Social Work 350

SOWK 350: Introduction to Social Work Research

Prerequisites: STAT 200 and admission to SOWK major.

Credit Hours: (3)

Introduction to basic methods and techniques used in social work research.  Emphasis is placed on common procedures utilized in social work research, particularly as they apply to social work policy and practice.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I.    Introduction to the Research Process

II.    Ethics & Research

        A.    Diversity

        B.    Special Populations

III.    Qualitative Research

IV.    Quantitative Research

V.    Research Designs

        A.    Single System Designs

        B.    Group Designs

VI.    Research Instruments

VII.    Survey Research

VIII.    Analysis & Processing of Data

IX.    Program Evaluation

X.    Professional Writing


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Instructional strategies will include classroom lecture/discussion, cooperative group projects, student presentations, and field experiences ("hands-on" collection of data as part of a whole class project).


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having completed this course, students will be able to:

1. Identify steps in the research process;

2. Identify quantitative and qualitative techniques used in the social work literature;

3. Delineate the implications of research for cultural, ethnic, and racial minorities; women, the disabled, and other disadvantaged groups;

4. Demonstrate familiarity with a variety of research tools (including on-line, internet, CD-ROM, conventional);

5. Utilize critical thinking to evaluate empirically-based studies in the social work professional literature;

6. Communicate how social work research is related to social work policy and practice; and

7. Communicate the results of a research effort through written and oral presentations of an empirically-based report.


Assessment Measures

Assessment strategies include in-class examinations; evaluation of student presentations; and evaluation of group research project, including self and colleague evaluation components.


Other Course Information


Publication manual of the American Psychological Association.  5th ed. Washington, DC: APA.
Royse, D. (2004). Research methods in social work.  4th ed. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.


CBS News. (2000). Tuskegee [videorecording].  Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities & Sciences.


Review and Approval

Revised, April 23, 2013

November, 2004

Revised 2/5/09