Indiana University Northwest
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SWK S502 SYLLABUS

cont.

INDIANA UNIVERSITY

SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK

 

SWK S502 – Evaluation Processes in Research (3 cr.)

Online                                                                                      Mark D. Thomas, PhD, LCSW

Office Hours:   T and W 4:00 - 6:30 p.m.                               Telephone: 219-981-5688

By appointment                                                                       Email: mdt@iun.edu

Course Description

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.

Course Objective and Competencies

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.

Course Materials

Required Textbook

Engel, R.J., and Schutt, R.K. (2013) The Practice of Research in Social Work (Third Edition).  USA:  Sage.

Readings and Outline

WEEK 1:         Research and Social Work

ü  Introductions, Course Objectives, and Expectations

ü  Why Research? 

ü  Ways of Knowing and Understanding Our World.

ü  Is what social workers and researchers do really all that different?

               Readings

               Engel and Schutt, 2013:  Chapter 1

WEEK 2: The Research Process, Literature reviews.  Hypothesis testing.

ü  What is the Research Process?

ü  Research Basic.

ü  The Importance of Theory.

ü  Posing a Research Question.

ü  Identifying the independent variable and dependent variable.

               Readings

               Engel and Schutt, 2013:  Chapter 2

Ritter, A & Cameron, J. (2006).  A review of the efficacy and effectiveness of harm reduction strategies for alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs.  Drug and Alcohol Review, 25, 611-624.

WEEK 3:         Measurement

ü  What is measurement?

ü  Operational Definitions.

ü  Techniques of Measurement

ü  Levels of Measurement.

ü  Reliability and validity.

               Readings

               Engel and Schutt, 2013:  Chapter 4.

Washington, O. G. M., & Moxley, D. P. (2003). Group interventions with low-income african american women recovering from chemical dependency. Health & Social Work, 28(2), 146-56.

WEEK 4:         Developing data collection instruments

ü  Error in Measurement

ü  Random Error vs. Systematic Error

ü  Research Questionnaires vs. Clinical Questionnaires.

ü  Creating scale items

               Readings

               Monette et al., 2008 Chapter 13

Engel and Schutt, 2013:  Chapter 9, pp 231 to 246.

Thomas, M. D. & Bennett, L. W. (2009).  The Co-occurrence of Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence:  A Comparison of Dual Problem Men in Substance Abuse Treatment and in a Court-ordered Batterer Program.  Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 9(3), 299-317.

WEEK 5:         Sampling

ü  What is Sampling?

ü  Sampling Theory

ü  Types of Samples

               Readings

               Engel and Schutt, 2013:  Chapter 5.

O’Leary, D. K., & Schumacher, J. A. (2003) The association between alcohol use and intimate partner violence: Linear effect, threshold effect, or both?  Addictive Behaviors 28, 1575–1585.

Schumacher, J. A., Homish, G.G., Leonard, K. E., Quigley, B. M.,  Kearns-Bodkin, J. N. (2008) Longitudinal moderators of the relationship between excessive drinking and intimate partner violence in the early years of marriage. Journal of Family Psychology 22(6), 894-904.

WEEK 6:         Research designs for group comparisons.

ü  Making Causal Attributions

ü  Research Designs

ü  Internal Validity

ü  Threats to Internal Validity

ü  External Validity

               Readings

               Engel and Schutt, 2013:  Chapter 6 and 7.

Conners, N. A., Edwards, M. C. & Grant, A. S. (2007).  An evaluation of a parenting class curriculum for parents of young children: parenting the strong-willed child.  Journal of Child & Family Studies, 16(3), 321-330.

Gitlin, L., Winter, L., Dennis, M., Corcoran, M., Schinfeld, S. & Hauck, W.  (2006). A Randomized Trial of a Multicomponent Home Intervention to Reduce Functional Difficulties in Older Adults.  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 41, 4-14.

Hedrick, S. C., Sullivan, J. H., Sales, A. E. B., & Gray, S. L. (2009). Mom and Pop Versus the Big Boys:  Adult Family Homes as Providers of Medicaid-Funded Residential Care. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 21(1), 31-51.

