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Department of Social Work

Understanding Research for the Behavioral Sciences
SW 2900
Office Location:
Office Hours:

S. Zachary Bullock, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

LAC 115-B
By appointment Monday through Friday
Zach.Bullock@slcc.edu / email via Canvas for quicker reply
Understanding research: a consumers guide. Plano, V. L. C.,
Creswell, J. W., (2010). Pearson Education, Inc.

Course Description:
Understanding research for the Behavioral Sciences is a course designed to introduce students
to the principles of evidence-based research design and analysis. Reading research, applying
research to practical situations, and performing research are all regular tasks performed by
experts in the behavioral sciences. Therefore, a solid knowledge of how high quality research is
conducted is essential to students in their careers. This course will give students the basic
understanding of vital concepts in order to become competent research consumers and sets the
stage for conducting their own project.
Course Requirements:
Plagiarism Exercise: (10 points total). This assignment will prepare students for academic
writing and must be passed off in order to continue in this course.
Exams: (Midterm 30 points, Final 45 points; 75 points total). There will be three exams during the
semester based on the material covered in class and the material found in the textbook. The
exams may include multiple choice, short answer, and fill in the blank type questions.
Quizzes: (25 points total). Five quizzes will be given in class. Quizzes will be unannounced and
based entirely on the days assigned reading. No aids will be permitted when taking the quizzes.
The quizzes will be worth 10 points each.
In-Class work and homework assignments: (100 points). There will be several assignments
that will be either done in class or will be assigned as homework in which you will apply topics we
have discussed in class. They will vary in point value given what direction you pick in taking this
course: Consumer Track; Producer Track Qualitative and Producer Track Quantitative. There are
four assignments per track all worth 25 points each.
Consumer Track
1) Research Question
and Introduction = 25 pts
2) IRB Proposal = 25 pts
3) Research Proposal = 25 pts
4) Panel Participation = 25pts

Producer Track Qualitative

1) Research Question
and Introduction = 25 pts
2) IRB Submission = 25 pts
3) Data collection/analysis
In-Vivo = 25 pts
4) Poster Symposium
Presentation = 25 pts

Producer Track Quantitative

1) Research Question
and Introduction = 25pts
2) IRB Submission
3) Data collection/analysis
STATA/SPSS = 25 pts
4) Poster Symposium
Presentation = 25 pts

Literature Review/Thesis: (150 points). This is the major project of the semester. The
assignment will be a research proposal that focuses on two separate research elements: the
literature review and the research design and analysis. This must not be longer than ten pages

total (not including a title page, abstract, and references). More information will be given in class
and on Canvas.
Important Course Information
Course Website: As your instructor, I make the assumption that you are familiar with your
computer and the software that is on it. Further, I assume that you can follow basic instructions
for changing the settings on your computer. I want to make this very clear: Your inability to
operate your computer will not be accepted as a valid excuse for not submitting
assignments in a prompt and professional manner.
The software that runs our course is Canvas. Students using a PC need to know that Canvas
runs better with the Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browser than it does using Internet
Explorer (IE). It will run using IE, but it will not run as well as it does using Firefox. Students
using a MAC should be okay using the Google Chrome or Safari browser to access Canvas.
To access our course website, you have at least three options: Option #1: Go to www.slcc.edu
and log in to MyPage. Select the My Courses tab at the top of the page. At the bottom of the
page, you may be given the option of going to BlackBoard or Canvas. Select Canvas. You may
be asked to log in again. Use the same username and password that you used to access
MyPage. Option #2: Go to https://learn-slcc.uen.org/login and log in using your MyPage user
name and password. Option #3: Go the www.slcc.edu and click on the Current Students tab at
the top of the page. From the pull-down menu, select Canvas. All of these options will take you
to the login page. After logging in, you will see a menu of your course websites. Double click SW
2100 and you will be taken to our course webpage.
The website contains a copy of our course syllabus, course calendar, homework assignments,
discussion list, and the final take home exam and all the other materials to support your learning.
You will be able to submit homework assignments on the website, take quizzes and check your
Submitting papers electronically is very convenient. However, this convenience carries with it an
inherent risk, which is ultimately your responsibility.
Occasionally, your computer, the server, the user, the connection or some other part of the
internet fails. Equipment or user failure, regardless of the source or cause, is not an excuse for
submitting late papers. Please do not wait until the last minute to submit your assignments.
Identify another computer that you can use in case of an emergency. A broken car is not a good
excuse for missing a traditional class and a broken computer is not a valid excuse for missing an
online course or assignment. Have a backup plan in place.
You must be prepared to use Canvas correctly. The software program requires that you follow an
exact sequence in order to submit your papers. Failure to use the software correctly will result in
the loss of your data. Only data saved to the website by the due date/time will be graded.
If you want to learn more about using the Canvas platform, go to the Canvas student guide at
http://guides.instructure.com/s/2204/m/4212. If you still have questions, you can use the chat
function at www.slcc.edu/online to text with the folks at the SLCC Online Support Center. If you
prefer to talk on the telephone, please call the Online Support Center at (801) 957-4406. (Toll
free: 1-888-963-7522). Bottom line: It is your responsibility to know how to use the website. If
your homework is lost because you did NOT push the buttons in the correct order, you cannot be
given credit. Emailed assignments, regardless of the reason or time sent, will be returned
to you ungraded. Remember: Papers can be submitted early.
Important Student Information:

Attendance: Several different assessment assignments will be distributed throughout the class.
It is imperative that you attend class in order to understand and complete these assessment
assignments. If you are absent the date the assignment is distributed there are no make-ups.

