Social Work 562 Social Work Research 3 Units




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Social Work 562
Social Work Research
3 Units

Instructor:

Derrick Kranke, PhD

E-Mail:

kranke@usc.edu

Course Day:

Monday

Telephone:

858-675-0167 ext, 206

Course Time:

6-8:50 pm

Office:

206

Course Location:

Classroom D

Office Hours:

M 3-6pm; Th 4-6pm and by appt



Course Prerequisites


None

Catalogue Description


SOWK 562 Social Work Research (3 units). Introduction to research methods, including conceptualization of research problems, literature review, research design, sampling, measurement, data collection and data analysis.

Course Description


This foundation course is designed to provide an introduction to research methods and to produce an appreciation of the research process. It will explore general issues that are related to the conduct of social work research as applied to social work practice and service delivery in complex, urban environments as well as program evaluation, and policy development.

In this course, students will review the characteristics and logical processes of social work research and understand the applicability of scientific and scholarly inquiry in advancing professional knowledge and improving social work practice to diverse clientele in numerous settings. Students will gain a conceptual and operational understanding of the various quantitative and qualitative methodologies used in the conduct of social work related research. Students will be prepared to participate in a range of research activities including (a) conceptualization of research problems; (b) review of the literature; (c) evaluation of research design; (d) sampling; (e) selection of measurement tools; (f) data collection; (g) interpretation of data analyses and (h) ethical considerations in the conduct of research with human participants. Attention will also focus on how racial, ethnic, gender, and lifestyle issues impact each stage of the research process.



Students will not be expected to carry out an actual study; however, they will complete a series of assignments, which prepare them to utilize research as professional social workers. Students are coached to achieve a level of disciplined conceptual and analytical thinking in the process of developing their assignments and critiquing existing empirical literature.

Course Objectives


Objective #

Objectives

1

Teach basic research principles and concepts within the framework of ethical practice of professional social work. Identify the ethical issues involved in professional social work research, including informed consent, confidentiality, use and abuse of sensitive data, the issue of withholding treatment to control groups, and the honest disclosure of findings.

2

Provide opportunities for students to increase awareness of and be sensitive to issues in the research process as they relate to various diverse populations such as gender, race, sexual orientation, social class, religion, and vulnerable and oppressed groups.

3

Teach and demonstrate the importance of the role of social work empirical research and evidence-based practice research as they apply to social work practice and policy. The principles of evidence-based practice research will be presented and students will have opportunity to apply the principles to evidence search, review of the literature, evidence appraisal and assessing the strengths and limitations of published research, and implementation of evidence in the context of individuals, groups or communities.

4

Present foundation-level research concepts and build student skills including the use research terms and vocabulary, the skill of identifying relevant social work research questions and hypotheses, identifying independent, dependent and other variables, the measurement of variables including describing the concepts of reliability and validity, methods for sample selection, the exploration of research design options and key foundation-level statistical concepts including descriptive and inferential statistics.

5

Provide students with the opportunity to solidify their skills and knowledge by developing introductory level reviews of the literature that follow a professional writing style and prepare students for analytic writing in the concentration year.

Course format / Instructional Methods


Two primary learning/teaching modalities will be used in class: (1) didactic presentation by the instructor and (2) critical discussion, interaction, and transaction among the instructor and students. Please note that it may be necessary for the instructor to make adjustments to the syllabus during the semester.
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