WEEK 7:         Ethical Principles in Research

ü  The Nuremberg Code

ü  Milgram Study

ü  The Tuskegee Syphilis Study

ü  Guidelines for Ethical Research

ü  Institutional Review Boards

ü  The Belmont Report

               Readings

               Engel and Schutt, 2013:  Chapter 3.

Rockwell, D.H., Yobs, A. R. & Moore, Jr., M.B. (1964). The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis: The 30th Year of Observation.  Archives of Internal Medicine. 114(6), 792-798.

WEEK 8:         Unobtrusive Approaches to Data Collection Principles in Research

ü  Archival research

ü  Secondary Data Analysis

ü  Content Analysis

               Readings

               Royse Chap. 9.

Thomas, M. D., Guihan, M., & Mambourg, F. J. (2011). What do Potential Residents Need to Know about Assisted Living Facility Type?  The Trade-off between Autonomy and Help with More Complex Needs. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 25(2), 109-124.

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WEEK 9:         MIDTERM – Over Oncourse – Covers the first 7 weeks of the course.

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March 11, 2013

Spring Break

 

 

___________________________________________________________ 

WEEK 10: Qualitative Research

ü  Quantitative vs. Qualitative

ü  Qualitative Research Methods

ü  Unobtrusive Observation

ü  Qualitative Research Process

ü  Reliability and Validity Qualitative Research

               Readings

               Engel and Schutt, 2013 Chapters 10 and 11

Strolin-Goltzman, J., Kollar, S., & Trinkle, J. (2010). Listening to the Voices of Children in Foster Care: Youths Speak Out about Child Welfare Workforce Turnover and Selection. Social Work, 55(1), 47-53.                     

Winstock, Z., Eisikovits, Z, & Gelles, R.  (2002). Structure and dynamics of escalation from the batterers perspective.  Families in Society, 83, 129-141.

WEEK 11: Program Evaluation

ü  Why Program Evaluation?

ü  Questionable Reasons for Evaluation

ü  Positive Side Effects of Evaluation

ü  Types of Evaluation

ü  Special Considerations

               Readings

               Engel and Schutt, 2013, Chapter 13.

Conners, N. A., Edwards, M. C. & Grant, A. S. (2007).  An evaluation of a parenting class curriculum for parents of young children: parenting the strong-willed child.  Journal of Child & Family Studies, 16(3), 321-330.

WEEK 12: Single Subject Designs

ü  Why evaluate our practice?

ü  Target Behaviors and Guidelines for Choosing Them

ü  Types of Research Designs

ü  Analyzing Data

               Readings

               Engel and Schutt, 2013, Chapter 8.

Stubenbort, M., Greeno, C., Mannarino, A., & Cohen, J.  (2002).   Attachment quality and post-treatment functioning following sexual trauma in young adolescents:  A case series presentation.  Clinical Social Work Journal, 30, 23-39.

WEEK 13: Data analysis

ü  Data Coding

ü  Cleaning and Editing the Raw Data

ü  Univariate Analysis

ü  Bivariate Analysis

ü  Inferential Statistics

               Readings

               Engel and Schutt, 2013, Chapter 14.

WEEK 14: Survey Research

ü  Mail surveys

ü  E-mail surveys

ü  Telephone surveys

ü  Personal interviews

               Readings

               Engel and Schutt, 2013, Chapter 5.

WEEK 15: FINAL PROJECT DUE and Course Evaluations

____________________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

Course Conduct of Course, Course Policies,

Software Issues and Assignments

 

Conduct of Course

A variety of teaching/learning methods and experiences will be used throughout the semester in an effort to address course content and to help students meet course objectives. Activities will include online lectures, assigned readings, some discussion forums and quizzes, in addition to the assignments mentioned in the syllabus and discussed below.

