Applied Research

Course Syllabus

Course Information

Course Description

Applied Research is a hands-on course that will help you develop your skills in the process of systematic academic inquiry. You'll learn about asking researchable questions, figuring out how to get answers, and learning what's already been done on your question. The work you'll do in Applied Research will become the foundation of your capstone project. We want to be certain that the foundation is strong, which is why a central outcome of the course is the creation of a researchable question and the development of a full review of the relevant scholarly literature (some serious trade literature may also be included in the group of sources you'll identify as the foundation of current knowledge on your subject).

Course Learning Goals

After completing this course, you will be able to:

Course Resources

Required Text Books:

To buy your books, go to

Course Outcomes

In this course, you will develop the following skills:



A full knowledge of what research is and is not


An understanding of and ability to create a researchable question


A facility with library-based scholarly research


An ability to conduct and write a review of the relevant literature pertaining to your research topic


An understanding of ethical considerations in conducting research


A beginning understanding and articulation of appropriate research methods for your topic/question

How the Outcomes will be Demonstrated in this Course

Each module will consist of structured learning assignments that connect the learning activity with the outcome.  You will be assessed on all assigned exercises and discussions.  In addition, you will create:

Course Structure

This course consists of 10 modules. The estimated time to complete each module is 1 week.

The following table outlines the course:

Week,  Module # and Title



Week 1, Module 1: Thinking as a Researcher

Read Chambliss & Schutt - Chapter 1 Science, Society and Social Research and Chapter 2 The Process and Problems of Social Research

Be sure that you view and listen to all the links within your chapter on the textbook's resource website. Chapter 1 has 10 links. Chapter 2 has 11 links.

1.1 Introductions Discussion

1.2 Thinking Like a Researcher Discussion

Week 2, Module 2: Research Ethics and Developing Reseach Questions

Read Chambliss & Schutt - Chapter 3 Ethics in Research

Be sure that you view and listen to all links within your chapter. Chapter 3 has 14 links.

You will also need to familiarize yourself with the DePaul University Institutional Review Board's (IRB) website and to be familiar with the particular requirements of research at DePaul University.

2.1 CITI Research Ethics Training (DUE END OF WEEK 4)

2.2 Ethical Considerations in My Research (DUE END OF WEEK 4)

2.3 Topic of research interest and initial research questions

2.4 Key concepts

2.5 Areas of Research Interest Discussion

Week 3, Module 3: Annotated Bibliographic Entries


3.1 Guide to Library Databases

3.2 First Annotated Source

Week 4, Module 4: Creating Your Annotated Bibliography & Conceptualization

Read Chambliss & Schutt - Chapter 4 Conceptualization and Measurement

Be sure that you view and listen to all links within your chapter. Chapter 4 has 14 links.

4.1 Your Annotated Bibliography with 15 sources (DUE END OF WEEK 5)

4.2 Refinement of Research Questions Discussion

4.3 Conceptualization and Measurement Understanding

Week 5, Module 5: Quantitative and Qualitative Inquiry

Read Chambliss & Schutt - Chapter 7 Survey Research and Chapter 9 Qualitative Methods: Observing, Participating, Listening

Be sure that you view and listen to all links within your chapter. Chapter 7 has 14 links and Chapter 9 has 14 links also.

5.1 Understanding Quantitative /Qualitative methods

5.2 What kind of research method will you use? Discussion

Week 6, Module 6: Writing a Literature Review

Read Chambliss & Schutt - Chapter 12 Reviewing, Proposing, and Reporting Research

Be sure that you view and listen to all links within your chapter. Chapter 7 has 14 links.

E-Reserves: Read Galvan, J. L. - Writing literature reviews: A guide for students of the social and behavioral sciences. Chapter 8: Synthesizing Literature; Model Literature Reviews A & B (two separate readings on reserve)

6.1 Draft Literature Review (DUE END OF WEEK 7)

4.3 Refinement of Research Questions Discussion (DUE WEEK 6)

6.2 Finalize your Research Question

6.3 What I Learned from my Literature Review Discussion

Week 7, Module 7: Ongoing Work


7.1 Muddiest Point Discussion

The following assignment was started in the previous module and you should be continuing to work on it.

6.1 Draft Literature Review DUE END OF WEEK 7

Week 8, Module 8: Revisiting Research Ethics

Read the Research Methods Knowledge Base entry on Ethics in Research.

