Research Methods I

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2014
Bridwell Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

September 1-2 and December 1-2 (rest is online)

Dr. James Johnston (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives


Upon completion of this course, a student will be able to:

  • Evaluate selected research reports on the basis of criteria established by the scientific method.
  • Examine radiological research studies for application of research purposes, designs, and methodologies.
  • Evaluate the relationship between research questions, research designs, level of measurement and data analysis techniques.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the legal and ethical issues surrounding research.
  • Interpret findings in Radiological Science research studies in relation to clinical applications and the need for further research.
  • Critique selected research studies in the Radiological Sciences pertaining to completeness, clarity, and appropriateness of the components of research.
  • Write a review of literature.

Course Expectations




Topic Approval

Students must submit their topics plus two references in APA format to their section instructors by September 24.


When selecting topics, students should consider that after RADS 5003 Research Methods I, students will continue to develop the paper written in this course during RADS 6773 Research Methods II. Appropriate topics include those directly related to RADIOLOGIC SCIENCE issues or strategies and must be relevant to the students’ major. 


For an education major, 

The RADS 5003 review of literature could focus on teaching and testing.  One section could identify teaching techniques and how they have evolved.  Another section could describe the appropriateness of different question item types for specific course content and for specific groups of students. 

Students will receive feedback during RADS 5003 on this paper and will then build on it for RADS 6773.



The final RADS 6773 research project / paper could compare teaching techniques and would include a background description of how teaching techniques have evolved and the challenges of teaching radiologic science content to the current profiles of students.  The next section would describe different question item types.  The final section would analyze the appropriateness of different question item types to specific course content and for specific groups of students.  This project would depend heavily on a review of the literature.




For an administration major, 

The RADS 5003 review of literature could focus on ways to motivate medical imaging and therapy workers. The review could describe how and why trends in motivation strategies have changed over the past ten years (e.g. Technology changes?  Generational preferences?  Financial restraints?  Regulatory pressures?) Students will receive feedback during RADS 5003 on this paper and will then build on it for RADS 6773.



The research project could focus on middle management motivation would require a historical perspective on changes for radiology middle managers over the past ten years including the reasons they may or may not be motivated.  The next section would analyze the efficacy of several established motivators when applied in a typical radiology department.  A small-scale survey of radiology managers would enhance this project.  The final section would report the findings of the survey and include recommendations for effective middle management motivators.



For a radiologist assistant major, 

The RADS 5003 review of literature could focus on the types of clinical roles of radiologist assistants as documented in the task inventory, scope of practice, nationally recognized curriculum, and certification exam.  Another section could describe ethical and legal limitations to practice including CMS reimbursement issues. Students will receive feedback during RADS 5003 on this paper and will then build on it for RADS 6773.



The research project could focus on the impact of radiologist assistants for medical imaging delivery.  It would require a description of advanced clinical roles.  The next section would analyze the advantages and disadvantages when applied in a typical radiology department.  A small-scale survey of services provided by radiologist assistants would enhance this project.  The final section would report the findings of the survey and include recommendations for effective clinical practice.



Outline – 10%

After extensive review of the resources, students will create a topic outline and submit it to their section instructors by the due date on chart at the end of the syllabus.  The outline should include in-text style citations of the sources of information as part of the outline.  While the final paper may deviate from the outline somewhat, the final paper should reflect the organization of this outline so students must be very familiar with their resources to create an accurate and realistic outline.





III.   Legal Issues

  1. Corporate Perspective (Edwards, 2005; Jones & Smith, 2009)
  2. Departmental Perspective (Jones & Smith, 2009; Parker, 2010; Thompson et al., 2007)
  3. Employee Perspective (Adams, 2004; Edwards, 2005)

IV.  Financial Implications

  1. Cost vs. Benefit (Peterson, 2008; Peterson, 2009; Sampson & Gilbert, 2005)



Literature Review - 50%

This literature review is to be a substantial manuscript that reflects graduate level effort. The body of the paper (excludes components such as the cover page, abstract, reference list, appendices, etc.) should be  10 - 12 pages – NO MORE THAN 12 PAGES.  Only PEER-REVIEWED resources published within the past five (5) years can be cited.  It should demonstrate the student's ability to gather and discriminate pertinent resources, the ability to SYNTHESIZE information from a variety ofsources, the ability to apply new information to a topic, and the ability to correctly use the APA Reference Style.  Final written Literature Reviews are due by the dates on the chart at the end of the syllabus, and should be submitted electronically as an email attachment using the following guidelines:


  • IBM compatible format (not MAC)
  • Word 97 or newer version
  • Times New Roman or other typical legible font (not Courier) (10 or 12 point for bulk of text)
  • 1” margins on all sides
  • Double-spaced
  • Standard Cover Page (see BlackBoard course homepage for link) 


Students should bring copies of their papers to the second weekend class.



