urp331 logo California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
URP 331/ URP 331L Research Design for Planning
Fall 2012
Dr. Gwen Urey, Professor, Urban and Regional Planning
email: gurey@csupomona.edu and phone: (909) 869-2725
Office hours: Monday: 3:30-5:30 pm Tuesday: 8:30 am - 9 am, 10:45-11:45 a.m. Thursday: 2:15-3:45 pm in 7-204
  1. CATALOG DESCRIPTION:  Quantitative methods in the context of planning and decision-making. Review of probability and descriptive statistics. Types and sources of basic planning data. Collection and organization of data in tables graphs and figures. Analysis and interpretation of quantitative information. Concurrent enrollment in 331 and 331L required. Prerequisites: URP 102, URP 120 and completion of GE Math requirement.

    URP 331 (CRN 70136) meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in 7-203. URP 331L has two sections, with meeting times and locations as follows. The sections will occasionally meet in an alternative setting, as needed by the lab project:
    Section & Instructor CRN Day Time Room
    1-Rick Zimmer 70137 12:00 PM–2:50 PM M 7-214
    2-Rick Zimmer 70138 12:00 PM–2:50 PM W 7-215

  2. EXPECTED OUTCOMES: On successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
    1. Competently apply basic principles of probability and descriptive statistics.
    2. Understand the role of quantitative methods and data analysis in urban planning activities.
    3. Communicate the meaning of data to a lay audience in oral, written, and graphic modes.
    4. Employ computers in quantitative analysis.
    5. Work collaboratively with others as part of a team.
    6. Appreciate and participate meaningfully in community-based research as a form of community service.

    1. Attendance at all lectures and assigned lab sessions. Be aware that class activities will involve field research
    2. Timely completion and submission of all laboratory projects. Late lab assignments will not be accepted unless specifically and individually allowed by the laboratory instructor.
    3. Timely completion and submission of weekly homework assignments based on the text and lecture material. Assignments will be distributed each Thursday and will be due the following Thursday at the beginning of class. Each assignment may consist of two parts--a part that must be submitted online using the Bb "drop box" and /or a Bb Quiz, and another part that must be submitted as hard copy. The assignments will clearly specify which portion should be submitted online, which in hard copy. Late assignments will receive no credit. Assignments submitted after the beginning of class on the day they are due will be considered late. Bring two copies of your homework to class on the due date; we will go over it in class that day. Absolutely do not email or fax assignments unless specifically requested to do so. Unsolicited emailed or faxed assignments will not be acknowledged.
    4. Students will work in teams to complete assignments and class activities throughout the quarter.
    5. URP 331/L is designated as a service-learning course. Service will be provided to a campus or local community by the class as a whole, in the course of doing field research. Most of this will occur during the lab, but certain aspects--especially activities relating to reflecting on your experience within the community--may be associated with the lecture portion of the class. A commitment to serving the community is a core value in planning and is also a value articulated at the institutional level by both Cal Poly Pomona and the California State University . Thus the lab activity involves "learning by doing" as a way to learn about service and as a way to learn about conducting research.

    Two examinations will be given, the first on 23 and 25 October and the second on 4 December. Each will cover 5 weeks of material and each will count for 15 percent of the final grade. Students may use books, class notes, and calculators during each exam.

    One text is required: Daniel F. Chambliss and Russell K. Schutt's Making sense of the social world 4th ed. (2012). It may be purchased at Bronco Bookstore. Additional materials and data will be made available as photocopies and when possible, on the web.

    The class website will be managed through "Blackboard." Students must use their Cal Poly USERIDs to log into Blackboard. See the Blackboard page for further instruction and for information about Blackboard workshops for students. Log on to the Blackboard web page at Cal Poly Pomona at: blackboard.csupomona.edu. During specified hours of the early morning, Blackboard may be down for maintenance. Consult the log-in page to see if this is the case. When Blackboard is down, you cannot take quizzes or submit assignments. Please plan accordingly. For assistance in getting access to your Blackboard account, visit the I&IT help desk in Building 1:100. Their office hours are Monday through Thursday: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM and Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (excluding state holidays).

    Students will be expected to have access to computers in their homes or in University labs; word-processing and spreadsheet software will be used, and access to the world wide web will be required at times. Students will need simple calculators--they must have a square root function. Students should have an email account, either through the University (free) or a private provider. Responses to questions about current homework that are posed via email will be posted on the class web page (anonymously).

    10 % Class attendance and participation
    35 % Laboratory projects and field work (Lab instructors may modify assignment details and percentages, but in any case, labs will total to 35% of your grade)

    25 % Weekly homework assignments (eight, each 3.125 %--roughly half online, half hard copy)
    30 % Examinations (two, each 15 %)
    Total 100 %

  9. Be aware of University guidelines regarding academic integrity ("Student Conduct and Discipline" section of the 2012-13 University Catalog): All forms of academic dishonesty at Cal Poly are a violation of University policy and will be considered a serious offense. That is, violations will be referred to the Office of Judicial Affairs and will result in failing grades on the assignment in question. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:
    1. "Plagiarism, falsification, fabrication is intentionally or knowingly presenting words, ideas or work of others as one’s own work.. . . .
    2. Cheating during exams. . .
    3. Use of unauthorized study aids . . .
    4. Falsifying any University document--this includes . . .falsifying prerequisite requirements."
    5. Falsification and fabrication also includes making stuff up and presenting it as authentic observation of phenomena, as research involving data.

    Students with special needs of which the instructor should be aware should register with the Disability Resource Center and advise the instructor as soon as possible.

  11. COURSE OUTLINE: Schedule of activities


    Topic and assigned reading



    Introduction to Research Methods
    Chapter 1

    20 Sept. Assignment 1 out


    Introduction to Research Methods and the ethics of research
    Chapter 2-3

    27 Sept. Assignment 1 in, Assignment 2 out.


    Conceptualization and Measurement
    Chapter 4

    4 Oct. Assignment 2 in, Assignment 3 out.


    Survey research
    Chapter 7

    11 Oct. Assignment 3 in, Assignment 4 out.


    Chapter 5
    18 Oct. Assignment 4 in, Assignment 5 out (A5 is due the week after the midterm)


    MIDTERM exam, 23 & 25 Oct.



    Causation and Experimental Research Design
    Chapter 6

    1 Nov. Assignment 5 in, Assignment 6 out.


    Data Analysis
    Chapter 8

    8 Nov. Assignment 6 in, Assignment 7 out.


    Reporting Research Results
    Chapter 12

    Lecture does not meet on Tuesday, 6 Nov because of the URP 101 field trip.

    15 Nov. Assignment 7 in, Assignment 8 out. (A85 is due the week after Thanksgiving on TUESDAY 11/27)


    Qualitative Methods Chapter 9-10
    Lecture does not meet on 22 Nov.


    Wrap up and Review

    27 Nov. Assignment 8 in--note this is TUESDAY


    FINAL exam Tuesday, 4 December 9:10-11:10 a.m. In addition, students will be expected to attend the lab final presentation from 11:30 a.m-1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 5 December.