Welcome to Business Research Online!

My name is Cheryl O'Meara Brown and I am very glad to have you in my class.  (Please read the "Welcome" News item on the course home page for some info about me.)

Please read this syllabus very carefully, as it is a substitute for the first class meeting -- it contains all of the important information that you need to know for this class.

You also need to review the course schedule and make note of the important deadlines for assignments and exams.  I recommend printing the course schedule out for easy reference throughout the semester as a back-up to the CourseDen calendar and/or any other electronic calendars you use.

Note: If you would like to save this syllabus as one document (or to print it out as one document), use this link

 Course Management System, D2L (aka CourseDen)

UWG uses Desire2Learn (D2L) for our learning management system, a.k.a. CourseDen.

There are helpful tutorials for D2L provided in the "Help" tab at the top of the screen.   

If you need assistance with D2L at any time during the semester, please don't hesitate to contact the UWG Online crew -- they are fantastic.  Their contact information can also be found in the "Help" tab.  Their website includes accessibility information for disabled students.

Intro to the Class

A Warning:  Business Research is a tough class.  Taking it online makes it even harder.  I do not tell you this to scare you away; I simply want you to be aware of what's in store for you this semester.

Online classes are great in that they allow you to work on them at your convenience, which is especially helpful to those who have busy work schedules and family lives. Sometimes, however, students will take an online class assuming that it will be “easier.” You will not find that to be true for this class!  (In fact, most students say that it is much harder.)

In a traditional (in-class) class, students have the option of taking a relatively passive approach to learning, simply going to class and listening to lectures (receiving the information). In an online class, though, students must actively take it upon themselves to learn. They must take the initiative to read the material and do the assignments without any outside encouragement.

Additionally, in a traditional class, you are expected to spend 3 hours per week IN class and another 6 hours per week outside of class (total of 9 hours per week per course). The same amount of time is expected of you in an online class, which many students fail to realize. 

If you are willing to take this class just as seriously as you would a traditional class and you are organized and self-directed, you will absolutely do well in this class. If you are not sure, please read this syllabus carefully and decide for yourself whether you would rather take a traditional class or remain with the online version.

I look forward to a busy and productive semester!

Course Info and Required Text

Course: Business Research Online, MKTG 3808

Instructor: Cheryl O’Meara Brown, MBA

Required Materials:

1. Business Research Methods, Ninth Edition, South-Western, by Zikmund, Babin, Carr, Griffin. ISBN-10: 1-4390-8067-4.  ISBN-13: 978-1-4390-8067-2.

Note: The previous edition of the book MAY suffice, but I cannot guarantee that it will have everything you need for the quizzes, exams, etc.  (You can access the 8th edition here, possibly for a limited time: http://www.cengage.com/marketing/book_content/1439080674_zikmund/book/ch01.pdf. You simply need to change the chapter number in the URL to access other chapters (change "ch01" to "ch02" etc.))

If desired, you may purchase an electronic version of the book ("e-book").

2. You will also be required to use SPSS, which is a computer program used for statistical analysis.  SPSS is available (for free) in the Richards College of Business computer labs.  If you are unable to use the RCOB labs for whatever reason, it is up to you to gain access to the program (whether purchasing an earlier version, a trial version, student version, etc.) and downloading it to your PC.  Your instructor will not be able to help you with this.

UWG Bookstore: http://www.bookstore.westga.edu/
If you opt to order your book online from an outside source (e.g. half.com), you must make sure that you will receive it in time to complete the first week's work.  No make-up work will be allowed.

Prerequisites: Enrollment in this course requires compliance with the College of Business Policy for Major Status and completion of CISM 2201 and ECON 3402 or MATH 2063.  You are expected to have a basic understanding of statistics for this course.

Online Academic Support and Student Resources:

There are multiple links to Academic Support, Counseling, the UWG Online Helpdesk and other resources on the course home page (bottom left corner of page).

Course Description: Research has become an important tool in the world of business today. It is increasingly being used to improve decision-making and formulate new strategies. This course aims to provide an understanding of the value and limitations of business research. Students will be introduced to some key research methods and design issues.

Course Objectives: Upon successfully completing the course, the student should be able to:

1. Have knowledge of the key terms and concepts in the business research process. (LG 4)

2. Be able to analyze business situations, and apply basic quantitative skills to solving business problems and developing effective strategies. (LG 2)

3. Recognize how diversity, ethical, global, and multicultural considerations affect the business research process and decision-making. (LG 5)

4. Have knowledge about a variety of secondary sources of information including online data banks, the Internet and the Web, and be able to collect and analyze relevant information from these sources (LG 3).

