Author:
Matthew DeCarlo
Subject:
Social Work
Material Type:
Syllabus
Level:
Graduate / Professional
Tags:
Vgr-social-work-research, Vgr-syllabus-bank
License:
Creative Commons Attribution
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Text/HTML

Education Standards

SOWK 621.01: Research I: Basic Research Methodology

Overview

The syllabus for SOWK 621.01: Research I: Basic Research Methodology, as previously taught by Dr. Matthew DeCarlo at Radford University.

RADFORD UNIVERSITY

Waldron College of Health and Human Services

School of Social Work

Spring 2020

 

                        SOWK 621.01: Research I: Basic Research Methodology (3 credits)

 

Instructor: Matthew DeCarlo, Ph.D., MSW

Class Meets: Tue, 9:00 AM – 11:50 AM                 

Office Hours: Wednesdays 1-3pm in Waldron 223 | Saturdays 12-1pm 

            You can call into office hours in Radford.  Please email to let me know you are coming                                                        

Course Description:

The fundamental elements of scientific inquiry and research techniques, including a variety of research methodologies, are introduced in this course.  Students are challenged to enhance their learning through a focus on the technical aspects of research analysis and critical evaluation of research conclusions, with each step building on previously acquired learning in order to encourage a depth of knowledge about research.  Students are introduced to a systematic approach to the classification, organization, and analysis of data through a consideration of the fundamental essentials of scientific thinking and methodology relative to social welfare planning and practice. 

The course emphasizes the identification and formulation of researchable problems in social work (2.1.6), the utility of the scientific method (2.1.3), the selection of appropriate methodologies (2.1.6), an understanding of the standards for evaluation of research (2.1.10(d), and sensitivity to bias and ethical behavior in the conduct of research (2.1.2).  Also emphasized is an understanding of the fundamental assumptions underlying quantitative and qualitative methodologies as well as their ramifications for research undertaken consistent with each (2.1.6).

Prerequisites:  Admission to the graduate program in social work or permission of the instructor.

 

Prerequisites: Admission to the Graduate Program in Social Work or permission of the instructor.
 

Educational Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:    

  1. Demonstrate the basic logic, concepts, terminology, and skills of research in the social sciences (2.1.3, 2.1.6).
  2. Explain the distinct philosophical assumptions on which quantitative and qualitative methodologies are based (2.1.3, 2.1.6).
  3. Develop methodologically sound research designs appropriate to the subject under study (2.1.6, 2.1.10(d).
  4. Critique professional reports and articles and become a responsible consumer of knowledge acquired through social work research (2.1.6).
  5. Design, execute, evaluate and report about an actual research project (2.1.6, 2.1.10(d).
  6. Explain the function of social work research as it relates to the advancement of professional knowledge and practice (2.1.6).
  7. Relate ethical, value, and culture issue to the conduct of social work research (2.1.2).

 

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

Assignments linked to the course objectives

Linkages to Core Competencies

Linkages to Practice Behavior

1. Demonstrate the basic logic, concepts, terminology, and skills of research in the social sciences.

2.1.3

Exams

Research proposal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.1.6

Annotated bibliography

Research proposal

Online discussion

2.1.3: Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.1.6: Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

2.1.3

1. Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom.

2. Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation

 

2.1.6

1. Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry.

2. Use research evidence to inform practice.

2. Explain the distinct philosophical assumptions on which quantitative and qualitative methodologies are based.

 

2.1.3

Exams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.1.6

Exams

2.1.3: Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.

 

 

 

 

2.1.6: Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

2.1.3

1. Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom.

 

2.1.6

1. Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry.

2. Use research evidence to inform practice.

 

3. Develop methodologically sound research designs appropriate to the subject under study.

2.1.6

Research proposal

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.1.10(d)

Research proposal

 

Online Discussion

2.1.6: Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

 

 

 

 

2.1.10(d): Evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations¸ and communities.

 

 

 

2.1.6

1. Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry.

2. Use research evidence to inform practice.

 

2.1.10(d)

1. Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions.

4. Critique professional reports and articles and become a responsible consumer of knowledge acquired through social work research.

2.1.6

Annotated bibliography

2.1.6: Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

 

2.1.6

1. Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry.

2. Use research evidence to inform practice.

 

5. Design, execute, evaluate and report about an actual research project.

2.1.6

Research proposal

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.1.10(d)

Research proposal

2.1.6: Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

 

 

 

 

2.1.10(d): Evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations¸ and communities.

2.1.6

1. Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry.

2. Use research evidence to inform practice.

 

2.1.10(d)

1. Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions.

6. Explain the function of social work research as it relates to the advancement of professional knowledge and practice.

2.1.6

Exams

Research proposal

Online Discussion

 

 

2.1.6: Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

 

2.1.6

1. Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry.

2. Use research evidence to inform practice.

7. Relate ethical, value, and culture issue to the conduct of social work research.

2.1.2

Exams

Human subjects training

Research proposal

2.1.2: Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.

2.1.2

2. Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics.

Course Policies:

Communication policy: Each professor in the School of Social Work makes it clear in the syllabus what the standard operating procedures are for communication with him/her, including the means and the anticipated turn-around time. Given the proliferation of social media, each professor gives thought to the balance between all the communication choices and the needs of a professional program regarding the professional boundaries that govern social work practice. Students must understand that the same ethical standards apply in the virtual world as in the physical world.

