Communication and Media Studies 605

COMS 605: Applied Communication Research

Prerequisites: Graduate standing

Credit Hours: (3)

Research methods and reporting procedures in communication research. Understanding reporting procedures and a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection, analysis, and interpretation.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

1. Research Foundations

            a. Nature of inquiry
            b. Key terms and concepts
            c. Conceptualization
            d. Operationalization
            e. Threats to validity

2. The Process of Research

            a. Formulating the research question
            b. Collecting data
            c. Analyzing and interpreting data
            d. Developing conclusions
            e. Writing the research report

3. Qualitative Research Methods in Communication

            a. Interviewing
            b. Participant observation
            c. Focus groups
            d. Case study
            e. Narrative
            f. Critical methods

4. Quantitative Research Methods in Communication

            a. Experimental Research
            b. Field Research
            c. Survey Research


Detailed Description of the Conduct of Course

This course will provide students with a detailed overview of a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods that have been typically employed to address communication research questions. It is designed to develop an appreciation and understanding on the part of students that research questions need to be matched with appropriate methods of inquiry. Students will learn how to set and implement rigorous standards of data collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The goals of this course are:

1) to prepare students to develop and design research projects in communication research and
2) to provide students with the skills to critically evaluate communication research.

The objectives of this course are:

1) to develop understanding of epistemological assumptions and considerations that underscore communication research,
2 to develop understanding of the key pragmatic issues involved in communication research, and
3) to develop understanding of the principle types of communication research (both qualitative and quantitative) and their appropriate applications.


Assessment measures

Several assessment measures may be used in this course. These include: examinations, individual and group reports, and analytical papers.


Other course information



Review and Approval

August 2001 changed Web addresses and place on Web page.