Journal Article Critiques - 30%


Students will critique two (2) research-based articles from scholarly journals using the "Checklist for Evaluating Research." The articles MUST be quantitative (survey research or experimental research).  The articles can NOT be literature review type articles. This form is on the BlackBoard course page under "Course Content and Related Materials."   Answers must be typed (not handwritten).  Students can select ANY research-related radiologic sciences articles of interest, including articles that contribute to their literature review topic.


Students should submit the completed critique forms as Word document email attachments to the section  instructors by the date on the chart at the end of the syllabus.  Faculty will ONLY accept scanned articles or articles submitted electronically.  Students may electronically mark the required information on the articles and then scan them to submit or describe the location of the required information in sufficient detail to demonstrate they know what is being asked.  Students should keep originals or copies for their own records in case the submissions are lost in the mail.



Class Participation     10%


Timeliness of attending class and submitting assignments that are required in this course affects the class participation grade.  Check the chart at the end of the syllabus for due dates. 

Grading Standards




Outline                                      10%

Literature Review                       50%
Journal Article Critiques             30%
Class Participation                    10%



Grade Scale:

                                                  A =  100 - 90

                                                  B =   89 - 80

                                                  C =  79 - 70

                                                  D  = 69 - 60

                                                  F  = 69 and below

Submission Format Policy



  • IBM compatible format (not MAC)
  • Word 97 or newer version
  • Times New Roman or other typical legible font (not Courier) (10 or 12 point for bulk of text)
  • 1” margins on all sides
  • Double-spaced
  • Standard Cover Page (see D2L course homepage for link) 

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


Deadlines for submission of assignments are provided in this syllabus. Failure to comply with established deadlines may result in a grade reduction.


The last opportunity to drop this course with a grade of “W” is 4:00pm October 27, 2014.  Refer to the Graduate Bulletin for details about receiving a grade of “Incomplete” in a course.  In an emergency or extenuating circumstance, a student may request a grade of “Incomplete” in a course before grades are submitted.  If the instructor grants the “Incomplete,” the student has until ninety (90) days after the beginning of the next long semester to complete the course requirements.  If the student does not complete the course requirements within the deadline, the grade of “Incomplete” will automatically convert into a grade of “F.”

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, (940) 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



Without exception, students MUST attend and participate in both graduate seminar weekends to receive credit for this course.

Other Policies


Administrative Process:

Unresolved issues related to this course should be first addressed between the student and the section instructor.  If there is no resolution, students must follow this sequence: 


Graduate Coordinator/Department Chair – Dr. Jeff Killion (940-397-4659)

College Dean – Dr. James Johnston (940-397-4594)

Dean of Students – Dail Neely (940-397-6273)



Honor System:

RADS 5003 adheres to the MSU Code of Conduct.  In particular, academic dishonesty, however small, creates a breach in academic integrity.  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.  A student should consult the 2000-2001 Student Handbook for answers to any questions about the code.


Many components of RADS 5003 are designed to be highly interactive with students helping each other learn.  Students are encouraged to take full advantage of many resources available including Internet sites, handouts and module notebooks, other textbooks and journals, faculty, and peers. This interactive collegial learning environment is conducive for life-long learning.


Specific components of RADS 5003 are designed to represent the efforts of each student individually and are NOT to be shared.  These components include the literature review, journal article critiques, and course content assessments. Students SHOULD NOT share their efforts in ANY WAY (including but not limited to discussion, electronic files, print copies, notes, etc.).  The only exception to this rule, is during the final class presentations.


When students submit their efforts (literature review, journal article critiques, and course content assessments) for grading, they are attesting that they have abided by this rule.
By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course.  The “limited right” shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes. Specifically, faculty may submit student papers and assignments to an external agency to detect plagiarism.

Academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, etc.) will not be tolerated in this class. If a student is found to have committed academic dishonesty, a grade of zero (0) may be given for the paper, quiz, assignment, etc.  Cases may also be referred to the Dean of Students for possible dismissal from the university.

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 the 6 hours of Communication Core and 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.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at