The instructor will post weekly announcements, updates, and reminders (under “Announcements”) and students will have time to work on their assignments until Sunday at 11:00 PM of the following week.  Failure to submit assignments by such deadline will count as an absence from the class on that week. (SEE ATTANDENCE POLICY)

Course Policies

  • § Students are expected to attend all online sessions and active participation in class is expected.  Attendance will be recorded.  Oncourse provides instructors with a running record of students’ log-ins and log-outs, time spent while online, number of emails, number of entries in forum discussions, etc. for each student. To participate fully and be able to provide thoughtful questions and comments in the discussions, students must prepare carefully for each class session.
  • § Exams are to be taken as scheduled. No make-up exams will be given, nor will late assignments be accepted. Exceptions for unusual circumstances require documentation and advance discussion with the instructor.
  • § Students should have read assigned materials in the order specified by the instructor, and should be ready to participate knowledgeably and constructively in class activities.
  • § In accordance with the Indiana University School of Social Work grading policy, students must earn at least a "C" to pass this course.
  • § Online classroom climate should be reflective of civility. Students are expected to respect the opinions and feelings of other students’ and the instructor’s, even if they differ from one’s own.
  • § Internet etiquette is expected in all communications, including email with the instructor and classmates.
  • § A formal evaluation of the course and its instructor will be completed on the final day of the course, consistent with the school's academic policy.

 

Grade of Incomplete: A grade of Incomplete (I) may be assigned by an instructor only when exceptional circumstances such as an illness, injury, or a family emergency prevents a student from finishing all the work required for the course.  The grade of Incomplete may be considered only when a substantial portion of the course work has already been completed, the coursework is of satisfactory quality, and no more than one major exam or assignment is outstanding. The student who does not meet these requirements should meet with her/his advisor to withdraw from the course(s) in question. The student should refer to the Registrar’s Office on her/his respective campus regarding the policies and deadline for automatic withdrawal for the semester in question.

The student is responsible for initiating the request for a grade of Incomplete.  If the instructor agrees, the instructor and student complete and sign a Record of Incomplete and Contract for Completion of Course Requirements form to ensure that a sound educational plan and time frame for completion of course requirements have been established.  Failure to fulfill the terms of this contract within the stipulated time frame may result in a failing grade.  For removal of a grade of Incomplete, the student is subject to the IUSSW policy, which has precedence over the University policy.

Indiana University School of Social Work Policy on Plagiarism

The School of Social Work follows the Indiana University policy on plagiarism which states:

Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else’s work, including the work of other students, as one’s own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge. What is considered “common knowledge” may differ from course to course.

  1. A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.
  2. A student must give credit to the originality of others and acknowledge indebtedness whenever:
    1. Directly quoting another person’s actual words, whether oral or written;
    2. Using another person’s ideas, opinions, or theories;
    3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
    4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
    5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

Indiana University (2006). IUPUI - code of student rights, responsibilities, and

conduct. Available: http://www.iupui.edu/code/

 

IU School of Social Work Addendum to Indiana University Policy on Plagiarism

 

In addition to the university statement on plagiarism which is published in the IU Student Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, the IU School of Social Work defines plagiarism as including:

  • The intentional or unintentional use of information from another person without full acknowledgment. Such use, even when unintended, causes the work to appear to be the student’s own work and thus the student, not the original author, benefits from the omission of proper acknowledgment.
  • Copying or using information from web sites without appropriately documenting the internet source.
  • Buying or using a document written by another person.
  • Submitting any part of the student’s own work which has been previously submitted, unless one’s own prior work is fully acknowledged and appropriately cited.

Software Issues

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the tools to complete an online class. In this case, you must have access to a reliable computer, whether it be at home, the public library, or on campus. You must have the following software installed on your computer:

-  Acrobat Reader: read and print Portable Document Format (PDF) files

-  Microsoft Office which includes Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

The most current version of Microsoft Office might not compatible with previous versions. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you visit https://iuware.iu.edu/ and download the most current software.  IT’S FREE to you as a student.

All assignments are expected to be written using ONLY Microsoft Word (please, do not use Microsoft Works, Word Perfect, etc.).

 

 

 

 

Assignments

A description of major assignments to be completed in this course follows:

     Four Short Assignments

  • Assignment #1 –  Literature Review. see instructions under “Assignments.”
  • Assignment #2 –  Internal validity.  See instructions under “Assignments.”
  • Assignment #3 –  Human Subjects Training.  See instructions under “Assignments.”
  • Assignment #4 – Qualitative Research. See instructions under “Assignments.”

