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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - CCJ6704
Tracking Number - 2754

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Current Status: SCNS Liaison Notified of Graduate Council Approval - 2014-05-09
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: for MA in Crim. Change. Apprved pending repeatability info. Emailed 3/4/14. 5/2/14. Not Repeatable. Apprd 5/9/14

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2012-02-09
  2. Department: Criminology
  3. College: BC
  4. Budget Account Number: 122100000
  5. Contact Person: Michael Lynch
  6. Phone: 813978148
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: CCJ
  9. Number: 6704
  10. Full Title: Research Methods in Criminology I
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: C - Class Lecture (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?:
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Research Methods in Crim I
  19. Course Online?: C - Face-to-face (0% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 100
  21. Grading Option: R - Regular
  22. Prerequisites:
  23. Corequisites:
  24. Course Description: This course examines the basic issues involved in designing research strategies so that the results produced by those studies are considered valid.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Needed for program/concentration/certificate change
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? To distinguish the course from the research methods class taught in the Masters in Criminal Justice Administration (MACJA) program which is a weekend program.
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? No
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) Earned doctorate/terminal degree in Criminology or a related discipline.
  29. Objectives: This course is designed to give students the tools:

    • to examine the philosophical basis of research including issues related to metaphysical, ontology and the philosophy of science,

    • to identify the conditions for establishing research capable of addressing causality.

    • to identify research methods concepts such as conceptualization, operationalizations, variables and hypotheses.

    • to explore the basic structure of research designs, and their two primary forms – experimental and quasi-experimental.

    • to investigate issues related to sampling.


  30. Learning Outcomes: At the conclusion of the course, the student should be able to understand how criminal justice research is conducted, evaluated, interpreted, and presented. Specifically, students will:

    1. discuss why knowledge of research methods is valuable to criminal justice students and professionals;

    2. identify and evaluate the research methods used in CJ research;

    3. explain the basics of probability and nonprobability sampling methods;

    4. design a research project with all of the primary ingredients of research methodology.

  31. Major Topics: Philosophy of Science


    Measurement: Concepts, Operationalization, Variables, Hypotheses

    Experimental and Quasi Experimental Research Design

    Sampling Procedures

    Re-sampling Methods

    Survey Research


  32. Textbooks: Shadish, William R., Thomas D. Cook and Donald T. Campbell. 2002. Experimental and Quasi Experimental Designs. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

    Earle, William James, 1992/1991. Introduction to Philosophy. NY: McGraw-Hill.

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: Optional

    Gale, George, 1979, Theory of Science: An Introduction to the History, Logic, and Philosophy of Science. NY: McGraw-Hill.

    Kuhn, Thomas, 1970. The Structure of Scientific Revolution. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

    Mills, C.W. 1959. The Sociological Imagination. NY: Oxford.

    MacIver, R.M.1942. Social Causation. NY: Harper-Torch.

    Wolpert, Lewis, 2000, The Unnatural Nature of Science. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: Your grade will be based on the following:

    Final 30%

    Class Discussion 20%

    Attendance 10%

    Project and Presentation 20%

    Homework 20%

    Grading Scale

    A = 95-100

    A- = 90-94.9

    B+ = 87-89.9

    B = 84-86.9

    B- = 80-83.9

    C+ = 77-79.9

    C = 74-76.9

    C - = 70-73.9

    D = 60-69.9

    F = below 60

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: Course Requirements

    Class Discussion (20%)

    Class discussion is used to determine if students are grasping the concepts being taught. These contributions include answers to questions posed about the benefits and limitations of various research methods for the study of criminology and criminal justice issues.

    Homework (20%)

    There are periodic homework assignments to complete. These will be announced in class. These assignments relate to course topics and to your application of them for your term paper and presentation. These assignments give you periodic feedback on the development of your work for your term paper.

    Project and Presentation (20%)

    Each student is required to complete a term project. The term project consists of several written weekly assignments that culminate in a formal term paper describing a proposed research study that must be handed in by the end of the course.

    The term project is to be organized in sections, just like a thesis or dissertation, except that it will be much shorter (term paper length). A typical thesis/dissertation has 7 chapters which are outlined below. For this course, you will be required to “complete” item numbers 1-5. For this course, your literature review should be concise. It may, for example, simply consist of references pertinent to various issues touched upon by your project, and be divided into sections with a relevant annotated bibliography for each issue. The relevance of the references should be made clear. In other words, just don’t hand in a bunch of references; append a statement before the references demonstrating their relevance to your research.

    A typical thesis or dissertation has the following components:

    1. Introduction:

    (A) Statement of problem, or the question/issue the proposed research will address; (e.g., what is the effect of parental attachment on delinquency? Does parental attachment vary with social class? )

    (B) Relevance of the proposed question to furthering knowledge in the fields of criminology or criminal justice (why is this project being pursued? What contribution will it make to the literature?)

    (C) Identification of form of contribution (theoretical, empirical, policy, etc.)

    2. Literature Review.

    (A) Review of Relevant Literature or at least identification of relevant literature (extensive bibliography); this should include

    (B) Classification/grouping of literature into connected areas (by question

    addressed, data employed; findings; level of analysis, etc.,)

    3. Identification of Data, Variables, Concepts and Operationalizations to be

    employed in the Study

    (a) All proposals must address the kind of data that will be employed in the study. For those employing questionnaire, this will include the development or identification of a useful questionnaire from the literature;

    (b) Identification of variables to be included in the study: dependent, independent and control variables, including definitions and measurement;

    (c) identification of concepts and indicators to be used in the study;

    (d) identification of the strengths and limitations of the measures and data

    (e) Hypothesis.

    (A) transformation of research question into testable hypotheses;

    (B) development of null-hypothesis;

    (C) discussion of meaning of rejection of the null hypothesis for the

    current research;

    5. Discussion of the Method of Research employed

    (A) sampling issues;

    (B) advantages and disadvantages of method;

    (C) justification of method; why this particular method was chosen

    (D) discussion of prior studies employing this method.

    (E) Identification, if possible, of appropriate statistical method to be employed.

    6. Analysis and Discussion of Results]

    7. Conclusion: Policy Recommendations]

    Final Exam (30%)

    Is a comprehensive, in class, open book examination in which the students are expected to apply research methods concepts learned during the course to solve criminology and criminal justice research issues.

    Attendance (10%) A rubric detailing how grading will be determined will be provided the first day of class.


  36. Attendance Policy: Students are required to attend class.

    If you need to be absent due to medical reasons (yours or your immediate family's) on a test day or a day that an assignment is due, please provide a physician's note and notify me prior to class.

    Students are expected to notify their instructors at the beginning of each academic term if they intend to be absent for a class or announced examination.

    Course Attendance at First Class Meeting – First day attendance is required.

    Last Day to Withdraw. The last day to withdraw without penalty is ____________

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: ( Students are expected to notify their instructors at the beginning of each academic term if they intend to be absent for a class or announced examination, in accordance with this policy.

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: Late exams will not be accepted. A student who misses an oral presentation will need to provide documentation showing a medical or family emergency.

    Incomplete (I) grades are strongly discouraged and will be given if, and only if, (1) the student has completed a majority of the course requirements and is otherwise earning a passing grade, and (2) the student shows significant proof of hardship that disallows him or her to complete the coursework.

  38. Program This Course Supports: Criminology MA
  39. Course Concurrence Information: None

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