8.1 Avoiding Personal Bias Statement (DUE END OF WEEK 9)

8.2 Revisiting Ethical Considerations in my Research (DUE END OF WEEK 8)

Week 9, Module 9: Ongoing Work


9.1 Thinking Ahead to My Capstone Work (Due in Week 11)

9.2 Revised Literature Review Draft

Week 10, Module 10: Finishing the Course! Laying the Foundation for Your Capstone Artifact!


10.1 Reflections on the Inquiry Process

Back to Top


Assessment of Learning

The following point distribution will apply for specific assignments:



Annotated Bibliography


Review of Literature Essay


Other Assignments


Grading Policies and Practices

Participation Policies: You will complete each module (including discussions) before due dates. Since there are 10 modules, and 10 weeks, you are expected to complete one module per week (sometimes this means working diligently on assignments that have due dates in a future module). 

Unfinished work or work requiring revision may be given an Incomplete (IN) grade. In order to qualify for the IN, students must have:

If the deadline agreed to in the contract is not met, the grade changes automatically and irrevocably to “F.”

Grading Scale

Each of the 22 assignments, including the required discussions, is graded on a scale of 0-5, as follows:

Your final grade is a reflection of total points achieved:

A = 95 to 100

A- = 91 to 94

B+ = 88 to 90

B = 85 to 87

B- = 81 to 84

C+ = 77 to 80

C = 73 to 76

C- = 69 to 72

D+ = 65 to 68

D = 61 to 64

F = 60 or below


Course Policies

College and University Policies

This course includes and adheres to the college and university policies described in the links below:

Academic Integrity Policy (UGRAD)

Academic Integrity Policy (GRAD)

Incomplete Policy

Course Withdrawal Timelines and Grade/Fee Consequences

Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Protection of Human Research Participants

APA citation format (GRAD)

Additional Course Resources

University Center for Writing-based Learning

SNL Writing Guide

Dean of Students Office


Please note: Grades lower than a C- do not earn credit at the School for New Learning.

General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

Written assignments will be assessed for

Your participation in the discussions is an integral part of class participation and will be based also on the frequency and thoughtfulness of your online postings as well as your interactivity with the postings of others. A rubric for assessing the quality of your discussions will be among the course resources.

Your written work will be evaluated as follows:

A grade of A designates work of high quality; reflects thorough and comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand; reflects a clearly identifiable thesis and argument (in written work) that demonstrates cogent and creative development and support of an idea.

A grade of B designates work of good quality; reflects clearly organized and comprehensive understanding of issues at hand; presents substantive thesis and argument with evident development and support of ideas in written work.

A grade of C indicates work that minimally meets requirements set forward in the assignments; reflects some organization and development of ideas but develops argument in superficial or simplistic manner; may only address part of the assignment or be otherwise slightly incomplete.

A grade of D or F designates work of poor quality which does not meet minimum requirements set forth in the assignment; demonstrates poor organization of ideas and/or inattention to development of ideas, grammar, and spelling; treatment of material is superficial and/or simplistic; may indicate that student has not done reading assignments thoroughly.

Online Discussion

Assessment Criteria for Online Discussion Participation

Participation In the online discussions: your responses will be assessed on whether one or more of the following are present:

  1. Offering ideas or resources and inviting a critique of them
  2. Asking challenging questions
  3. Articulating, explaining and supporting positions on ideas
  4. Exploring and supporting issues by adding explanations and examples
  5. Reflecting on and re-evaluating personal opinions
  6. Offering a critique, challenging, discussing and expanding ideas of others
  7. Negotiating interpretations, definitions and meanings
  8. Summarizing previous contributions and asking the next question
  9. Proposing actions based on ideas that have been developed

The above list was adapted from Gilly Salmon’s book E-Moderating: The key to teaching and learning online.
London: Kogan Page: p.143 (2000).

When you respond to a classmate's post, refrain from simple phrases like, "Great ideas!" or "I like that." Refer to the 9 points above and use words like, "But," "Additionally," "I agree and," "However," "What about," etc.

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are an important component of your online experience. This course contains discussion forums related to the topics you are studying each week. For requirements on your participation in the Discussion Forums, please see "Course Expectations" in the syllabus.

A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask 'process' questions and receive answers throughout the course. Please feel free to answer any question if you feel you know the answer; this sharing of information is valuable to other students.

