RAM 201 Course Syllabus

RAM 201 – Sophomore Experience/Introduction to Research | CRN  | 1 Cr.   

Prerequisites: RAM 101

General Education

This class fulfills 1 credit of the Gen. Ed. Liberal Arts Elective requirement.

Catalog Course Description

This course will introduce sophomores to careers, research, and graduate study. Students will become familiar with what research entails as well as with entrepreneurship and leadership. Moreover, through personalized guidance, students will expand upon their individual “roadmaps to graduation and beyond,” with a focus on research and careers. By the conclusion of the course, students will identify the options for mentored research that are of greatest interest to them. Enrollment is restricted to sophomore students who are participants in the Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) program.  Prerequisite: RAM 101 (1,0)  Credits: 1.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to the use of library resources for research purposes
  • How to read and discuss scholarly research articles
  • Preparation for hands-on research – what it entails, the scientific method
  • Identification of research interests and preliminary matching to faculty research mentors
  • Introduction to scholarships and funded opportunities for off-campus research
  • Graduate/Professional School guidance and career exploration
  • Continued use of the RAM program “Digital Roadmap” advisement tool
  • Community Building for collaborative learning and support

Course Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Begin a focused exploration of research interests, career options, and advanced study
  • Search for, read, and discuss scholarly research articles
  • Identify research interests and faculty research mentors
  • Expand “Digital Roadmap” to include research interests, career or graduate school options
  • Identify and participate in co-curricular activities and organizations that align with interests and strengthen one’s learning and credentials                                    

Course Resources

Recommended Text

  • Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., Williams, J. M. (2008). The Craft of Research, 3rd Edition. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Web Resources

  • RAM website – edu/ramprogram
  • RAM Digital Roadmap
  • Videos shown in class

Grading in this class

  • CITI Certificate 10%
  • Participation 25%
  • Weekly Assignments 25%
  • Proposal Content and Poster Presentation 40%

Social Contract

Students will engage in the building of a “social contract” for classroom policies and expectations at the start of the course. A copy of the social contract will be posted to Blackboard after Week 1. The social contract will include information about classroom policies such as attendance, cell phone use, lateness, participation, and more. This contract may be revisited and evolve throughout the course. As such, this section of the syllabus is subject to change after Week 1.


All RAM scholars have access to the Digital Roadmap—an online platform for planning out coursework and other activities to work toward academic and career goals. There may be assignments built around the Roadmap, but students are encouraged to continue filling out their Roadmap as often as they wish.

Cancelation of Class

Weather and other campus-wide cancellations will be listed on the home page, Facebook and Twitter and you can also sign up for RAVE and SUNY Alert. Go to www.getrave.com and use your Farmingdale user ID and password to enter the site.  For SUNY-Alert, please visit the University Police web page at farmingdale.edu/university-police.

Any other class cancellations will be announced via Blackboard and sent to your Farmingdale e-mail.


Course materials are accessible on Blackboard. Although this is not an online course, students should check Blackboard regularly for communication and announcements from the instructor. It is College policy that instructors and students use the Farmingdale email system or the Blackboard email system to contact one another. As there are weekly assignments, it is expected that students access Blackboard at least once a week to view their assignments (under "Weekly Assignments") and download any necessary materials for completion by the given due date. If the instructor announces that a discussion from class will be continued on Blackboard, it is encouraged that students visit the "Discussion" section of Blackboard to participate. All grades will be posted in Grade Center on Blackboard.


The RAM Program encourages the use of technology to further the learning experience. Please remember that even when online (e.g., Blackboard, Roadmap, etc.), you are still in an academic setting. Refrain from using inflammatory and hurtful language and maintain the same standards of respect for your instructor and classmates that you would in a traditional classroom setting.

Copyright Statement:
Course material accessed from Blackboard or the Farmingdale website is for the exclusive use of students who are currently enrolled in the course. Content from these systems cannot be reused or distributed without written permission of the instructor and/or the copyright holder. Duplication of materials protected by copyright, without permission of the copyright holder is a violation of the Federal copyright law, as well as a violation of SUNY copyright policy.

