Methods of knowing: tenacity, authority, priori, science; Research definitions and characteristics; Communication and other branches of social sciences; Major landmarks of communication research; Communication research in India.
Nature and scope of communication research; Research universals: data, concepts, constructs, variables; Types of variables: independent variables, dependent variables, extraneous variables, discrete variables and continuous variables; Levels of measurement- nominal, ordinal interval and ratio.
Research areas: source, message, channel, receivers and effects; Content analysis; Types of research: Qualitative and Quantitative research; Pure research and Applied research; Descriptive research, Exploratory research, Correlation research, Explanatory research; Historical research, Ex-post facto research, Experimental research
Steps in research process; Step 1: Arriving at a research problem; an idea/topic; concretising the idea and finalizing research problem; Considerations in problem selection: Interest, relevance, significance, and cost and time factors.Research process Step 2: Review of literature; Step 3: Formulating study objectives, research questions, hypothesis – research hypothesis and null hypothesis/alternative hypothesis; Research proposal
Research process- Step 4.1: Selecting a research design; Types of research designs; one -shot design, before-and-after design, longitudinal design; retrospective design, prospective design, retrospective-prospective design
Research process- Step 4.2: Experimental designs; Experimental design essentials: random assignment, manipulation of independent variables; Control group and experimental group; Types of experiments – Field experiments, Lab experiments; Types of experimental designs: Single group design, two group design, Solomon four-group design
Research process- Step 5.1: Population and samples; Sampling methods: Probability and probability sampling procedures – Simple random sampling, Stratified random sampling, Cluster sampling, Systematic sampling Research process- Step 5.2: Non-probability sampling methods: Convenience/accidental sample, Quota sampling, Snowball sampling, Mixed sampling methods; Characteristics of samples; Sample size adequacy; sampling error.
Research process- Step 6.1: Data collection methods for qualitative studies: In-depth analysis of documents; Observation of events, groups/communities; in-depth interviews; textual analysis/ qualitative content analysis, Research process- Step 6.2: Data collection methods for quantitative studies: Observations, Interviews and surveys; Quantitative data collection tools: Observation schedules, Interview schedules, Questionnaires; Types of questions; Consideration in framing questions.
Research process- Step 6.3: Scales: Thurstone scales, Guttman scale; Likert scale; Semantic Differential scale; Reliability and validity of measures, Research process- Step 6.4: Quantitative content analysis; Sample for content analysis; categorising the content; coding of content, Inter coder reliability/consistency.
Research process- Steps 7.1: Quantitative statistical analysis: Descriptive statistics- frequencies, percentages; simple and grouped frequency distribution; Graphic presentations – pie chart, bar graph, frequency polygons; Symmetrical and skewed distribution.
Research process- Steps 7.1: Measures of central tendencies: Mode, Median, Mean; Measures of variability: Range, Mean, Standard deviation.Research process- Steps 7.2: Normal curve and its properties; Sampling error, levels of significance, P value.
Research process- Steps 7.3: Inferential statistics – Parametric and non-Parametric statistics; Chi-square test; Student’s t-Test; Analysis of Variance; Basics of Factor Analysis.
Research process - Steps 7.4: Inferential statistics – Pearson and Spearman Correlation coefficient tests; Regression.
Research process - Steps 7.5: Statistical software usage procedure; data entry and data editing, analysis of data and interpretation of results output.
Research process- Steps 8: Reporting the findings; Thesis, Chapterization of thesis; Research reports; Research papers for publications; Footnotes, end notes; Reference styles –, APA, MLA Chicago; Harvard. Ethics in media research.