Steven F. Freeman

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Foundations of Research & Scholarship

page last modified: 08/24/2015 11:05 AM

Foundations of Research & Scholarship / Fall 2014 / Course Number: DYNM 500 Schedule: Wednesday 6:00pm-9:00pm (Course counts toward completion of the Organizational Dynamics Foundational requirement). Instructor: FREEMAN, STEVEN 

Course will help you systematically review and develop basic academic skills, understand the principals of research and knowledge creation, and guide you in developing your own scholarship, including the capstone. The course is designed to help you to get the most value out of all your classes, your overall program, and use your time at Penn to do optimally meaningful, transformative work.

Course Tracks, Goals and Topics

The course proceeds on three tracks: (1) basic academic skills needed to competently do course assignments; (2) basic academic understanding to effectively evaluate course materials and learn on your own without the specific instruction of faculty; and (3) guide you in embarking on your own scholarship. 

Our aim in the class is that you become (1) capable students; (2) who understand the fundamentals of science, research, scholarship and knowledge itself; (3) able to create knowledge in your areas of responsibility, expertise and interest, i.e., value-added knowledge work

1: Basic Academic Skills

1.1. Writing Basics

  • getting started
  • purpose
  • organization
  • tone/ style/ voice
  • grammar
  • good writing

1.2. Academic Writing

  • expectations of academic writing
  • tech­niques for using and citing source material
  • how to smoothly and correctly weave the words and ideas of others into your own prose.

1.3. Reliable Writing Process

  • breaking down the writing process into a reliable set of steps which help transform intent into results.

1.4. Setting the Writing Problem

  • Making the assignment work for you: profitable ways to plan your seminar work.
  • setting and developing workable thinking/ writing tasks to meet the requirements of your seminars.
  • Ways to frame questions and to organize responses so that both you and the reader can follow and benefit from your thinking.

1.5. Reading, Retention and Recall

  • Read quickly to sift through broad domains of material
  • Retain and recall what you’ve read:
     Citation Managers.
     Create an Annotated Bibliography.

1.6. Case Learning

How to Prepare a Case

1.7. Basic Numeracy

A very basic Introduction to Statistics

1.8. Presentation Basics

How To Present a Course Project

1.9. Critical Thinking

  • evaluating materials
  • questioning
  • analysis

2: Knowledge and Research

2.1. Epistemology and the Work of the University

  • How do we know what (we think) we know?
  • The Work of the University
  • Knowledge creation
  • Applied research 

2.2. Library and Web Resources

  • Coming up to speed on current knowledge
  • Conducting a literature review
  • Using the "Deep Web"
  • Search techniques
  • Evaluating sources
  • Types of journals and journal articles
  • Primary sources and secondary sources

2.3 A Research Primer

“The whole of science is nothing more than the refinement of everyday thinking.” --Albert Einstein

  • The nature of scientific evidence
  • Types of data
  • how to use and present data
  • Validity and rigor
  • Assertions and support
  • Healthy skepticism

2.4. Types of Research

  • Experiments
  • Quasi-Experiments
  • Case Study Research
  • Surveys
  • Action Research
  • Misc Quantitative/Qualitative Research Methods

2.5. Quantitative Research Methods

2.6. Qualitative Research Methods

  • Interviews
  • Archival 
  • Observation
  • Ethnography
  • Grounded theory

2.7. Mixed Methods

  • Triangulation

3: Your Own Scholarship

3.1 Choosing a Topic

3.2 Developing a Question

3.4 Answering Your Question

  • Concepts and Indicators (Nomological Net)
  • Variables
  • Types of Relationships
  • Hypotheses
  • The Unit of Analysis

3.5. Obtaining and Analyzing Data

See Research Modules of Knowledge Track

  • The nature of scientific evidence
  • Types of data
  • how to use and present data

3.6. Formulating a Thesis

This is the value-added of knowledge work: What do your readers now know that they didn't know before?

Your thesis should be:

  • of identifiable importance,
  • non-obvious,
  • clear, precise, and throroughly considered
  • built upon clear main supporting points
  • well-informed
  • rigorously sound.

3.7. Organizing and Presenting your Work

  • Goals to consider in writing your paper
  • The structure of a paper, how to organize it.
  • Steps in writing a research paper
  • Context & Connection: A hook for your audience
  • The pyramid process: Using each section and each paragraph to support the main argument
  • The structure and function of sections and paragraphs
  • Understanding your paper from your reader's perspective Transitions between sections
  • Specifics to make your writing compelling
  • Graphical & Numerical Display
  • Closing: Discussion, conclusions, implications

3.8. Reaching out and Sharing your Work,

  • Professional associations
  • Blogging
  • Create a website
  • Traditional media
  • Social media



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