SW335 Social Work Research

for FA 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


SW335 Social Work Research


FA 2012 HO


Tamara Tucker


Social Work Faculty



Office Location


Office Hours

Wednesdays 10am - 4pm and by appointment

Daytime Phone


Other Phone




Semester Dates

August 20, 2012 to December 14, 2012

Class Days

Tuesday & Thursday

Class Time

1pm - 2:15pm in MA604

Credit Hours



Research Methods for Social Work: An Introduction, 9th edition, Grinnell, Williams, Unrau, 2012

* I have reserved 1 copy of the class text (NOT workbook) in the library for your use.  You are NOT allowed to "check it out" of the library but can use it while in the library.

Social Work Research Proposals: A Workbook, Grinnell, Unrau, 2012

Additional Resources:


McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
SW335 Social Work Research: This course introduces basic methods of social research, including various aspects of research design, data collection, analysis, and reporting of findings. It examines both qualitative and quantitative research methods, and explores the application of social research knowledge to critical assessment of published social work research and evaluation of social work interventions and programs. Prerequisites: SW205 &  MA120
The Ten Core Competencies as set forth in the 2008 CSWE accreditation standards are infused throughout this course. Emphasis is placed upon critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments (2.1.3) and engaging in research-informed practice and practice-informed research (2.1.6).  

Educational Philosophy:

At all times I will strive to model the values and skills that are at the heart of the profession of social work.  Just as in the helping process, teaching should be a collaborative, mutually enriching experience. I believe that learning is best achieved in an environment that is respectful, safe, affirming, challenging, and highly interactive. 

I understand that every person has wisdom in their lived experience and a unique worldview and perspective.
I recognize that each of us learns in different ways and I will strive to present concepts in a manner that promotes your learning. If you are having difficulty with any aspect of the class I hope that you will make this known to me. I truly want this class to be enjoyable as well as educational.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify and apply research process and social work research methods with application to the evaluation of social work practice and programs.
  2. Ability to apply scientific methods to issues of concern for social workers, including how to formulate meaningful research questions, how to select appropriate research designs, how to develop and employ basic methods of data collection including quantitative and qualitative analysis.
  3. Use empirical studies as a knowledge base to support professional interventions and decisions for the enhancement of client well-being.
  4. Interpret statistical concepts and present results as they apply to social work.
  5. Demonstrate ability to critically evaluate published research studies both in print and on the internet.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical dimensions and applications of social research relative to privacy, rights of human subjects, diversity and social justice.

Core Assessment:

·  Exams (LO 1-4, 6)

·  Behavior Change Project   (LO 1-6)

·  Critique of Research Article  (LO 1-6)

·  Core Assessment: Evaluation of Practice  (LO 1-4, 6)

Class Assessment:

Your learning in this course will be assessed via the following:
 Class Engagement/Participation   (10 points)

This class is highly interactive and experiential. Your presence and active involvement is critical to creating the most effective learning atmosphere. You will be expected to display the same listening skills, attentiveness, respect, professional dialog, and compassion with and for each other as colleagues as you display when working with a service participant. You are allowed two (2) unexcused absences without point deduction. For each subsequent absence, two (2) points are deducted from your class participation grade. If you miss 5 classes you will receive 0 points for class participation. You are expected to be in class on-time and remain, fully attentive and participatory in class for the entire period. Our goal is to co-create a learning atmosphere of respect, affirmation, dialog and engagement.

Journal Critique (2)   (20 points)  

Please see assignment guidelines in the e-companion's Doc Sharing; submit in the designated e-companion drop box. 

Reflection Paper  (10 points)

Please see guidelines for this assignment listed in e-companion's Doc Sharing.

Midterm  Exam
 (15 points)

         The exam will cover all the concepts from Weeks 1-7.  It will consist of multiple choice, true/false, short answer and essay questions.  Please see study guide listed in e-companion's Doc Sharing

Core Assessment Assignment
(30 points)
Please see guidelines to this project (for both presentation [15 points] and written paper [15 points]) listed in e-companion's Doc Sharing.

Final Exam
 (15 points) - Due Week 16, Thursday, December 11
The exam will be a comprehensive exam. It will consist of multiple choice, true/false, short answer and essay questions.  Please see study guide listed in e-companion's Doc Sharing

It is very important to me that you understand the criteria for grading and that you perceive this process as fair and reasonable. I do not “give” grades... students earn grades through their work and performance.



 Journal Critiques - 2 @ 10 points each


 Reflection Paper


Midterm Exam


Core Assignment (presentation = 15 points & paper = 15 points)


Final Exam


Total Points



Grading Scale:
90 - 100 = A 
80 - 89 = B
70 - 79 = C
60 - 69 = D
0 - 59 = F

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Assignments are to be submitted in the designated dropbox on the course's e-companion site.  All assignments are due by midnight on the date indicated in the course syllabus, unless otherwise noted. The student remains responsible for lost, misdirected or incompatible formatting of electronic submissions. In extenuating circumstances (as determined by the instructor) and with timely notification an exception may or may not be granted.

Assignments not submitted on time will receive a deduction of 10% of the possible score, per day late. Core Assignments will not be accepted late (without preapproval of the instructor). Please be aware that there is no “extra credit” work in this course.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

This class is one that the subject matter can be sensitive at tiems.  It is improatnt that students respect the opinions of otehrs.  It is only through safe expression of thoughts ansd ideas that learning occurs.  In order to maintain a positive learning environment the following ground rules will be the norm for our interactions. Personal perspectives will be valued. Degrading or discriminatory remarks or behaviors are not acceptable. Discussion will reflect an exchange of information, experiences, ideas, and opinions which foster critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis. When you work in groups, it is the responsibility of the group members to delegate work. All members of the group must present on the project and all will receive the same grade. Because of the sensitivity of the subject matter relevant for consideration in social work; respect, sensitivity, and confidentiality must be maintained.

Students need to arrive on time. Students will not hold private conversations when a colleague is speaking. Private conversations include those with others within class, on cell phones and any other form of wireless media.  Please turn off your cell phones and any other wireless media devices during class. If a student’s behavior is considered to be disruptive, the instructor will give that person the opportunity to modify the behavior without point penalty. If the student’s behavior continues to be disruptive they will lose class participation points and may be referred to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week One
    August 21 & 23

Welcome / Introductions & Check In

Text - Read Part I: The Contexts of Social Work Research 
Chapters 1 
Week Two   August 28 & 30  
         Text - Read Part I: The Contexts of Social Work Research - Chapters 2-4

 Week Three   September 4 & 6  

Text - Read Part II: Approaches to Knowledge Development - Chapters 5 & 6

Week Four
    September 11 & 13
         Text - Read Part III: Measuring Variables - Chapters 7 & 8
Week Five   September 18 & 20 
  Text - Read Part IV: Sampling and Research Design - Chapters 9-11
 Week Six  September 25 & 27

         Text - Read Part V: Collecting Data - Chapters 12-14

Week Seven   October 2 & 4 
  Text - Read Part VI - Analyzing Data - Chapters 15 & 16 
Week Eight   October 9 (NO CLASS on 11th - Veteran's Day Holiday observed) 
                          Midterm exam 
 FALL BREAK -  NO CLASSES   October 14-21 (PDCC classes only)    ENJOY YOUR BREAK!!!
*** If you have not completed your CORE assessment research --- this would be a good time to work on it :) ***
Week Nine   October 23 & 25
           Text - Read Part VII: Research Proposals and Reports - Chapters 17 & 18
Week Ten   October 30 & November 1
        Text - Read Part VIII: Program Evaluation - Chapter 19

Week Eleven
   November 6 & 8  
                              Presentations - Your attendance at these presentations is very important.

Week Twelve
  November 13 & 15   
                        Presentations - Your attendance at these presentations is very important.

Week Thirteen   November 20
   (NO CLASS on 22nd - Thanksgiving Holiday observed) 

  - Your attendance at these presentations is very important.
Week Fourteen  November 27 & 29
                            Presentations - Your attendance at these presentations is very important.
Assignments Due:  
               Core paper

Week Fifteen    December 4 & 6 
               Reveiw of semester, evaluate course and review for for final exam.
Week Sixteen
FINALS WEEK  (December 7-14)

                   DUE Tuesday, December 11 by 5pm

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


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Last Updated:8/11/2012 1:11:03 AM