5. Have knowledge about primary research, including research design, sampling procedures, measurement issues, development of a data collection instrument, and data collection, processing, analyses and interpretation. (LG 2)

6. Be able to use the SPSS software to analyze and interpret the results (LG 3).

7. Be able to effectively communicate the results of a research project in a written paper. (LG 1)

Please review the following information at this link. It contains important material pertaining to your rights and responsibilities in this class.  Because these statements are updated as federal, state, university, and accreditation standards change, you should review the information each semester.

Course Format and Assignments

This course consists of reading assignments, discussion postings, quizzes and exams, which are presented to you in Modules and are due weekly.  All Modules are available in the Content Browser.  Also, a very important part of this course is a research project, discussed on the next page of this syllabus.

Each (non-exam) week, within each Module, you will be given the following:

A Checklist: Checklists let you know what's expected of you that week (for that Module). You should use the checklists to track your progress and mark off (check) the items that you've completed as you complete them.  (Using the checklists is a part of your final grade!)

Reading/Learning Assignments: Specific chapters are assigned (including Exhibits, charts, etc.) for you to read and study.

PowerPoint Slides: These have been created to highlight important topics and to use for taking notes while reading.

Quiz or Discussion PostingEvery week, you will be required to take a chapter quiz or participate in a discussion on the course Discussion Board (or a combination of these).

These quizzes and discussions are due by Friday at 10:00pm (Eastern time) during the week in which they are assigned (see Course Schedule for easy reference). If they are not turned in by 10:00pm on Friday, they will not be accepted and you will receive a zero. There are no exceptions to this rule.  

Note: CourseDen undergoes scheduled maintenance every other Friday starting at 10:00pm; see "Technical Problems" section of syllabus for more info.

Discussion Posts: Your posts (including responses to classmates’ postings when required) must be completed by the end of that week (Friday) by 10:00pm.

Your original discussion posts will be graded according to accuracy (regarding the topic specified), spelling and grammar, and level of effort.  You should elaborate, clarify, elucidate, and explain! The more effort you put into your posts, the higher your grade will be.

When replying to classmates’ original posts, you should say more than, “I agree, Sara” or “You are right, John.” You should specify exactly what you agree/disagree with along with WHY; i.e., you should elaborate and ask questions of one another.

In general, you can expect discussion grades to be posted within one week after their due dates. 

Quizzes: Quizzes will relate to the reading assignments for their respective chapters and will contain ten multiple-choice and true/false questions. You will have 20 minutes per quiz and only one attempt

The reason that you are only allowed 20 minutes is that you are expected to STUDY for the quiz as if it were a closed-book quiz; in other words, you will not have time to look up all of the answers, so you must study like you would for a regular, in-class (closed-book) quiz.  This will help to prepare you for the exams (info on exams coming up).

Quizzes must be completed by the end of the week that they are due (Friday at 10:00pm) and cannot be completed late. If you do not take the assigned quiz before it is due, you will receive a zero for that quiz; no exceptions.

Note: there is also one Syllabus/Project Handout quiz due the first week, which has between 30 and 35 questions and a time limit of 30 minutes.

A note about quizzes: You may notice that you will not be able to review your quizzes after you have completed them. This is to make it a little harder for the dishonest students (however few there are) to easily print them out and share them. However, if you would like to review a quiz, we can arrange (ahead of time) a date/time for you to do so in the Marketing Department.

All discussions and quizzes are open (available to be completed) up until their respective due dates at 10:00pm.  Therefore, you ARE ALLOWED to complete any material EARLY if you desire to do so. However, please be aware that discussion posts will not be graded until after their due dates.

 

Your lowest quiz grade and your lowest discussion grade will be dropped!

Repeating... All (non-project related) items are due by Friday at 10:00pm (Eastern time) during the week in which they are assigned (see Course Schedule for easy reference). If they are not turned in by 10:00pm on Friday, they will not be accepted and you will receive a zero. There are no exceptions to this rule. (Project-related assignments have different due dates throughout the semester; more information about this in the Semester Research Project folder.)

You are expected to WORK ALONE. Working on discussions, quizzes, exams, etc. with a classmate or anyone else IS CHEATING.

I understand that serious personal problems occur (deaths in family, storm damage, etc.). This (along with technical/computer problems) is why the lowest quiz grade and the lowest discussion grade are dropped.

Semester Research Project

A very important part of this class is the semester project in which you will conduct business research that will take you through the entire Research Process. All of the details for this project can be found within the Semester Research Project folder (located under Content Browser).  

