Syllabus for MKR-700

MARKETING RESEARCH


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Marketing Research examines the essential analysis skills required for making quality marketing decisions.  Developing a market research design demands necessary quantitative and qualitative abilities to identify and define market opportunities and issues; generate, improve, and assess marketing performance; monitor marketing performance; and advance understanding of marketing as a process. Students are required to select a contemporary marketing problem or opportunity, frame the issue into a research question, review the relevant literature, develop measures and collect pertinent data, statistically analyze data results, and provide an industry-standard final report of findings and limitations. 

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you will be able to:

 

  1. Define and describe the relationship between ethical marketing research and decision making.
  2. Explain the processes used in formulating and conducting marketing research projects.
  3. Incorporate marketing research language (vocabulary) as it is used by practitioners and business professionals.
  4. Identify a contemporary marketing research need and develop a corresponding marketing research strategy.
  5. Perform common qualitative and quantitative marketing research techniques; i.e., survey construction and data collection as well as fundamental quantitative and qualitative analysis.
  6. Present marketing research findings by preparing an industry-standard APA-format report as well as articulating one’s research orally via presentation.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbooks

  1. Zikmund, W. G. & Babin, B.J.  (2013). Essentials of Marketing Research (5th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western/CENGAGE Learning.

ISBN: 978-1-133-19064-6

Technology Requirements

  1. System: A personal computer system with the ability to teleconference, i.e., a webcam, microphone, and speakers. Most systems can be easily upgraded using a modest webcam at a nominal price.
  2. Programs: Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint; specifically, Version 2007 or higher that enables the Review and Reference features of Word, Charting and Image capabilities of Excel, and Web integration features of PowerPoint.
  3. Skype account.  The student must create a course Skype account with a professional account name, e.g., MaryAnnSmith. The free account provides the necessary capabilities to successfully participate and present in this course. To establish a free Skype account, visit: Skype

COURSE STRUCTURE

Marketing Research is a three-credit online course, consisting of seven (7) modules. Modules include an overview (“The Mark of Quality Marketing Research”), topics, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Marketing Research as a Strategic Business Activity
  2. Module 2: Establishing Accurate, Unbiased, and Ethical Marketing Research Studies

  1. Module 3: Designing Research Studies

  1. Module 4: Implementing Marketing Research

  1. Module 5: Measurement

  1. Module 6: Sampling and Statistical Theory

  1. Module 7: Quantitative Analysis and Communicating Results

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in six (6) graded discussion forums and in two (2) synchronous events as well as to complete four (4) written assignments (one of which is a comprehensive midterm project). You are also required to complete a final project.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

This course requires you to participate in five (5) graded discussion forums. Discussion assignments allow interaction with the class. Since discussions are interactive, these activities enable intellectual exchange with one’s peers.

There is also an  ungraded but required introductions forum.

The Topic List area of the course includes several other  forums as well:

  1. The Class Lounge: The Class Lounge is an informal area devoted to casual conversation and issues that students care to share with their classmates. Rarely does a mentor read or post in the Lounge, since the space is reserved specifically for student social interactions. There is no assessment, evaluation, or grade associated with the Class Lounge.
  2. The Private Student-Mentor Forum:  You may post information here that you want to convey to your mentor but that you do not wish to share with the rest of the class. Messages posted here are viewable only by you and the course mentor.

Graded discussion board assignments are assessed on two bases: i.e., the original composition posting and peer interaction. Subject-specific directions are found within the modules. However there are certain common requirements for every posting:

  1. An original composition must be placed in its own thread.
  2. Peer replies must thread within the author’s post and should not be entered into conversation as a new thread.
  3. Unlike social network chatter, course discussions should emulate professional communication.
  4. The Discussion Forum message box is to be used when making any type of entry. Attachments may be included if they are images or serve as support materials. Do not attach your discussion board posting itself as a document.
  5. Postings must be articulate and clear; please proofread before posting.
  6. When asserting or making an argument, always employ respect and professional courtesy.

 

Consult the course Calendar concerning due dates. Student contributions, i.e., the original postings, are due first and peer responses are later in  that week or in the following week. This two-step submission process provides students with time to read all the contributions and then reply accordingly. Once the postings are graded, students may certainly continue to dialogue on the study topic; however, these entries will not affect or change a posted grade.

Discussion postings are graded based on a rubric, found in the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course site.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete four (4) written assignments. The written assignments require that you apply the concepts and theories to answer questions or analyze scenarios that are related to the topics covered in each module. Written assignments are emulations of professional documents. The goal of these compositions is to prepare students to write efficient and effective professional prose.

