San Diego State University Spring 2014 Schedule #20721, section 4

San Diego State University
Spring 2014
CJ 540: Planning and Evaluation in Criminal Justice
Mon/Wed 2:00-3:15 pm
Schedule #20721, section 4
Instructor: Sylvia Valenzuela, Ph.D.
E-mail: [email protected]
Office Hours: Monday 3:30 – 4:30, Tuesday 2 – 3 pm, and by appointment.
Office: PSFA 178
Teaching assistants:
Amanda Ames
[email protected]
Sam Cherry
[email protected]
This course offers an introduction to basic techniques in criminal justice research including:
research writing, components of research design models, sampling and data collection
techniques, for both quantitative and qualitative methods. An emphasis will be placed on
bridging the gap between theory, research, and criminal justice policy. In addition, the
multidisciplinary nature of criminal justice research will be highlighted.
Upon successful completion of the course, you should be able to:
 Formulate testable research questions and hypotheses for criminal justice related topics;
 Select the appropriate research design and method for a particular research question;
 Identify the advantages and disadvantages of different research designs;
 Identify the sampling strategies available for any given research design, as well as the
advantages and disadvantages associated with each;
 Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative and qualitative research methods;
 Be able to understand, summarize and critique research from multiple disciplines and;
 Think scientifically about social problems;
 Recognize signs of strong and weak social science research.
 Bachman, R. and Schutt, R. K. 2014. The Practice of Research in Criminology and
Criminal Justice, 5th Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
 Various readings to be posted on Blackboard
Each student is expected to attend class regularly, complete the assigned readings, homework
and group projects, and participate in discussion. Failure to attend class or submit assignments
on time will diminish your grade in this course. Grades will be based on the following:
Online quizzes (10 points each)
100 points
50 points
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Spring 2014
Homework & attendance
Literature review
Final Project
Final exam
100 points
100 points
100 points
50 points
500 points
This class will incorporate the use of homework, group work, discussion and quizzes to practice
the principles learned from lecture and the textbook. It is imperative that you attend class
regularly because both lecture and practice are fundamental in learning research methods. Only
students with valid documentation will be allowed to make up missed assignments. No late or
emailed assignments will be accepted. Therefore if you miss class you may miss an assignment.
Homework: Depending on the particular topic covered in class, occasionally you will be
given homework assignments to be completed before the next class meeting. Homework
is due at the beginning of class (hard copy only). No late or emailed assignments will be
accepted! Occasionally homework will be due via Blackboard dropbox or discussion
Quizzes: Quizzes will test you on topics and concepts discussed in lecture & readings.
They will be posted on Blackboard and are to be completed online. This will require
reliable internet connectivity. If you do not have this at home you are strongly
encouraged to take the quizzes in the computer lab on campus. Not having a strong
internet connection is NOT a valid excuse for missing a quiz.
Writing assignments: Students will complete a writing assignment applying the
research and analytical skills learned in the course. This writing assignment will be
described in detail in a separate document later in the semester. Essentially, you will
critique an empirical article from a methodological perspective using the skills and
knowledge obtained in the course.
a. No late papers will be accepted. You are always welcome to turn in an assignment
before the due date.
b. Emailed assignments are NOT accepted.
c. Assignments must be submitted in hard copy.
d. If you are not a strong writer, you are encouraged to visit the writing center in
PSFA for assistance.
Midterm and Final exam: The midterms and final exams will include multiple-choice,
true/false, and may include short answers questions. The final exam will not be
Final project- The final project will require you to put to use the knowledge of research
methods you gained by designing a research study and creating a survey. More detailed
instructions will be provided later in the semester.
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Spring 2014
Course Website and Blackboard: It will be crucial for every student to gain access to the
course website as various important announcements and additional course materials (i.e. on-line
readings) will be posted on the site. In addition, it is expected that students have an updated email account, so that they can receive group e-mails.
Email: I make every effort to respond to emails quickly, please reserve emails to important
questions. In your email please include your name and which section (date & time) you are in. I
am teaching three sections of CJ 540 so please indicate which class.
Classroom Policies: You are expected to arrive on time, and to not disrupt instruction through
talking, laughing, receiving phone calls, snoring, etc. Students are expected to freely express
their views on the various CJ topics that will be discussed in class, as long as they are respectful
of their fellow classmates and their instructor. Please avoid offensive language and behavior or
you will be asked to leave. Class attendance is important, students should come to class prepared
and interested in learning! I expect, encourage, and invite participation.
Late and missed assignments: No late assignments will be accepted! If you have
documentation of having a serious medical illness, death in the family, or other compelling
reason you will be allowed to make up the missed assignment. However, you are responsible for
providing documentation and timely notice.
Students with Disabilities: Disabled students are encouraged to discuss with the instructor how
their disability may impact on this course. Course requirement modifications and other
accommodations may be provided after proof of eligibility has been provided to DSS staff. For
further information, please contact Disabled Students Services.
Academic Dishonesty: Make sure to follow APA format on your paper (you will learn in class),
do not plagiarize or cheat or disciplinary action will be taken.
Grades: The plus/minus grading scale follows this distribution:
94-100% = A
90-93.9% = A88-89.9% = B+
83-87.9% = B
80-82.9% = B-
78-79.9% = C+
73-77.9% = C
70-72.9% = C68-69.9% = D+
60-67.9% = D
59.9 % or lower = F
San Diego State University
Spring 2014
Jan 22
-Introduction to course
-Discuss syllabus
On-line reading: Facebook Use
Predicts Decline in Well-Being
-Article summary
-Why are you a CJ
Jan 27 & 29
-Science, Society, & Criminological
-Discuss reading
Chapter 1
Quiz #1
-Types of research &
errors in reasoning
Feb 3 & 5
-The Process and Problems of
Criminological Research
-Movie: Kinsey
Chapter 2
Quiz #2
Article: The Demedicalization of -Article summary
Feb 10 & 12
-Research Ethics and Philosophies
-Movie: The Experiment
Chapter 3
Feb 17 & 19
Conceptualization and Measurement Chapter 4
Article: The Minneapolis
Domestic Violence Experiment
Quiz #4
Article summary
Feb 24 & 26
Library & APA instruction
Quiz #5
Library assignment
Mar 3 & 5
Catch up
Mar 10 & 12
- Causation and Research Design
Chapter 5
Quiz #3
Chapter 6
Midterm March 10 (ch. 1-5)
Mar 17 & 19
-Causation & Research Design cont.
-Experimental Designs
-Review midterm
Chapter 6 cont.
Chapter 7
Quiz #6
Mar 24 & 26
-Experimental Designs cont.
Chapter 7
Quiz #7
Writing Assignment Due
Mar 31 &
Apr 2
Spring Break
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Spring 2014
Apr 7 & 9
-Survey research
Chapter 8
Quiz #8
Homework TBD
Apr 14 & 16
-Qualitative methods of analysis
Chapter 9
On-line readings: Consuming
Quiz #9
-Field observations
-Article summary
Apr 21 & 23
-Analyzing Content
-discuss article
Chapter 10
-Homework TBD
Apr 28 & 30
-Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Final project due
Chapter 11
May 5 & 7
-Mixing and Comparing Methods
-Final exam review
Chapter 12
Monday, May 12
1:00 – 3:00 pm
*This is intended as a working schedule and may change.
Quiz #10