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MSU PRR 475 - Prr475

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PRR 475 Evaluation in Parks and Recreation Fall 1999PRR 475 Evaluation in Parks and RecreationFall 1999LECT: T-TH 9:10-10:00, Room 155 COMLAB: T 10:20-11:10 Room NR 5, OR 3:00-3:50 Room NR 51 hour per week extra in micro-labsMicro-Computer Labs for Selected Dates (TBA)INSTRUCTOR: Daniel J. Stynes131 Natural Resources (353-5190), E-mail [email protected] HOURS : M, W 11:00-1:00 or by appointment or drop inAssistants : Wen Chang ([email protected]) David Smyth ([email protected] edu)CLASS WEB PAGES:Stynes/Mahoney 1998: http://www.msu.edu/course/prr/475/web/47 5b.htm.Stynes 1996/99: http://www.m su.ed u/c ou rse/prr/475/Stynes/prr47 5DJS. htm lSee also PRR 844 web page 1999: http://www.msu .edu/ cou rs e/prr/844COURSE DESCRIPTION. Research & evaluation concepts, approaches, and methods. Applications of research and evaluation techniques in recreation management, marketing, planning and administration.INTRODUCTION TO COURSE. Recreation and tourism organizations increasingly rely on scientific methods to evaluate their performance and to provide a sound information base for making management, marketing and planning decisions. This course presents a systematic introduction to applied research and evaluation methods focusing on applications in the parks, recreation, leisure and tourism fields.Students are introduced to a variety of research and evaluation approaches: formal and informal, formative and summative, quantitative and qualitative, and using primary and secondary data. Examples will draw from community needs surveys, marketing audits, impact assessments, cost effectiveness analysis, importance performance analysis, focus groups, peer reviews, and evaluation by standards. We will discuss the common elements of these research and evaluation tools and illustrate how specific methods are applied in the park, recreation, and tourism fields.The course uses a lecture-lab model. Concepts and methods are introduced inthe lecture and then applied in the lab sessions, where students review research and evaluation studies and tackle practical problems. Exercises cover various steps in a research and evaluation study from problem definition through measurement, sampling, field procedures, data analysis, and reporting of results. A range of research and evaluation approaches are introduced including use of secondary data,surveys, observation, focus groups, and simple experimental designs. A secondary objective of the course is to help students build quantitative andanalytical skills, including the use and interpretation of tables, graphs, statistics, and simple mathematical models. In the microcomputer labs students practice basic spreadsheet skills (Excel) and apply them to evaluation problems. Spreadsheet graphing and database features are demonstrated. The SPSS PC package is used to illustrate survey data entry and analysis procedures. Students carry out descriptive analysis of a recent survey data set and perform simple hypothesis tests using SPSS.TEXTS:Monette, D.R., Sullivan, T.J., & DeJong, C.R. (1994). Applied Social Research. 3rd Edition. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace. (2nd edition adequate if you can find it).Coursepack of Applications, Outlines, and Micro-computer applications. Recommended: A paperback on how to use Excel 5.0.The course content may be divided into three broad topics, each comprising about a third of the course:(1) General research and evaluation concepts and methods -- an overview of evaluation techniques and scientific methods including survey, experimental,observational, and qualitative techniques. These are presented using examples of applications in recreation and tourism.(2) Community needs and recreation market surveys -- the design and execution of surveys for market research and program evaluation. Survey sampling, questionnaire design, field procedures, and data analysis are covered. (3) Quantitative analysis and computer applications. Basic mathematical and statistical concepts are reviewed, focusing on their use and interpretation in research and evaluation studies. Microcomputer-based spreadsheet and statistical software is introduced and applied to research and evaluation problems. PREREQUISITES: A statistics course. PRR majors should have completed PRR 300 level required courses, including PRR 370.COURSE OBJECTIVES1. Students will understand the nature and purposes of evaluation and research and be able to distinguish different approaches to evaluation andresearch in the park, recreation, and tourism fields.2. Students will be able to understand, evaluate and interpret research and evaluation studies, and apply the results to personal and professional decisions. 3. Students will be able to design and carry out simple evaluation and research studies to support management, administration, planning, programming, policy, and marketing decisions of recreation organizations.· develop measurable goals and objectives and evaluate performance toward achieving same.· apply professional standards and criteria· design studies to measure and evaluate the impacts or effects ofalternative programs or decisions.· design and conduct surveys and simple experiments4. Students will increase their quantitative and analytical skills and their proficiency with computer spreadsheet, database and statistical packages.COURSE REQUIREMENTS:A. Readings from texts and coursepack.B. Lab Exercises & PapersC. Final exam and two quizzes D. Class attendance & participationGRADING: Papers/exercises 33%, final exam 33%, quizzes 33% (16.5% each).LABS/EXERCISES: 1. Computer Literacy survey, introduction to labs. 2. Nominal group technique : exercise in identifying research problems, use of nominal group process.3. Research design for Riverfront Trail study: mini research proposal, identifying methods for gathering the needed information. Follow-up on previous week’s problems.4. Riverfront trail observation form: observation study to estimate use of Riverfront Trail. Explanation of observation study, training of observers.5. Spreadsheet exercises: practice and tutorials in spreadsheet basics- Excel in Microlabs6. Spreadsheet graphics exercises on use of spreadsheets to prepare graphs and charts. Database exercise on sorting, filtering, and pivot tables. In Microlab.7. Mini questionnaire design: designing a questionnaire for a small survey. Critique questionnaires & review samples. 8. HCMA Survey - review procedures & data, coding & cleaning of data,


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