Provides grounding in research designs, such as experimental, longitudinal, cross-sectional, case-study, and action research design. Helps professionals design and evaluate research proposals and be astute consumers of published research. Develops research proposals that can be submitted for institutional review at UW. Offered: Sp.
Applied social science research skills are in high demand by agencies and organizations seeking to make decisions that will advance their mission and services. An appropriate research design allows an agency to generate relevant information on organizational issues such as; types of services offered, market trends, treatment efficacy, employee productivity, best practice models, and work place organization. This course builds directly upon the knowledge and skills developed in the foundation research course BIS 312, through the direct application of research design to occupational and practice based research. Skills will be developed in the following areas; data collection, computer-based data management, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, interpretation and reporting of results, collaboration, communication, and dissemination of research. We will consider issues of agency partnerships, differences between textbook and practice knowledge, issues of stakeholder expectations, agency culture, and the conflict between good research and practice utility. It is recommended that students review a text on introductory statistics prior to starting this class. Class time will be used for lectures, group work, team and agency consultations, computer labs, and data simulations.
Student learning goals
To learn to critically assess social science research from an interdisciplinary perspective.
To gain experience in the direct application of research skills to practice research.
To identify and conduct the appropriate statistical analysis required for testing various exploratory, descriptive, explanatory, evaluative hypotheses.
To identify the potential limitations of research designs and learn to critique conclusions drawn from in empirical research literature.
To gain skills using SPSS to enter and analyze quantitative data.
General method of instruction
Combination of lectures, class exercises, data simulations, and collaboration with a local agency.
Review, basic statistics and research methods text.
Class assignments and grading
The core assignment involves developing professional skills by conducting a research study for a local agency.
Agency project, class participation, in class computer lab assignments.