Course Description

MMG508 Information Research and Technology
Students will apply the concept of "closing the digital divide" to gain the knowledge, skills and abilities to apply principles of information research to their academic, work and professional lives. Students will develop the ability to create a survey tool, conduct a web-based (online) study, collect and analyze data, research and select relevant information from professional electronic sources, create an effective paper and presentation.

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes


 Objectives of this course are:

·        Gain the knowledge, skills and abilities to apply principles of electronic/online based information research.

·        Gain ability to select the most reliable forms of electronically based information. 

·        Gain a foundational understanding of how to perform an online market/opinion research study. 

·        Learn core skills needed to design research questions, collect, manage, manipulate, and present data.

·        Learn how to use data to support management decisions.



Forms of Research

Market, Social and Opinion Research (important links) 


Marketing research may be described as the systematic and objective identification, collection, analysis, and dissemination of information for the purpose of assisting management in decision making related to the identification and solution of problems and opportunities in marketing a product or concept. Defining Market Analysis?

Conducting a Market Analysis

Social scientists employ a range of methods in order to analyze social
phenomena that can range from census survey data derived from millions of individuals, to the in-depth analysis of a single person. Social research uses classical sociology and statistics as the basis for research in disciplines including political science, and market research.

Opinion Research is based on public opinions of social and political matters. People in a sample are interviewed or reply to a questionnaire. The questions asked usually have a list of possible responses, and the responses are analyzed. The results are usually given as percentages of those expressing an opinion.


WEEK I. Assignments



1.  Formulate a hypothesis statement based on the digital divide case study we reviewed in class. A hypothesis can be looked at as an “assumption” or “guess” – eg. “The need for closing the digital divide among children in the United States is ignored and overlooked.”

2. You then take your hypothesis statement and perform a background (literature) search on the hypothesis. What does the literature say about your hypothesis (assumption/guess)? Use the reference book (Shaw) to guide your search. The college’s online reference library is also an excellent resource.   

3. You will create a survey or opinion poll with at least 5 questions based on your background search and understanding of your hypothesis. You want to get peoples understanding and or opinions within the framework of your hypothesis statement. You might find for example that “Among teachers surveyed in the city of Lawrence, 80% felt there was much a need for a $100 PC project in Lawrence as there is in the third world”. 
 This survey must use different forms of questions (eg categorical, rating, matrix ect.) and posted on as we did in class last weekend.




4. You will send out your survey to 20 respondents via WEB. Make sure your questions are appropriate for the people you intend to answer. For example (unless in an unusual situation) you would not target nurses to answer questions about housing policy issues. Public opinion questions MUST be phrased in a way that does not require special expertise in the subject!  Choose your questions and target response group LOGICALLY.
NOTE: The final paper will contain several components: Abstract, Intro, Hypothesis Statement, Background/Literature Search, Research Methods, Findings and Discussion. Refer to and/or do a google search on proper components of a research paper.

***** Goal is to have your surveys completed by 20 people to discuss outcomes in class on August 14th. **** 

About the Instructor

About the Instructor: Dr. Liza Molina is a graduate of Cornell and Harvard Universities. She established in 2000 which provides evaluation research and other forms of technical assistance to health, human service, arts, and educational organizations. This is her 8th year teaching at Cambridge College. She can be reached at 617-642-8281 10AM-7PM, or