Research Methods in Public Health – HLTH 511

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course prepares students to critically evaluate research protocols in public health. Students must be prepared to design practical research methodologies to evaluate contributing factors of contemporary health issues with measurable goals and objectives.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The purpose of this course is to teach students the necessary concepts and skills required for research design, implementation, data analysis, statistical testing and results reporting. Successful public health professionals should demonstrate knowledge and skills in these areas in order to be able to conduct original research and critically review published research.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

There will be reading assignments relevant to the SPSS topic assignments as well as power point presentations on current public health research methodology topics.

These reading assignments and presentations are listed in the Learn section of the course in Canvas.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will respond to articles related to a public health research issue in a Discussion thread. Each thread must be 300-450 words and include integration of the student’s Christian beliefs. Outside research may be used to respond to the prompt. The student will also reply to at least 2 classmates’ threads in 200–300 words each. Each thread and reply must include at least 1 scholarly citation in AMA format.

SPSS Assignments (7)

The student is required to complete 7 analytic assignments using step-by-step instructions from the textbook for the specific statistical test being addressed. The student will also be required to perform the same analyses using SPSS with real healthcare-related data while interpreting the results generated.

Qualitative Data Analysis Software (QDAS) Assignment

To allow the student to become familiar with qualitative research software in order to perform content analyses on qualitative data, the student will complete an activity following the step-by-step instructions.

CITI Activity Assignment

The student will complete a training course through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program. Upon completion of the CITI course, the student must upload his/her completion certificate to Canvas.

Research Article Review Assignments (2)

The student will choose 1 peer-reviewed article that includes community-based participatory research and complete a review of the article. The review must be under 500 words.

Research Assignments (4)

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and/or interventions designed to improve public health – the public health professional must have the ability to conduct research and/or understand how valid research is conducted. Though public health research need not necessarily
be complicated the research process is essentially the same for any research. This research assignment is comprised of four individual assignment submissions: Introduction; Methods; Results; and Final Submission. There is no minimum word requirement; however, the maximum total word count is 2,500 words.

Research Project: Introduction Assignment

The student will introduce the research problem and provide background information on the research problem. The introduction does not need to be lengthy, but should include at least two relevant references and a cover page.

Research Project: Methods Assignment

The student will describe the methods used for analysis and why they were used, using convenience sampling as the sampling method. The report will use the past tense, written as if the study has already been conducted. Any tests for normality and other assumptions are also to be included, along with the null and alternative hypotheses to be tested.

Research Project: Results Assignment

The student will present their results in this section.

Research Project: Final Submission Assignment

The student will discuss and interpret results presented in the results section, implications, study limitations, and recommendations for practice and research.

Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis Methods Assignment

Based on a public health scenario the student will formulate qualitative data and analysis methods which could be used to determine attitudes and beliefs toward the public health issue described in the scenario.

Quizzes (7)

Each quiz will contain multiple-choice and/or true/false questions based on the material in the assigned module: week, PowerPoint presentation, and SPSS Assignment. Each quiz must be completed in 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Quizzes: Hypothesis Writing (5)

For each quiz, the student will select the correct null and alternative statistical hypotheses pertaining to research questions that reflect the statistical test(s) being covered in the assigned module: week. Each quiz will contain 2–4 multiple-choice questions and have a time limit of 2 hours and 45 minutes.