Learn about the importance of an evidence-based approach in social work practice and how to conduct effective research. Understand social work research through the critical examination of the methods and organization of the ever-expanding professional literature associated with social work practice.
The field of social work research has experienced considerable growth over the past 25 years. This body of research is an essential source of knowledge for helping understand and solve complex social problems, but utilizing this research effectively requires proper contextualization. This course is intended to help you become an effective consumer of this professional literature by providing the tools necessary to find and comprehend what the research does and, importantly, does not tell us.
This course will cover:
• quantitative and qualitative research methods
• searching procedures to effectively find existing research
• application of research to practice
Be a part of this exciting time for the profession of social work and the opportunity to use this literature to help find solutions to complex social problems. Learn how to understand and appreciate a scientific approach to building and evaluating practice knowledge, and to use research to advocate for clients and inform policy. As you develop these skills, you will be well positioned to make correct use of the existing professional literature.
This course is part of the Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research MicroMasters Program offered by MichiganX.
What you’ll learn
1. Understand what social work research is and the different types of research methodologies
2. Learn key concepts and principles of quantitative and qualitative research in order to make effective appraisals of research findings
3. Know the process of searching and retrieving social work research
4. Make appropriate inferences from a given study to inform social work practice
5. Understand how research fits within the broader framework of evidence-based practices
Module 1: Why Research in Social Work? Introduction to course instructors and objectives. Why do we conduct research on social issues? Interviews with evidence based practitioners
Module 2: Organization of Social Work Research Distinguish empirical social work research from non-empirical social work research Scientific Communications Learn how the field of social work research is organized
Module 3: Key Concepts in Research Measurement: Validity vs Reliability Sampling: Representativeness, size, generalizability and types Effect Sizes Causality versus Correlation
Module 4: Non-Experimental Methods – Quantitative Overview: What is quantitative research? The most common method: One Group / One Timepoint Observational Research Quasi-Experimental Research
Module 5: Experimental Methods – Quantitative Experimental Research (RCT) Systematic Reviews Meta-Analyses
Module 6: Qualitative and Mixed Methods Overview: What is qualitative research? Ethnographs, Interviews Narrative research, Focus Groups Case Studies, Mixed Methods, and Grounded Theory Key Questions To Ask and Mistakes To Avoid When Evaluating Any Qualitative Research
Module 7: Locating Research Formulating a search strategy Finding articles online (outside of academic databases) Evaluating results
Module 8: Integrating Research Into Decision-Making Evidence Based Practice Interviews with Evidence Based Practitioners
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