514 Research Methods in Public Administration

Office Location
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

Home  Email: dfolz@utk.edu
514 Research Methods in Public Administration   Spring 2011
Required Readings: Course components:
     Final grades for the course are based on my evaluation of your performance on the elements below, weighted as follows:
           Item                                 @ Percent
            Exam #1                                          30
            Exam #2                                          30
           Applied Research Design Project:      25
            Class Participation*, Exercises &      15
                Homework                                 100
     * Satisfactory class participation is evidenced by regular attendance, involvement in seminar discussions, preparation of thoughtful answers to weekly
         discussion questions, and completion of in-class and homework exercises.

         The exams will consist of problem solving scenarios, short essays, and other short answer/definition/identification questions.
         Each exam is worth 100 points.

Applied 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.

Schedule 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 Presentation Techniques.
                        --  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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