Welcome to HS 391 - Research Methods & Program Evaluation
We are excited to have you here and hope you enjoy your time as you expand and apply new knowledge from this important course.
This course is an introduction to scientific writing, assessment instructions, data collection, research design, and statistical analysis. During this course, you will develop strategies for evaluating the success of health education programs and implementing data collection and analysis through the use of the SPSS statistical package. This course also meets some requirements for the CHES exam preparation, namely in Areas 1, 4, and 7.
After successful completion of this course you will be able to:
- Identify strengths and limitations of scientific inquiry and program evaluation
- Define and identify plagiarism. Understand how to safeguard against plagiarism
- Propose and design a research project, conduct a literature review, collect and analyze data
- Communicate research findings in written and oral formats including a research paper (APA style) and poster
- Work collaboratively and effectively with peers to meet a common goal
- Understand the relationship between spiritual and scientific inquiry in the pursuit of truth
Learning Model Architecture
As you complete preparation activities, you will prime your mind to learn and to teach others by considering the Foundation material as the paradigm for the lesson. After studying the Foundation material, you will then be ready for the Readings from the textbook. The Relevance information will help you make meaningful connections between your life and the lesson content.
Teach One Another
Teaching your classmates gives you, a prepared student, the opportunity to act for yourself and to develop a deeper understanding of the course materials. You will have many opportunities to work with others as you complete the group research assignments throughout the semester. Along with teaching your classmates in formal group activities, look for informal means of teaching and helping one another as you interact with your classmates.
You will extend and solidify your learning by pondering and proving new knowledge. Your Ponder and Prove activities are found in Application activities in which you will combine lesson principles as you conduct primary research. You will generally complete one Application activity in each lesson as you prepare, analyze, and present your research findings.
You must take one of the following statistics courses prior to completing HS 391: MATH 221 A, B, or C (formerly called FDMAT 221, FDMAT 222, and FDMAT 223) prior to taking this course.
The textbook for this course is available at no cost as an e-text through the BYU-Idaho McKay Library. It is entitled, Social Research Methods, by Nicholas Walliman, Sage Publications, 2006. A hyperlink to the text will be provided in each lesson's reading assignment.
Mozilla Firefox is the recommended internet browser for any I-Learn course. Videos, readings, and course functionality will work best when you use Firefox.
It is assumed that you either have your own computer or you have regular, consistent access to a computer. You need to have the appropriate permissions on your computer to download lesson content, access websites, and update and/or download software as needed along with consistent, reliable access to an internet connection. Your computer should be equipped with at least the standard System Requirements. You should also have a webcam and microphone in order to participate in your instructor's Office Hour and to complete your group presentation. A webcam and microphone will also enable you to have a better experience as you work with your group throughout the semester.
You will also use Microsoft Office products in this course, specifically Microsoft Publisher to complete your research presentation at the end of the semester. If you do not yet have the Microsoft Office Suite (Publisher, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) on your computer, you may use this free download for BYU-Idaho students to obtain the software.
How To Navigate This Course
Begin each lesson by reading the Overview documents to quickly learn important information about the lesson. Next, take notes as you study the Foundation information and the Readings. Review your notes and refer back to the lesson material, if you have any questions. It is highly recommended that you begin each lesson early in the week so that you have enough time to complete your study of these materials. In some lessons, you will also have a discussion board post due by the Mid-Week due date; check the individual Lesson Overview page for specific details. (Due dates will be explained in detail in Lesson 01 of the course.)
It is your responsibility to submit your work on time, including mid-week discussion board posts. Therefore, it is imperative that you check the lesson Overview page to see when your work is due each week.
During the second half of each week, the lesson focuses on applying your new knowledge. You will begin this portion of the lesson with the Relevance activity which will help you connect the lesson material to a real-world situation. You will also complete the Application assignments during the second half of the week, the majority of which will be completed with your group. It is highly recommended that you meet with your group during the second half of the week to complete the assignment and then submit your work.
Some activities may take your group longer to complete. For this reason, the due dates for each Application assignment have been extended to mid-week of the following lesson. Remember, if your group chooses to use the additional time which extends into the following week, you still need to keep up on the new week's lesson materials. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you complete the Application assignments by the end of each lesson whenever possible.
Each lesson opens prior to the week it is assigned. If you complete the current lesson early and would like to get started on next week's lesson, you may do so.
Lessons 01 and 14 have unique assignments. In Lessons 02-13 you will encounter the following types of assignments:
Complete by Mid-Week
- Foundation: The Foundation material is the first document in each lesson of this course and as such, it should be read first. By studying the Foundation first, you will have the proper context, framework, and paradigm to study the rest of the lesson material.
- Readings: In each lesson there will be a Readings page, which contains the textbook reading assignment and a link to the e-text. Due to the academic nature of the content in the Readings, it is important to decrease your reading rate to a slower reading rate conducive to deeper study. Take notes as you learn the material and then review your notes to help you solidify your learning.
- In some lessons, you will have an initial post on an Application Activity discussion board due on Wednesday. Check the individual lesson overviews for more details.
Complete by Beginning of the following lesson
- Relevance: The Relevance information will help you make connections between the lesson material and its importance in your life.
Recommended completion by End-of-Week; due by the following Mid-Week deadline
- Application: Each lesson includes at least one Application activity in which you will extend your learning of the lesson topics through completion of a real-world activity. Most of the Application activities are completed with your group and will help propel you to successful completion of your primary research project. Your research project will be on a health topic.