 

Midterm exam

  • This exam will cover the material from week 1 through week 7.

Final project – Due last week of classes.

Informed Participation/ Online Assignments and quizzes

  • Discussion Questions and Class Exercises
    • Since this class is not meeting face-to-face, class exercises, quizzes and your responses to the questions that I pose are an important part of your learning in this class.  I am primarily looking for quality in your responses to discussion questions.  Your responses should be between 150 and 200 words, so please be concise. 
    • Each week I will either give quizzes or post discussion questions.  When I post discussion questions, you will need to post responses to these questions and respond to the comments of at least two of your classmates for a total of four posts.
    • You are expected to post responses and comments to discussion questions at least three times per week.  Your first response to the discussion and questions should be posted no later than Thursday at 8 p.m.  Also, though you are free to post as many responses as you like (in addition to what is stated in the previous bullet point), do not feel that you are expected to respond to each post.
  • Group Exercises
    • Group exercises will be described in detail under “modules.”  These exercises will require you to “meet” with two to three of your fellow classmates.  You may meet in person, over the phone or via one of the Oncourse chat rooms.  Many of these exercises will include answering specific questions related to a particular research study.  For each group exercise, a group member will report your responses to the class at-large for discussion.
    • All Posts are due on Sunday at 11pm.  Quizzes must also be completed by Sunday at 11pm.

Grading

Grades will be based on the assignments as listed below. 

Assignment

Percent of Grade

 

Four Short Assignments

40

120

Midterm Exam

20

60

Final Project

25

75

Informed Participation/Assignments and quizzes

15

45

Total

100%

300

Evaluation and Grading

                                                Course grades will be based on the following overall percentages:

                                                A                      Excellent                     95-100

                                                A-                    Superior                      90-94

                                                B+                   Very Good                  87-89

                                                B                      Good                           83-86

                                                B-                    Fair                              80-82

                                                C+                   Acceptable                  77-79

                                                C                     Minimally                     73-76

                                                                        Acceptable

                                                C-                    Unsatisfactory             70-72

 

 

IU School of Social Work Grading Policy

In the Indiana University School of Social Work MSW program, grades of B are the expected norm. Reflecting competency and proficiency, grades of B reflect good or high quality work typical of graduate students in professional schools. Indeed, professors typically evaluate students’ work in such a way that B is the average grade. Grades in both the A and the C range are relatively uncommon and reflect work that is significantly superior to or significantly inferior, respectively, to the average, high quality, professional work conducted by most IU MSW students. Because of this approach to grading, students who routinely earned A grades in their undergraduate studies may conclude that a B grade reflects a decrease in their academic performance. Such is not the case. Grades of B in the IU MSW program reflect the average, highly competent, proficient quality of our students. In a sense, a B grade in graduate school is analogous to an A grade in undergraduate studies. MSW students must work extremely hard to achieve a B grade. If you are fortunate enough receive a B, prize it as evidence of the professional quality of your work.

Grades of A reflect Excellence. Excellent scholarly products and academic or professional performances are substantially superior to the “good,” “the high quality,” “the competent,” or the “satisfactory.” They are unusual, exceptional, and extraordinary. Criteria for assignments are not only met, they are exceeded by a significant margin. Excellence is a rare phenomenon. As a result, relatively few MSW students earn A grades.

Grades of B signify good or high quality scholarly products and academic or professional performance. Grades in the B range reflect work expected of a conscientious graduate student in a professional program. Criteria for assignments are met in a competent, thoughtful, and professional manner. However, the criteria are not exceeded and the quality is not substantially superior to other good quality products or performances. There is a clear distinction between the good and the excellent. We expect that most MSW students will earn grades in the B range—reflecting the good or high quality work expected of competent future helping professionals.

Grades of C and C+ signify work that is marginal in nature. The scholarly products or professional performances meet many but not all of the expected criteria. The work approaches but does not quite meet the standards of quality expected of a graduate student in a professional school. Satisfactory in many respects, its quality is not consistently so and cannot be considered of good or high quality. We anticipate that a minority of MSW students will earn C and C+ grades.