Citations

Professionals always give credit where credit is due, and this concept extends to ideas as well as precise wording. Within all managerial communications, citations serve this purpose. Thomas Edison State College requires that students format citations in either MLA or APA style. In business, APA is the more common format and the format you should use for assignments in this course. Examine the following examples of proper APA citation.

 

  1. Within Context—Paraphrase: In certain cases managers resist corporate edicts concerning company practices on the grounds of per­sonal ethics violations. A case in point would be pharmacists who refuse to administer drugs such as those used as birth control and artificial insemination. (Kelly, E., A. Ellis, & S. Rosenthal: 2011.)

 

  1. Within Context—Direct Quote: In certain cases managers resist corporate edicts concerning company practices on the grounds of per­sonal ethics violations. For example, Kelly, Ellis and Rosenthal (2011; p. 1.) report, “Advances in technology have resulted in medical procedures and practices that were unthought-of in previous generations. Embryonic stem cell research, abortifacients, birth control, and artificial insemina­tion are just a few examples of these technological advances. While many individuals readily em­brace such medical advances, others find them morally objectionable.”

 

  1. Endnote Entry:

Kelly, E., A. Ellis, and S. Rosenthal. "Crisis of Conscience: Pharmacist Refusal to Provide Health Care Services on Moral Grounds." Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal 23.1(2011): 37. ABI/INFORM Global,ProQuest. Web. 27 Jul. 2012.

 

Students can locate information about proper APA citation formatting online by conducting a Google search. Microsoft Word’s References Manager toolbar takes the labor out of creating a bibliography and in-text citations. Students who are unfamiliar with using Word’s Reference Manager should select one of the many online training tools that can be located on the Internet.

 

Requirements and Directions

Specific requirements and directions for each written assignment are found within the appropriate module. Students are encouraged to perform a cursory review of all modules at the start of the term.

 

 

 

Grading Rubric

Written assignment postings are graded based on a rubric, found in the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course site.

 

Submission

Students are to submit their written assignments by the due date specified in the directions. Assignments should never be emailed to the mentor; they should be submitted only through the course site.

Note: There is also a submission for the Research Proposal; you must submit your proposal for mentor review prior to your first Skype session. This submission does not have a specific grade weight but is required. Your grade for this submission is part of your research project overall grade as it is a necessary step in the process.

 

Synchronous Events

You are required to participate in two synchronous events during Module 2 and Module 7 of the semester. You will use Skype for these requirements. Before week 2, you must create a course Skype account with a professional account name, e.g., MaryAnnSmith (if you have not already done so). Your free account provides the necessary capabilities to successfully participate and present in this course. To establish a free Skype account, visit: Skype 

See the Module 2 and Module 7 areas of the course Web site for further details.

Final Project

The final project for Marketing Research allows the student to apply the concepts and theory learned during  the course within a comprehensive research study. This APA-formatted report must be properly researched and cited and must apply the research competencies learned within this course; e.g. problem definition, literature review, developing and applying a primary research instrument, gathering data and analyzing results; as well as interpreting the findings.

Students are required to select a research topic by the end of Module 1. The topic must be approved by the course mentor via a Skype discussion within Module 2. (Note: Once approved, the topic discussion serves as fulfillment of the oral presentation requirement.)

In addition to the written report, the students are required to produce a PowerPoint Presentation that includes images and graphics. Using Skype, students are to present an oral summary of their report in the last week of the course and engage in real-time discussion, thus explaining and defending their research strategies and results.

See the Final Project area of the course site for complete details regarding this assignment. The PowerPoint Presentation and the final project will be graded based on rubrics, found in the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course site.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Discussion forums (5)—25%
  2. Written assignments, excluding midterm assignment (3)—15%
  3. Midterm project assignment  (1)—15%
  4. Oral Presentations (Synchronous Events) via Skype (2)——15%
  1. Meeting to secure approval of  topic (5%)
  2. Summary of research and report: PowerPoint and written paper (10%)
  1. Final project—30%
  1. PowerPoint  presentation (10%)
  2. Final project written report (20%)

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

B–

=

80–82

A–

=

90–92

C+

=

78–79

B+

=

88–89

C

=

73–77

B

=

83–87

F

=

Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a non area of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted.

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
  2. Take time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
  4. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
  2. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or the College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.

Plagiarism

Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of the intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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