SPA510, Section 101, Introduction to Research Design

AUD616, Section 101, Research Design and Statistics for the Hearing Sciences

Department Speech Pathology & Audiology

University of South Alabama

Spring Semester 2011


Class schedule:        Tuesday & Thursday, 11:00-12:30pm; HAHN 1025

Level/Credit hours:   Graduate; 3 semester hours

Instructor:                  Paul A. Dagenais Ph.D., CCC/SLP

Office:                         HAHN  1071

Office hours:             Fridays, 9:00 – 11:00 or as arranged

Telephone:                251-445-9363




Bulletin listings: 

AUD616: Research designs utilized in the hearing sciences; elements of research proposals and studies; how to critique a research study; how to conduct a literature review; APA format; students will be required to write précis of research articles and write a research proposal. Elements of modern statistics including sets and functions, probability theory, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance models, correlation, regression, distribution-free statistics, SPSS, multivariate statistical techniques including multiple regression, multivariate analysis of variance, discrimination, canonical and factor analysis.

SPA510: A general presentation of research procedures. The student will learn to read and evaluate professional literature and develop a research prospectus.


Prerequisites:  Admission to the Speech Language Pathology (SLP) or Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) program in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, or by instructor’s consent.


Required text:  Nelson, L. K. (2009). Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing Inc.

Recommended text: Williams, F. & Monge, P. (2001). Reasoning with Statistics (5th Edition). Belmont CA: Thomson Higher Education


Each of the objectives below describes the behavior to be achieved and the mechanism for evaluation.

1.    The student will complete the certification process for the protection of human participants in research [SLP ASHA standard III-E; AUD IV-B (B15)].

2.    The student will read and present a critique of a research article assigned identifying the major design elements and identifying design flaws successfully [SLP ASHA standards III-A, III-G, IVB; AUD IV-B (B15)].

3.    The student (in cooperation with a partner) will develop a research question, write a literature review, develop and write the method section, and give an oral presentation using power point. A written copy of the prospectus will be submitted for evaluation. [SLP ASHA standards III-A, III-G, IVB; AUD IV-B (B15)].

4.    The student will pass a midterm and final exam covering semester content regarding the research process and statistics [SLP ASHA standard III-G; AUD IV-B (B15)].



            Class attendance is mandatory. If there is an emergency, please contact the instructor via e-mail or telephone as soon as possible.  Unexcused/Unexplained absences will be penalized by a drop of one letter grade per absence.



Topics & Reading Assignments

Overview of the Scientific Method

Chapter 1

January 17

Ethical Considerations

Chapter 2

January 24

Development  of Research Questions

Chapter 3

January 31

Literature Searches

Chapter 4

February 7

Non-Experimental Research Designs

Chapter 5

February 14

Experimental Research Designs

Chapter 6

February 21

Participants and Sampling

Chapter 7

February 28

Descriptive Data Analysis

Chapter 8

March 6

Analytical Data Analysis

Chapter 9

March 20

Research Outcomes/Presentations

Chapter 10

March 27

Class Presentations


April 3


Assignments and Exams

1.    Exams: There will be one exam for this class. The date of the exam will occur on a date agreed to by the class. The agreement will be made at least one week prior to the presentation of the exam. The exam will be comprehensive. The Exam will consist primarily of short answers.


2.    Assignments: There will be four assignments for this class. Assignment 1 will consist of a research article review. Assignment 2 will be a prospectus presentation and paper. Assignment 3 will be human subjects training. Assignment 4 will be HIPAA research training. Assignments 1 will be valued at 20 points. Assignment 2 will be valued at 50 points. Assignments 3 and 4 will be valued at 15 points each.


Course grade:  The final course grade will be determined from scores obtained on assignments, class participation, and exams. The percentage breakdown for the final grade is as follows: Assignments 100 total points and Exam 100 total points. Final grades are applied as follows: 90-100% = A, 80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D, below 60% = F.


Changes in course requirements:  Since all classes do not progress at the same rate, the instructor/professor may wish to modify the above requirements or their timing as circumstances dictate. For example, the instructor may wish to change the number and frequency of exams, or the number and sequence of assignments. However, the students must be given adequate notification. Moreover, there may be non-typical classes for which these requirements are not strictly applicable in each instance and may need modification. If such modification is needed, it must be in writing and conform to the spirit of this policy statement.