Academic Honesty

Plagiarism is a serious academic and ethical violation that can result in serious disciplinary consequences. FSC’s policy on academic honesty reads: “Plagiarism is using someone else's thoughts or words and passing them off as your own original ideas. Academic classwork and writing constantly refers to the ideas and research of others who have contributed to your field of study. You will need to mention these established sources when you write your own papers, but you also need to distinguish between the ideas of others, and your own. Most plagiarism is unintentional, and results from students who are confused about how to refer to others' work. In general, you need to document your sources when:

  1. You use material quoted directly from another's work.
  2. You summarize or paraphrase material from another's work.
  3. You use an idea from a known and identifiable source.
  4. You use any fact or date that is NOT common knowledge and was found in another's work.”

It’s better to ask before you turn an assignment than to turn it in potentially plagiarized. Turning in plagiarized material will result in failure of that particular assignment and the potential to receive extra work in order to learn the proper method for giving credit to others’ work.

For details about what constitutes plagiarism, and FSC’s procedures for handling violations, go to: farmingdale.edu/library/plagiarism.shtml

Disability Services Center:

If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Disability Services Center, Roosevelt Hall, Room 151, or call 631-420-2411, or 420–2607 as soon as possible this semester. For more information on services provided by the university and for submission of documentation, visit farmingdale.edu/campuslife/studentsupportservices/supportservicesstudentsdisabilities

Student Code of Conduct

The President of the College and the Vice President for Student Affairs recognize the rights of designees including University Police, to enforce all regulations, policies, license agreements, laws and codes on campus. If any individual allegedly violates the laws, Student Code of Conduct or campus policies, a President’s designee will institute proceedings against the offender (s). For more information on the student code of conduct see page 38 in the Student Handbook. farmingdale.edu/campus-life/pdf/handbook_2011_2012.pdf

Campus Police


Week by week class outline

Find assignment materials on Blackboard. All assignments are due electronically (or on paper) by ___ on the due date described.



Topic/Student Learning Outcomes



Topic: Class Introduction / Why Research?

Assignments (Due Week 2):

a)    Update your Road Map

Write a reflection on the “37 Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call” article



Topic: Asking questions and solving problems - The Bystander Effect
Assignments (Due Week 3)
: Write a reflection on the "Becoming a Researcher" article and incorporate the following into your reflection: Choose a professor and topic from the RAM Faculty Research Database* and reflect on why you are interested in that topic.



Topic: Workshop Your Research Ideas

Assignments (Due Week 4): Read and write a reflection on the abstract and Introduction to the Markey Article



How to Search for Scholarly Articles Online

Assignments (Due Week 5):

a)    Finish referencing worksheet from class (Summarize Article #1) 

b)    Meet with an adviser in your major's department and bring in signed proof that you went (e.g., your course schedule)



Topic: Research Methods, Part I

Assignments (Due Week 6):

a)    Write a draft of your Hypothesis & Method

b)    Write a reflection on the Methods (2.1 & 2.2) of the Markey article



Topic: Research Methods, Part II

Assignments (Due Week 7):

a)    Complete a second draft of your Hypothesis & Method

b)    Summarize for article #2



Topic: Procedural Ethics

Assignment (Due Week 8):

a)    Add ethical procedures to Method and submit for final approval

b)    Find images, decide title, create reference list, and edit layout for poster




Topic: Results and Discussion

Assignments (Due Week 9):

a)    Summarize article #3

b)    Finish Results and Discussion






Topic:  Abstract, Elevator Speech, & Presentation Skills

Assignments (Due Week 10):

a)    Reflect on feedback given by classmates

b)    Finalize abstract and elevator speech



Topic: Finalizing your poster presentation

Assignment (Due Week 11-14): Work on Proposal Presentation



In-Class Presentations



In-Class Presentations



In-Class Presentations



In-Class Presentations



In-Class Presentations

RAM Resources

Schedule meetings with Dr. Cabrera or Dr. Cullington at: ramprogram.simplybook.me

Don’t forget to visit the RAM website for updates on events and other news: farmingdale.edu/ramprogram

*Find the RAM Faculty Research Database on the RAM website: farmingdale.edu/ramprogram/research

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