assignment) that might be helpful. Discussion 9: Consider your research project. If given the opportunity, what would/could you do to improve it? Outside the world of academia, what can your research and results be used for? Discussion 10: From your own experiences and studies in this discipline, including this course, and after looking at the relationship between academia and real world policy decisions, which role
8 Columbia College Online Campus P a g e 8 interests you more as a career academician or policy maker? Or, to reference one of our readings, would you rather be in The Beltway or the Ivory Tower? Discuss what interests you and why. Week 6 Peer Review Wellington, J. J., & Szczerbinski, M. (2007). Research Methods for the Social Sciences. (1 st ed.). UK: Continuum. Part 4: Presenting and Disseminating Research, Vignette 5: Is Peer Review Important and is it Fallible? Ford, E. (2013, July). Defining and Characterizing Open Peer Review: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 44 (4) Robertson, J. (2013, June). We Needn t Be Malevolent Grumps. Communications of the ACM, 56 (6) 11. Dropbox Assignment 5: Each student will receive an from the instructor on Tuesday evening of Week 6 with a peer s research paper attached (via CougarMail). You will then have until Sunday of Week 6 to upload a 2-3 page double-spaced, Peer Review/Critique of a classmate s paper in the Dropbox. The reviewer should consider such questions as whether the hypothesis addresses the question, whether the data set is the right data set to test the hypothesis, and whether the analysis is correct and the conclusions in line with the results. Are there questions that are left unanswered in the research? Are there things the researcher could/should have considered or done differently? What things did the researcher do well? This should be an exercise in constructive critique rather than criticism. Students should use the Peer Review rubric provided in the Content area to complete this assignment. Discussion 11: Even as adults and professionals, some people offer inappropriate comments when reviewing the work of peers. As a group, please discuss what rules or norms should be observed by members of this class in the peer review assignment. Include whether this classroom exercise should or should not be an open peer review. Discussion 12: What is the value of peer review in scholarship and in academia? What can you as a researcher learn from peer reviews? Course Evaluation Please evaluate the course. You will be able to submit your evaluation between Sunday of Week 5 and Thursday of Week 7. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Week 7 Scholarly Research Wellington, J. J., & Szczerbinski, M. (2007). Research Methods for the Social Sciences. (1 st ed.). UK: Continuum. Part 4: Presenting and Disseminating Research (Chapter 9). Dropbox Assignment 6: Research Project Presentation due in the Dropbox by Sunday midnight of Week 7 after students have had a chance to review peer comments in Discussion 14. Submit a PowerPoint-style presentation suitable for a professional conference summarizing your hypothesis, results, analysis and conclusions. It is required that the presentation be in either.ppt or.pptx format. Slide notes should also be included. Number of slides should be no more than 15. In order to make all PowerPoint presentations available for the entire class to view and discuss, students must post their PowerPoint presentation in the Discussion 14 topic by Wednesday of Week 7.
9 Columbia College Online Campus P a g e 9 Discussion 13: What did you learn about yourself as a researcher and an academic during your research process? Discussion 14: (All PowerPoint presentations should be posted in this Discussion by Wednesday.) Pick at least one presentation and by Friday, review it and discuss both the research and the PowerPoint itself. This is not a peer review. However, feel free to ask questions and provide constructive criticism that will let your peer make final adjustments to his/her research project or address those concerns if necessary. Because every student s PowerPoint should receive peer feedback, it is important that you pick a presentation to discuss that has not yet received feedback replies, or that has the fewest replies posted. It is also important not to review only the presentation of the peer whose research paper rough draft you have already formally reviewed. Week 8 The Discipline and Careers Krasna, H. (2010). Jobs that Matter: Find a Stable, Fulfilling Career in Public Service. Indianapolis: Jist Works Publishing. Chapters 1 & 2. Dropbox Assignment 7: Final Research Project due Saturday by midnight. The final project is a page final paper, not including appendices of tables and graphs and the bibliography. The final paper should include an introduction, literature review, discussion of methodology, analysis of results and conclusion. The paper should be submitted using APA documentation. Discussion 15: Frequently, students in Political Science/Public Administration see themselves running for political office or working for a government agency. However, the skills and knowledge in these disciplines can be used in many fields and in many professions. Think outside the box and discuss what other jobs and professions would use these skills and how. Discussion 16: You may or may not continue on with your studies in Political Science/Public Administration. How do you see the skills/knowledge you ve learned in the discipline transferring to your future career goals? How do you envision being able to use what you know about government to make a positive impact on your community or society as a whole? Course Policies Student Conduct Plagiarism All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette. Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for
10 Columbia College Online Campus P a g e 10 your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College. Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful. All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site. Non-Discrimination There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status. Disability Services Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the Coordinator for Disability Services at (573) Until the student has been cleared through the disability services office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus before enrolling in the course. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Online Participation You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible. Attendance Policy Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted a course assignment for which points have been earned during that week of the session or if the proctoring information has been submitted or the plagiarism quiz taken if there is no other assignment due that week. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for Week 8, when the week and the course will end on Saturday at midnight). The course and system deadlines are all based on the Central Time Zone. Cougar All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other providers. Students should use for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.
11 Columbia College Online Campus P a g e 11 Late Assignment Policy An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class. Discussion Assignments: Discussion assignments may not be made up. The only way to conduct a productive discussion online is to reply promptly. If you miss the opportunity to post your response by the deadline, you will receive a zero for that particular discussion topic. Dropbox Assignments: In an 8-week course, submitting assignments after the due date can quickly put you behind. If you must submit an assignment late, I will automatically deduct 10 percent from the grade of that assignment. No assignments will be accepted more than 1 week after the due date. The final paper will not be accepted after midnight on the Wednesday following the due date. Course Evaluation You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. Course evaluations will open on Sunday of Week 5 and will remain open until Thursday of Week 7. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted. Additional Resources Orientation for New Students This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The Student Manual provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens. Technical Support If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment ex Online Tutoring Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. The Writing Center can be used for writing assistance in any course. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college. Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students->Academics->Academic Resources.