SOCI 3016 - Quantitative Research Methods in Sociology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2022

How do you find and interpret the latest data on unemployment and voluntary work? What factors put Australians at risk of becoming victims of discrimination? What factors influence Australians' life satisfaction? How do you decipher the ?Results? and ?Discussion? sections of journal articles or government reports? How do you design a simple survey questionnaire that could tell you things that the existing data cannot? This course will teach you to use the tools of quantitative research methods to answer these and other questions. The focus will be on the logic of quantitative reasoning and its application to practical problems in sociological research. Please note that mathematical proofs, complex calculations, abstract probability theory, and the like will not be discussed. We will focus on survey research and statistical techniques to analyse data collected in surveys. We will also spend time looking at other sources of quantitative data, including data compiled by various Australian government agencies. By the end of the course, you will be able to read, understand, and critically evaluate several types of quantitative data presented in research reports, books and journal articles.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code SOCI 3016
    Course Quantitative Research Methods in Sociology
    Coordinating Unit Gender Studies and Social Analysis
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites SOCI 2012 or PSYCHOL 1004 or PSYCHOL 2004
    Incompatible GEOG 1005, GEOG 2132, CRIM 3004,
    Restrictions Available to BSOC students only
    Course Description How do you find and interpret the latest data on unemployment and voluntary work? What factors put Australians at risk of becoming victims of discrimination? What factors influence Australians' life satisfaction? How do you decipher the ?Results? and ?Discussion? sections of journal articles or government reports? How do you design a simple survey questionnaire that could tell you things that the existing data cannot? This course will teach you to use the tools of quantitative research methods to answer these and other questions. The focus will be on the logic of quantitative reasoning and its application to practical problems in sociological research. Please note that mathematical proofs, complex calculations, abstract probability theory, and the like will not be discussed. We will focus on survey research and statistical techniques to analyse data collected in surveys. We will also spend time looking at other sources of quantitative data, including data compiled by various Australian government agencies. By the end of the course, you will be able to read, understand, and critically evaluate several types of quantitative data presented in research reports, books and journal articles.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Djordje Stefanovic

    Dr Djordje Stefanovic 
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1. correctly use basic quantitative terminology
    2. understand and apply basic quantitative reasoning
    3. find and critically assess different quantitative data provided by Australian government
    4. conduct basic data analysis of Australian General Social Survey data set
    5. design a short on-line survey to resolve the problems with existing data sets
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1,2

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    2,3,4,5

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    2

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    3,4,5

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    2

    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.

    2,4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources


    1. Statistics for People Who (Think) They Hate Statistics, by N. J. Salkind, (6th ed) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
      - Hardcopies available at the Barr Smith Library, High Use area

     2. Successful Surveys, (Chapters 7, 8, and 9), by Gray and Guppy, Harcourt Brace & Company
      - Available via MyUni.


    The course calendar, below, specifies the reading to be done before coming to class. The lectures run parallel to the textbook readings; however, the lectures do not simply repeat the material in the textbook. The students are responsible for mastering both the lecture and the textbook material for use on the midterm exam, the assignments and the final exam. The readings are not long
    and it is vital to do them. Failure to keep up with the readings or to come to class would make it difficult to do well in this course.

    Online Learning


    Lecture power point slides with audio recordings, on-line quizzes, assignment instructions, model assignments, the midterm exam, and the final exam will be posted to the MyUni course site.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.

    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.


    1 x 3 hour lecture per week 33 hours
    3 hours reading per week 33 hours
    1 hour on-line quiz answering per week 11 hours
    6.2 hours assignment preparation each week on average 68 hours
    1 hour exam review per week 11 hours
    Total (per semester) 156 hours
    Learning Activities Summary

    1. Introduction & Level of Measurement
    2. Descriptive Stats, Crosstabs and Correlations
    3. Normal Distribution and Z Scores
    4. Hypothesis Testing
    5. Confidence Intervals & Statistical Significance
    6. Correlation and Regression
    7. Multicausality
    8. How to Read & Write Quant Publications
    9. Survey Design: Methodology& Questions
    10. Survey Design: Questionnaire & On-Line
    11. Future of Quantitative Analysis







  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Each student will have a choice whether you want to do Assignment 2 (Data Analytics Stream) or Assignment 3 (Survey Design Stream). While both streams will offer training in the basic statistical analysis and survey design, Data Analytics Stream will be more statistically intensive than the Survey Design Stream. You will need to choose your stream at MyUni by the deadline that will be specified during the Week 1. Students who do not make the choice by the stated deadline will be assigned to the Survey Design Stream.

    5.1.1. Data Analytics Stream

    Assessment                                                                                  Type                     Weight                      Learning Objectives
    Midterm Exam (take home, multiple choice online)                Formative &Summative       20%                                2,3
    Assignment One (Basic Stats with Excel)                              Formative &Summative       15%                                1,2
    Assignment Two (Sophisticated Stats with SPSS)                  Formative &Summative        35%                                4
    Final Exam (take home, multiple choice online)                          Summative                   30%                                1,2


    5.1.2. Survey Design Stream

    Assessment                                                                                Type                      Weight                       LearningObjectives
    Midterm Exam (take home, multiple choice online)                Formative &Summative       20%                                2,3
    Assignment One (Basic Stats with Excel)                              Formative &Summative       30%                                1,2
    Assignment Three (On-line Survey Questionnaire Design)      Formative &Summative       20%                                5
    Final Exam (take home, multiple choice online)                        Summative                     30%                                1,2
    Assessment Detail
    Mid Term Exam : The midterm will be multiple choice, open-book, take home exam. The midterm questions will be posted at MyUni.
    Details of this assessment will be provided in class.

    Assignment One (Basic Stats with Excel): In the first assignment, you will use data collected by the Australian
    government to look into certain social issues in Australia. You will use basic statistics in this assignment. The report file will be
    submitted via MyUni.

    Assignment Two (Sophisticated Stats with SPSS): In the second assignment, you will use data from the General Social
    Survey of Australians to answer a specific research question of your choice using more sophisticated statistics. The report file will be
    submitted via MyUni.

    Assignment Three (On-line Survey Questionnaire Design): In the third assignment, you will identify a new research question, based on what you have learned in the second assignment. You will then design a brief survey questionnaire that could collect data to help you answer that question. The report file will be submitted via MyUni.

    Final Exam: The final exam will be multiple choice, open-book, take home exam. You will be expected to display understanding, integration, and critical reflection on the required readings and lectures. The focus will be on applied problem solving. The final exam questions will be posted at MyUni. Details of this assessment will be provided in class.

    Note: Further very detailed information on the expectations for each assignment will be provided at the MyUni and discussed in class.
    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

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    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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