Evaluation CriteriaPercent of Grade
Essays and Research Assignments 20%
Research Critique 20%
Group Presentation 10%
1. Participation - Students are expected to attend fully each class and
to participate in the discussions and activities. Participation means that
the student has completed the readings and reflected on the material. In
class, the student participates actively in the discussions and in-class
assignments. Students are encouraged to read outside the required
assignments and to bring those readings into class discussions. If a
student does not meet these criteria because of more than one absence,
an opportunity will be given to write a research paper for each class
missed; otherwise, 2 points per class will be subtracted. Faculty will
discuss and negotiate the topic and criteria for the paper with each student.
Students are encouraged highly to meet with the faculty for a short
appointment during the first 3 weeks of the semester. A schedule of
appointment times will be made available the first week of class. The
purpose of the appointment is for the student to appraise the faculty of
research interests, past research experiences, learning needs, and
research learning goals related to this class.
Essays and Research Assignments- There will be several assignments
related to class content which will be due the day of the class and
will be graded pass or fail. The three essays are to be no longer than 3 pages each,
double-spaced. You are expected to read outside of the required class readings to
write the essays. The essays will be evaluated for coherence, accuracy, and the
logical development of your argument. The essay questions and due dates are:
Essay 1: Identify a research question of interest to you and develop an
argument from philosophy of science to support the use of
descriptive/qualitative research. This essay is due on September 2, 1999.
Essay 2: Briefly identify a research problem of interest to you. Discuss
why and how you would use critical theory to forward the knowledge in this
problem area. Be sure to include what knowledge critical theory will bring
that other research designs would not. This essay is due on September 9, 1999.
Essay 3: Write an integrated research critique using three qualitative or descriptive
research articles from your research interest area. Use the criteria under "Written
Research Critique" to write the critique. Be prepared to share (in writing and
orally) your written critique with your classmates. This essay is due on
October 1, 1999.
Students are expected to complete all hands-on research assignments.
Students will be trying out data collection and analysis techniques, data
management programs, and presenting their research ideas. You will work in
small groups (size to be determined by the number of students in the class)
to develop a research question, identify the data collection and analysis
methods, and to try out various collection and analysis techniques.
September 10: Conduct interviews (minimum of one per student) related to
your research question. Identify interview questions, describe your sample
criteria, and tape the interviews. Bring the tapes to class and be
prepared to critique and analyze the interviews.
September 16: Identify something related to your research and the interviews
to observe. Describe your observations methods and bring the observation
data to class. Select a second method of data collection and bring your
raw data to class.
September 17 to 24: Bring to class the transcribed interviews you conducted
for September 10. You can transcribe significant sections of the interviews.
December 9: Bring transcribed interviews (significant sections) on disk to
Written Research Critique - Each student will select an article which
presents research using a qualitative design to write a research critique.
The critique should be typed double-spaced and no longer than 5 pages.
A copy of the article is to be included with the critique.
The critique should include a discussion of each of the following points:
The researcher's logic between the research question(s) posed and the
qualitative design, sampling, the data collection and analysis methods
used including strengths and limitations, rigor; methods to enhance
"truth value" of the research, implicit/explicit ethical considerations,
and relevance to nursing (or relevant discipline) practice/knowledge.
The due date for the critique is flexible since the various designs
will be presented over several weeks. However, critiques must be submitted
by November 18, 1999 and will not be accepted after this date. You are
encouraged to submit your critique after the design which applies to the
article you have selected is discussed in class.
Group Presentation - Students will work in small groups (determined by the number of
students in the class) to present an oral critique of research using one of the
qualitative designs. A copy of the study to be critiqued must be given to the
instructor and placed on reserve in the library at least one week prior to the
presentation. The article cannot be the same article used by the students
in their individual research critiques. Students should use the guidelines "Written
Research Critique" to develop their presentation. Close attention should be paid to
the philosophical underpinnings of the design and its fit with the research, sampling,
data collection and analysis methods, truthfulness of the study, the study's
presentation, and journal selection. The grade for your presentation will be
determined by the quality of the discussion and the appropriate selection of an
article for the design. A schedule of presentations will be developed during the
Paper/Project - Choose from one of the three options listed below.
a) Conduct an in-depth review of the descriptive/qualitative research studies
conducted in your area of clinical expertise since 1990 and before if there are seminal
articles. Review and critique this literature considering questions asked, methods
used, relevance/value/quality of the research, and the kind of knowledge/knowing
generated. The paper should be an integrated critique and end with two or three
research questions appropriate for a descriptive design.
b. Conceptualize and develop a written descriptive/qualitative research
c. An alternative project such as designing and conducting a mini-study,
comparing qualitative research designs for use with a specific research
question(s), manuscript for publication, etc.
Choice of project and the details for an alternative project must be
confirmed by both student and instructor. Please submit a typed one-page
outline of what you intend to do by September 30, 1999 and it will
be reviewed and returned to you no later than October 15, 1999.
All papers must be typed according to the APA format, 4th edition
and will be judged on the logical flow and clarity of the presentation
including syntax, grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. The paper
is to be no longer than 15 pages plus title page, references, and
appendices. APA criteria can be found in the written manual or on the
internet at the following address:
Details regarding points to be covered and evaluation criteria for
each choice are provided. If you choose to write a manuscript for
publication, the criteria can be adjusted to fit the journal guidelines.
These changes should be noted on the outline of your proposed
Students are required to present their paper/project on
November 19, 1999. The purpose of the presentation is to present a
"near finished" paper/project and to receive critique from the class
which can be used in the development of the final paper. Failure to
present a "near finished" paper will result in a lowering of your
paper grade by a letter grade. Papers are due on December 2, 1999
and will be accepted until 3:00 p.m. on December 3, 1999. After that
time, 5 points will be subtracted each day the paper is late.
Drafts of the paper and written research critique can be submitted at
least one week in advance. If you submit a draft in less than one week before
the due date, there is no guarantee that it can be read and evaluated. Plan
carefully if you want to submit a draft and discuss your time frame with the
Evaluation Criteria for the Final Paper/Project:Choice #1: Conduct an in-depth review of descriptive/qualitative research
studies conducted in your area of clinical expertise since 1990 (this may
need to be narrowed; discuss with faculty). Review and critique this
literature, considering questions asked, methods used,
relevance/value/quality of the research. Your discussion should be a
scholarly analysis of this body of literature.
1. Review descriptive/qualitative research on a particular topic/area
(topic/area and time period to be defined in discussion with the instructor.
2. Provide a general critique of the studies, referring to specific
studies to illustrate your points. Use critique guidelines provided in
the syllabus and recommended articles to structure this section.
3. In your discussion consider the overall quality of the research, the
kinds of questions asked, and the methods most represented (analyze and
evaluate the methods most commonly used in relation to appropriateness,
research difficulties encountered, etc.)
4. Critical discussion of contribution to nursing (relevant discipline)
practice/knowledge. Consider the kind of knowledge (knowing) generated.
5. Technical aspects (grammar, syntax, etc.)
[10 percent]Choice #2: Conceptualize and develop a descriptive/qualitative research
project. The following criteria will be used to evaluate this project.
1. Include an introduction which provides a clear rationale for the study.
Include a literature base sufficient to provide a clear understanding of the
issues involved, statistics which describe the problem, and reasons the study
is important. This section incorporates the purpose of the research
and leads clearly to the research question(s);
2. Provide a detailed description and justification of a
descriptive/qualitative design that will guide the research project, and
that will facilitate answering the research question(s);
3. Describe and justify the data collection methods to be used. Include
site, informants, and rationale for selection;
4. Describe and justify data management and analysis protocols, including
provisions for rigor;
5. Discuss strengths and limitations of methods to be used in the study;
6. Demonstrate consistency between theoretical position and the data
gathering and analytic methods proposed.
7. Technical aspects (grammar, syntax, etc.)
[10 percent]Choice #3: An alternative project. If you choose an alternative
project for the final paper/project, it is your responsibility to develop
evaluation criteria that must be agreed upon by both you and the instructor.
Include those criteria in the outline.
Dismissal from a course and/or college can result from unprofessional
95 - 100 A
90 - 94 A-
87 - 89 B+
83 - 86 B
80 - 82 B-
77 - 79 C+
73 - 76 C
70 - 72 C-
67 - 69 D+
63 - 66 D
60 - 62 D-
below 60 F
Dismissal from a course and/or college can result from unprofessional behavior.