Criminal Justice 385

CRJU 385
Research Methods in Criminal Justice

1. Catalog Entry

CRJU 385
Research Methods in Criminal Justice
Prerequisite: CRJU 100, STAT 200, junior standing, and declared major or minor in Criminal Justice or permission of the instructor.

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.

2. Detailed Description of Course

    1) Introduction to theory construction and deconstruction
        a. Deductive vs. inductive theory construction
        b. Idiographic and nomothetic models
        c. The criterion of causality
    2) Measurement Issues
        a. Conceptualization and measurement
        b. Reliability, validity, accuracy, and precision
    3) Research Methods
        a. Formal experimentation
        b. Quasi-experimentation
        c. Survey research
        d. Field research
        e. Unobtrusive research
        f. Evaluation research
        g. Using computer data bases
    4) Statistics and sampling techniques
        a. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate
        b. Descriptive and inferential statistics
        c. Random sample selection
        d. Calculating sampling error
        e. Computer-based statistics programs

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course is an introduction to the basic conduct of social research in criminal justice. 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, and apply this research to problems in the field. 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.
4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

    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 problems and issues in the field
    9) Demonstrated expertise in the use of computer-based word processing programs and the use of statistical packages.
    10)Complete a literature review.

5. Assessment Measures

    1) Skill Assessment
        a. Oral skills
            i. In-class participation
            ii. Classroom presentations
        b. Written skills
            i. Essay and short-answer questions
            ii. Homework assignments
            iii. Literature review
        c. Computer skills
            i. Word processing assignments
            ii. Statistical data assignments
    2) Knowledge assessment
        a. In class examinations
        b. Quizzes
        c. Computer assignments
        d. Class participation
        e. Research article critique
        f. Student research project
        g. Literature review

6. Other Course Information


Review and Approval

June 20, 2015