CAS Policy: Students seeking academic accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act must register with the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) to determine eligibility. Students qualified for academic accommodations will receive accommodation letters and should meet with each course professor during office hours, to review and discuss accommodations.  To begin the registration process, complete a Student Registration Form and submit documentation to PO Box 6902, Radford, Virginia 24142, or deliver to the Russell Hall, Room 325, by fax to 540-831-6525, or by email to cas@radford.edu (See documentation guidelines).  For more information, visit the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) website or call 540-831-6350.

Honor Code: By accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to understand, support, and abide by the university honor code without compromise or exception. Violations of the University Honor Code include (but are not limited to): lying, stealing and unauthorized possession of property, cheating, multiple submission, and plagiarism. Refer to the Standards of Student Conduct for details. Of particular note is the definition of plagiarism: “Presenting the work of another as one’s own.”

In addition to the University Honor Code, students are expected to comply with the NASW Code of Ethics, the MSW Student Handbook, and the Waldron College Standards for Professional Practice Education.  Failure to do so will negatively impact student grades and can result in dismissal from the program.  Students are responsible for obtaining and reading the above-mentioned policies. 

Violations of any of these policies will result in a grade of F for the course, in addition to other disciplinary actions taken by the School of Social Work or Radford University.

Students must also adhere to the policies and procedures of the Institutional Review Board of Radford University.  Failure to do so will result in a grade of F in the course.

Weather Policy: Students should check with the Radford University switchboard at 540-831-5000 to see whether classes have been delayed or cancelled.  If the University opens late you are still required to attend the remainder of a class that began before the university opened. (For example if your class is 9 AM to 11 AM and the University opens at 10 AM, you must attend your class from 10 AM to 11 AM.)  Because our

Roanoke Higher Education Center has adopted the e2Campus emergency notification system that enables the center to send urgent news to your cell phone and/or email. Once you sign up for the service, RHEC can text your cell phone or send an email with timely information about emergencies or center closings.  Depending on your personal cell phone plan, there may be a nominal fee from your carrier to receive text messages, but there is no charge from the center to use the service.  To sign up, go to www.education.edu/emergency-alerts/

In the case of inclement weather, faculty might occasionally reschedule a class even though Radford University is officially open. In this case, the faculty will send an email to the class.

Classroom Conduct: Respect for others is a fundamental part of social work and professional practice.  All students are expected to treat one another and the instructor with respect.  Please do not talk or whisper while someone else is speaking.  If you choose to bring food or drinks to class, please clean up after yourself and choose refreshments that will not disrupt class or disturb others.  Please turn off all cell phones, pagers, and similar electronic devices before entering class.  If you are on-call for work, please let the instructor know at the beginning of class and be respectful in your response to work emails or calls.  Be courteous and do not engage in behavior that is distracting to others (e.g., playing video games on your laptop or sending text messages on your cell phone).

Submitting your Work:

  • Most work will be submitted electronically.  There will be a folder in the “Dropbox” function of Desire2Learn (D2L) for this purpose.  If you are unable to access D2L, you may send assignments to the instructor’s RU email account. 
  • For work submitted in hard copy format, use staples or binder clips (no paper clips, please) to secure the pages of your assignments together. 
  • Student papers should be typed or word-processed and must conform to the guidelines set forth in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.).  Pay special attention to citation style, reference format, and guidelines for properly crediting others’ ideas and work.
  • Clarity is of paramount importance when you are communicating with others.  If your ideas are not communicated clearly, it is impossible to evaluate the quality of your ideas. 
  • Please proofread and edit your work.  Excessive errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation interfere with effective communication and will negatively impact your grade.
  • Student work will be subjected to a plagiarism detection tool, which identifies suspicious similarities in text between the student’s paper and other sources (including websites, Google Scholar, published articles, and papers submitted by other students in the past).
  • Electronic communications will be used extensively in this class.  Students should ensure they have access to each of the following systems and know how to use its basic functions.

E-mail: Students must check their RU e-mail account regularly for announcements from the instructor.  E-mails will frequently include attachments in PDF format, so you’ll need to know how to download, open, and print these documents.  Attachments will also be sent in Word 2010 (*.docx) format on occasion. You can forward your RU email to a different account if you wish; this function is available on the RU portal.

 

D2L: Students must ensure they have access to D2L and know how to use it.  D2L will be used primarily for materials that must be protected for security or copyright reasons.  This includes electronic reserve readings (e.g., articles, chapters) and student grades.  D2L will also be used for student submission of all assignments.

Specific expectations:

Students are expected to:

  1. Attend all class sessions. Exceptions may be made in the case of emergency or serious illness, provided that adequate documentation is provided. Any exceptions are made at the instructor’s sole discretion. In addition to the grade penalties stated below, the class participation grade will also be negatively impacted by excessive absences, tardiness, leaving early, etc. 

Miss 3 class sessions: 10 points deducted from final grade.

Miss 4 class sessions: 20 points deducted from final grade.

Miss more than 4 class sessions: Grade for class is automatically an F.

Students who anticipate exceeding the limit stated above must withdraw from the course before the deadline set by the Registrar (usually the 8th week of the course) to avoid a failing grade.