Student Contribution: This is a three credit hour class that has a tremendous amount of
important information to cover. You certainly can accomplish it but it requires careful planning,
work, and study. In order to achieve maximum learning in this short amount of time, it is
important that you understand the following:
A major goal of this course is to provide you with the opportunity to review and/or clarify your own
thoughts, ideas, and values as it relates to understanding research. Although we will spend time
defining vocabulary and reviewing statistical information, the real heart of this class will be in your
ability to integrate and apply this information in order to engage in meaningful and thoughtful
discussions and/or completion of assignments.
Attendance, Punctuality & Participation: Participation through the articulation of thoughts,
effective problem solving, and an integration of knowledge and understanding of various
frameworks will reflect the students understanding of core concepts.
Participation points are available at the instructors discretion based upon engagement in class
discussion, integration of assigned readings and application of understanding to in-class
assignments and exercises as well as attendance and punctuality.
Late Assignments: Late assignments reduce by -10% per day the assignment is past the due
date. Once the assignment is due past seven days, it will not be accepted and the student will
receive a zero. If unforeseeable circumstances arise, the professor must be notified as soon as
possible in order to work out a plan of accommodation if appropriate. In the end, the professor
determines what is unforeseeable and not the student.
Learning Outcomes:
The primary goal of SW 2900 is to provide the student an understanding of research for
consumption and potential production of academic knowledge. The learning outcomes of this
course match the college-wide learning outcomes established by Salt Lake Community College in
the following ways.
SLCC Learning Outcome #1: Upon successful completion of any program, students should
acquire substantive knowledge in the discipline of their choice sufficient for further study, and/or
demonstrate competencies required by employers to be hired and succeed in the workplace.
SW 1010 Learning Outcomes: At the end of this course students should be able to:
Gain substantive knowledge in reading, understanding and evaluating research reports in
the behavioral sciences.
Gain substantive knowledge in formulating empirically testable research questions
through qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodological methods.
SLCC Learning Outcome #2: Upon successful completion of any program, students should be
able to communicate effectively.
SW 1010 Learning Outcome: At the end of this course students should be able to:

Communicate effectively both orally and in writing their understanding of available

resources, applicable skills, probable interventions to answer research questions of

Communicate effectively both orally and in writing their research question whether it be
correlational or experimental.

SLCC Learning Outcome #3: Upon successful completion of any program, students should
develop quantitative literacies necessary for their chosen field of study:
SW 1010 Learning Outcome: At the end of this course students should be able to:

Interpret information represented in data, graphs, tables, statistics and research studies
to more effectively understand individual and group patterns of behavior
Disseminate information at academic poster symposium and participate in a panel.

SLCC Learning Outcome #4: Upon successful completion of any program, students should be
able to think critically.
SW 1010 Learning Outcome: At the end of this course students should be able to:

Demonstrate key aspects of critical thinking in the development of possible causes and
explanations for theoretical phenomenon worth exploring through research.
Demonstrate key aspects of critical thinking in the development of effective
approaches/interventions to answering research questions.

SLCC Learning Outcome #5: Upon completion of any program, students should develop the
knowledge and skills to be civically engaged, and/or to work with others in a professional and
constructive manner.
SW 1010 Learning Outcome: At the end of this course students should be able to:
Have knowledge of research introductory skills and values needed in working with others
in a professional and constructive manner.
Other Useful Information:
Final Grades The final grade will be calculated according to how many points you receive on
your quiz, discussions, assignments, attendance and participation. HOWEVER, the instructor
reserves the right to make any changes needed to improve the class. These changes (if
any) will be announced to the students.
Writing Expectations It is expected that all assignments will be written on a scholarly level with
attention to spelling, grammar, appropriate citations and coherent writing. Each product must be
written in a 12-point font, double-spaced with one inch margins on all sides. When applicable
each product should follow APA guidelines.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is when you take credit for another persons words or ideas. You must
cite any source you use in your work (other than sources of common knowledge), or you have
committed plagiarism. This course will use Canvas plagiarism-checking software (TurnItIn).
Papers containing plagiarized material will receive a score of 0 for a first offense. A student
who plagiarizes a second time may fail the course. See the Student Code of Conduct, especially
pages 42 and 45.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Students with medical, psychological,
learning or other disabilities desiring accommodations or services under ADA, must contact the
Disability Resource Center (DRC ). The DRC determines eligibility for and authorizes the
provision of these accommodations and services for the college. Please contact the DRC at the

