Syllabus – Business Research, Summer 2014
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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.

Course Management System, D2L (aka CourseDen)

 Scheduled CourseDen Maintenance

Please 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 (viahttps://westga.view.usg.edu) in the case that the MyUWG portal is down.  (Save it to your favorites/bookmarks.)

Intro to the Class

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.

Summer Course

Because this is a summer course, we will be covering 15 weeks' worth of material in just 4 weeks.  Do not expect the work to be "easier" or for assignments to be shortened or removed... You will be doing everything that students do in a fall or spring semester, in a much shorter period of time!  You will live and breathe Business Research during the month of July. :)  So, be prepared to work hard!

As long as you are organized and diligent about working on the course every single day, you'll be in good shape.

Course Info and Required Text

Course: Business Research Online, MKTG 3808 (N)

Instructor: Cheryl O’Meara Brown, MBA

Required Text:

MR 2, 2nd Edition

Students will have access to an Interactive eBook, Auto-Graded Quizzes, Flashcards, Games including crossword puzzles and beat the clock, PowerPoint Slides, Qualtrics/Excel video tutorials, MR video cases, data sets, and eLectures.

Summer 2014 Only: For $15 off the regular price, use the link below, which has been provided to me by our Cengage book representative: http://www.cengagebrain.com/micro/1-1R9FALD.  You'll get free access to the eBook while your hardcopy ships.

If you would like INSTANT access to the eBook (and no printed text): ISBN-10: 1285171977 | ISBN-13: 9781285171975

You will need to purchase the book online (directly from Cengage or from another reputable source).  To ensure you're purchasing a book with an unused "access code" (to the online resources), use this link:
http://www.cengagebrain.com/shop/en/US/storefront/US?cmd=CLHeaderSearch&fieldValue=9781133958413

Regardless of where you order the book from, you must make sure that you will receive it in time to complete the first module'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 (top, right of course home 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. Define the key terms and concepts in the business research process. (LG 4)

2. 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. Recognize 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. Conduct primary research, including creating a basic research design, utilizing sampling procedures, developing a data collection instrument, and collection, processing, analyzing and interpreting data. (LG 2)

6. Use statistical software to analyze and interpret the results (LG 3).

7. 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 and quizzes, as well as hands-on written assignments that are presented to you in Modules in the Content Browser.  Also, a very important part of this course is a research project, discussed on the next page of this syllabus.

Within each Module, you will be given the following:


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

More info on Assignments...

Written Assignments:

Your assignments 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 assignments, the higher your grade will be.

Discussion Posts

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, really put thought into both what THEY wrote, and how you would like to reply.  If they posted something that doesn't make sense to you or you think could be incorrect, tell them... You will help each other learn this way.  Also, if you agree or disagree with something they said, you should specify exactly what you agree/disagree with along with WHY.  In other words, you should elaborate and ask questions of one another.

Review the General Discussion Rubric to see specifically how your discussion posts will be graded.

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

Quizzes:

Quizzes will relate to the reading assignments for their respective chapters and will contain 20 multiple-choice and true/false questions. You will have 30 minutes per quiz and only oneattempt

The reason that you are only allowed 30 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.  

Note: there is also one Syllabus/Project Handout quiz due in the first Module, which has between 20 and 30 questions and a time limit of 30 minutes.

A note about quizzes: You may notice that you will not be able to review quizzes in their entirety after you have completed 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 assignments, discussions, quizzes and practice 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 written assignments and discussion posts will not be graded until after their due dates.

 

***Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped.***

***Also, non-project-related assignments and discussions will be grouped together, and the lowest grade will be dropped.***

 

You are expected to WORK ALONE on non-project-related assignments. Working on discussions, quizzes, assignments, etc. with a classmate or anyone else or on the Internet 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 grades 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.  

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. 3), I will show you a video of a sample focus group will give additional information about what you should do.  Therefore, it is critical that you follow along and keep up with the Modules throughout the semester and do not skip anything!  

In addition to providing project-related information within the Modules, copies will also be placed in the Semester Research Project folder for "one stop shopping." :)

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.

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.  Email is the best way to contact me during the summer. I will respond to e-mails Monday through Friday.  For the fastest reply, use cbrown@westga.edu but please indicate in the subject line which class you are in (or writing to me about).  You may also use the course Email within CourseDen, but since these messages do not come to my phone it may take slightly longer to reply.  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 probably reply with "it's in the syllabus."  I don't mean to be rude; I receive many many many emails and since the information is here in the syllabus, it saves a great deal of time not to re-type or locate/copy/paste what is already here.  

2. If you would like to schedule a face-to-face meeting or a phone call, I am happy to do so. Just send me a message and we will work it out.

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/

Technical Issues

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/.

 ---------

Unfortunately, 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.

Final Grade Calculation

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

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

Discussion Posts and Individual Assignments (5, lowest dropped) -------------------------32% total (8% each)

Quizzes (8, lowest dropped) ----------------------------------------21% total (3% each)

Research Proposal -----------------------------------------------------8%

Discussion Guide for exploratory research ------------------------------8%

Exploratory Research --------------------------------------------------8%

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/  andhttp://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 what they need to make on a particular assignment to get an A (or B, etc.) in the class.

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