Date Submitted: Wed, 09 Aug 2017 14:36:20 GMT

Viewing: HLTH_SCI 3900W orbannc : Introduction to The Research Process and Evidence Base - Writing Intensive

Last approved: Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:37:40 GMT

Last edit: Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:37:33 GMT

Changes proposed by: orbannc

Proposal Type

Writing Intensive

Contact Information

SHP/Health Sciences
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Instructor for whom you are submitting proposal:
SHP/Health Sciences
Subject Area’s Department Chair/Director:
SHP/Health Sciences

Term for Proposal

Fall 2017

Course Catalog Information

Health Sciences (HLTH_SCI)
Health Sciences
Introduction to The Research Process and Evidence Base - Writing Intensive
This course provides an introduction to the basic quantitative and qualitative research techniques used in public health, health education and promotion, and the health professions. Conducting research, making medical decisions based on research findings, and using and interpreting research and evidence in practice settings all represent potential outcomes for students selecting a career in public health or the health professions. Graded on A-F basis only.
A-F Only
Restricted to Health Sciences Majors with junior or senior standing.

Instructor Information

SHP/Health Sciences
(numbers only)
NTT Assistant Professor
501 Clark Hall
Yes, in the last five years

The Campus Writing Program conducts a two-day faculty workshop to assist with the design and implementation of your writing intensive course. Once your course proposal has been approved by the Campus Writing Program, you will receive information on time, date and location of the workshop.
Indicate below if additional instructors are planned, but specific individuals have not yet been chosen. Check all that apply
Graduate Student
Briefly describe the qualifications of the known graduate instructors, or planned qualifications if graduate instructors are still to be selected, bearing in mind that graduate students teaching honors courses should be advanced students with a record of excellent teaching.

Honors Course Information

Answer the questions below as they would apply to one section. For all other sections, provide similar information in the Additional Sections Information box below.



Writing Intensive Course Information

This course is an introduction to the basic quantitative and qualitative research techniques
used in the health professions. Students will learn about the basic elements of research as
well as the strengths and weaknesses of various methodologies. Topics such as the
Institutional Review Board, research ethics, types of research design, validity and reliability
will be covered.
In Spring 2017 I implemented a new grading procedure, in which I grade all written assignments using only letter grades (no points) and then weight the final grade accordingly. Because this update is written so early in the Spring semester, I can't say how successful this grading procedure will be or if I will do it again in the fall. I haven't had any concerns from students so far.
Sections of both
Self paced?
Should this course be considered for funding?
Large Enrollment Courses:

Writing Intensive Assignments

Response Paper
A short paper assigned early in the semester that asks a student to answer some basic questions about a reading. These questions require the students to evaluate how the scientific method is or can be used in everyday life, based on the example from the reading. Past readings have included an article on how to design a collar to reduce the number of birds killed by domestic cats, and an author's quest to understand why packages of peanut M&Ms weigh less than packages of regular M&Ms.

Students are asked to identify the research question in the given scenario, the test variables, and how the outcomes were evaluated. The initial draft is graded and returned to the student for revision, which is then also graded. This assignment is useful for getting a sense of the overall skill level of the class and is assigned and completed in the first three weeks of the semester.
Length of assignment:
Faculty and TA
Faculty and TA

Article Critique
The purpose of this assignment is to have students develop their skills in evaluating information in peer-reviewed publications. Each student is to choose an article describing a single, quantitative study relevant to a topic of their choice. A form (provided by me) is filled out that describes a research article chosen and read by each student. The form is 4 pages long, broken into short, paragraph-length sections. Each paragraph is written in response to a specific question about the article. No Revision; worth 10% of final grade.
Length of assignment:
Faculty and TA

Annotated Bibliography
The purpose of this assignment is to have students compare and contrast findings from multiple sources as they prepare to write a term paper. In this assignment, students are asked to compare 7 sources using ant annotated bibliography.

