Indiana University Northwest

Course Description

 Dr. Mark THomas

Mark Thomas, Ph.D., LCSW
Division of Social Work

Office: Dunes Medical/ Professional Building 3182
Phone: 219-981-5688

Online Course Offered:
Spring Semester

SWK-S 502 Evaluation Process in Research

Course Description  

S502 This foundation research course assists students in developing the knowledge, skills and values necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of social work practice. Emphasis is placed upon knowledge of quantitative and qualitative designs, methods and techniques that inform students of best practices in social work. Students will recognize the impact of ethnicity, gender, age and sexual orientation on the research process and be able to critically review published studies with attention to bias in research.

For a complete Description for this course, click on the Course Syllabus tab.

Course Goals and Objectives  

Through active participation in the learning experiences and completion of the readings, assignments, and learning projects offered throughout this course, students are expected to:

             1. Formulate research problems, hypotheses, and research questions;

2. Evaluate and apply research literature related to social work practice;

3. Design quantitative and qualitative research methods that accurately address research questions and hypotheses;

4. Demonstrate a beginning understanding of the uses and methods used in single-system and program evaluation designs;

5. Evaluate research methods for potential biases or limitations related to diverse and oppressed populations; and

6. Identify and suggest solutions consistent with social work values and the NASW Code of Ethics to ethical, social, and political issues related to research.

For a complete listing of Objectives for this course, click on the Course Syllabus tab.

Course Activities  

The course is designed to provide opportunities for students to not only expand their knowledge of research and research methods, but to apply this knowledge through the use of the following:

Group Exercises:  These activities require that students partner with 2 to 3 of their classmates to complete specified group exercises.  This will include exercises in which students are expected to apply the course material.  For instance, during the week that sampling is discussed, students will be provided with a scenario and asked to create research samples utilizing four different types of sampling methods.  In addition to application exercises, groups will be asked to “deconstruct” a specified research study.  This task will require the group to respond to questions posed by the instructor.  The details of all exercises are specified in Oncourse modules and assignments.  Your group can “meet” to discuss these exercises over the phone, via Skype, through the use of the Oncourse chat room, or in-person.

Quizzes:  In order to test students’ knowledge of the material, quizzes will be completed each week.  All quizzes will be taken over Oncourse and include both true/false and multiple choice test items.

Discussion Forums:  Though much of the course emphasizes application and objective knowledge of course material, in some instances, discussion forums will provide the class the opportunity to express and explore their views on issues such as the value of evidence gained through the scientific method compared to other ways of knowing.  Details of forum participation requirements are specified in the syllabus.

For a complete list of Activities/Assignments for this course, click on the Course Syllabus tab.

Course Syllabus  


SWK S502: Evaluation Processes in Research

Online Course Syllabus

Time: Online

Place: Online

Instructor: Mark D. Thomas, Ph.D., LCSW

Office: Dunes Medical/Professional Building 3182

Phone: (219) 980-5688