Record keeping, feedback to students. faculty, supervisors, & student remediation.

The instructor records grades from exams and assignments on a spreadsheet. Exams & tests are reviewed with students. Exams and assignments will be returned graded. Student progress may be communicated to other faculty members to track student’s successful completion of the degree. Make-up tests will be allowed if the student provides evidence for missing class tests.


Attendance Policy: Attendance is the responsibility of the student. If an absence occurs on a test day then you will need to show documentation (e.g., doctor’s note) in order to take a make-up test. Students are referred to the following website for information regarding attendance policies:


Academic Disruption Policy: The University of South Alabama’s policy regarding Academic Disruption is published annually in The Lowdown, the student handbook. Students are expected to be cordial, courteous, and respectful of faculty members and fellow students.


Students with Special Needs: In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, students with bona fide disabilities will be afforded reasonable accommodation. The Office of Special Student Services (OSSS) will certify a disability and advise faculty members of reasonable accommodations. If you have a specific disability that qualifies you for academic accommodations, please notify the instructor/professor and provide certification from Special Student Services. OSSS is located at 5828 Old Shell Road, (460-7212).”


Program accreditation: The Council of Academic Accreditation (CAA), under the auspices of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), has accredited the Master’s Speech Language Pathology and Doctor of Audiology programs in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at USA. This means that credentials obtained by graduates in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology will automatically be accepted by ASHA when these graduates apply for certification. If for any reason, students wish to contact CAA, they may do so at the following address:


Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

2200 Research Boulevard, #310

Rockville, MD 20850



January 2012


Assignment 1

Due Thurs. 2/2

Use the information learned at the biomedical library talk to find an article of interest related to your profession. Read the article as a critic. Was it well written? Was the purpose clearly stated? Were the conclusions appropriate?


In your paper, be sure to include the following information:

-Introduction: provide some background information

-Purpose (include purpose, rationale, and research questions provided by the author)

-Method (participants, materials, and procedures)

-Identify the IV(s) and DV(s)

-Results [Descriptive statistics (mean, median, and mode); figures, tables & Analytical statistics (what procedures were performed, ANOVA, Correlation, etc…)]



Your paper should be approximately 2-3 pages in length (12 point double spaced with 1 inch margins). If you have questions or need help, please email me and we will set up an appointment time.


Assignment 2

Presentations 4/3 thru 4/12

Papers due 4/14

Complete a prospectus (research proposal) as a group (2-3 members in each group). A research project proposal should include the following:




            To include previous research in your area of interest with citations

Statement of the problem/rationale

Statement of purpose

Specific research questions to be addressed

            Hypotheses (null and alternative)


            Participants (N=?, age, gender, etc…)

Materials (equipment, environment, etc…)


State what type of research design you are implementing

Proposed evaluation method (statistics)

            Descriptive (mean, median, mode, standard deviations, tables, graphs)

            Analytic (correlation, t-test, ANOVA)


Turn in a 2 - 3 page (12 point double spaced) document including the above information. Additionally, you will present this project proposal in class (PowerPoint). Presentations should last 10 minutes. The audience will then be given time to ask questions about your project. All projects must pertain to Speech-Language Pathology and/or Audiology. If you have questions or need help, please email me and we will set up an appointment.


Use what you have learned in class. You will be graded by your instructor on the content of your presentation (overview of introduction, purpose, methods, identification and description of variables, results, and conclusions) and your write up of the information. You will also be graded by your partner(s) on your collegiality while working on the project.


Assignment 3

Due by Thursday, 3/1


Register at this website and begin the training modules. There are 7 modules and it is expected that this will take a total of 3 hours to complete. After each module, you’ll take a quiz online. Print and turn in the human subjects training certificate no later than 3/1/2012.


Assignment 4

Due by Tues. 4/5

Complete the HIPAA research training available at: under training click ‘HIPAA research tutorial.’ This will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. At the end you will take a quiz. Print and turn in the HIPAA training certificate no later than 4/5/2012.



Lecture Series

Introduction - pdf format  or  power point

Scientific Method -  - pdf format  or  power point

Research Questions - pdf format or power point

Types of Designs - pdf format or power point

Experimemental and Quazi-Experimental Designs - pdf format or power point

Research Designs III - pdf format or power point

Sampling - pdf format or power point

Types of Data - pdf format or power point

Analytical Statistics - pdf format or power point

Comparison Statistics - pdf format or power point