Some information regarding project-related assignments will be located within the Modules as we progress throughout the semester.  For example, when we cover Qualitative Research in Module 3 (Ch. 7), I will show you a video of a sample focus group, and in Module 4 (when you're to begin working on your qualitative research for the project), I will give additional information about what you should do within that Module.  Therefore, it is critical that you follow along and keep up with the Modules throughout the semester and do not skip anything!

Although this course is mostly (95%) online, 5% of the class is NOT online.  The project will require face-to-face work with your group members and respondents (participants in your research).  Much of your group work can be done via e-mail and/or private discussion, but some will need to be done in person.  (Note that I'm only referring here to the face-to-face portion of your time; the project itself will take much more than 5% of your time in this class.)

It is critical that you find group members who have similar work habits and work/school schedules.  More information about the project and selecting a group is found in the Project Info folder.

Note: You are not required to work with a group.  You may complete the project alone if you'd like.  See project handout (inside the Semester Research Project folder) for details.

You will notice that all regular (non project-related) assignments are due on Fridays, and all project-related assignments are due on Wednesdays.  See Course Schedule, last page of syllabus. 

Exams

There will be two exams this semester: a mid-term and a final (see course schedule for dates).  You are allowed onlyone attempt for each exam.  Exams will be available all semester long, up until their respective due dates at 10:00pm.   

Each exam will contain 70 multiple-choice questions.  You will have a maximum of 1.5 hours (90 minutes).  Therefore, you may not have time to be flipping all over the book to find answers.  It is pertinent that you STUDY for the exams (as if it were closed-book) and use the book only as a back-up for quick referencing during the exams.

Two Notes about the Quiz and Exam Questions:

(1) Some questions will contain "all of the above" as a possible answer choice. For these questions, the “all of the above” choice MAY be in the first spot, the second spot, or the third spot, like this:

a. banana; b. all of the above; c. apple; d. orange

If this happens, you can assume that “all of the above” translates to “all of the other choices are correct.” 

(2) Occasionally an image will not appear (especially the statistical formula questions).  If this happens, make a guess and move on.  Then, AFTER the quiz/exam, let me know about it. 

There are no make-up exams, assignments or quizzes under any circumstances! If you miss an exam/assignment/quiz (even if you experience some type of technical or computer problem), you will receive a zero for that exam/assignment/quiz. 

You are expected to work alone on all exams (and all non-project-related assignments in this course).

OPTIONAL Comprehensive Exam:  There will be ONE optional comprehensive exam offered at the end of the semester (see Course Schedule, last page of syllabus) to replace your lowest exam or discussion grade.  This exam will cover all chapters and topics and will contain 100 multiple-choice questions.  It is located in Module 15 and will be available for a limited time (see Course Schedule); you will have two hours and only one attempt for this exam. 

The comprehensive exam is intended to help those who may experience some type of technical problem while taking/submitting an exam/discussion or those who missed an exam/discussion for some reason; however, if you are "borderline" at the end of the semester and would like to attempt to bring your grade up, you may also take the exam. (This exam can only help you; if you do worse on it than either of your regular exams, it will not count.) 

If you decide that you would like to take the optional exam, you may take it during the time specified on the Course Schedule.  After you've taken it, if you made a better grade than your regular exams, you must e-mail me letting me know that you completed it because I have to manually override your lowest exam grade with the optional exam grade.

Technical Problems, CourseDen Maintenance

Problems with CourseDen:

Should you encounter problems using CourseDen, please contact UWG|Online.  Their contact information can be found under the Help tab at the top of the page.

PAY ATTENTION to the scheduled maintenance days/times that are performed on a regular basis. (For example, CourseDen undergoes scheduled maintenance every other Friday starting at 10:00pm.) You need to avoid taking quizzes, turning in assignments, etc. during scheduled maintenance or else your work will be lost!  This is the reason assignments are due by 10pm on Fridays (rather than midnight).

The scheduled maintenance calendar can be found by clicking "Maintenance Schedule" at the TOP of the page.

You should also note that CourseDen can be accessed directly (via https://westga.view.usg.edu) in the case that the MyUWG portal is down.  (Save it to your favorites/bookmarks.)

Problems with Computers or Internet on Campus:

Should you encounter problems using any of the computers on campus and are unable to locate a lab assistant, please contact the ITS Helpdesk. Their website is: http://www.westga.edu/its/.

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There is nothing your instructor can do about technical problems you may encounter. When taking an online class, you must assume that some technical problems will occur, and plan accordingly when possible.  (E.g., you should not wait until until 9:00 PM on Friday to start a quiz; don't put off an assignment until the day it's due; do not purposely skip a quiz thinking that it will be your dropped grade; etc.)

