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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Marina Alberti
PPM 502
Seattle Campus

Research Design

Provides a rigorous foundation for interdisciplinary research design. Introduces iconic types of theory (predictive, interpretive, and explanatory) and the philosophical foundations underlying these. Reviews a range of methodological approaches to research: experimental and quasi-experimental, statistical and quasi-statistical, comparative case-study, ethnographic, and triangulation. Offered: A.

Class description

This course is designed to provide graduate students with theoretical and practical skills for conducting research. Students will be exposed to the issues involved in research decisions and to diverse problem-solving strategies at various stages of the research process. The course examines the logic of scientific inquiry, conceptualization and measurement of social phenomena, principles of research design, and alternative methods for describing, analyzing, and modeling primary and secondary data. Emphasis is given to statistical principles of research design hypothesis testing and statistical inference, sampling strategies, and analytical approaches to randomized experimental, quasi-experimental, longitudinal and cross-comparative studies. Major theoretical issues include: threats to internal validity, sampling and external validity, reliability of measures, causality, interpretation of statistical analysis and ethics in research. Students will learn how to frame a research question, develop testable hypotheses, identify and provide operational definitions of research variables, select appropriate analytical methods, and evaluate alternative research designs and data collection strategies.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Blake N Cooper
Date: 08/11/2008