Student Projects

Research Methods

Research Methods in Communication

An examination of various communication research and evaluation methods and their theoretical underpinnings. Includes study of quantitative and qualitative paradigms and methods such as experimentation, statistical analysis, interview and survey techniques, participant observation, and ethnography. Emphasis on critical examination of research reports and on basic techniques of applied research.

Examples of class projects by prior students are listed below according to general categories. The bracketed information outlines the research method utilized.


  • Teacher behaviors [Observed behaviors and consequences]
  • Attitudes of teachers toward computers in the classroom [Survey]
  • Female class participation [Survey of undergrad women]
  • Field test of Cornell University safety class [Formative evaluation]


  • Methods of message transmission through communication media [Qualitative case study of a faculty group]
  • Can different usage of nonverbal communication be identified with divergent target audiences: a nod’s as good as a wink to a blind man.[Video shown and questions asked]
  • Communication methods used by Doctors [Survey of Doctors]
  • Patient compliance and therapist communication [Observed clinical interactions; surveyed compliance]


  • The ways online resources affect the process of teaching in the classroom [survey & artifact analysis]
  • Perceptions regarding video-assisted learning [Survey of undergraduate and graduate students]
  • Feasibility of distance learning (i.e. web-based training and teleconferencing) [Survey of Ithaca College alums]
  • Reasons for withdrawal from distance learning courses [Telephone interviews and surveys]

Information Technology:

  • Privacy concerns of online streaming music services such as Spotify [survey]
  • Customer preferences for technical support resources [survey & organizational focus group]
  • Ithaca College Students’ perceptions regarding technology [Survey]
  • Experience with learning to use the Internet [A first-person qualitative study]
  • Assessing web usage and the correspondence between personal characteristics and perceived risks [Survey]
  • The relationship of demographics to the usage and perceptions of electronic mail [Survey]
  • Test of tolerance for spam [Sent e-mail spam, counted and examined replies] 

International Students:

  • International students’ perceptions of corporate America [Survey]
  • A survey of international and United State’s students’ use of computer technologies: A comparison in familiarity levels
  • Academic choices and determining factors of Chinese students and scholars at Cornell University[Survey/interview]
  • Reasons for Korean students to return to Korea versus staying in the United States [Survey]
  • International students’ success in culture of United States [Survey]
  • Cross-cultural transition of Asian students to United States [Survey of factors seen as important, difficult]


  • Social media presence connection to financial performance for organizations [secondary sources research]
  • Comparing perceptions of undergraduate and graduate experience through brand personality and loyalty [focus group] Product placement in motion pictures [Video shown to subjects; questions asked]
  • The effectiveness of college recruitment brochures on the application response and enrollment of African American students [Gathered and studied brochures from colleges]
  • Sports logo [Survey to determine preferences]
  • Awareness of product placement [Videos shown followed by questionnaire]


  • Measuring a means of success: A study of Ithaca College Corporate Communication Graduate Program Outcomes [Survey and interviews of alumni]
  • Student-athletes level of awareness of support services [Surveyed athletes at a college]
  • The impact of training on recognizing emotion through facial expression.[Study of non-verbal communication: showed pictures of faces – 6 expressions and studied if training on recognition made any difference.]
  • A content analysis of country music videos
  • Can we talk? A focus group research project [Focus group with the staff of a newspaper]
  • Physical access to the Ithaca College campus for students with disabilities [Survey and observations]
  • Ithaca College students’ perceptions on how to lose and gain weight [Survey]
  • Using the WWW as a job search tool [Survey]
  • Electronic Data Interchange and corporate environment for physicians [Secondary research]
  • Struggles of women in academia [Qualitative interviews of women faculty members at two schools]
  • Revitalization efforts in Binghamton: attitudes, preferences, opportunities, etc.[Focus groups, interviews]
  • Evaluation of “World Class Training” program [Formative evaluation]
  • An evaluation of educational initiatives in United States corporations [Survey via email]
  • Views of Ithaca College diversity by Ithaca College faculty and staff of color [Interviews]
  • Differences in emotional associations of color by sex [Online survey ] 


  • On explicative illustrations in instructional text [Passages of text with accompanying illustrations; test to see if illustrations assist or diminish learning]
  • GRE methods: Attitudes toward computer use [Interviews with test takers]
  • Relationship of student leadership to activity as alumni [Survey]
  • Ithaca College students’ attitudes towards business networking web sites [Survey]
  • Services for students with learning disabilities [Survey]
  • Persistence and challenges of first-generation, first-year students [Survey and interviews]


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