Back to Top

Course Expectations

Time Management and Attendance

SNL's online courses are not self-paced and require a regular time commitment EACH week throughout the quarter.

You are required to log in to your course at least four times a week so that you can participate in the ongoing course discussions.

Online courses are no less time consuming than "face to face" courses. You will have to dedicate some time every day or at least every second day to your studies. A typical four credit hour "face to face" course at SNL involves three hours of classroom meeting per week, plus at least three to six hours of study and homework per week.

This course will require at least the same time commitment, but your learning activities will be spread out through the week. If you have any problems with your technology, or if you need to improve your reading or writing skills, it may take even longer.

The instructor should be notified if your life events do not allow you to participate in the course and the online discussions for more than one week. This is particularly important when there are group discussions or you are working as part of a team.

If you find yourself getting behind, please contact the instructor immediately.

Back to Top

Your Instructor's Role

Your instructor's role in this course is that of a discussion facilitator and learning advisor. It is not their responsibility to make sure you log in regularly and submit your assignments. As instructor, s/he will read all postings to the general discussion forums on a daily basis but may not choose to respond to each posting. You will receive feedback to assignments.

The instructor may choose to designate "office hours" when s/he will be online and available and will immediately respond to questions. Depending on the instructor, this response may be by e-mail, instant messenger or telephone. Otherwise, you will generally receive a response to emailed or posted queries within 48 hours.

Back to Top

Your Role as a Student

As an online student, you will be taking a proactive approach to your learning. As the course instructor's role is that of a learning guide, your role is that of the leader in your own learning.

You will be managing your own time so that you can complete the readings, activities and assignments for the course, and you will also be expected to take a more active role in peer learning.

Please also note that this is a course offered by DePaul University's School for New Learning (SNL), a college for undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students 24 years and older. SNL welcomes the perspectives and encourages the participation of all DePaul students, and students who take this course should respect and be mindful of SNL's mission in supporting a diverse and inclusive environment. More information about SNL can be found here.

View this brief demo Taking SNL Online courses in D2L to learn how to navigate through your course.

If you’re new to SNL Online see additional resources on the course home page under Student Resources/Getting Started.

Back to Top

Course Netiquette

Online discussions are an important part of your course experience. To ensure a positive learning environment, please follow the following minimum expectations. Use your common sense, as not all situations can be covered:

Back to Top


Academic Integrity

DePaul University is a learning community that fosters the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas within a context that emphasizes a sense of responsibility for oneself, for others and for society at large. Violations of academic integrity, in any of their forms, are, therefore, detrimental to the values of DePaul, to the students' own development as responsible members of society, and to the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas.

Violations include but are not limited to the following categories: cheating; plagiarism; fabrication; falsification or sabotage of research data; destruction or misuse of the university's academic resources; alteration or falsification of academic records; and academic misconduct. Conduct that is punishable under the Academic Integrity Policy could result in additional disciplinary actions by other university officials and possible civil or criminal prosecution. Please refer to your Student Handbook for further details.

Back to Top


Plagiarism is a major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one's own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following:

Plagiarism, like other forms of academic dishonesty, is always a serious matter. If an instructor finds that a student has plagiarized, the appropriate penalty is at the instructor's discretion.

Back to Top

DePaul University Incomplete Policy

The intent of the Incomplete grade is to allow students extra time to complete their final assignments. This need arises because, in the closing weeks of the course, they have an event of significant magnitude that adversely affects their ability to complete the course, e.g. serious illness, death in the family, overseas deployment, or natural disaster.

You must request an incomplete grade in writing two weeks before the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades will be considered only after you have satisfactorily completed at least 75 percent of the coursework, and you have such an unexpected, uncontrollable event that prevents you from completing your course. Do not assume that you will qualify for an incomplete. Students who are failing the course at the point where they request an incomplete will not receive one, nor will they be granted after the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades are given at the discretion of the instructor.

If you do receive permission from the instructor to take an incomplete in the course, you will be required to complete a contract with the instructor, specifying how you will finish the missing work within the next two quarters (excluding summer). See the Incomplete Grade Contract Form.

Undergraduate and graduate students will have up to two quarters to complete an incomplete. At the end of the second quarter (excluding summer) following the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned, remaining incompletes will automatically convert to "F" grades. Ordinarily no incomplete grade may be completed after the grace period has expired. Instructors may not change incomplete grades after the end of the grace period without the permission of a college-based Exceptions Committee. This policy applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. NOTE: In the case of a student who has applied for graduation and who has been approved for an Incomplete in his or her final term, the incomplete must be resolved within the four-week grace period before final degree certification.

