GETTING STARTED: In class on Monday, September 8, students will learn their pairings and the particular nonverbal communication phenomenon they will be studying. Each pair will receive a short reading related to measuring a particular NVC phenomenon. This reading is designed to provide a brief overview and summary of how the measure was developed and what research has been conducted using it. Your job will be to decide another way the measure could be used, in order to carry out original research and contribute new knowledge to the field.
STEP 1: Reviewing the literature/theoretical perspective. In pairs, you are to first look at some of the literature related to this measure, in order to understand what is known and what is not yet known about it. While this does search not need to be exhaustive, you should aim to understand generally what has been done. You should plan to look carefully at 6-8 representative articles. You will not be writing a literature review paper for a grade, but you still must read, understand and organize the literature you have found so you can present and discuss it clearly. Your objective in this step is to understand how this measure has been used and get ideas for what your study could look at, as well as understand the role of theory in exploring this topic. Once you have an idea of what you would like to know, you need to pose a hypothesis or research question that will be the basis for your study. You will need to be able to provide a rationale for why you wish to use the measure in this particular way, which should stem from your literature review. By Friday, September 26 you will need to turn in a list of your articles and a brief indication of your probable hypothesis/research question for this study.
STEP 2: Finding a methodology. The next step is to design your study. This step will require you to complete a brief form in order to gain approval from Wittenberg's Institutional Review Board (IRB) to conduct this study. This board reviews all research involving human subjects to make sure it poses little or no risk to study participants. This will be your chance to explain in great detail what exactly your study will involve in terms of procedures and participants. After completing the IRB petition, teams must set up an appointment to meet with me briefly to discuss their method and procedures; at this time we can discuss a reasonable sample size for you to obtain for your study. In that meeting, be prepared to explain how/why your method will enable you to address your hypothesis or research question. The form must be completed and e-mailed to me by Friday, October 10; meetings will occur during the following week.
STEP 3: Collecting and analyzing data. Once you have received approval from the IRB to conduct your study, you will need to make arrangements to actually carry out your method. Be sure you maintain consistency in your procedures across participants so as not to introduce any other variables that may affect your results. Once you have your data, you also will need to analyze it. In most cases, the original reading you received will indicate exactly how the data are to be analyzed. If you need guidance along the way, be sure to ask. You will have seven weeks from the time your project is approved until you need to be finished with your study and ready for your presentation, so you should have plenty of time if you choose to take full advantage of it. Do NOT wait until November to get started on this project. Each team is required to e-mail me a brief progress report about the status of their project by Friday, November 7.
STEP 4: Presenting your research. In your ten-minute presentation, you will discuss all of the above components and provide some conclusions about the implications of your findings ("So what?"). Both team members are expected to contribute equally in the preparation and presentation of the contents for this session. These presentations will occur in class on Wednesday and Friday, December 3 and 5.
The presentation will be graded on extent to which it meets the following criteria, each of which is worth 25 points: