Health Services Research

Course Details

Course Number: HSAD 5253  Section Number: X10 1

Fall 2011

Location: Martin Hall

Classroom Number: onLine

Days & Times:

This is an onLine class. Dr. Behrens is available to meet face-to-face (live) with the class on August 29th in Martin 106 from 3:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. Attendance is not mandatory. Subsequent sessions can be arranged if necessary.

Course Attachments


STAT for the Behavioral Sciences
by Gary W. Heiman
  ISBN: 9781111520960

Statistical Tricks and Traps
by Ennis C. Almer
  ISBN: 9781884585234

Evaluating Research in Academic Journals
by Fred Pyrczak
  ISBN: 9781884585784

Using Sources Effectively
by Robert A. Harris
  ISBN: 9781884585937

APA Publication Manual 6th edition
by the American Psychological Association (APA)
  ISBN: 9781433805615

MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Phyllis Irene Behrens   
view Profile »

Course Objectives

Course Goals and Objectives

The goal of the course is to familiarize students with research issues and methodology as well as to prepare them to conduct and evaluate research. Introduction and/or refresher of basic statistics included.

The objectives of this course are:

1.  to identify and discuss key terms associated with research methodology;

2.  to identify and discuss research methodologies;

3.  to improve analytic skills through experiential learning opportunities, and

4.  to prepare students for more advanced studies in related areas.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able:

1.  to identify key areas of research which relate to the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of health systems and policy;

2.  to analyze methodologies for studying health service systems and public policies;

3.  to distinguish proper from improperly conducted or concluded research in critiquing health services research and health program evaluations;

4.  to conduct research using proper methodology;

5.  to analyze findings to establish association of data to infer outcomes;

6.  to summarize and critically evaluate major research projects;

7.  to apply theories to actual research.

Course Expectations

This is an onLine class which uses technology to attend class. Have a backup plan in the event the primary technical means of attending class fails. Test the backup plan to know it works.

Participation is required; simply reading the texts is not a substitute for class discussion and learning.

Grading Standards

Grading Scale

90 and above  =  A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 = C, 60-69 = D, 59 and below = F

M.P.A. and M.H.A. students are required by program standards to have a grade of B or better in every M.H.A. and M.P.A. course.

Submission Format Policy

Students are required to regularly submit written assignments. Create written assignments in a word processing document and save.  After review, i. e., spell and grammar checks, format, etc., copy and paste the information to the virtual classroom and properly label the submission.  Do not rely on technology to save work; regularly backup work to another disc or a separate drive.

The virtual classroom contains its own means of submission within it. Assignments will include instructions for submission specific to each one. Follow the instructions. Call technical support for technical assistance if trouble arises in submitting as instructed. Do not ever use University eMail addresses or commercial accounts for submitting assignments. 

When a new assignment is submitted, label it with the assignment title and student name.  If there are several assignments or discussion questions to answer, post and label them separately. Restrict the use of attachments.  Attachments carry viruses, some individuals have difficulty accessing attachments, and attachments infringe on the virtual classroom’s openness. 

When submitting to discussion boards, it is best to post directly than to use attachments. However, when submitting reports, it will be necessary to post an abstract of the report into the discussion board text box as a summary for the class and to attach the report to that post. The boards do not generally preserve the formatting of word documents.

Complete documentation in APA style of all sources and materials used in submissions is required. APA style is required for this entire course’s written work.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Assignments are due as stated based on instructor time zone. Turn assignments in on time. Based on instructor discretion, late assignments may be accepted but they will be docked 15 percent for being late.  This is done in fairness to students who meet the deadlines. No late assignments will be accepted after the last day of class.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Students are expected to attend the virtual classroom regularly. Students are required to participate no less than two (2) days each week. Less than two (2) days/week will count as an absence and every absence will be a deduction of 5 points from the total grade. Attendance is measured by recording the entries made to the system - whether in response to an assignment or to comment on the work of a classmates. Absence does not excuse students from the responsibility of participation, assigned work, and/or testing.  Students may be dropped for poor attendance and are encouraged to check the virtual classroom every day as well as to communicate with the instructor on a regular basis.

Other Policies

The course week begins on Saturday (Day 1) and ends on Friday (Day 7).

Before the semester’s work can begin, each student must submit a brief autobiography to the Bios area. This is a common icebreaker in onLine classes. Follow the instructions given for it.

All readings must be completed in advance of class discussion. Each student should be able to summarize any reading upon request.

Use peer-reviewed journals and scholarly articles available from the library to supplement assignments. Distance learning students can access library resources through the University’s web site.

Encyclopedias of any kind, including the very popular Wikipedia, can be useful to help gather background information and to point the way to more reliable sources. However, they are not considered appropriate sources for papers at either the graduate or undergraduate level.

Limit response excess. Content and presentation are more important than volume.  Length is not necessarily a virtue, and in many cases, excessive length can be a discourtesy.

Ask questions about the course in the discussion sections so that everyone learns the answer.  Everyone can pitch in to help answer questions.  By allowing all to review questions and answers, all learn.  If specific instructor assistance is needed, put *Question for Dr. Behrens* in the subject line.

Be courteous. You don’t have to agree with everyone in the class but you do have to disagree in a courteous manner.

A standard of decorum is expected in the virtual classroom even though censorship is not practiced.  Proper netiquette is the standard by which orderly and productive discussion is encouraged. In submitting assignments to the virtual classroom, students should be mindful that the face-to-face non-verbal cues that accompany discussion are missing and be sensitive to how others may react. For help with netiquette, explore,, and

Do not cheat. Academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, etc.), however small, creates a breach in academic integrity. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this class. Academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade for the assignment, and in some cases, for the course.  In extreme cases, plagiarism will result in dismissal from the program. Cases will also be referred to the Dean of Students for possible dismissal from the university. Additionally, a student's participation in this course comes with the expectation that his or her work will be completed in full observance of the MSU Code of Student Conduct. Students should consult the Student Handbook for answers to any questions about the code.

Midwestern State University complies fully with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  If you believe that you are covered under this Act, and if you have need for special arrangements to allow you to meet the requirements of this course, please contact the personnel at the MSU Disability Support Services office.  You may contact the office at at(940) 397-4140 – voice, (940) 397-4515 - TDD. You must also discuss this with the instructor (via eMail) early in the first week of the semester.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.