For synchronous online session (when the instructor and the students are online at the same time and interacting), attendance means being online, logged in, and participating. For asynchronous online sessions (when the instructor posts a video, online tutorial, or other online activity), attendance includes watching the video by the following Tuesday at 11:59 PM. Students who anticipate exceeding the limit stated above must withdraw from the course before the deadline set by the Registrar (usually the 8th week of the course) to avoid a failing grade.

Students are also expected to arrive to class on time and stay for the entire class session.  Exceptions are made at the instructor’s discretion.  Penalties for arriving late or leaving early are as follows, doubling each class session:

            Miss part of 3 class sessions: 5 points deducted from final grade.

            Miss part of 4 class sessions: 10 points deducted from final grade.

            Miss part of 5 class sessions: 20 points deducted from final grade

  1. Complete readings and assignments prior to each class session, and participate actively and thoughtfully in the discussion of the assigned content.  This includes online discussion groups and work within your task groups.
  2. Submit all coursework by the due dates.  Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date unless stated otherwise on the Course Outline. Assignments received after the stated due date & time will be treated as one day late and penalized by 10%.  For each additional 24-hour period the assignment is late, an additional 10% penalty will be applied.  Assignments will not be accepted after 72 hours from the due date.  Exceptions may be made for genuine emergencies, at the instructor’s sole discretion, provided timely notification and documentation. 
  3. Students must contact the instructor within two weeks of receiving a grade if they wish to contest the grade.
  4. "I" (incomplete) course grades will be considered only in exceptional circumstances and are offered at the instructor’s sole discretion.  Requests for an incomplete grade must be made at least one week prior to the last class meeting.  A time limit for completion of the work must be established before a grade of “I” will be recorded.

e.   Grading scale

 

                        94% to 100%  A

                        90% to 93%    A-

                        87% to 89%    B+

                        83% to 86%    B

                        80% to 82%    B-

                        70% to 79%    C

                        Below 70%     F

 

Note: C- is considered failing.  And I round up grades over 0.5. 

 

f.    The following general evaluative guidelines apply to all assignments.

“A” work demonstrates critical synthesis of material in a well-written document. Its quality is exceptional or above average in all areas.

“B” work is well-written and demonstrates above average ability in critical synthesis of material.  Its quality is above average in most areas, although there may be aspects that are merely of average quality.  No areas could be considered below average.

“C” work lacks originality, includes attempts at critical synthesis that fall short of expectations, or represents thinking that is below the level expected for graduate students.  Work may include one or two areas of significant weakness, but most areas are at least “average” for graduate work.

“D” work has serious lapses in organization, thinking, clarity, and presentation.  It does not reflect the work of a graduate student, with multiple areas that are below average for graduate work.  It does not attempt critical synthesis of the material, or such synthesis is poorly done.

“F” work is incomplete, contains significant weaknesses, or is of unacceptable quality for college-level work.

 

g.   Evaluation criteria

  • Critical thinking: Work that demonstrates the ability to evaluate and critique ideas.
  • Conceptual ability: Work that demonstrates the ability to use theoretical concepts accurately, to think in logical sequence and to organize ideas into a conceptual whole.
  • Communication and presentation: Work that demonstrates the ability to transmit ideas in a verbal or written form in an organized and grammatically correct (sentence, paragraph, spelling, etc.) structure.
  • Research: Work that demonstrates that the subject matter has been adequately researched and correctly cited.
  • Creativity: Work that suggests innovative approaches to the subject matter being discussed or presented.
  • Application: Work that demonstrates relevance to practice.

 

Teaching methods:

The course is organized around student-centered learning principles, experiential activities, films/videos, class discussion, limited use of didactic instruction (lectures), student presentations, and student exercises. The online portion of the class requires extensive independent work.  The course encourages student exploration and reflection regarding how research is related to practice, policy, and human behavior in the social environment.  Students are also encouraged to examine how individual, institutional, and societal biases affect the topic, methods, reported findings, and use of research.  Students are expected to be active learners and to contribute to the learning of their classmates and the instructor.

Required Text:

DeCarlo, M. (2018). Scientific inquiry in social work.  Roanoke, VA: Open Social Work Education. 

            This is a free textbook.  You can access it here: https://scientificinquiryinsocialwork.pressbooks.com/

            Students can use the HTML edition, download a PDF or e-reader edition, or purchase a paper copy here: https://www.printme1.com/preview/31a3c821

Required readings from other sources are noted on the course outline and will be made available on D2L.  Additional readings may be added; these will be announced via email or in class and will be made available electronically.

 

Assignments:

Students must complete all of the assignments in order to receive a grade above C in the course. The point value of each assignment is given below, followed by a brief description of each assignment.  Due dates are noted on the Course Outline.

