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Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 3120
Michelle Dumas

University of Guelph College of Social and Applied Human Sciences Department of Sociology and Anthropology Quantitative Methods SOAN 3120*02 Tues & Thurs: 8:30-9:50 am – RICH-2520 Fall 2013 Instructor: Michelle Dumas Office: MACK – 632 E-mail: [email protected] (course code required in subject line) Office Hours: Thursdays 10:15-11:45 am Teaching Assistants: TBA COURSE DESCRIPTION This course aims to introduce students to descriptive and inferential statistical techniques used in social research. The primary goal of the course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of statistical reasoning and the role of statistics in social research. At the end of the term, students will acquire the skills necessary to perform basic analyses and to evaluate quantitative analyses in research literature in the social sciences. ORGANIZATION OF COURSE Class time will be devoted primarily to lectures, which seek to explain the general principles and fundamental procedures, but also to reviewing homework (on Thursdays) and answering questions. COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION Assignments: 15% (3 x 5% each) Homework: 10% Midterm 1: 20% Midterm 2: 25% Final Exam (take home TBA): 30% 1 There will be 3 assignments required for the course, each worth 5%. They will be available through CourseLink and will require you to hand in a hard copy; one or more of these assignments will require the use of SPSS. There is access to SPSS in the computer lab in MACK-028. There are weekly homework assignments due in the Tuesday class after the topic(s) has been completed. These problems are in the course text and included in the schedule in this course schedule (page 5). Homework will be collected, but not graded. You will receive full credit for homework assignments that are handed in on time (first 5 minutes of class) and that reflect some reasonable effort; half-credit will be awarded for homework that is late. Late homework will only be accepted up to and including the following Thursday lecture after they are originally due (2 days later) at the beginning of class. I will go over the homework from the previous week on Thursdays and therefore will not accept homework after that time. They may or may not appear on the midterm and/or final exams. You will need a calculator for homework problems. The two midterm exams will be held in class. You will require a statistical calculator for these exams (it must be an actual calculator and not one on your smart phone or other related device) and they are closed-book. Any formulas or tables you may require will be provided for you in the exam. These midterm exams are non-cumulative. The format will be discussed in class, but will include both multiple-choice and written answers. The final exam will be a take home exam and is cumulative. There will be a discussion about the requirements in the last class. It may appear that there is a lot being asked of you in this course. There is some truth to that; however, statistics is something you “get” by doing, not just reading. In doing the statistical work, you will be more successful on your exams, where a large proportion of your grade is coming from (75%). Some helpful advice: First, some of you will find statistics interesting while some might feel apathy. Regardless, we are surrounded, even bombarded, by statistics outside the classroom. It is important to be able to appropriately evaluate those numbers in meaningful ways. Second, some of you may be apprehensive about the math that statistics employs. Know that you will require only some basic elementary mathematics (arithmetic and simple algebra), and know that you can do it! The most important part of statistics is in their interpretation. And lastly, while it is a bad idea to fall behind in any course, it is fatal to do so in this course. The course teaches skills and techniques and material that is cumulative. 2 Because of the one-semester format, the course moves at a rapid pace. As stated above, I have designed the course to have you do work each week to help you along this journey. If you miss classes, skip homework or other assignments and then cram for the exams, you will almost surely not do well. Congruently, it is also possible to receive an A+ in this course.  REQUIRED TEXT Moore, David, William Notz and Michael Flinger. 2012. The Basic Practice of Statistics, 6e. WH Freeman NOTE THE FOLLOWING : Email: I am best reached by email. Please put the course code or course name in the subject line.If you omit this, I will not reply. If you do not receive a reply from me within 48 hours, then there was a problem (e.g., I did not receive your email or my reply did not go through. It happens. Technology is not perfect) and you need to email me again. Also note that in your emails to me, you must spell out all of your words (i.e., no “ur” or “u no”), as these emails should be professional in nature. Please do not email me questions about course content (or homework or assignments); please address them in CourseLink so that they can be shared with the class or in person during my office hours. Folders have been set up for each chapter under the Discussion tab for this purpose. CourseLink: is an integral part of the course and includes information about lectures, assignment information, and discussions. Any questions you have about the material should be asked in Courselink (or during my office hours). Please use it to your advantage, but remain respectful. See: Lectures: You will need to attend all of the lectures to be successful in this course. As a rule, I do not make copies of my lecture notes available to students. While there will be overlap between material from lectures and from the text, this overlap is by no means complete. You are strongly urged to both attend lectures and to read the material assigned. 3 Make-Up Exams: Students will not be exempt from an exam without medical reasons accompanied by official wr
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