Technical problems (along with serious personal issues) are why the lowest quiz grade and lowest discussion grade are dropped.

Class Announcements, Contacting the Instructor

Announcements: Any important course announcements from your instructor will be made via the News tool on the course home page. I recommend that you log in to the course often (at least once per day).

Contacting the Instructor/Office Hours:

1.  My office hours (office #2304 in the Marketing & Real Estate Department) this semester will be on Mondays and Wednesdays at the following times:
     9:00-11:00 a.m.
     1:50 p.m.-2:30 p.m. 

2.  Email. I will respond to e-mails Monday through Friday.  Either use the course Email within CourseDen, or use cbrown@westga.edu.  Please include in the subject line which class you are in (or writing to me about).  Most of the time, I will reply within a few hours.  Sometimes it may take a day or two (depending on the nature of the question).  I may or may not respond to e-mails on the weekend. 

Warning:If you ask a question that can be answered by reviewing the syllabus, I will not respond to your question! If you do not receive a reply from me within two business days (M-F), you can assume one of two things: (1) You have asked a question that is on the syllabus, or (2) I did not receive your e-mail and you should re-send your message.

Please feel free to contact me if you have a problem! Do not wait until the end of the semester (or until final grades have been posted) to discuss any difficulties that you might be having.

Note about e-mail courtesy: Remember that e-mailing is not texting and the use of good manners and proper grammar are important, to me AND your future boss!

Academic Honesty, ADA Statement

Academic Honesty: Students are expected to recognize and uphold standards of intellectual and academic integrity.  UWG, the RCOB and the Department of Marketing and Real Estate assume as a basic and minimum standard of conduct in academic matters that students be honest and that they present for credit only the results of their own efforts.  You are expected to work on assignments (other than group work), quizzes and exams (assessments) individuallyan act of academic dishonesty will result in a grade of zero for the assignment/assessment and is grounds for dismissal from the College of Business.

Note: I will be checking start/stop times on quizzes and exams, checking IP addresses for computers on which assessments are taken, comparing students' answers to questions, comparing written assignments, etc. looking for signs of cheating. 

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Office of Disability Services will help you understand your rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide you further assistance with requesting and arranging accommodations.

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability or chronic illness, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please notify your instructor using the course email system by the end of the second full week of class and attach a PDF copy of your SAR (Available from the Office of Disability Services).  http://www.westga.edu/~dserve/

Final Grade Calculation

All assignments are weighted according to the following scheme in the calculation of your final grade:

Using Checklists in Modules ------------------------------------------2%

Exams (2) ------------------------------------------------------------12% total (6% each)

Discussion Posts (7, lowest dropped) --------------------------------36% total (6% each)

Quizzes (11, lowest dropped) ----------------------------------------20% total (2% each)

Research Proposal -----------------------------------------------------3%

Discussion Guide for exploratory research ------------------------------3%

Exploratory Research --------------------------------------------------3%

Questionnaire -----------------------------------------------------------8%

Project Final Report ----------------------------------------------------13%

A = 90.0 and above 
B = 80.0 – 89.9 
C = 70.0 – 79.9 
D = 60.0 – 69.9 
F = 59.9 and below

I encourage you to be responsible for yourself and keep a spreadsheet with your grades and what each assignment/quiz/exam is worth so that you’ll know what your grade is – and what you need to make on various assignments to get your desired grade – throughout the semester. (There are also helpful websites and videos that you can use, such as http://www.conquercollege.com/gradecalc/  and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaNHV6W1p84 .)  I do not keep running averages of each student’s grade throughout the semester, and I am unable to respond to all students asking, for example, what they need to make on Exam 2 to get an A in the class.

And Finally

During the last week of the semester, I will receive countless emails from people who 
were taking a full load, working overtime, dealing with more important classes, had 
strep throat, lost a loved one, had jury duty, had internet troubles, went on a mission trip,
and a myriad of other reasons for missing/doing poorly on an assignment, and can I 
PLEASE accept their work late?? Unfortunately, my answer must be no. I simply cannot 
handle the chaos that would ensue if I began accepting late papers during the last week 
of the semester (or any point of the semester, for that matter). It is for all of the reasons 
above (and many others) that I allow early submissions of assignments, drop the lowest
assignment and quiz grades, and offer an optional final.

Likewise, I will receive many, many messages asking if I will add x number of points 
onto their grade to bump them up to an A, B, C, etc. You're welcome to send them, but I
probably won't reply! But I still love you!

Good luck! This will be a busy and challenging semester, but if you work hard I promise you'll do well and learn a great deal about business research.