                       

                       

Assignments

Points

Midterm Exam

15

Final Exam

15

Human Subjects Training

5

Research Knowledge Assessment Pre/Post-Test

5

Annotated Bibliography/ Topical Outline

5

Draft of Literature Review

3

Final Literature Review

10

Quantitative Proposal

10

Qualitative Proposal

10

Take-Home Exercises

8 x 1 =8

SPSS Lab

4

APA Style Guide Project

10

Total

100 points

CORE Assignments

  1. Exams (30 % of total grade): (2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.6) There will be 2 closed-book exams in the course, each worth a total of 50 points. The exams will be given at the beginning of class on the specified dates, and will take approximately 1.5 hours to complete.  The exam questions will be primarily objective in nature (multiple choice, matching, fill-in-the-blank, etc.) but may include essay questions as well.  A study guide will be provided one week prior to each exam.
  2. Human subjects training (5% of total grade): (2.1.2) Each student must successfully complete the online human subjects protection training through Radford University.  Instructions & links will be provided on D2L.

Available at: https://www.radford.edu/content/research-compliance/home/irb/irb-training.html under Human Subjects Training Requirements for Students and select Students – Projects involving greater than minimal risk. 

  1. Annotated bibliography/ Topical outline (5% of total grade): (2.1.6) Each student will complete an annotated bibliography including five peer-reviewed journal articles related to the topic of their research proposal. Notes from the annotated bibliography will be combined into a topical outline that will assist in writing the research proposal.
  2. Research proposal (33% of total grade): (2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.6, 2.1.10 (d) Students will prepare a research proposal that they plan to carry out during the advanced research class (SOWK 772).  The proposal will be broken into three components—a literature review, a quantitative proposal, and a qualitative proposal.  Students will be expected to submit for credit a draft of their literature review for credit, as designed on the course outline.  The draft is graded on a 20% curve.  Quantitative and qualitative proposals will be completed as a worksheet. 

Non-CORE Assignments

  1. Take-home exercises (8% of total grade):  For most weeks of the semester, students will complete exercises independently that assist with the creation of the research proposal.  The goal of these exercises is to consult with the professor on your research proposal components, getting feedback before the final due dates.  There are ten exercises throughout the semester. 
  2. SPSS Labs (4% of total grade): There will be an SPSS lab that will walk students through basic univariate and bivariate statistical analysis.   
  3. APA Style Guide (10% of total grade): Throughout the semester, students will collaborate on a guide covering APA style.  The resource will be housed on a Google Drive document, and students will be responsible for creating the content and suggesting additional content. Students will submit questions and answers on APA style issues and create exercises to illustrate the correct way to write in APA style for each question.  Students will provide peer feedback on the quality, accuracy, and depth of the contributions of other students.  This resource will eventually be shared publicly with other graduate students, with students listed publicly as contributors.  Please consult with Dr. DeCarlo if you would like your name left off of the list of contributors. 
  4. Research Knowledge Assessment (RKA) (5% of total grade): At the beginning and end of the semester, students will take a web-based assessment of their research methods knowledge using a standardized metric.  This will be used to as part of the school’s assessment of its research methods education, and with student consent, in research projects assessing the effectiveness of instructional techniques and resources. 

 

COURSE OUTLINE


Notes:

  • The outline is subject to change during the semester.  Changes in the course calendar will be communicated via email and the new calendar will posted with revision date on D2L. 
  • All online sections are asynchronous and do not require attendance at a specific time. 
  • All readings are from Scientific Inquiry in Social Work, unless otherwise noted 
  • Word refuses to put the table on this page, and I’m tired of fighting. 

Wk

Date

Format

Content

Read

Due

1

1/19

RHEC

Introduction to research

 

Annotate the syllabus

APA resource project & H5P demo

Student research project forms

Consent forms & human subjects research

Research in social work

Evidence-based practice

What topics do you want to study?

 

In class activities: Literature search

1

Think of a topic you might want to study this semester

2

1/26

Online

(recorded lecture)

Beginning a research project, Literature search

 

Settling on a topic

Finding research

Reading journal articles

Creating a “working question”

2-3

RKA Pre-Test (online)

 

 

3

2/2

RHEC

Conducting a literature review

 

Outlining a research article

Topical outlines and synthesis

Working questions

Exercise 2 work time

4

Exercise 1: Literature search

 

 

2/5

Add/Drop Deadline

4

2/9

Online

(recorded lecture)

Research ethics

 

Research ethics and the IRB

Contribute to APA Resource

5

Exercise 2: Outlining an empirical journal article

 

5

2/16

RHEC

Theory, paradigm, and causality

 

Micro, meso, macro approaches

Paradigm & theory

Inductive & deductive reasoning

Types of research

Causality

Mixed methods

Reviewing APA Project

6-7

Exercise 3: Outlining a non-empirical journal article

 

APA project contributions due by class time

 

6

2/23

Online

(recorded lecture)

Creating a research question

 

Quantitative vs. qualitative questions

Hypotheses

Feasibility and importance

8

CITI Training

 

 

7

3/2

RHEC

Conceptualization and operationalization

 

Research question workshop

Building an operational definition

Measurement quality

Exercise 5 work time

9

Exercise 4: Writing a research question

 

Annotated Bibliography/ Topical Outline

 

3/9

Spring Break

8

3/16

Online

(recorded lecture)

Sampling, Univariate and bivariate statistics

 

Qualitative vs. quantitative projects and sampling

10

Draft of literature review

 

 

9

3/23

RHEC

Midterm exam

 

Midterm exam

Midterm course evaluation

 

SPSS LAB

--

Exercise 5: Operational definitions

SPSS Lab

 

 

10

3/30

Online

(recorded lecture)

Survey and experimental design

 

