Master of Health Studies (MHST) 711

Advanced Methods for Health Research

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Delivery Mode: Paced/home-study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: None

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies

Introduction

MHST/NURS 711 Advanced Methods for Health Research is a course in a program of study leading to the Master of Health Studies or the Master of Nursing degree. MHST/NURS 711 provides an overview of qualitative and quantitative research methods, with an emphasis on methodological congruence and design strengths and limitations. MHST/NURS 711 will prepare students to continue their study of research methods with MHST/NURS 712 Advanced Qualitative Methods for Health Research and/or MHST/NURS 713 Advanced Quantitative Methods for Health Research.

Course Goals

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  1. understand the significance of paradigms in research and how they influence approaches to inquiry;
  2. understand the varied approaches to research;
  3. understand the costs and benefits of different research approaches;
  4. understand the process of deciding how best to answer a research question given potential practical and ethical concerns;
  5. underscore the importance of methodological congruence in research;
  6. provide a map of a range of qualitative research methods to show the variety of ways to work qualitatively;
  7. discuss the features of a variety of quantitative research designs;
  8. apply his/her understanding to develop beginning qualitative and quantitative research proposals.

Course Materials

MHST/NURS 711 comprises both online and print-based course materials.

Online Materials

  • Introduction: Provides essential information about the course materials, the design of the course, and the procedures you should follow to complete the course successfully.
  • Schedule: Outlines the timing of course activities.
  • Units: There are 9 units in this course.
  • Assessment: Outlines the assignments/evaluation procedures of the course.
  • Reference: Listing of required readings and web sites included in the units.

Print Materials

The textbooks listed below are used in this course.

Morgan, G., Gliner, J., & Harmon, R. (with Kramer, H., Leech, N., & Vaske, J.) (2006). Understanding and evaluating research in applied and clinical settings. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Richards, L., & Morse, J. M. (2013). Readme first for a user's guide to qualitative methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage.

Trochim, W., & Donnelly, J. (2007). The research methods knowledge base (3rd ed.). Cincinnati, OH: Atomic Dog Publishing.

Course Structure

MHST/NURS 711 is an asynchronous, paced online course. The course instructor and the class members will participate in unit conferences to discuss unit content and relevant, related issues. Instructions for conference participation are included in the Assessment section of the course home page.

Technical Requirements

Computer System

In order to successfully complete this course, you must own or have ready access to certain computer hardware and software programs. For complete and up-to-date information on the minimum computer requirements required to complete the graduate nursing courses, visit the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies technical site.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Perspectives and Possibilities in Advanced Research Methods
In this section of the course you will explore different world views (paradigms) used in research and consider how these world views influence your conceptualization of research problems and methods.

Unit 2: Sampling in Quantitative Research
In this unit you will explore approaches to sampling and the implications that these approaches have for making valid inferences from samples to populations.

Unit 3: Validity in Quantitative Research
In this unit you will study how internal and external validity affect the inferences that can be drawn from data collected in a study.

Unit 4: Designs in Quantitative Research
In this unit you will explore various approaches to research design, ranging from simple descriptive approaches to complex experimental designs.

Unit 5: Beginnings in Qualitative Research
In this unit you will be introduced to the idea of “thinking qualitatively” as the beginning step in learning to do qualitative research. As well, you will be challenged to consider what is meant by integrity in qualitative research.

Unit 6: Method Selection in Qualitative Research
In this unit you will study three qualitative methods: phenomenology, ethnography, and grounded theory.

Unit 7: Designs and Data in Qualitative Research
In this unit you will consider foundational beliefs and guidelines that researchers follow when designing qualitative research.

Unit 8: Rigor in Qualitative Research
In this unit you will address questions related to the integrity and worthiness of qualitative research and explore challenges of translating qualitative research findings into practice.

Unit 9: Emerging Topics in Advanced Research Methods
In this unit you will study mixed methods research, an approach that uses both qualitative and quantitative data to answer research questions. You will consider the methodological congruence and ethical considerations of mixed methods research.

Assessment Structure

In the MHS and MN:Gen programs, students must achieve an overall program GPA of 2.7 ( B- or 70 percent), to graduate. The minimum passing grade requirement for each MHS and MN:Gen course is C- (60 percent).

The following course activities will contribute to your course grade, with the percentage weighting of each activity as follows:

Conference Participation 10%
Assignment 1
Literature Review & Rationale in Research
20%
Assignment 2
Design & Data Collection in Quantitative Research
35%
Assignment 3
Design & Data in Qualitative Research 
35%
Total 100%

Conference Participation (10%)

Feedback regarding conference participation will be ongoing. Quality of input (not quantity) is the goal. Feedback will focus on the student's ability to provide organized and original contributions that reflect analysis and synthesis of the material presented.

Participation Criteria

Participation will be measured against the following criteria:

  1. Complete online contributions during the unit conference timeframe.
  2. Respond to online discussions at least twice each week.
  3. Contribute original thoughts or ideas to online discussions.
  4. Cite relevant resources to validate points made.
  5. Demonstrate openness to divergent points of view.
  6. Be respectful of the perceptions of others.
  7. Integrate material from previous units to formulate ideas and generate dialogue.
  8. Present responses that follow the rules of grammar and spelling in the online contributions.

Assignment 1: Literature Review and Rationale in Research


Value: 20%

In Assignment 1, you will identify a research question and begin to develop “an introduction” section for a generic research proposal, focusing on the literature review of your area of study, identification and definition of major concepts, constructs, theoretical or conceptual model being used, and rationale for the study.

Assignment 2: Design and Data in Quantitative Research


Value: 35%

In Assignment 1, you began the development of the Methods section of a generic research proposal. You will use the feedback provided from Assignment 1 to continue writing your research proposal by identifying your research question, and the research design using a quantitative approach.

Assignment 3: Design and Data in Qualitative Research


Value: 35%

In Assignment 1, you began the development of the Introduction section of a generic research proposal. Use the feedback provided from Assignment 1 to continue writing your research proposal by identifying your research question, and the research design and procedures using a qualitative approach. In Assignment 3 you will identify a research question and develop a "Methods" section of a qualitative research proposal.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Updated October 21 2016 by Student & Academic Services