Family or Marriage Theory

There are so many things around us that it can be difficult to focus on just one for a research project. Here are a few things to think about to find yours. First, we are in a sociology class, so your topic has to be sociological in nature. Wondering if a new diet helps people lose weight, for instance, wouldn’t work. Instead, think back on some of the topics you covered in other sociology classes (Intro, Marriage and the Family, Theory, etc.). Was there something in there that sparked your interest? You can also build on previous research that you have completed for a former class in the program or closely related field.

Second, this project will be the focus of your discussions for the next eight weeks.  It is highly recommended that you choose something that is of interest to you and can keep your attention for that long.

Third, we will be using General Social Survey (GSS) 2012 data set for Weekly Discussions, Assignment 1 and the Final Portfolio. You should NOT collect your own data. All variables and data are required to be from GSS 2012 data set. To know more about GSS, you may visit its main website by clicking here.  You can find GSS variables online via GSS Data Explorer (https://gssdataexplorer.norc.org/). Make good use of the screenshot attachment at the end of the grading rubrics to search relevant variables for your project.

The point of the discussion is that other students will ask you questions or make suggestions that may help you define your project better. Your instructor will also interact with each of you individually in this module and the next to help you refine your topic. Which means, remember to check your thread regularly!

As you present your topic in this discussion, think about how you would study it.  What is your research question and your theory behind it?  What variables can you use to measure correlations that are connected to your research question?  In your original post, tell the class what your topic is, phrasing it as a research question. Your research question should preferably be more general and open-ended than a hypothesis. Then, identify variables which you have found in the GSS 2012 dataset. Be sure to identify the variable name AND the question asked in the survey. See screenshots tutorial for more details. Wrap up by explaining why you chose these variables for your project and why you think there is a correlation or a relationship.

In your replies to at least two posts from your classmates, think critically about what they are trying to do with their project, and offer them constructive feedback. This can be asking for clarification about their proposed topic; suggesting a direction for their research; suggesting sources they may want to check; or contributing your personal experience about this topic.

In your Week 1 “Choose a topic” initial posting, please list everything in the following list:

1. Describe what your topic is, phrasing it as a research question. Please note:

a. the topic has to be sociology in nature;

b. your research question should preferably be more general and open-ended than a hypothesis; (it is not a hypothesis, not yet);

2. Identify variables (one DV, at least one IV) which you have found in the GSS dataset.

a. identify variable names; for example, “childs” is a variable name. It stands for “Number of children.”

b. identify the question related to this variable that was asked in the survey (in verbatim). For example, GSS survey question for variable “childs” is as follows (in verbatim):

How many children have you ever had? Please count all that were born alive at any time (including any you had from a previous marriage).

3. Explain why you chose these variables for your project;

4. Explain why you think there is a correlation or a relationship.

Reiteration: we will be using the 2012 data set for our project. All variables in your project HAVE to come from this 2012 data set. If you cannot find your variables of interest, revise your project in order to work with the 2012 data.

If you need step-by-step tutorial, please download the screenshots attached at the bottom of the page (after grading rubrics) for details.

Points

Exemplary (100%)

Accomplished (85%)

Developing (75%)

Beginning (65%)

Not Participating (0%)

Demonstrates comprehension of course materials and applies statistical skills.

7

Initial post demonstrates rich comprehension of course materials.  All Forum questions are fully and accurately answered.  Detailed use of terminology or examples learned in class.  If post includes opinion, it is supported with evaluated evidence.

If required, complete and correct statistical output is provided.

Initial post demonstrates clear comprehension of course materials.  All Forum questions are fully and accurately answered.  Use of terminology or examples learned in class. If post includes opinion, it is supported with evaluated evidence.

If required, complete and correct statistical output is provided.

Initial post demonstrates some comprehension of course materials.  Most Forum questions are fully and accurately answered.  Specific terminology or examples learned in class may be incorrect or incomplete.  Post may include some opinion without evaluated evidence.

If required, statistical output is provided but it may not be complete or correct.

Initial post does not demonstrate comprehension of course materials.  Some Forum questions are not answered and some answers are incorrect. Specific terminology or examples learned in class are not included.  Post is opinion based without evaluated evidence.

If required, statistical output is provided but it may not be complete or correct.

No posting, post is off topic, post does not meet minimum criteria for demonstrating beginning level of comprehension. Some Forum questions are not answered and some answers are incorrect.  Post may be plagiarized, or use a high percentage of quotes that prevent demonstration of student’s comprehension.

When required, statistical output is not included.

Active Forum Engagement and Presence

 3

Learner posts 4+ different days in the learning week.

Replies to at least one response from a classmate or instructor on the learner’s initial post to demonstrate the learner is reading and considering classmate responses to their ideas.

Posts two or more 100+ word responses to initial posts of classmates.  Posts motivate group discussion and contributes to the learning community.

Learner posts 3 different days in the learning week.

Posts two responses to initial post of classmate.Only one meets 100+ word requirement.

Posts motivate group discussion and contribute to the learning community.

Learner posts 2 different days in the learning week.

Posts two responses to initial post of classmate.Both responses <100 words.

Post motivates group discussion and contributes to the learning community.

Learner posts 1 day in the learning week.

Posts one 100+ word response to initial post of classmate.

Post does not clearly motivate group discussion or clearly contribute to the learning community.

Learner posts 1 day in the learning week, or posts are not made during the learning week and therefore do not contribute to or enrich the weekly conversation.

No peer responses are made.  One or more peer responses of low quality (“good job, I agree”) may be made.

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