Types of surveys

Longitudinal vs. cross-sectional surveys

Experiments, quasi-experiments, and pre-experiments

The logic of experimental design

Contribute to APA Project

11-12

Exercise 6: Sampling

 

 

11

4/6

RHEC

Interviews and focus groups

 

Reviewing questionnaires

Reviewing sampling in quant and qual research

Creating and interview guide

Interviewing techniques

Analyzing qualitative data

Exercise 8 work time

H5P Demonstration

13

Exercise 7: Creating a questionnaire

 

APA Project contributions due by classtime

12

4/13

Online

(recorded lecture)

Unobtrusive research

 

Secondary analysis

Content analysis

Historical analysis

14

Quantitative proposal (ungraded draft)

 

Exercise 8: Creating an interview guide

 

4/19

Withdrawal Deadline

13

4/20

Online

(recorded lecture)

Real-world research

 

Single-case designs

Program evaluation

Contribute to APA Project

15

Qualitative proposal (ungraded draft)

 

 

14

4/27

RHEC

Reporting research

 

Research colloquium

Proposal work time & meetings with professor

APA project summary

Focus groups

RKA Post-test

16

Final literature review

 

Be able to talk informally about your proposals during class

 

APA Project contributions due by class

15

5/4

RHEC

Final exam

 

Final exam

 

 

 

5/5

 

 

 

Final quantitative and qualitative proposals

 

 

 

Bibliography

Abrams, L. & Gordon, A. (2003). Self-harm narratives of urban and suburban young women. Affilia, 18 (4), 429-444.

Adamson, J., Gooberman-Hill, R., Woolhead, G., & Donovan, J. (2004). ‘Questerviews’: Using questionnaires in qualitative interviews as a method of integrating qualitative and quantitative health services research.  Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 9 (3), 139-145.

Alverson, H., Alverson, M. & Drake, R. E. (2001). Social patterns of substance use among people with dual diagnoses. Mental Health Services Research, 3, 3-14. [Article reprint and authors’ commentary.]  In L. B. Alexander & P. Solomon (Eds.) (2006), The research process in the human services: Behind the scenes (pp. 326-352).  Belmont, CA: Thompson.

Anastas, J.  (2004). Quality in qualitative evaluation:  Issues and possible answers.  Research on Social Work Practice, 14 (1), 57-65.

Ayon, C., & Lee, C. (2005). A comparative analysis of child welfare services through the eyes of African American, Caucasian, and Latino parents. Research on Social Work Practice, 15 (4), 257-266.

Barbour, R. (2000). The role of qualitative research in broadening the ‘evidence base’ for clinical practice.  Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 6 (2), 155-163.

Baumgarten, M., Lebel, P., Laprise, H., Leclese, C., & Quinn, C.  (2002). Adult day care for the frail elderly:  Outcomes, satisfaction, and cost. Journal of Aging and Health, 14 (2), 237-259.

Boero, N. (2007, March). All the news that’s fat to print: The American “obesity epidemic” and the media. Qualitative Sociology, 30(1), 41-60. Retrieved August 7, 2009, doi:10.1007/s11133-006-9010-4

Bradshaw, W. & Roseborough, D (2004). Evaluating the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral treatment of residual symptoms and impairment in schizophrenia Research on Social Work Practice, 14 (2), 112-120.

Brophy, G. (2000). Social work treatment of sleep disturbance in a 5 year-old boy: A single-case evaluation. Research on Social Work Practice, 10 (6), 749-760,

Callahan, M., Tolman, R., & Saunders, D. (2003). Adolescent dating violence victimization and psychological well-being. Journal of Adolescent Research, 18 (6), 664-681,

Chou, Y., Pu, C., Lee, Y., Lin, L., & Kröger, T. (2009, July). Effect of perceived stigmatisation on the quality of life among ageing female family carers: A comparison of carers of adults with intellectual disability and carers of adults with mental illness. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53(7), 654-664. Retrieved August 7, 2009, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01173.x

Del Boca, F. K. and Noll, J. A. (2000).  Truth or consequences: The validity of self-report data in health services research on addictions.  Addiction, 95 (suppl. 3), S347-S360.

Dennis, M. L., Perl, H. I., Huebner, R. B. and McLellan, T. A. (2000).  Twenty-five strategies for improving the design, implementation and analysis of health services research related to alcohol and other drug abuse treatment.  Addiction, 95 (suppl. 3), S281-S308.

DePanfilis, D. & Zuravin, S. J. (2002).  The effect of services on the recurrence of child maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 26, 187-205. [Article reprint and authors’ commentary.]  In L. B. Alexander & P. Solomon (Eds.) (2006), The research process in the human services: Behind the scenes (pp. 418-442).  Belmont, CA: Thompson.

Dia, D., Smith, C. A., Cohen-Callow, A., & Bliss, D. L. (2005). The Education Participation Scale-Modified: Evaluating a measure of continuing education. Research on Social Work Practice, 15(3), 213-222.

Emlet, C. (2005).  Measuring stigma in older and younger adults with HIV/AIDS: An analysis of an HIV stigma scale and initial exploration of subscales. Research on Social Work Practice, 15(4), 291-300.