Students must provide the properly formatted (APA) citation for each article and a short description of the article that includes the study methodology, level of evidence, the main finding, the relevance of the article to the student's own research topic, and any critique the student might have of the article.
Length of assignment:
Faculty and TA

Term Paper
This assignment is the main product each student is responsible for at the end of the class. The paper consists of two main sections, a literature review and a professional practice statement.

At the beginning of the semester, the class chooses a general topic (for example, infectious disease) and each student then identifies a specific research topic that relates to their own interests and future career goals. The student then uses that research topic as they complete the other assignments over the course of the semester.

For the term paper, the student completes an Introduction and statement of problem section (1-3 pages), a short literature review of their topic (5-7 pages), and then a professional practice statement about their findings (2-3 pages). In their practice statement, students are encourages to write about their findings as if they are writing either to their boss or to their patients and clients. For example, in a past semester a student writing about hospital-acquired infections wrote a memorandum, in the style of a veterans' hospital, to outline a hygiene protocol designed to reduce these types of infections and based on evidence he found in the published literature.
Length of assignment:
Peer review (2 rounds)
Faculty and TA

In-class writing
In both online and hybrid sections, students complete short writing assignments weekly. Most of these assignments are 1-2 pages in length and are produced either individually or in groups. All of these are shared and subject to peer review in an informal sharing session at the end of class. Most of these are graded for participation and content mastery. In online sections, these are completed via discussion boards.

These assignments include things like: short reflections on plagiarism, identifying research methodologies in published literature, designing a research project based on a given scenario, and qualitative and quantitative analysis activities.
Length of assignment:
peers, Faculty and TA

Total pages for all assignments:
First drafts:

Writing Intensive Teaching

Instructor provided feedback
Oral presentation by student, followed by feedback
Peer review
For hybrid sections, the weekly activities are mostly group work. These are graded primarily on participation, though assignments are poorly done, their participation grade will reflect that. I try to use specified roles for members of groups, so that each group member has a specific activity to complete (for example, note taker, fact-checker, group leader, reporter).

For online classes, individual students post weekly responses to questions or short assignments that I provide. Each student is also responsible for posting a reaction or comment on another student's post. Their weekly grade is partly made up of their individual contribution but also their comment on their peer's post.
All of the big writing assignments have multiple interpretations, as the students are using a literature review to help them answer a practice-based question. I ask the students to develop a research question on a topic the is relevant to their own interests and career goals and then answer that question using published evidence. In the past, paper topics have included: potential Physical therapy interventions for patients with Lyme disease, the efficacy of safe sex education campaigns aimed at African American women, the efficacy of needle exchange programs for preventing the spread of HIV, the use of Yoga as a therapy for children with ADHD or Autism spectrum disorders to improve outcomes in public school settings, among others. Students are creative in developing their questions and learn to use primary literature to answer questions that they are passionate about. They also see the limitations of current evidence-based medicine in addressing questions and the need for medical research in a number of health fields.
I try to scaffold the assignments so that writing done early in the semester contributes to the writing of the term paper. The article critique and the annotated bibliography are both part of the larger term paper process, but a number of the weekly writing activities also help the students start working on the term paper early. These include short assignments on: picking a research topic, using library resources, reading primary scientific literature, and a writing workshop on writing introductions.
I will be hiring a new TA this year, as my former TA is graduating. One of the candidates for this position has an undergraduate from the program, so I know they passed this class and know the material. Other than my first choice candidate, I typically look for graduate students from the MHA program, as I have had very good experiences with their students in the past. They know the material, have no problem getting the work done, and have strong writing skills. I will ask the new TA to take the WI summer training course.

Course Syllabus

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Administrative Information

Natural and Applied Sciences


I have read and reviewed the updated proposal

Additional Comments

Tammy Limbach (limbacht) (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:37:33 GMT): added HLTH_SCI 3900W sec 6, made tentative per department 2/23/17. emailed department and instructor. 3900 sec 11 has been canceled.
Key: 652