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LINGUIST 2D03 Research Methods

Academic Year: Fall 2015

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Victor Kuperman

Email: vickup@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 626

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 20384

Website:

Office Hours: TBA



Course Objectives:

OBJECTIVES:

The course introduces the participants to the main issues in empirical research of language behaviour. Both experimental and non-experimental methodologies will be covered. The course prepares participants for future lab courses and provides a basis for critical reading of scientific reports. Although a selection of statistical methods will be discussed, the course is not a statistics course.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Reading

Annabel Ness Evans & Bryan J. Rooney (2014). Methods in Psychological Research. Third Edition. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.


Method of Assessment:

EVALUATION CRITERIA:

Students will be required to complete 6-10 quizzes and exercises during the term. Quizzes will test the theoretical knowledge gained by students, while exercises will test their technical skills. There will be one mid-term (date TBA) exam and one final (date TBA by Registrar) exam, both of the multiple-choice and short-answer format. Students will be required to submit a short one-page paper (due Dec 1) that will describe a linguistic topic of their interest, as well as state a testable hypothesis that addresses this topic, propose a research design, and identify three papers of relevance in scientific journals. In addition, participants will prepare classroom presentations in small groups. These will describe proposals for ethical approval of potential research projects. The presentations will be discussed in class.

 

Final marks will be on a 12-point scale.

 

Contributions to the final grade:

Quizzes and exercises             20%

Short paper                              10%

Mid-term exam                       25%

Final exam                               35%

Classroom presentation           10% (graded for each presenting group)

 

In addition, students will need to complete the “research participation” requirement. The requirement can be met by committing two hours to (a) participating in an experiment conducted at the Department of Linguistics and Languages, (b) “walking-through” such an experiment, i.e. participating in the experiment without actual data being collected; or (c) attending a two-hour lecture with demonstration of experimental techniques (two such lectures will be arranged during the term; their timing will not overlap with the class time). Students will need to register in the departmental experimental pool software at http://mcmaster-ling.sona-systems.com/ (instructions on the system use will be provided in class).

 

Failure to present on an agreed date will result in loss of 10% of the final mark.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.


Topics and Readings:

Weekly schedule:

 

Week

Topics

Reading

Quiz + exercises (available on the course website)

Other assignments

1. Sept 8

Introduction

 

 

 

2. Sept 11, 15

Scientific method

Chapter 1

 

 

3. Sept 18, 22

Research literature

Chapter 2

#1 (due Sep 22)

 

4. Sept 25, 29

Ethics of research

Chapter 3

#2 (due Sep 29)

 

5. Oct 2, 6

Statistical hypothesis testing

Chapter 4

#3 (due Oct 6)

 

6. Oct 9, 13

No classes

 

 

 

7. Oct 16, 20

Measuring variables

Chapter 5

#4 (due Oct 16)

 

8. Oct 23, 27

Selecting participants

Chapter 6

 

Mid-term: Oct 23 (in class)

9. Oct 30, Nov 3

Independent and dependent groups design

Chapters 7, 8

TBA

 

10. Nov 6, 10

Nonexperimental research

Chapter 10

TBA

 

11. Nov 13, 17

Data collection methods

Chapter 11

TBA

 

12. Nov 20, 24

Data analysis and interpretation

Chapter 13

TBA

 

13. Nov 27,

Dec 1

Communicating your research

Chapter 14

Short paper due Dec 1

Group presentations-1 (in class)

14. Dec 4, 8

Wrap-up

 

 

Group presentations-2 (in class)


Other Course Information:

Other Course Policies

The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.

 

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors must originate from the student’s own McMaster University email account.  This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

 

In this course we will be using the Avenue to Learn communication system.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. 

The available information is dependent on the technology used.  Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure.  If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

 

PLEASE NOTE:

Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception or by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various kinds of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, specifically Appendix 3, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/univsec/policy/AcademicIntegrity.pdf

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

- Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.

- Improper collaboration in group work.

- Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.