Epstein, W. M.  (2005).  Confirmational response bias and the quality of the editorial processes among American social work journals.  Research on Social Work Practice, 14 (6), 450-458.

Floersch, J. Townsend, L., Longhofer, J., Lemunsun, M., Winbush, V., Kranke, D., et al. (2009, March). Adolescent experience of psychotropic treatment. Transcultural Psychiatry, 46(1), 157-179. Retrieved August 7, 2009, doi:10.1177/1363461509102292

Fraser, M., Day, S., Galinsky, M., Hodges, V., & Smokowski, P. (2004). Conduct problems and peer rejection in childhood: A randomized trial of the Making Choices and Strong Families Programs. Research on Social Work Practice, 14 (5), 313-324.

Gagné, M., & Bouchard, C. (2004, April). Family dynamics associated with the use of psychologically violent parental practices. Journal of Family Violence, 19(2), 117-130. Retrieved August 7, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.

Gibelman, M., & Gelman, S.  (2001). Learning from the mistakes of others:  A look at scientific misconduct in research.  Journal of Social Work Education, 37 (2), 241-254.

Gilgun, J.  (2005). The four cornerstones of evidence-based practice in social work.  Research on Social Work Practice, 15 (1), 52-61.

Grote, N., Bledsoe, S., Swartz, H., & Frank, E.  (2004). Feasibility of providing culturally relevant, brief interpersonal psychotherapy for antenatal depression in an obstetrics clinic:  A pilot study.  Research on Social Work Practice, 14(6), 397-407.

Holleran, L., & Thompson, S.  (2005). The NIH K-Award:  Funding opportunities for social work researchers.  Research on Social Work Practice, 15(4), 301-308.

Irwin, K. (2006, Summer2006). Into the dark heart of ethnography: The lived ethics and inequality of intimate field relationships. Qualitative Sociology, 29(2), 155-175. Retrieved August 7, 2009, doi:10.1007/s11133-006-9011-3

Kruzich, J., Friesen, B., Williams-Murphy, T. & Longely, M. (2002).  Voices of African American families: Perspectives on residential treatment.  Social Work, 47, 461-470.  [Article reprint and authors’ commentary.]  In L. B. Alexander & P. Solomon (Eds.) (2006), The research process in the human services: Behind the scenes (pp. 302-325).  Belmont, CA: Thompson.

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Mirza, M., Gossett, A., Chan, N., Burford, L., & Hammel, J. (2008, June). Community reintegration for people with psychiatric disabilities: Challenging systemic barriers to service provision and public policy through participatory action research. Disability & Society, 23(4), 323-336. Retrieved August 7, 2009, doi:10.1080/09687590802038829

Moore, B. (2005).  Empirically supported family and peer interventions for dual disorders.  Research on Social Work Practice, 15 (4), 231-245.

Mowbray, C., Holter, M. , Stark, L., Pfeffer, C., & Bybee, D.  (2005). A fidelity rating instrument for consumer-run drop-in centers (FRI-CRDI).  Research on Social Work Practice, 15 (4), 278-290.

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Siebert, D. C., & Siebert, C. F.  (2005). The Caregiver Role Identity Scale.  Research on Social Work Practice, 15 (3), 204-212.

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Thyer, B. A.  (2002).  Popper, positivism, and practice research:  A response to Munro.  Journal of Social Work Education, 38 (3), 471-474.

Tolman, R. & Rosen, D. (2001). Domestic violence in the lives of women receiving welfare. Violence Against Women, 7 (2), 141-158.

Wichroski, M., Zunz, S.,& Forshay, E.(2000). Facilitating self-esteem and social supports in a family life-skills program. Affilia, 15 (2), 277-293.

Wilson, S. J., Lipsey, M. W., & Soydan, H. (2003).  Are mainstream programs for juvenile delinquency less effective with minority youth than majority youth? A meta-analysis of outcomes research. Research on Social Work Practice, 13, 3-26.  [Article reprint and authors’ commentary.]  In L. B. Alexander & P. Solomon (Eds.) (2006), The research process in the human services: Behind the scenes (pp. 122-148).  Belmont, CA: Thompson.

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Annotated Bibliography and Topical Outline

 

Background:

 

The purpose of the annotated bibliography is to provide you with the information you need to create a thorough and authoritative literature review for your proposal.  Research in the social sciences requires understanding what previous investigators have found.  Students will be assessed on their ability to find, comprehend, and systematize information relevant to their topic of inquiry. 

 

Components:

 

1) The Annotated Bibliography should follow the format from Exercise 2 and Exercise 3 for outlining journal article, depending on whether the article is empirical or non-empirical.  The expected format of the annotated bibliography includes facts from other sources as well as methods and results (if the article is empirical).  Facts and information from five articles should be copied and pasted (or possibly retyped or summarized) into outline format, similar to Exercise 2 and 3.  Students must also provide a correct APA citation for each article. 

 

2) The Topical Outline should combine the bits of information (excluding methods) from the annotated bibliography into one long outline.  Once the annotated bibliography is complete, students should read through their bibliography, noting areas of similarity and beginning to draw connections between the facts from each article.  These facts should be arranged in outline format, based on the topic with they cover. 

