Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Data Analysis in Communication Research (CMS 403)

With the unbundling of Mass Communication programme in Nigeria, the face of communication education in the country has changed. The programme has transited into a full college/faculty while individual courses have adapted to the change. While several new courses now exist in the seven new departments, some of the courses you used to know before have also taken a new shape. We have done a thorough research on what these courses offer in universities across the world; and we have provided prototype syllabus for students to study ahead. This is also to assist lecturers who might be facing new challenges with several new courses to have an idea of what the syllabus of each course offers.

COURSE COMPACT

Faculty: Communication and Media Studies                          Department: Journalism & Media Studies

Course Code: CMS 403                                          Unit(s): 2          Semester: First

Course Title: Data Analysis in Communication Research

Lecturer:                                                       Programme: B.Sc.

 

(A). BRIEF OVERVIEW OF COURSE

This course is designed to introduce students to data analysis techniques, particularly the use of tables, graphs and other statistical techniques and procedures in communication research. Students are taught how to present and interpret data, using these techniques. It further exposes students to important concepts of research design, data collection, statistical and interpretative analysis, and final report presentation. The course also introduces students to basic data analysis software – SPSS – and how to interpret data using this software. At the end of this course, students would have learned what data means in research, how to collect, present, and interpret data using various techniques and approaches.

(B). COURSE OBJECTIVES/GOALS

By the end of this course, students will have learned:

  1. Meaning of key concepts (research, communication research, data)
  2. Kinds of data in communication research
  3. Data presentation and analysis techniques
  4. Use of SPSS data analysis software
  5. Interpretation of data
  6. Descriptive and inferential statistics

(C). METHOD OF LECTURE DELIVERY

  1. Lectures
  2. Quizzes
  3. Assignments
  4. Practical Classroom Sessions

(D). COURSE OUTLINE

1. Introduction

Definition of research

Communication research explained

Kinds of research

Importance of research

Course overview

2. Data Presentation and Analysis in Research

Meaning of data in research

Kinds of data (primary, secondary)

Data collection method
Data gathering methods
Instruments of data gathering
Gathering data through fieldwork

Data presentation techniques

Data analysis techniques

Data interpretation (interpreting qualitative and quantitative data)

3. Qualitative Data Emphasized

Understanding qualitative data

Kinds of qualitative data

Collection of qualitative data

Presentation and Analysis Techniques

4. Quantitative Data Emphasized

Understanding quantitative data

Kinds of quantitative data

Collection of qualitative data

Presentation and Analysis Techniques

Choosing a good instrument

Interval and Ratio Scales

5. Introduction to Applied Statistics

Identifying the dependent and independent variables

Confidence levels

6. Descriptive Statistics

Summarizing and describing a collection of data

Univariate and bivariate analysis

Mean, mode and standard deviation

Percentages and Ratios

Histograms

Identifying randomness and uncertainty in data

7. Inferential Statistics

Drawing inference from data

Modeling assumptions

Identifying Patterns

Regression analysis

T-test

Analysis of Variance

Correlations

Chi-square

8. Types of Data Measurement Scales

What is measurement scale?

Characteristics of measurement scale

Types of data measurement scale (Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, Ratio)

9. Introduction to Mixed Methods Research

What is mixed method?

Advantages

Presenting and analyzing data in mixed method research

10. Introduction to SPSS Data Analysis Software

Meaning of SPSS

Basic functions of SPSS (Data handling and manipulation, Basic statistics and summarization, Significance testing, Inferential statistics, Others)

How SPSS works

Understanding and Interpreting data using SPSS

11. Class Activities

Practical exercises

(E). RECOMMENDED TEXTS

Osuala, C. E. (1987). Introduction to Research Method. Onitsha: Africana Fep Publishers.

Nwodu L.C. (2007). Research in communication and other behavioural sciences: Principles,
methods and issues. Enugu:
Rhyce Kerex Publishers.

Owuamalam, E. (2012). Data analysis and research project writing: A practical approach. Owerri: Top Class agencies Ltd.

(F). IMPORTANT LINKS

Understanding Qualitative, Quantitative, Attribute, Discrete, and Continuous Data Types

Quantitative Data: Definition, Types, Analysis & Examples

A Guide To The Methods, Benefits & Problems of The Interpretation of Data

Types of Data & Measurement Scales: Nominal, Ordinal, Interval and Ratio

Introduction to SPSS Statistics

7 Types of Data Measurement Scale in Research

Characteristics of Measurement Scale

 

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The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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