Research Methods for Information Sciences and Technology
Course Composition and Objectives
- Research Fundamentals – Students will be able to explain research fundamentals and their importance in the context of advancing knowledge
- Explain research hypothesis development
- Provide examples of research paradigms and research ethics
- Define reliability and validity and explain the purpose of these constructs in research studies.
- Research Methods – Students will understand different research methods well enough to choose appropriate methods for a proposed study
- Describe quantitative research methods (e.g. surveys and sampling, experimental methods, parametric and non-parametric data analyses) and the kinds of questions that they answer
- Describe qualitative methods (e.g. interview methods, ethnographic records, coding and interpretations, case studies) and the kinds of questions that they answer
- Describe design research methods (e.g., theory development through design, artifact analysis, design rationale, design processes, iterative design, prototype evaluation), and the kinds of questions that they answer
- Describe computational methods (e.g. complexity analysis, relevance analysis, clustering methods, & simulation methods) and the kinds of questions that they answer.
- Research Process – Students will be able to design a research study within the conventions of the research process
- Develop a research hypothesis
- Identify and select appropriate research methods for a research hypothesis
- Outline a literature review
- Critique research reports in the area of information sciences and technology
- Begin writing research-oriented work, such as theses and papers.
- Instructors Choice: Instructors may choose topics and learning objectives that meet the spirit of the course as defined here. Instructors may choose to devote more time to the learning objectives listed above or to add additional, complimentary objectives. Supplementary material and objectives should not overlap with the defined content of other courses in the curriculum
IST 489H is a Seminar course focused on approaches to conducting research and writing theses and other research reports. It provides research-oriented undergraduates, and particularly students considering an honors thesis, an overview of the major research methods used in the area of information sciences and technology, including quantitative, qualitative, computational, and design approaches. The course will emphasize developing and practicing research design, execution, evaluation, and writing skills through application of the concepts that define the course.
Students are required to develop a research hypothesis, identify appropriate research methods for the hypothesis, and develop a researchable project. In doing this students will develop skills in thesis writing and conducting research activities such as honors and other research-oriented theses.
IST 489H is an upper division course open to both undergraduate honors students and to research-oriented students who are not honors college students, enrolled in the Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and related majors. The course can serve students from all options within the College of IST undergraduate majors and also students in related academic programs. For some graduate students, IST 489H may serve as an introductory survey of research methods course.