Student Center, Suite 244, Redwood Campus, 4600 So. Redwood Rd, 84123. Phone: (801) 9574659, TTY: 957-4646, Fax: 957- 4947 or by email: amber.jentzsch@slcc.edu
Student Code of Conduct: All students are expected to follow the SLCC Student Code of
Conduct found at http://www.slcc.edu/policies/docs/Student_Code_of_Conduct.pdf. It is your
responsibility to access, read and understand this document.
Course Rules About Disclosure of Personal Information:
1. Disclosure of personal information can often be an important part of the learning process and
can lead to valuable personal insight. Any personal information will be held in confidence by
students and should not be repeated outside of the course.
2. Self-disclosure that is overly personal and not applicable to the specific discussion or
inappropriate in an educational setting will be addressed immediately with the student. This form
of self-disclosure is unacceptable and highly discouraged by the instructor. If events occur of a
personal nature that the student feels the instructor should be aware of please email me
individually and not through the class discussion process.
3. All opinions are valid, even negative ones or ones in opposition to your opinions. Although
these feelings will differ from person to person, and I demand that all feelings, rights and opinions
will be respected. You certainly can still disagree with anothers position but please do so in
respectful and a non-personal manner.
Plagiarism Exercise
Exams (Midterm 30 pts and Final 45 pts)
Quizzes (5 worth 5 pts each)
In-Class Assignments (4 worth 25 pts)
Literature Review or Thesis
Attendance, Punctuality and Participation




Grading Scale:
100 94 A
93 90 A89 87 B+
86 83 B
82 80 B-

79 77
76 73
72 70
69 67
66 63


62 60 D59 and below E

Title IX Information:
20 U.S.C.A. Section 1681 (a): TITLE IX
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded
from participation in, be denied benefit of, or be subjected to

discrimination under any education program or activity receiving

federal funds.
Examples of violations (but not limited to):
Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and sexually
motivated physical conduct
Overt or subtle pressure for sexual activity
Sexually offensive verbalization including remarks, teasing,
slurs, and innuendo
Repeated inappropriate jokes or comments about sex or gender
specific traits
Conduct that is demeaning or derisive and occurs substantially
because of ones gender
Sexual assault
Sexual Violence
Gender based disparate treatment
Violations can occur in any college environment, such as (but
not limited to):
Field Trips
Student Clubs

On Campus Events

If you have questions or concerns regarding your rights or

responsibilities, or if you would like to file a Title IX complaint please
StudentsDr. Marlin Clark, Dean of Students, 801-957-4776, STC 276 A
Employees or Community membersKen Stonebrook, Title IX & Discrimination Manager, 801-957-5027, AAB
211G (Redwood)
Online Reporting Formhttp://www.slcc.edu/eeo/title-ix/complaint.aspx

Salt Lake Community College has a strong prohibition against

RETALIATION! The college does not tolerate acts of retaliation
against anyone for engaging in filing a complaint or participating in an
Course Calendar:
Jan 9

Lecture Subject Matter:

Syllabus and Introductions

Due Dates:
Plagiarism Exercise

Jan 13 Off

Con and Pro Tracks

No Class

Jan 16 Holiday

No Class

Jan 18

1. The Process of Research:

Learning How Research is
1. Continued

Jan 11

Jan 20
Jan 23
Jan 25

2. Quantitative and
Qualitative Approaches to
2. Continued

Jan 27
Jan 30
Feb 1

3. The Research Problem:
Identifying Why a Study is
3. Continued

Feb 3
Feb 6
Feb 8


Feb 15

Assignment 2 Due For All


4. The Literature Review:

Examining the Background
for a Study
4. Continued

Feb 10
Feb 13

Assignment 1 Due For All


5. The Purpose: Identifying
the Intent of a Study
5. Continued

Feb 17


Feb 20 Holiday

No Class

Feb 22

6. Quantitative Research


Feb 24
Feb 27
March 1

Designs: Recognizing the

Overall Plan for a Study
6. Continued
7. Quantitative Data
Collection: Identifying How
Information is Gathered
7. Continued

March 3


March 6

8. Quantitative Data
Analysis and Results:
Examining What Was Found
in a Study
8. Continued

March 8
March 10


March 13 Spring Break

through March 17
March 20
March 22
March 24
March 27
March 29
March 31
April 3

9. Qualitative Research
Designs: Recognizing the
Overall Plan for a Study
9. Continued
10. Qualitative Data
Collection: Identifying How
Information is Gathered
10. Continued

April 5

11. Qualitative Data Analysis

and Results: Examining
What Was Found in a Study
11. Continued

April 7


April 10

April 12
April 14
April 17
April 19

Assignment 3 Due For All


Draft Due of Paper

Revision 1

12. Mixed Methods

Research: Research That
Mixes Quant and Qual
12. Continued
13. Action Research
Designs: Research for
Solving Practical Problems
13. Continued

Peer Review of Paper

April 21
April 24


April 26

14. Interpreting Research:

Identifying the Conclusions
About a Study
Poster Symposium Begins

April 28

Poster Symposium Ends

May 1 to May 4 Finals


Literature Review or Thesis


Assignment 4 Due For All

Final Exam TBD