Criminal Justice 385
CRJU 385: Research Methods in Criminal Justice
Prerequisites: CRJU 100 or CRJU 150; Junior standing; STAT 200
Credit Hours: (3)
CRJU 385 introduces students to social science research methodology involved in conducting original research. Research skills include qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Other skills will include, but are not limited to, oral communication, intensive writing, computer operations, and statistical model applications.
Detailed Description of Course Content
1. Introduction to theory construction and deconstruction
- deductive v. inductive theory construction
- idiographic and nomothetic models
- the criterion of causality
2. Measurement issues
- conceptualization and measurement
- reliability, validity, accuracy and precision
- using the computer
3. Research Methods
- formal experimentation
- survey research
- field research
- unobtrusive research
- evaluation research
- using computer data bases
4. Statistics and sampling techniques
- univariates, bivariates and multivariates
- descriptive and inferential statistics
- random sample selection
- calculating sampling error
- computer-based statistics programs
Detailed Description of Conduct of Course
The course is an introduction to the basic issues involved in conducting social research. Modern policy makers have come to rely upon research for direction, validation, and support in their decision-making processes. The student, as a future policy-maker, must be able to recognize both good and bad research. In order to accomplish this, the student must comprehend the basic techniques of research methodology, appreciate the complexities of analyzing data, and possess sufficient writing and oral communication skills to critique social research.
Goals and Objectives of the Course
At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Differentiate the scientific method from less rigorous forms of human inquiry.
2. Identify the components and modes of theory construction.
3. Identify the criteria for establishing causality.
4. Introduce the elements of research design and established research methods.
5. Demonstrate knowledge of the function and use of statistics in the social sciences.
6. Demonstrate an adequate understanding of research methodology.
7. Have the ability to critique existing pieces of social research articles.
8. Apply the concepts learned in class to the practical scenarios and situations introduced in CRJU 495.
9. Demonstrated expertise in the use of computer-based word processing programs and the use of statistical packages.
10. Complete a position paper proposal.
1. Skill Assessment
(a) oral skills
class room presentations
(b) written skills
essay and short-answer questions
position paper proposal
(c) computer skills
word processing assignments
statistical data assignments
2. Knowledge assessment
(a) in class examinations
(c) computer assignments
(d) class participation
(e) research article critique
(f) student research project
Other Course Information
Approval and Subsequent Reviews
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