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UNIV 110 Scholarly Inquiry and Research Methods: Syllabus

Introduction to the skills and tools of information research in a high tech environment, beginning with topic analysis and ending with a sound, analytical research report. Emphasis is placed on development of critical thinking strategies.

Course Syllabus

TRINITY WESTERN UNIVERSITY

UNIV 110

Scholarly Inquiry and Research Methods
March 15 – April 12, 2017 (6-8:30 pm)

Co-requisites or Pre-requisites: None
Semester Hours: 2
Room Number: Northwest 104
Class Size (estimate): 7-10 students

Instructor: William Badke
Contact Information: badke@twu.ca
Office Hours: M-F, 8:00-4:30.  Please contact by e-mail in advance.
 

Course Description:

Introduction to the skills and tools of information research in a high tech environment, beginning with topic analysis and ending with a sound, analytical research report.  Emphasis is placed on development of critical thinking strategies, within the conventions of scholarly inquiry that are transferable to most information tasks.  Skills developed through this course will have marketplace application.

Learning Outcomes:

The student will:

  1. Gain an understanding of the characteristics of information and its dissemination in the information age.
  2. Develop an appreciation for topic analysis and research focused around a question or hypothesis.
  3. Learn to strategize research procedures using a wide variety of tools and information sources, based on an understanding of information systems and their manner of operation.
  4. Acquire a deeper ability to use critical thinking to interact with diverse concepts, evaluate truth claims, synthesize data and make conclusions.
  5. Show an appreciation for the ethical requirements of research and writing within Christian and marketplace contexts.

Required Texts and Materials:

Badke, William.  Research Strategies: Finding your Way through the Information Fog, 5th ed. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse.com, 2014.


Course Activities/Requirements:

The course requirements consist of five assignments, all of which are posted at http://libguides.twu.ca/UNIV110All assignments must be completed and receive a pass if you are to pass the course.  Assignments are to be sent by e-mail attachment at badke@twu.ca.


Proposed Course Outline:

  1. Lesson One – Introducing Scholarly Inquiry in Today’s Information Environment 

a.       Introduction to Today’s World of Information in the Context of Scholarly Inquiry

b.      The Nature of Research

Assignment One - Due at the beginning of class two

  1. Session Two – Developing Goals in a Context of Research as Conversation 

a.       Development of research questions/thesis statements

b.      Development of preliminary outlines as research blueprints

c.       Research as a conversation.  

d.      Close reading of a research article

Assignment Two - Due at the beginning of class 3

  1. Session Three – Search Techniques and Conventions 

a.       Keyword searching – Internet and library catalogue

b.      Controlled vocabularies

c.       Optimizing the connection between the research question and the resources found.

Assignment Three - Due at the beginning of class 4

  1. Session Four – Journal Research 

a.       The role of journals in scholarly inquiry

b.      Introduction to today’s journal literature

c.       Optimizing journal databases with subject headings and other limiters

d.      Introduction to Google Scholar as an alternate search tool.

Assignment Four  - Due at the beginning of class 5

  1. Session Five – Information Evaluation and Special Topics

a.       The challenge of academic authority

b.      Using checklists to evaluate the quality of information.

c.       Finding relevance in resources

d.      Balancing views within research as a conversation. 

e.      Research Ethics - Plagiarism and copyright

f.       Organizing found resources for research writing

Assignment Five - Due one week after the final class


Evaluation:

Each assignment will be worth 20% of the final grade.  Letter grades will be used throughout rather than percentages. See the university grading system below.

The final grade will be determined by the satisfactory completion of all requirements.

Assignment #1                              20 %
Assignment #2                              20 %
Assignment #3                              20 %
Assignment #4                              20 %
Assignment #5                              20 %

Total                                             100%

TWU-Extension Standard Grading System

Letter Grade

% Range

Grade Point

Grade

Description

A+

98-100

4.3

Unusually outstanding work; completely error-free work at the highest level attainable

A

94-97

4.0

Outstanding, excellent work

A-

90-93

3.7

Outstanding, excellent work with very minor flaw/s

 

B+

87-89

3.3

Very good work with few flaws

B

83-86

3.0

Good, competent work

B-

80-82

2.7

Good, competent work with noticeable flaws in one or more areas of content, syntax, formatting, and/or APA usage

C+

75-79

2.3

Adequate, reasonably satisfactory work with significant flaws in one or more areas

C

70-74

2.0

Adequate, reasonably satisfactory work with significant flaws in two or more areas

C-

65-69

1.7

Adequate, reasonably satisfactory work with significant flaws in three or more areas

D+

60-64

1.3

Minimally acceptable work

D

55-59

1.0

Minimally acceptable work

D-

50-54

.7

Minimally acceptable work

F

Below 50

0

Inadequate Work

 

Policies:

Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism at TWU

As Christian scholars pursuing higher education, academic integrity is a core value of the entire TWU community. Students are invited into this scholarly culture and required to abide by the principles of sound academic scholarship at TWU. This includes, but is not limited to, avoiding all forms of plagiarism and cheating in scholarly work. TWU has a strict policy on plagiarism (see academic calendar). Learning what constitutes plagiarism and avoiding it is the student's responsibility. Excellent resources describing plagiarism and how to avoid it has been prepared by TWU Librarian William Badke:

https://prezi.com/od62fxnkbmxh/plagiarism-how-to-get-it-out-of-your-life/ (Prezi presentation)
http://bit.ly/1p00KX3   (Google Slide presentation offering more comprehensive information)

Campus Closure and Class Cancellation Policy

In the event of extreme weather conditions or other emergency situations, please consider the website the primary source of information, along with the TWU bulletin line 604.513.2147. The University will communicate information regarding the cancellation of classes to the following radio stations: CKNW (980 AM), CKWX (1130 AM), STAR FM (107.1 FM), PRAISE (106.5 FM) and KARI (550 AM). Should there be conflicting reports regarding campus closures, the TWU website and bulletin line are to be considered correct.

The first announcement regarding status of campus is made at 6:30 am and covers the period up to 1:00 p.m. The second announcement will be made at 11 am and will cover afternoon classes. Students and faculty should assume that all night classes will continue to operate. If the emergency continues into the evening, students and faculty may check for a class cancellation notice on the University's weather bulletin line or the website after 3:00 p.m. that day.

If this specific class must be cancelled for any other reason, the instructor will communicate this in advance. In the case of an unexpected cancellation, a sign will be posted on the classroom door.

 

 

Subject Guide

William Badke