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LINGUIST 2D03 Research Methods (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2018

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Victor Kuperman

Email: vickup@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 510

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 20384

Website

Office Hours: TBA



Course Objectives:

TOPIC:

The course introduces the participants to empirical research of language behaviour. The course provides a basis for critical reading of scientific reports and prepares participants for understanding and conducting research activities in academic and industrial settings. Students will learn how to identify data to test hypotheses about language behavior and use appropriate methods for analysis. Although a selection of statistical methods will be discussed (including ANOVA), the course is not a statistics course.

 

OBJECTIVES AND LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of the course the students should be able to:
- recognize fundamental aspects of scientific research and the scientific method,

- know how to search for and critically evaluate scientific literature on their topic of interest,

- formulate and test a scientific hypothesis using several methodologies of experimental design, and data collection,

- gain skill to apply basic statistical analysis common for studies of language, and

- create their own research reports.

 

This will be achieved in a number of ways: direct instruction from librarians and researchers; small-scale independent research projects; and assessments using problems on applications of language science to real world.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Reading

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


Method of Assessment:

METHOD:

The class meets every week for two sessions. These will be used for lectures at the beginning of the term and tests, tutorials and class-room presentations later on in the term.

 

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 formats. Additionally, students will be asked to prepare a three-minute recorded PowerPoint presentation (due November 5) on one of experimental techniques of linguistic research. Finally, students will be required to submit a short one-page paper (due Dec 5) 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.

 

Final marks will be on a 12-point scale.

 

Contributions to the final grade:

Quizzes and exercises             25%

Mid-term exam                       25%

Final exam                              35%

Recorded presentation 7%

Paper                                       8%

 

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).


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Due Date Policies

Assignments submitted within 48 hours of the due date are subject to a 25% penalty. Assignments submitted 2 to 7 days after the due date are subject to a 50% penalty. Assignments are not accepted more than 7 days after the due date. 

Exceptions to due dates and exam dates can be made only if the Office of the Dean of your Faculty grants you a relief for the respective time. To discuss your absence, please contact the Humanities Advisors at https://humadvising.humanities.mcmaster.ca/contact-us/.

Please note that the instructor will not make a judgment whether the reasons for your absence are justifiable or not.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Integrity

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. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.

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. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at https://secretariat.mcmaster.ca/university-policies-procedures-guidelines/

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.

Authenticity / Plagiarism Detection

Some courses may use a web-based service (Turnitin.com) to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. For courses using such software, students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to Turnitin.com or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by Turnitin.com) so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or Turnitin.com must still submit an electronic and/or hardcopy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to Turnitin.com or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). To see the Turnitin.com Policy, please go to www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity.

Courses with an On-Line Element

Some courses use on-line elements (e.g. e-mail, Avenue to Learn (A2L), LearnLink, web pages, capa, Moodle, ThinkingCap, etc.). Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of a course using these elements, 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 a course that uses on-line elements will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Online Proctoring

Some courses may use online proctoring software for tests and exams. This software may require students to turn on their video camera, present identification, monitor and record their computer activities, and/or lockdown their browser during tests or exams. This software may be required to be installed before the exam begins.

Conduct Expectations

As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the "Code"). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students' access to these platforms.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or sas@mcmaster.ca e-mail to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

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.

Request for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work
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".

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar's Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.

Copyright and Recording

Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.

Extreme Circumstances

The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.


Topics and Readings:

Weekly schedule:

 

 

Week

Topics

Reading

Quiz + exercises (available on the course website)

Other assignments

1. Sept 4, 6

Introduction, Scientific method

Chapter 1

 

 

2. Sept 11, 13

Scientific method, Research literature

Chapter 1, 2

#1 (due Sep 18)

 

3. Sept 18, 20

Research literature, Ethics of research

Chapter 2, 3

#2 (due Sep 25)

 

4. Sept 25, 27

Measuring variables

Chapter 5

#3 (due Oct 2)

 

5. Oct 2, 4

Selecting participants

Chapter 6

#4 (due Oct 9)

 

6. Oct 9, 11

No classes

 

 

 

7. Oct 16, 18

Data collection methods

Chapter 11

#4 (due Oct 15)

Mid-term: Oct 18 (in class)

8. Oct 23, 25

Independent and dependent groups design

Chapters 7, 8

 

 

9. Oct 30, Nov 1

Statistical analysis (t-test; ANOVA)

Chapter 4

 

Recorded presentation due Nov 1

10. Nov 6, 8

Statistical analysis (t-test; ANOVA)

Chapter 4

TBA

 

11. Nov 13, 15

Nonexperimental research

Chapter 10

TBA

 

12. Nov 20, 22

Data analysis and interpretation

Chapter 13

TBA

 

13. Nov 27, 29

Communicating your research

Chapter 14

 

 

14. Dec 4

Wrap-up

 

 

Short paper due Dec 5


Other Course Information:

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.