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HETH 4210 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

HETH 4210 - Healthcare Research

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course builds upon the student’s liberal arts background and basic healthcare knowledge. The course uses systematic inquiry and analysis. It reinforces the problem-solving method and uses research in the improvement of healthcare practice to affect positive outcomes. The course focuses on the fundamentals of the research process namely research ethics, qualitative research methods and non-experimental methods. Students are taught how to use statistics to answer questions and how to use this skill to aid in the review/interpretation of healthcare literature and healthcare research.

Attention is given to a thorough search and critique of literature related to a problem area selected by the student. A problem statement within the context of a theoretical framework will be developed by the student, as the student justifies the necessity of exploring the problem. A practice issue will be identified and once benchmark research is critiqued, a protocol to address that problem and the method by which the protocol is implemented will be created and explained. The practice issue can relate to a patient care problem, a community intervention, or a system intervention such as a healthcare institution or facility where occupational and safety health standards are mandated.

The problem and intervention must have practice focus that contributes to application of research. A complete evidenced based protocol or intervention is an essential element for passing the course. This course meets the requirements of a basic research course for those who plan to pursue graduate studies.

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. Identify the relationships among research, theory and practice in healthcare.

  2. Identify significance of human rights in healthcare research.

  3. Identify the elements of both qualitative and quantitative research processes.

  4. Describe the significance of research in developing the knowledge base for healthcare delivery.

  5. Use Statistics to answer questions

  6. Critically analyze selected research studies and in interpret their implications for health care delivery.

  7. Differentiate research designs, methods, techniques and tools which may have utility in healthcare research.

  8. Analyze and critique healthcare research studies for significance and value to healthcare practice. 

Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Statistics are prerequisite or co-requisite and/or permission of the instructor. Since basic knowledge of statistics is essential in the evaluation of quantitative research studies, fundamental knowledge of statistics is necessary for success in achieving course objectives.

Course Topics:
  1. Healthcare Research and the Research Methods Course

  2. Developing a Good Research Idea and Conduction an Ethical Project

  3. Qualitative Research Methods

  4. Non-experimental Methods: Descriptive Methods, Correlational Studies, Ex Post Facto Studies, Surveys and Questionnaires, Sampling and Basic Research Strategies

  5. Using the Scientific Method in Healthcare

  6. Conducting a Good Experiment 1: Variables and Control

  7. Conducting a Good Experiment 2: Final Considerations, Unanticipated Influences and cross-cultural Issues

  8. Internal and External Validity

  9. Using Statistics to Answer Questions

  10. Designing, Conducting, Analyzing and Interpreting Experiments with two groups

  11. Writing and Assembling an APA-Format Research Report 

Specific Course Requirements:

The presentations are in PowerPoint presentation. A viewer is downloadable through any internet server at no cost. 

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

Based on the chapter and lecture content supplementary material will be provided as needed. 

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

Tests are expected to be done by the student without the use of class notes and books. As all tests are available to the student online, the honor code for the university is in place for this requirement. Tests are timed so that the student must be prepared to complete the test at one sitting. Each assessment will have a start time and an end time and students are expected to be in compliance. Each quiz and exam may have a different time/duration and students are advised to pay attention to the time of each quiz. 

Grading Procedures:

Midterm and Final Examinations:

There are two major examinations for this course. The first one is the midterm examination which is worth 15% of students’ final grade and the second one is the final examination which is also worth 15% of the final grade. Both tests are offered online and can be taken at any computer with internet access that the student chooses. No proctor is required; however the student is expected to answer questions without the benefit of notes or the book while testing. Tests are timed so that the student has to demonstrate his or her mastery of the course content within the confines of the time limit.

Weekly Discussion:

There will be a new discussion assignment each week. All discussion assignment combined is worth 15% of students’ final grade.

Dropbox Assignments:

There will be a new dropbox assignment each week. All dropbox assignment combined is worth 15% of students’ final grade.

Weekly Quizzes:

There will be a new quiz assessment each week. All quizzes assessment combined is worth 25% of students’ final grade.

APA-Format Research Report

APA-Format Research Report worth 15% of student’s final grade. 

Activity TypesPercent
Discussion Assignments15
Dropbox Assignments15
Quiz Assignments25
APA-Format Research Report15
Midterm Exam15
Final Exam15


Grading Scale:
Point RangeAssigned Grade
90-100 PointsA
80-89 PointsB
70-79 PointsC
60-69 PointsD
Under 59F


Assignments and Projects:

Weekly Discussion Assignments:

There will be a new discussion assignment each week of the semester. The discussion assignments will be based on assigned lectures, readings and presentations from each module. Discussion assignments will also include the critique of appropriate research studies. Discussions assignments are worth 15% of final grade.

Students must post a minimum of three (3) responses for each discussion assignment. The first post will be the student’s original comments on the discussion topic. After posting their own comment first, each student must post two (2) different feedback responses to at least two (2) different students.

Dropbox Assignments:

There will be a new dropbox assignment each week. Dropbox assignments will be based on assigned lectures, readings and presentations from each module. Dropbox assignments will also include the critique of appropriate research studies. Dropbox assignments are worth 15% of final grade.

Weekly Quizzes:

There will be weekly module quizzes based on the weekly assigned readings and lectures. Quizzes are worth 20% of final grade.

APA-Format Research Report:

There will be an APA-Format Research Report due at the end of the semester. This term paper is worth 15% of student’s final grade. The last 2 weeks of the semester will be dedicated to working with students to complete this APA-Format Research Report. 

Class Participation:

Students are not awarded any additional points for participating in the class and completing their scheduled assignments/assessments. 

Late Policy:

All schedule assignments (discussion, dropbox, quiz, and examination) have a posted due dates and all students are expected to complete these assignments in a timely manner. Once a schedule due date is past that assignment will not be reopened without a Medical excuse or other formal excuse accepted ROCC. 

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on April 28, 2017