Back to Top

Description of Pass/Fail Grading Options

Students have the option of taking all SNL undergraduate courses as Pass/Fail even if a class is initially structured for a letter grade assessment. In these cases a Pass is awarded when competence is demonstrated at a level that would otherwise earn a grade of C- or higher.

In deciding to select Pass/Fail grading students should be aware that competencies assessed in a course as Pass will earn credit hours toward degree completion but will not be included in computing grade point averages. Attempted competence demonstration assessed within a class as Fail will not only be recorded as credit hours attempted but will also be included in computing a student's grade point average.

For SNL students, competencies awarded for Independent Learning Pursuits and in the Lifelong Learning Domain do not count toward the university's specification that only twenty credit hours may be earned through the Pass/Fail assessment option.

Please note:There are three SNL courses within the BA curriculum that are always assessed on a Pass/Fail basis: Foundations of Adult Learning (course number LL 250; competences L-2 and F-1), Advanced Project (course number FA 303; competences F-11 and F-12) and Summit Seminar (course number LL 390; competence L-12). These classes may not be taken for a letter grade assessment. Therefore, work that might otherwise be assessed at grades A through C- will earn a Pass in these classes.

There are an additional five SNL courses within the Lifelong Learning Area of the BA curriculum for which instructors regularly use a Pass/Fail grading system that may instead be taken for a letter grade assessment if this is a student's preference. These classes are: Independent Learning Seminar (course number LL 103; competence L1); Writing for Competence (course number LL 260; competence L-4), Critical Thinking (course number LL 270; competence L-5), Research Seminar (course number LL 300; competences L-8 and L-9), and Externship (course number LL 302; competences L-10 and L-11). In addition, SNL's undergraduate Writing Workshop (course number LL 140; competence H-3-J) regularly uses Pass/Fail, although students may request a letter grade assessment. In these instances SNL offers undergraduate students the opportunity to request a letter grade assessment from their instructor. Students who need a letter grade for tuition reimbursement may wish to consider this option, as well as those who wish to raise their GPA. Students planning to attend graduate school may also prefer letter grades to Pass/Fail assessments.

If a student wants to switch the method of assessment, either to or from the Pass/Fail option, this must be requested from the instructor in writing by the beginning of the third week of the quarter. For courses that meet fewer than ten weeks of the quarter, this request must be made by the beginning of the third week of the course. The grading basis may not be changed after these deadlines, with no exceptions.

Back to Top

For Students Who Need Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Students seeking disability-related accommodations are required to register with DePaul's Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) enabling you to access accommodations and support services to assist your success. There are two office locations:

Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD)
Loop Campus: Lewis Center 1420. (312) 362-8002
Lincoln Park Campus: Student Center 370. (773) 325-1677

Students are also invited to contact their instructor privately to discuss your challenges and how the instructor may assist in facilitating the accommodations you will use in this course. This is best done early in the term and the conversation will remain confidential.

Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students Office (DOS) helps students in navigating the university, particularly during difficult situations, such as personal, financial, medical, and/or family crises. Absence Notifications to faculty, Late Withdrawals, and Community Resource Referrals, support students both in and outside of the classroom. Additionally we have resources and programs to support health and wellness, violence prevention, substance abuse and drug prevention, and LGBTQ student services. We are committed to your success as a DePaul student. Please feel free to contact us.

Back to Top

Protection of Human Subjects

For more information see:

Demonstrating the acquisition of competencies in this course can involve "interactions"—interviewing and or observing other people—discussing those interviews or observations with other class members and writing them up in one or more final report(s). As such, these activities qualify as "research" with "human subjects" and are subject to University and Federal guidelines. Because it takes place in the context of this course, your research is exempt from approval by the School for New Learning's Local Review Board only under the following conditions:

Back to Top

Copyright and Student Privacy

In accordance with DePaul’s Acceptable Use Policy, commentary and materials within SNL Online classes shall not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without the express written consent of individuals involved.

Back to Top


This course was designed and produced by faculty and staff at SNL Online of the School for New Learning of DePaul University.

© 2012 School for New Learning, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SNL during contractual interval with the author. Printed in the USA.

Back to Top