Starting off the Semester with the Right Strategy for Success

Hello and welcome to EMGT 250!  This spring 2011 semester is designed to challenge you in several ways.  You’ll need to be organized (perhaps, more than usual).  Know, up front, that the syllabus is our contract.  You signed up for this class, right?  So, own it.  That means you’ll need to find time to 1) study weekly reading assignments (detailed in the syllabus), 2) learn how reading assignments + SPSS assignments + PowerPoint lessons apply to each Business Statistics Forum (there are six BSFs), and 3) link reading assignments +  PowerPoints to prepare for our course exams.  SPSS knowledge and skills will be assessed on BSF projects, not course exams. 
You’ll also need to take advantage of the many available resources to do well in the class.  On this blog alone, there are the following useful resources:
·     Latest BSF assignment (.pdf files)
·     Memo Board (Upper right side; keeps you up-to-date on all course changes) 
·     Latest SPSS database for BSFs (.sav files)
·     Weekly PowerPoints (.pdf files)
·     SPSS User’s Guides (.pdf files)
·     Instructional Polls (These are anonymous polls.  I cannot link a response to a student.  Our first poll ensures you understand the symbols <, +, >.  A fundamental use of the less than (<) symbol is found in hypothesis testing.  SPSS runs your equations, driven by your hypotheses, that generate no less than two essential pieces of information: the statistical outcome and its associated probability of occurrence.  For example, t=2.61, p<.05 is read “The probability of the t statistic’s outcome of 2.61 occurred among all potential t outcomes less than five percent of the time.  Because the t’s probability of occurrence is less than .05, we reject the null hypothesis of no difference in favor of the research hypothesis.  (Note: We convert the stated probability of .05 to a percent in this discussion.)
·     Statistical Workshop (All lessons reviewed slide-by-slide online)
·     Video Workshop (Step-by-Step "How to" SPSS lessons taught online)
·     Blog Archive (See what's already been discussed about the course)
In addition, come by my office after our class (office hours are 6:45-8:00 p.m.) to clarify your notes, get help with an SPSS assignment or just chat.  Bring a flash drive with your SPSS (.sav) and WORD (.doc) files containing the latest draft of a BSF assignment.  We’ll go from there.  I am at 427 Normal (across from the Kemp Library).  My campus phone number is 422-3349.

Finally, let me add that nearly all of our BSF assignments involve working in the SPSS environment, generating various (descriptive and inferential) statistical outcomes, including tables and charts and then exporting this output into a Microsoft WORD document.  Once in WORD, you will review and assess the statistical output in relation to your hypotheses and overall research objectives of the given BSF assignment.  Your knowledge and skill levels will increase as BSF assignments become more complex over time.  Once you have finalized your BSF and are ready to submit it, there's still one last step: convert your work into a .pdf file.

This is an industry standard procedure that preserves the report's structure, margins and graphics (tables, charts, etc.) exactly how you planned across all OS platforms.  This cannot be guaranteed if you send a WORD document to your audience.  Although, with the exception of the final exam/BSF, I do not have you submit a report via email (BSF numbers 1-5 are to be handed in as hard copies), I do offer the option to submit your work via email for me to review up to two days before the assignment is due.  Enter the role of .pdf files, as I do not accept any attachments other than .pdfs.  To convert a WORD document to .pdf, be sure you have the necessary .pdf conversion file installed in WORD 2007 or 2010.  If that's not working out for you, click HERE to go to the DOC2PDF website.  Scroll 
to the bottom of that webpage and follow their simple instructions.  The site generates a .pdf file (to save to your computer) for each WORD file you submit.

On the completion of this course, you should be able to add several research reports (BSFs) to your portfolio for potential employers to review.   The goal is to add value to your existing set of skills obtained through the Business Management program – in this case, it’s competence in SPSS (a powerful database manager, statistical package and graphics/report generator) and the confidence to inform your prospective employer that you know how to use it wisely in ways that can benefit his or her company.  You’ll have the evidence to back up your claim!

Have a great semester!
Professor Ziner


  1. Good Afternoon,
    I was just wondering if there was anything you would like us to do to prepare for Monday's class since our Wednesday class is cancelled. Thanks!

  2. Hi Maureen. Delighted to hear from you!

    I would review the assigned readings for this and next week (if you haven't already started them), download and review "Working with SPSS Data Files," "Weighing the Need for Business Research," and "Descriptive and Inferential Statistics" from this website. As you know, these are PowerPoints converted to .pdf files that I'll review in class next week. Also, be sure you've got access to SPSS, as I mentioned in class. Even knowing where an on-campus PC/SPSS lab is located will suffice.

    Of course, continue to email me with any questions about course-related material.

    Thanks for posting your question!

    Professor Ziner

  3. Good Afternoon,

    I was wondering if you would like us to send you a pdf format of our final draft of our BSF#1, since classes are cancelled today. I am not sure if you received my email, but for our BSF#2 it says it is due on March 9, but we are on spring break that week. Will you want us to send you a copy of that for hand in a hard copy on our last class before break. Thanks again!

    Maureen McKeon