- The group Application assignments directly connected to your research project are:
- Lesson 02 - Setting up your group and selecting a health research topic
- Lesson 03 - Complete a literature review
- Lesson 04 - Write research questions
- Lesson 05 - Observational study
- Lesson 06 - Design your research study and sampling frame
- Lesson 07 - Create a questionnaire or survey
- Lesson 08 - Propose your research project to BYU-I for university approval
- Lesson 09 - Data analysis assignment
- Lesson 10 - Analyze your data
- Lesson 12 - Write/compile your research paper
- Lesson 13 - Create a research poster
You are probably quite familiar with the Teach One Another process step of the Learning Model, but did you know that one of the five principles behind the Learning Model is to love, serve, and teach one another? To learn more about this aspect of the Learning Model, visit their webpage and explore the available information. You will complete your research and most of your course activities with your group beginning in Lesson 02. You are invited to beTrue at All Times as you fulfill your group work responsibilities with personal honor and deepen your learning in this course along with your level of discipleship in your life.
Each student will be held accountable for the manner in which they contribute to their group and for their individual portion of work put forth toward group assignments. You can contact your instructor at any time during the semester for assistance with any group work questions or concerns. Each student will complete a Peer Evaluation at the middle and at the end of the semester to report the contributions of your group members.
In most lessons, you will need to collaborate with your group members in order to successfully complete the Application assignment. You may choose to meet by phone, email, or video conference to work on your weekly assignments. Google Hangouts is a free web-based video conferencing tool you can use to hold your group meeting. To learn more about this option visit Google Hangouts.
You are preparing for a career as a health professional. Submitting work after the deadline has passed is not a professional practice; therefore, late work will not be accepted in this course.
Click on the "Grades" tab near the top of the screen to see a detailed list of course work. Your grade is calculated according to the number of points you earn in each lesson. Be aware that the points for assignments are approximately divided into categories as follows:
- Assignments - about 25%
- Research Project - about 53%
- Peer Evaluation - about 22%
Your final letter grade will be assigned according to the percentage of points earned. Your grade will not be rounded up. You have all semester to earn your grade; therefore, do not email your instructor at the end of the semester asking to round up your grade.
|A||93% and up||C||73% to 76.99%|
|A-||90% to 92.99%||C-||70% to 72.99%|
|B+||87% to 89.99%||D+||67% to 69.99%|
|B||83% to 86.99%||D||63% to 66.99%|
|B-||80% to 82.99%||D-||60% to 62.99%|
|C+||77% to 79.99%||F||59.99% and below|
HS 391 is a 2-credit course and BYU-Idaho recommends scheduling 3-4 hours per week for each credit. Therefore, the course was designed for an average student to spend 6-8 hours each week to successfully complete the course work. Please arrange your schedule and reserve ample time for your studies. It is also expected that you will complete your work in a timely manner and put forth your best effort.
You can expect that your instructor will respond to your email within 24 hours, excluding Sundays and holidays. You can also expect that your instructor will grade your submitted work within 7 calendar days of the assignment due date. If you ever have a question about your grade or would like additional feedback, simply contact your instructor for assistance.
Netiquette is Internet etiquette, or acceptable social behavior when using the Internet. Remember there is a real person on the other side of your computer screen, and therefore you should always treat others courteously. Behavior such as calling someone a derogatory name, making threats, or being demanding is inappropriate. Treat your classmates and your instructor in a respectful and professional manner just as you would if you were seeing them face to face. This counsel applies to any type of communication including discussion board posts, emails, video conferences, or any other method of communication.
Netiquette guidelines also include the following:
- Use correct spelling and punctuation instead of abbreviations, text language, or slang. Using conventional spelling and punctuation will help ensure that your meaning will be understood by others.
- Don't use all capital letters. When you use all caps, IT IS LIKE YELLING AT SOMEONE AND IS CONSIDERED RUDE BEHAVIOR.
- It is important that you ask questions of your classmates and instructors as questions arise. Remember that in an online course, you and your instructor will often be in the course at different times. Therefore, you need to ask your questions well ahead of due dates in order to allow sufficient time for your instructor to respond. When you ask questions, be specific and include a reference to the lesson content or assignment in question.
By using common courtesy and showing respect to your classmates and instructors as you practice the netiquette behavior explained above, you will be a better disciple of the Savior and have a far better online learning experience as you help establish a safe learning environment for everyone.
Following the Honor Code is of great importance as you strive to be a disciple of Christ. Academic honesty and integrity is expected of all BYU-I students. To copy someone else's work from the Internet, a book, or from any other source and claiming it to be your own work, is plagiarism. Read the official definitions of plagiarism and cheating from the Academic Honesty portion of the Honor Code. Each case of plagiarism or cheating will be dealt with by the instructor. When working on a group project, you have the responsibility to assure that others in the group do not plagiarize. Any academic dishonesty issue will be referred to the BYU-I Dean of Students, if necessary. Even though you are taking this course online, BYU-Idaho's Dress and Grooming standards still apply. By adhering to the Honor Code you will create a learning environment, “consistent with the ideals and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Honor Code webpage)
In compliance with applicable disability law, qualified students with a disability may be entitled to “reasonable accommodation.” It is your responsibility as a student to disclose to the instructor any special need you may have by the end of the first week of the semester. To access transcriptions of the videos used in the course, visit the Video Transcriptions page located in the Course > Resources folder.
Read the University Policies document which includes Student Honor, Students with Disabilities, Sexual Harassment, and Complaints and Grievances policies.
This Syllabus and the course Schedule may be changed at any time prior to or during the semester as the need arises based upon circumstances. Any changes will be available to view immediately from within the course.