 

3) Students should also answer the following questions in a few sentences:

 

  1. Are there any important differences or similarities between the articles you’ve chosen?
  2. Are there any gaps or controversies in the literature on your topic?  Does the study you propose address these issues?
  3. Looking at the prompt for the research proposal, what do you need to know more about to better answer the questions for the literature review and problem statement?

 

Grading Notes:

 

1) The Annotated Bibliography will be expected to contain sufficient information from the cited articles that is relevant to the student’s topic.  Annotated bibliography entries with less than five bits of information will be considered unsatisfactory without question.  Because there is so little information, I assume that the student has not chosen a relevant article to their topic or that the student has not read the article in detail.  Students should include articles in the Annotated Bibliography that are directly relevant and from which they can gather many pieces of information, whether from the author directly or from their citations to other sources. 

 

1.1) The Annotated Bibliography should contain at least five peer-reviewed journal articles.  Journal articles should be recent (from the past ten years) unless historical investigation is important to your topic.  Journal articles describing results from studies of non-US populations should be used only when appropriate to your topic.  For example, a student studying diabetes and depression among South Asian immigrants in America may need to use journal articles that describe results from studies in south Asia.  Think critically about the sources you include

 

2) The Topical Outline should contain almost all information from the annotated bibliography for each article.  The outline should demonstrate strong critical thinking about the topic and logical organization of the material The topical outline should also indicate the original source of the information, and if they are different, the source from which the text.  For example, if you are reading an article by Aaron Authorson who cites a statistic from Barry Babcock, you would need to indicate the original source of that information (Babcock, B.) and the place in which you found that information (Authorson, A.).  In the past students have used two sets of internal citations. 

 

2.1) It is strange, but this assignment will contain almost entirely plagiarized material.  That’s okay.  Consider these assignments to be similar to notes you might take in class on a lecture.  What this assignment allows me to do is peek into your notebook, to see if you have learned enough about your topic so far.  Eventually, in using these assignments to write your final proposal, you will need to paraphrase or synthesize the material into a novel argument, providing correct citations that support your argument. 

 

Grading Criteria:

 

  • Adequacy: Does the submission fulfill all of the requirements of the assignment?
  • Depth: Does the submission demonstrate an adequate level of research and engagement with the topic?
  • Critical Thinking: Does the submission provide clear, creative, and strong arguments, with support for those arguments in facts from empirical or theoretical literature?
  • Communication and Presentation: Does the submission use proper grammar, spelling, and APA formatting?  Is the submission logically organized and clearly written? 

 

 

 

 

Research Proposal Assignment

 

Background on MSW Research Project:

The SOWK 621 research proposal lays the foundation for project to be conducted in SOWK 772.  In SOWK 772, each student will undertake an independent research project.  The design of the study will be negotiated between the student and the instructor, with modifications being made as necessary to satisfy time constraints and IRB requirements.  The assignment you propose in SOWK 621 will ideally be carried out by you in SOWK 772.

 

The research project may take any of several forms, depending on the research topic and the interests and talents of the student.  Research projects to be undertaken may include variations on any of the following: meta-analysis, content analysis, case record review, systematic literature review, qualitative interviews or focus groups, anonymous surveys, secondary data analysis, archival research, or program evaluation. Students might be permitted to do studies other than those listed, but this will require substantial additional work.  Students must comply with the policy and guidelines of the Radford University Institutional Review Board, including completing additional human subjects training and additional paperwork if required.  Failure to do so will result in a grade of F for the course.

 

Objectives:

 

  1. To propose a research study relevant to social work practice that integrates all course content and concepts and that will demonstrate the student’s mastery of the course.
  2. To demonstrate mastery of a scientific and scholarly writing style consistent with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
  3. To demonstrate writing skills that evidence appropriate organization, development and presentation of ideas, and excellent grammar, syntax, and critical thinking skills.
  4. To effectively use consultation and supervision offered in the process of completing the final draft of the proposal.

 

Components:

Your paper must include a title page, abstract, Part 1 and Part 2, and references page. 

 

Abstract:

  1. Provide an overview of your study, focusing on methods.
  2. Should be no longer than 250 words
  3. Should include keywords

 

Part I:  Background and Significance (4-5 pages)

  1. Problem Statement (1-2 paragraphs)
    1. How many people are affected by this problem?
    2. Why is this an important social problem?
    3. How does this social problem impact other social issues or focal populations?
    4. Why is your population an important one to study?
  2. Literature Review (~4 pages)—A synthesis of the literature, not a summary
    1. Describe what is known about the variables in your research question and the relationship between them
    2. Describe what is known about your target population
    3. Define key terms and explain theories that are important for understanding your topic
    4. Identify consistent findings across studies
    5. Identify gaps and controversies in the literature
  3. Research Questions and Hypotheses
    1. List all research questions and hypotheses.  No more than 3 questions are allowed.  Having only 1 question is normal)
    2. Qualitative studies will contain no more than 3 tentative hypotheses. 

 

Note: A draft of Part 1 will be worth 5% of your final grade and is due on the date indicated on the course outline. 

