Research Methods in Public Administration
DAVID H. FOLZ
Department of Political Science
1011 McClung Tower
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0410
Office Phone: (865) 974-0802
FAX: (865) 974-7037 First Class meets in HSS 107; subsequent classes in 204 Baker Center
Office Hours: W, 2:30-4:00; R, 12:00- 2:00pm, or by appointment
The exams will consist of problem solving scenarios, short essays, and other short answer/definition/identification questions.
Each exam is worth 100 points.
Research Design Project:
Students will participate in an applied research design project that involves creating a realistic evaluation research design for a program (or some aspect thereof) provided by a public agency or non-profit organization. This will involve creating a program logic model and a research design matrix for each research question related to the project. Alternatively, individuals or teams may choose to design a realistic survey capable of answering research questions related to various aspects, impacts, or issues of a service, program, or policy.
Examples of potential evaluation research and survey research projects will be provided. during the semester. The purpose of this exercise is to provide a realistic application of research methods the results from which could be used by decision makers.
of topics and reading assignments: [Instructor reserves the right
to modify assigned readings to include
recently published materials of interest].
I. Systematic Social Science Inquiry:
Jan. 18 Course Introduction & Student Responsibilities.
Jan. 25 The
Research Enterprise in Public Administration; The Basics of Research Design:
-- Leedy and Ormrod, Chapter 1 in Practical Research "What is Research?"
-- O'Sullivan & Rassel, Chaps. 1 & 2.
-- Berner, Chap. 1.
Feb. 1 Measurement,
Reliability and Validity Issues
-- O'Sullivan & Rassel, Chap. 4.
-- Berner, Chap. 2
-- Langbein & Felbinger, pp. 48-53 in Chap. 3. (Library Reserve).
II. Program Evaluation Methods:
Feb. 8 Introduction to Program Evaluation: Terminology, Outcome Measurement, Causality, and Logic Models
-- O'Sullivan and Rassel, pp. 55-68
-- Langbein & Felbinger, Chaps. 1.
-- Frechtling, Chaps. 1-4, & 9 .(Library Reserve).
Feb. 15 Experimental
and Quasi-Experimental Evaluation Designs
-- O'Sullivan & Rassel, Chap. 3 (pp. 68-100).
-- Langbein & Felbinger, Chap. 5 & 6. (Library Reserve).
-- Kelling, et al. The Kansas City Patrol Experiment
Feb. 22 More
Evaluation Designs: Elaboration Modeling, Non-Experimetnal Designs
-- Babbie, The Practice of Social Research, 1999. Chap. 16 "Elaboration Modeling"
-- Langbein & Felbinger, Chaps. 7.(Library Reserve).
Mar. 1 Mid-term Exam
III. Data Collection and Survey Research Methods:
Mar. 8 Data
Collection Methods: Focus Groups; The Survey Research Process
-- Dean, “How to Use Focus Groups.” in Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation.
-- Hatry, “Collecting Data from Agency Records.” in Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation.
-- Folz, Chap. 1, 2 (to be emailed)
-- O'Sullivan & Rassel, Chap. 9, 6.
Mar.15 No Class, Spring Break.
Mar. 22 The
Need For and Logic of Sampling
-- Folz, Chap. 3.(to be emailed)
-- O'Sullivan & Rassel, Chap. 5.
-- Berner, Chaps. 6 & 7.
Mar. 29 Survey
Design and Writing Good Questions.
-- Folz, Chap. 4.(to be emailed)
-- O'Sullivan & Rassel, 7, 8 & 10.
Apr 5 & 12
Review of Univariate, Bivariate & Multivariate Statistics and Data
-- Folz, Chap. 5, 6, 7. (to be emailed)
-- Berner, Chaps. 8 & 9.
-- O'Sullivan & Rassel, Chaps. 11-14.
Apr. 19 Presentations of Draft Program Logic Model and Design Matrices or Survey Designs
Apr. 26 Final Exam
May 3 Submission of Final Research Design Reports
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