Applied Public Policy Research Methods – PPOL 505

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course will study research methods, research strategies, and statistical analysis skills necessary to both produce and critically analyze research reports and data compilations used in forming public policy.




The study of research is important for those in public policy. Understanding research is an important part of understanding how policy impacts people. In this course, the student will be challenged to explore the basic tenets of the various research methodologies available to public policy researchers. This course will also challenge and equip the student to interpret research findings so that he or she can make policy decisions or provide others with the information needed to make policy decisions.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify examples of the various research methodologies available to public policy researchers.
  2. Explain the appropriate context for the various research methodologies.
  3. Apply an appropriate research methodology based on a specific context.
  4. Interpret research findings.
  5. Evaluate the Christian’s role in ethical research.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Ethical Analysis Paper

In this assignment, the student will reflect on the course readings, course presentations, and biblical precedent in order to evaluate the Christian’s role in ethical research. The student will articulate the responsibility of Christians as he or she approaches and takes part in research. This paper must be 750–1250 words and conform to current Turabian formatting. It must also utilize 3–5 sources, which may include course materials (textbooks and presentations) and Scripture, and must include at least 1 scholarly source.

Policy Research Project

This assignment consists of the following parts, each of which builds on each other:

Annotated Bibliography

In this assignment, the student will begin to focus his or her research on a specific policy interest. This assignment will set the foundation for the student’s discussion board posts and the Policy Research Proposal PowerPoint assignment. The student must choose 10 peer-reviewed articles regarding 1 specific policy. Once selected, 5 of the articles must contain qualitative research while the other 5 articles must be based on quantitative research. The student will then summarize each article in 150–200 words (for a total of 1500–2000 words). A template will be provided, and all citations must conform to current Turabian formatting.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will participate in 3 Discussion Board Forums. The student will create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. The thread must be 400–500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student will reply to the threads of at least 3 classmates. Each reply must be 250–350 words.

Literature Review: Policy Findings Report

In this assignment, the student will write a synthesis of the findings from the research articles on his or chosen policy interest, examined in the Annotated Bibliography assignment. The student will demonstrate that he or she understands the concept of the literature review and how to interpret and communicate research findings. This paper must be 750–1000 words and conform to current Turabian formatting.

Policy Research Proposal PowerPoint

In this cumulative assignment, the student will address the constructive criticism provided to him or her through the Discussion Board Forums and by the instructor and create a PowerPoint that proposes a research study. The slide headings will be provided, and the student will use as many slides as necessary to communicate his or her research proposal.

Article Interpretations (3)

In this assignment, the student will choose 1 of the provided articles and interpret the results of the article’s study. The student will articulate his or her findings in 400–500 words that conform to current Turabian formatting.

Quizzes (2)

Quiz material will cover the course readings and course presentations. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice questions, and have a time limit of 30 minutes.