 

Part II: Methodology (4-5 pages)

  1. Design:
    1. What design (e.g. quasi-experimental) do you plan to use?
    2. Briefly describe how you will carry out your design
  2. Sampling: Who is in your study and how are they recruited?
    1. What is your sampling frame?
    2. What are your inclusion/exclusion criteria?
    3. How will you recruit your subjects?
    4. How do you plan to conduct your sampling?
    5. Is there important information about your focal population that will impact sampling?
  3. Ethics: How will you protect the rights of your study’s participants?
    1. What level, if any, of IRB review does your study require?
    2. What are the risks and benefits of the study? 
    3. How did you address any ethical concerns with your study?
  4. Measures: How will you measure the concepts in your study?
    1. For quantitative studies, operational definitions are needed.
      1. What is the operational definition for your independent variable?
      2. What is the operational definition for your dependent variable?
      3. What are the operational definitions for at least two control variables?
      4. What are the psychometric properties of the instruments you use in your definitions (e.g. validity, reliability)?
    2. For qualitative studies, describe in detail the questions you plan to ask the participants in your study.
      1. Provide a deconstruction of important concepts (e.g., how is the concept of “role strain” distinguished from the concept of “role stress”)
      2. How are your questions for participants based in previous findings in the literature?
      3. What consideration will be given to emergent themes and revising questions through the research process?
    3. A completed instrument
  5. Data Handling and Analysis: How will you collect and examine your data?
    1. Describe how data collection will take place
    2. Describe any modifications you will make to the data in preparation for analysis (e.g., data entry, double-checking)
    3. Describe your data analysis plan
  6. Critique of Methodology: Why did you decide to do your study as you did?
    1. What are the strengths and limitations of your sampling, measures, design, and other components?
  7. Implications and Conclusion: What is the point of your proposal?
    1. Discuss how your study will benefit the discipline of social work.
    2. Discuss how your proposal would influence policy, practice, and research.
    3. Discuss how your proposal will contribute something new and important to the literature on your topic.

 

 

References

 

Grading Notes:

Your proposal must conform to all aspects of APA style with regard to margins, justification, font style and size, line spacing, use of headers, and citations and reference format.  You must cite a minimum of ten reputable sources.  Eight must be from peer-reviewed journals, with another two from reputable sources like government reports, policy research briefs, books, dissertations and theses, or other gray literature. 

 

The proposal is expected to be about 8-10 pages in length, but deviation from that amount is okay.  More complicated studies may take longer to explain, and literature reviews that contain additional sources may require more space to explain.  Do not pad out your proposal to meet a minimum page requirement or cut out vital information to be within a page maximum.  Instead, make sure that your language is clear and concise and each section of the prompt is comprehensively addressed.

 

Grading Rubric:

Adequacy, depth, critical thinking, and communication will be assessed on an A, B, C, D, F scale using a rubric on D2L.  The components of the proposal are worth the points designated below. 

 

  • APA Formatting: 10%
  • References: 10%
  • Organization, Grammar, Spelling: 20%
  • Abstract 5%
  • Problem Statement: 5%
  • Literature Review: 15%
  • Research Question and Hypothesis: 5%
  • Overview: 1%
  • Sampling: 5%
  • Ethics: 2%
  • Measures: 6%
  • Data Handling and Analysis: 5%
  • Critique of Methodology: 5%
  • Implications and Conclusion: 6%

Discussion Boards

 

Background:

The hybrid online format requires that an equivalent amount of time is allotted for online class activities and traditional in-person classes.  As part of almost all online sections, as described on the course outline, discussion board participation is required.  The purpose of the discussion boards is to critically apply of the content from the textbook and lecture.  Additionally, the use of commenting in discussion boards is designed to promote collaborative and self-directed learning. 

 

Components:

Students must submit a response to the prompt on D2L discussion board for each topic on the week indicated in the course calendar.  Students will create a new thread for their submission and respond to the question completely.  Students are encouraged to write and save their response in a word processor.  Once the response is complete, copy and paste the text into the discussion board (preferred) or upload it as an attachment (acceptable, particularly when formatting becomes unclear in copying to D2L).    

 

Students must also submit comments on at least two other students’ posts.  Comments should contribute original ideas to the conversation.  For example, a student might discuss a different methodological approach, case example, additional theory, or a concept from the text not addressed in the original post.  Comments should also demonstrate engagement with the ideas in the original post by fairly representing the author’s ideas and deepen the conversation by offering a response that will help others better understand the topic. 

 

Grading Notes:

Original posts are due by the Tuesday after the class session at 11:59PM via the D2L discussion board.  Students are highly encouraged to respond to the discussion board only after viewing the required lectures for the related class session.  Comments on two students’ posts are due by the next class session the following week.  For example, the discussion board assigned for week 2 should have an original post by the Tuesday between class 2 and 3 and comments by class 3.

 

Although discussion boards are somewhat less formal than your proposal and other written work, they should be composed with close attention to grammar, organization, and APA style.  Citations to the textbook are not necessary unless you are directly quoting.  Responses should not quote extensively from other sources, though the use of outside sources or the textbook is encouraged. 

 

Grading Criteria:

 

  • Adequacy: Does the submission fulfill all of the requirements of the assignment?
  • Depth: Does the submission demonstrate an adequate level of research and engagement with the topic?
  • Critical Thinking: Does the submission provide clear, creative, and strong arguments, with support for those arguments in facts from empirical or theoretical literature?
  • Communication and Presentation: Does the submission use proper grammar, spelling, and APA formatting?  Is the submission logically organized and clearly written?