College of Professional and Global Education · School of Information
Applied Research Methods - Survey Research (especially library user surveys)
- Fall 2022
- Section 02
- 3 Unit(s)
- 08/19/2022 to 12/06/2022
- Modified 05/22/2023
This course will be available on Canvas beginning August 19th, 6 am PT.
You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.
Waiver Option: If a student has taken and passed a graduate-level research methods course within the last 5 years (as documented by an official transcript), the student can petition the Coordinator of Admissions and Academic Advising to waive the INFO 285 requirement.
Please send an electronic copy of the transcript (scanned as a pdf file) to the Coordinator of Admissions and Academic Advising.
A waiver, if granted, does not reduce the total units required for the MLIS degree. It simply means that you are not required to take INFO 285 as one of your MLIS classes.
Course Description and Requisites
Covers fundamental principles, processes, values, and roles of research for professional application in information organizations. Students will become critical consumers of research products. Emphasis will concentrate on developing, planning, and producing a quality research proposal.
This section focuses on the survey research method, which is one of the most frequently used methods in library and information science research.
INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204.
Students are expected to participate fully in all class activities. It is expected that students will be open-minded and participate fully in discussions in class and debate in a mature and respectful manner. Use of derogatory, condescending, or offensive language including profanity is prohibited. Disagreement is healthy and perfectly acceptable. Expressing disagreement should always include an explanation of your reasoning and, whenever possible, evidence to support your position. In accordance with San José State University's Policies, the Student Code of Conduct, and applicable state and federal laws, discrimination based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability is prohibited in any form.
Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.
Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.
Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.
Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes) Supported
INFO 285 supports the following core competencies:
- L Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the ability to design a research project, and the ability to evaluate and synthesize research literature.
Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Understand the difference between primary and secondary research.
- Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles and processes of conducting research.
- Articulate the research method(s) covered in the course, appropriately apply them, and understand their strengths and liabilities.
- Understand appropriate data collection/analysis tools, and ethical concerns related to research.
- Fink, A. (2016). How to conduct surveys: A step-by-step guide (6th ed.). SAGE. Available through Amazon: 1483378489.
Course Requirements and Assignments
This class is conducted online through Canvas.
- As a student, you are expected to read and carefully consider all the readings, participate fully in all activities and discussions during the class duration, as well as turn in assignments by the designated time.
- Due dates are not negotiable. If the instructor needs to change a due date, you will be notified as soon as possible. Because due dates are not negotiable, procrastination should be avoided. Employing procrastination as a time management tool can limit your time in dealing with unexpected problems. The instructor has the right not to accept late assignments or to add significant grade penalties. If you foresee any difficulty in completing your assignment on time, you need to contact the instructor at least 36 hours before the due date to request an extension. In addition, as the instructor schedules grading time for assignments, students turning in late assignments may receive their assessment much later than the rest of the class.
- If you do not understand assignments, readings, etc., it is your responsibility to inform the instructor. If you are having difficulty, please contact me early so that we can resolve problems before your final grade is unchangeable. You may also ask for help from your classmates through the various discussion methods. You must complete all assignments to pass the course.
Assignments and Evaluation
- Research proposal (35%, corresponds with CLO#1, CLO#2, CLO#3, CLO#4)
Develop a research proposal as the final product of the class. In the proposal, you will identify and formulate your research question, provide a brief review of literature related to your research problem, discuss the methodology to be employed in data collection and analysis, outline your project completion schedule and provide correct APA-style citations to sources cited in your proposal. You will complete the research proposal in three drafts (draft 1 due by 9/18, draft 2 due by 10/30, and draft 3 due by 12/4)
- Survey research practice (42%, corresponds with CLO#1, CLO#2, CLO#3, CLO#4)
- Survey questionnaire design (18%, due by 10/16) – this is a group assignment, and you will work with your group members in developing a questionnaire for an assigned topic and reflecting upon the questionnaire design process.
- Exercises (24%, exercise I due by 10/2, and exercise II due by 11/13) - you will complete a set of exercises to reinforce your understanding of survey research.
- Research ethics training (5%, corresponds with CLO#4)
Complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) online workshop titled: "Students conducting no more than minimal risk research." Completion of this workshop is required by all San José State University faculty and students intending to do research with living human subjects. The course can be located at CITI Program https://www.citiprogram.org (due by 9/4).
- Class discussion (18%, corresponds with CLO#1, CLO#2, CLO#3, CLO#4)
You are expected to participate in a series of class discussions. Your individual contribution to the discussion topics is as important as your responses to your colleagues’ postings. Basically, you will be evaluated for your involvement in, and intellectual contribution to, the collaborative learning environment. Part of the graduate education experience is to help you learn how to present information with support, and not simply say “Well, I think that….” This also applies to agreeing with someone; the statement “I agree” should be presented with support. There are six class discussions in total (due dates are 8/28, 9/11, 9/25, 10/9, 10/23, and 11/20).
All assignments must be turned in by 11:59 pm of the day they are due. Late submissions will be reduced by 5% of the total points for the assignment for each day they are late. Due dates are subject to change with fair notice.
The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:
|97 to 100||A|
|94 to 96||A minus|
|91 to 93||B plus|
|88 to 90||B|
|85 to 87||B minus|
|82 to 84||C plus|
|79 to 81||C|
|76 to 78||C minus|
|73 to 75||D plus|
|70 to 72||D|
|67 to 69||D minus|
In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:
- C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
- B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA) level work;
For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, or BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
- A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.
Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).
Per University Policy S16-9 (PDF), relevant university policy concerning all courses, such as student responsibilities, academic integrity, accommodations, dropping and adding, consent for recording of class, etc. and available student services (e.g. learning assistance, counseling, and other resources) are listed on the Syllabus Information web page. Make sure to visit this page to review and be aware of these university policies and resources.