MDIA6082 – Syllabus


MDIA 6082

Introduction to Research in Communication & Development


4 Credits

Fall 2017
Class Hashtag: #MDIA6082

                     Dr. Laeeq Khan

Class Meeting Days

Tuesday, Thursday


  307, Schoonover Center
Class Meeting Times

12:00 – 1:20 PM



Office Hrs: Wed 9:00 – 11:50 am

Class Meeting Place

RTV 253


 Course Description

This course is one of the core courses required for students in the Communication and Development Studies graduate program. It introduces students to essential principles associated with conducting graduate level research. The course covers critical elements of scholarly research in both quantitative and qualitative realms, and includes training students to find answers to questions through various established research techniques. Students are acquainted with the overall research projects through lectures, discussions, and scholarly readings. The course culminates with a research paper that is of publishable quality.

Over the semester, students will learn to implement a research idea, access scholarly research and write a literature review, be cognizant of ethical considerations in research, gather and analyze data and present their findings.


Course Objectives and Outcomes


  • To gain an understanding of research methods, concepts, techniques, and tools.
  • To understand methodological elements that help define Communication for Development as an academic and professional field.
  • Write properly conceived research papers that are based on sound research designs.


Teaching Philosophy

]My approach to teaching reflects my experiences with my own teachers and mentors, as well as my belief that classrooms provide unique sites to explore emerging ideas. Students need to be engaged learners. I subscribe to the Japanese concept of Kaizen or “continuous improvement”. Students can achieve their personal and professional best if they continue to make small changes every day, ultimately leading to substantial positive impacts overtime. The process of continuous improvement demands that students reflect upon their daily routines.




In general, students are expected:

  • To arrive at class on time;
  • To be present during the duration of class;
  • To be respectful to instructors, others students, and guests; and,
  • To complete and submit original work by given deadlines.


Students are expected to attend every class and come to class on time; unless they cannot do so for a legitimate reason (i.e., illness or pre-arranged absence) and with proper documentation.


Students are expected to complete all assigned readings before coming to class. Please note that some of the in-class participation activities test knowledge of the readings / lecture for that week. Students are required to submit their assignments according to the deadlines announced by the instructor.


Participation is important in this course. Every student is expected to take part in class discussions. In class, students are expected to pay attention to lectures and interact with the instructor. Additionally, side conversations among students, unless structured within the lecture, are not permitted. Such conversations distract both the instructor and students. In cases when a student or a group of students engage in such behavior, they will be asked to leave.


  • Missed assignment will result in a zero.
  • Disability accommodations: Bring documentation.
  • Inform me at least a week in advance regarding religious holidays.
  • Alert me ASAP if you see or experience harassment or bigotry.
  • Attendance is mandatory.


  • The use of computers and electronic devices (including smart phones) is prohibited in this course. Students should NOT use class time to check their emails, visit their online social networks (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.), use instant messaging services, etc.
  • Make sure to turn off or silence your phone before coming to class.


No make-up assignments or exams will be given unless for a legitimate reason. Legitimate reasons are limited to personal illness, death of a family member, and the like. In such cases, the student is responsible to inform the instructor (at a reasonable time before the quiz/exam) and provide the appropriate documentation.


Going on a family trip, attending a wedding, a conflict with work schedule, leaving early for Spring Break, having a family vacation booked before the semester started, and any other personal matter are NOT considered legitimate reasons for missing assignments, activities, or exams, and thereby, do not qualify for a make-up.



I have a very strict policy regarding academic honesty (please refer to Ohio University’s Student Code of Conduct ( Academic dishonesty “includes, but is not limited to:

  • cheating
  • plagiarism
  • un-permitted collaboration
  • forged attendance (when attendance is required)
  • fabrication (e.g., use of invented information or falsification of research or other findings)
  • using advantages not approved by the instructor (e.g., unauthorized review of a copy of an exam ahead of time)
  • knowingly permitting another student to plagiarize or cheat from one’s work
  • submitting the same assignment in different courses without consent of the instructor.”


Please ask if you are not clear about plagiarism. It is a serious offense. Failure to comply with university policies in this regard would result in a failing grade in this course. Refer to the following link for details:


Course Format and Procedures

Course contents may be updated periodically to reflect the best and most up-to-date industry developments.

Course Requirements:

There is a required textbook for this course. However, if you are not able to acquire the textbook, readings will be available on Blackboard website. Please note that there will be required readings for each class. Every student is expected to come to class having read the required readings. If you do not do the required readings, you may lag behind in understanding important concepts in this course.

Required Textbook:


Grading Scheme


The overall course grade will be based on students’ achievements in the following areas:

Research Article Analysis & Presentation (RAAP) 150 15%
Mid-Term Exam 100 10%
Quizzes 50 5%
Final Project: 600 60%
       Proposal [50]
       IRB [50]
       Introduction [50]
       Literature Review [200]
       Method [50]
       Results & Discussion (Due with final report) [200]
Final Project Presentation 100 10%
TOTAL 1000 100%
    • Research Article Analysis & Presentation

    Each student will participate in individual research article analysis and discussion. Students would need to choose one article from a provided list and prepare that article for presentation in class on a chosen date. Student presenting an article will lead the discussion and provide brief handouts for other students in class.

    • Final Project and Presentation

    Students will work in groups of 5 (or more) on a final project for the course. The final project will entail a 15-20-pages (APA format) report about a topic of your choosing, in addition to a 10-minute presentation (presentation slides).

    The purpose of the final project is to apply the knowledge learned throughout the semester to solving a practical problem applying communication research methods. There are various portions of the project throughout the semester. Students are required to submit work on time in order to successfully complete the overall project.