You will participate in three types of discussions in this course:
- Weekly discussion topics based on the reading assignments (8)
- Journal posts supporting your single-subject design research project (4)
- Communication skills workshops for practicing and discussing your skills (5)
Discussion posts must be original, intelligible, and show familiarity with the assigned readings, including examples and citations from assigned sources. Posts should be well written and without misspellings, incomplete sentences, or other violations of grammatical rules. Where your beliefs or opinion are asked, you must communicate effectively, demonstrate your understanding of the readings in your posts, and support your opinion factually with material from the reading assignment(s).
You are required to integrate supportive material from the reading assignments in your primary posts and to use APA formatted citations and references to credit the source(s) of this material. This is to help you become accustomed to supporting your thoughts and ideas factually and improve your use of APA format.
Participation in all discussion, journal, and workshop topics is required. You must submit a primary post in at least 75% of the topics in order to receive a grade for the research paper and the Week 8 Quiz.
A primary post and a minimum of two secondary comments are required for all of these discussions.
All primary posts for every topic (discussions, journals, and workshops) are due by 11:59 PM Central Time (CT) Wednesdays. You must submit your own complete primary posts in the discussion topics before you will be able to view your classmates’ posts. All primary posts are expected to be complete at the time of submission. Violations such as editing of posts, submission of blank posts, deleting and resubmitting posts, and other attempts to circumvent the “must post first” requirement may be awarded a zero.
You are expected to read others’ posts and provide substantive responses. This will enhance your experience as well as that of your colleagues. In addition to your primary post in each topic, you are expected to submit a minimum of two secondary comments in response to classmates and/or the instructor in all topics. This means a minimum of two secondary comments in every topic (discussions, journals, and workshops).
Secondary comments are substantive when they add value by advancing discussion of the topic. Secondary comments such as “Good post,” “I agree,” commentary about the quality of your classmates’ work, etc. are not considered substantive for the purposes of class participation, and these responses will not receive class participation credit.
All secondary comments for Discussion topics in a given week are due by 11:59 PM CT on Saturday except in week 8 when they are due by 11:59 p.m. Friday. You won’t receive credit for secondary comments submitted after this deadline.
You will take two types of quizzes in this course:
- Weekly quizzes (8) covering the reading assignments in the Okun textbook
- Communication skills quizzes (5) in weeks 3-7 of the course
All quizzes include 10 multiple-choice or true/false questions worth 1 point each. The quizzes are not proctored. They may be accessed via the Quizzes area from Monday through Saturday each week. Weekly quiz periods end at 11:59 PM CT on Saturday. You will have one 30-minute attempt for each quiz.
In Week 3 of the course, you will interview any adult partner of your choice (friend, relative, coworker, etc.) to complete a personal social history: a type of assessment used by human service professionals. The social history is part of the early stages of gathering information and establishing a helping relationship. Detailed supplemental material about social histories – their purpose and how to write one – is provided in the course Content area as part of the Week 3 reading assignments. You must read this information before conducting your interview, and you must apply the social history reading assignment as you write your partner’s social history.
Because you are conducting an interview, you will want to be prepared with questions to ask your partner. Before the interview, review the social history template in the course Content area in week 3 and consider the questions you might ask in order to obtain this information.
When writing the social history document, you will complete the template provided in the course Content area in week 3. Please complete all the sections noted in the template as if you were filling out a form as part of your job.
The social history will be graded based on thoroughness, formatting, and critical thinking skills. Use the template provided in the Content area. APA format is not required. Please see the grading criteria in the Content area of the course for details on how the social history is graded. The social history must be submitted to the designated dropbox by 11:59 PM CT on Saturday of week
Single Subject Design Project
For the duration of this course, you will conduct a single-subject design study on yourself for the purpose of changing a personal behavior. Resources about single-subject design are available in the Week 1 Content area of the course. You must review these resources before starting this project.
Specific steps for completing the project are laid out week-by-week below. I recommend that you follow these steps to ensure accurate and timely completion of the project. Throughout the project, you will post four journal entries in course discussion about your experiences as noted in the timeline below. In Week 7, you will submit a research paper discussing your experience with the project. You must support your assertions with material from three peer-reviewed journal articles. The paper will include an appendix with a chart depicting your baseline and intervention phases.
Please see the grading criteria in the Content area of the course for details on how the research paper is graded. The paper must be submitted to the designated dropbox by 11:59 PM CT on Monday of week 7.
Note: You are only expected to carry out a behavior change project. The purpose is to learn about the elements of single-subject design and how to design and implement a project. Successful behavior change is not required for this assignment and will not be considered in grading.
- Week 1 – Choose the behavior you want to change, the intervention you will use, and your plan to track intervention data; post your proposal in the designated discussion topic.
- Week 2 – Track your baseline data; post Single-Subject Design: Journal 1.
- Week 3 – Begin your intervention phase; post Single-Subject Design: Journal 2.
- Week 4 – Continue your intervention phase; locate three peer-reviewed journal articles relating to interventions used in your project. No graded assignments for the project are due this week.
- Week 5 – Continue your intervention phase; post Single-Subject Design: Journal 3.
- Week 6 – Stop your intervention phase and begin writing your paper.
- Week 7 – Submit your research paper by 11:59 PM CT on Monday to the appropriate Dropbox; post Single-Subject Design: Journal 4 with a final update on your project.
Communication Skills Project
Effective communication skills are crucial for human services professionals in working with individuals. We must know how to communicate verbally and nonverbally with our clients to elicit information and help them gain more insight. For the duration of the course, you will have the opportunity to learn about and improve your communication skills through readings, exercises, discussion workshops with your classmates, and quizzes.
In week 2, you will take a pre-test that will measure your ability to recognize and apply 10 communication skills covered in Chapter 3 of the text. This pre-test is strictly for the purpose of measuring your current level of skill. It is an ungraded item; however, you are required to take the pre-test. You must complete the pre-test in week 2 before you will have to access the Communication Skills Workshop discussions in weeks 3-7 of the course.
In Weeks 3 - 7, you will enhance your communication skills with readings in the course Content area, skills exercises, and the Communication Skills Workshop discussions with your classmates.
The Communication Skills Workshops are available in the course discussion area in weeks 3-7 and are graded only for full participation. Five points will be awarded for a substantive primary post and a minimum of two substantive responses to classmates in the Communication Skills Workshops. These workshops are your opportunity to share what you’ve learned about the communication skills and learn from your classmates.
The skills quizzes are located in the Quizzes area of the course. Each quiz contains 10 questions. The quizzes are worth 10 points
In week 8, you will submit a 3-5 minute video via YouTube that demonstrates your use of all 10 required communication skills as you work with a partner of your choice (friend, relative, coworker, etc.). Please see the Week 8 Course Schedule for details about the video assignment. Extensive instructions and a tutorial for recording a video and uploading it to YouTube are provided in the Week 8 Content area. You may wish to review these instructions prior to week 8.