Grades of C- and lower reflect work that is unsatisfactory. The products or performances do not meet several, many, or most of the criteria. The work fails to approach the standards of quality expected of a graduate student and a future MSW-level professional. We anticipate that a small percentage of MSW students will earn unsatisfactory grades of C-,D, and F.

University and School Policies

 

Students should be familiar with the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (http://dsa.indiana.edu/Code/index.html), from which many of the policies below are derived.

 

Cheating

Cheating is grounds for failing the course and possible dismissal from the program and/or university.

Cheating is considered to be an attempt to use or provide unauthorized assistance, materials, information, or study aids in any form and in any academic exercise or environment. A student must not use external assistance on any “in-class” or “take-home” examination, unless the instructor specifically has authorized external assistance. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, the use of tutors, books, notes, calculators, computers, and wireless communication devices.

A student must not use another person as a substitute in the taking of an examination or quiz, nor allow other persons to conduct research or to prepare work, without advance authorization from the instructor to whom the work is being submitted.

A student must not use materials from a commercial term paper company; files of papers prepared by other persons, or submit documents found on the Internet. A student must not collaborate with other persons on a particular project and submit a copy of a written report that is represented explicitly or implicitly as the student’s individual work.

A student must not use any unauthorized assistance in a laboratory, at a computer terminal, or on fieldwork.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a form of cheating and is grounds for failing the course and possible dismissal from the program and/or university.

Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else’s work, including the work of other students, as one’s own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge. What is considered “common knowledge” may differ from course to course.

A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment. A student must give credit to the originality of others and acknowledge indebtedness whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person’s actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person’s ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

Right to Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities

Indiana University is committed to creating a learning environment and academic community that promotes educational opportunities for all individuals, including those with disabilities. Course directors are asked to make reasonable accommodations, upon request by the student or the university, for such disabilities. It is the responsibility of students with documented physical or learning disabilities seeking accommodation to notify their course directors and the relevant campus office that deals with such cases in a timely manner concerning the need for such accommodation. Indiana University will make reasonable accommodations for access to programs, services, and facilities as outlined by applicable state and federal laws.

Campus support offices:
Northwest: Student Support Services www.iun.edu/~supportn

Grades of Incomplete

A grade of Incomplete (I) may be assigned by an instructor only when exceptional circumstances such as an illness, injury, or a family emergency prevents a student from finishing all the work required for the course.  The grade of Incomplete may be considered only when a substantial portion of the course work has already been completed, the coursework is of satisfactory quality, and no more than one major exam or assignment is outstanding. The student who does not meet these requirements should meet with her/his advisor to withdraw from the course(s) in question. The student should refer to the Registrar’s Office on her/his respective campus regarding the policies and deadline for automatic withdrawal for the semester in question.

The student is responsible for initiating the request for a grade of Incomplete.  If the instructor agrees, the instructor and student complete and sign a Record of Incomplete and Contract for Completion of Course Requirements form to ensure that a sound educational plan and time frame for completion of course requirements have been established.  Failure to fulfill the terms of this contract within the stipulated time frame may result in a failing grade.  For removal of a grade of Incomplete, the student is subject to the IUSSW policy, which has precedence over the University policy.  The student in the School of Social Work is expected to complete outstanding course work expeditiously, since many courses serve as prerequisites for others.  Additionally, the following apply:

  • Students must satisfactorily complete all foundation courses or have an approved contract for removing grades of Incomplete before taking any intermediate courses.
  • Students must satisfactorily complete all intermediate courses before entering the concentration year.
  • Generally, students may carry no more than one grade of Incomplete at any given time.  However, in cases of severe crisis, a student may work with her/his advisor to request grades of Incomplete in multiple courses.

Attendance Policies:  Required Attendance in Class

  • One class missed without grade penalty
  • Two missed classes will result in a half letter grade drop for the final course grade
  • Three missed classes will result in a full letter grade for the final course grade
  • Four missed classes will result in a grade of “F” for the course.

 

Other Policies

  1. Students should have read assigned materials in the order specified by the Professor and should be ready to participate knowledgeably and constructively in class activities.
  1. In accordance with the Indiana School of Social Work grading policy, students must earn at least a C to pass this course.
  1. Failure to observe these policies will be considered in assigning final grades.

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