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«REC 367, Fall 2013 Research and Evaluation in Recreation Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:35 – 1:50 39 Pulliam Hall Instructor Andrew Purrington Teaching ...»


REC 367, Fall 2013

Research and Evaluation in Recreation

Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:35 – 1:50

39 Pulliam Hall


Andrew Purrington

Teaching Assistant

Michael O’Connell

Course Overview

This course is an introduction to the process of research and evaluation, including

measurement, methods of data collection, research design, sampling, and analysis and reporting. During the course, emphasis will be placed on the conduct of research and evaluation on recreation, park, and tourism services. Students will learn to critically evaluate the conclusions in published research articles and apply the concepts of evaluation to a community recreation organization.

Course Rationale Everyone needs and uses information to make decisions. Today, much of the information we use, in both our personal and professional lives, is based on research or evaluation.

Professionally, it is now expected that administrators provide “factual evidence” to support programming or planning decisions and be able to document outcomes to agencies that fund recreation/leisure services. As a result, this class is an opportunity to learn and apply evidence-based problem-solving skills in order to enhance recreation programs and services as well as your own life.

Course Objectives Upon completion of this course, you should be able to…  Describe the basic process of research and the role of scientific research in management problem solving and decision-making (i.e., how science makes better management);

 Describe the basic components of scientific research, including concepts, variables, and the types of relationships that exist between variables;

 Describe and evaluate the measurement process as well as the various methods of data collection;

 Compare and contrast theories and hypotheses as well as describe the role of each in the research cycle;


 Understand the basic principles underlying sampling as well as evaluate samples and sampling methods;

 Develop and evaluate data collection instruments;

 Use computer software to analyze data;

 Evaluate and interpret data as well as published research findings;

 Effectively utilize the tools of communication, including technical writing, speech, and audio-visual techniques.

Course Text Henderson, K., & Bialeschki, M. (2010). Evaluation leisure services: Making enlightened decisions (3rd ed.). State College, PA: Venture Publishing.

Additional readings may be assigned throughout the semester at the Instructor’s discretion.

Course Policies and Expectations Attendance. Attendance in this course is mandatory. However, each student will be allowed three excused classes per semester (except for Exam dates). More than three absences will result in a significant reduction in your grade.

Professional Conduct. Each student should act professionally and respect his or her classmates. Behaviors that disrupt other students’ learning are not acceptable. Such behaviors include, but are not limited to, consistently arriving late for class, cell phone use (of any kind), reading non-course materials, or social conversation during class.

Each student should come to class prepared to participate in the day’s activities. Assigned readings must be completed prior to class in order to facilitate discussion. You are also expected to take notes on material covered in class lectures and discussions.

Assignments. All assignments should be prepared on the computer. No hand written assignments will be accepted. Work should be edited and free of grammatical errors. If students need help with writing skills they will be encouraged to student writing services.

All assignments must be submitted by the established due date. Grades for late assignments will be reduced by 10% per day (24 hours). Assignments submitted more than three days late will not be accepted without prior arrangement with the instructor.

You may have someone else turn in your assignments for you if you are not able to attend class. If you need to leave your assignment at the Recreation Office, make sure the person receiving it initials it and puts the time and the date received on it before the assignment is placed in the instructor’s mailbox. Do not slide the paper under the door of either the main office or the instructor’s office.

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Missing Class Material. Students are responsible for materials presented in class. If they miss class it is their responsibility to obtain any work missed. The instructor will not provide the student with copies of class presentations.

Assignments Exams.

There will be three exams in this course. Exams will cover the readings, lectures, and classroom exercises and discussions. While exams will primarily cover information presented since the previous exam, earlier material may also be included.

Article Critique.

Early in the semester I will have you find and evaluate a data-based article related to recreation.

Research Project.

As part of the course you will work with 3 to 5 other students to develop and conduct a research project. The project will consist of several smaller assignments, including Background and Purpose paper, a Lit Review, Results and Conclusions. These smaller assignments will culminate with a Final Report and Presentation.

Class Participation.

Attendance will be taken in each class. More than three absences will result in a significant reduction in your participation grade. In addition to attendance, in-class participation will be evaluated at the end of the semester and can contribute significantly to this portion of the grade. This portion of your grade is not a given, and you will be expected to earn your grade beyond just “showing up.” This means speaking in class, actively participating in class exercises, asking appropriate questions, and taking adequate notes during lectures.

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phase of their academic careers. Each student is expected to do his or her own work for course assignments and exams, unless noted by the instructor in writing. It is expected that all work handed in will be original. Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work as your own; if you use someone’s words or ideas, cite that person. Do not turn in assignments completed previously for other classes. Any student found cheating or plagiarizing may receive a failing grade for the course.

See also II.A. of the SIUC Student Conduct Code at http://www.policies.siuc.edu/policies/conduct.html

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Southern Illinois University Carbondale is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for study and work. Because some health and safety circumstances are beyond our control, we ask that you become familiar with the SIUC Emergency Response Plan and Building Emergency Response Team (BERT) program. Emergency response information is available on posters in buildings on campus, available on the BERT’s website at www.bert.siu.edu, Department of Public Safety’s website www.dps.siu.edu (disaster drop down) and in the Emergency Response Guidelines pamphlet. Know how to respond to each type of emergency.

Instructors will provide guidance and direction to students in the classroom in the event of an emergency affecting your location. It is important that you follow these instructions and stay with your instructor during an evacuation or sheltering emergency. The Building Emergency Response Team will provide assistance to your instructor in evacuating the building or sheltering within the facility.

The course schedule, content, and procedures are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor (if necessary). Changes will be announced in class and via email.

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Fall 2013 R.O’Rourke

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