LIS 9004B-002 (Winter 2013) Research Methods and Statistics
Course Description This course provides an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods. Topics covered include: the research process from finding a researchable question through data gathering and analysis to dissemination of results; qualities of well-designed research; ethical considerations in research; and basic concepts and techniques in qualitative and quantitative data analysis.
To introduce students to the range of research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, that are used to investigate questions in library and information science in order to give students the conceptual tools to evaluate examples of LIS research in terms of reliability, validity and significance;
To help students understand the process of undertaking research from finding a researchable question to choosing an appropriate method to investigate the problem, satisfying ethical concerns related to research, gathering data, analysing the data, and communicating the results;
To illustrate the research process with selected examples of LIS research, including examples of applied research used in professional settings, such as needs assessment and program evaluation;
To introduce students to some basic concepts and techniques in the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, including descriptive statistics and coding, measures of central tendency, measures of variability, frequency distributions and correlation as well as the concept of significance testing in inferential statistics and approaches to coding qualitative data.
Relationship to the Goals and Objectives of the MLIS Program Students who complete this course will be able to:
respond to change in a spirit of intellectual inquiry, forming sound opinions based on critical analysis of valid and reliable data (Goal 1, Obj. 1; Goal 2, Objs. 1b, 1c);
identify needs of particular user groups (from Goal 2, Obj. 1h);
evaluate research from this and other disciplines and apply basic principles and techniques of research to problem-solving and planning in library and information fields (from Goal 2, Objs. 1c, 1e);
engage in critical analysis of principles and techniques of research in LIS (Goal 2, Obj. 1d).