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Research Study Design

This course provides learners with an understanding of how to improve study design, collect and analyze data, and promote reproducible research.






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About this Course

The Research Study Design course provides learners with an introduction to research study design, a detailed overview of scientific inquiry, examples of various research designs, a discussion of data management methods, an introduction to statistical analysis, and sound approaches to optimize the reproducibility of research results. This course is valuable to university undergraduate and graduate students who are taking a classroom research study design course or who need a refresher on a specific aspect of research design. Research team members and Institutional Review Board members who may need an overview or refresher on research design concepts will also find the course meaningful.

This course was authored and peer-reviewed by experts.

Language Availability: English

Suggested Audiences: IRB Members and Administrators, Undergraduate and Graduate Students, Research Staff

Organizational Subscription Price: $500 per year/per site
Independent Learner Price: $99 per person

Course Content

Introduction to Scientific Research

Provides an introduction to the steps involved in scientific research, including how to formulate a research question and the steps associated with developing a hypothesis. The module concludes with an overview of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and other committees that may be involved in the review of research.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 17581 (English)
Author(s): Michael Belotto, PhD, MPH, CCRA, CCRC - BRANY; Christina Ventura-DiPersia, MPH - Hofstra University

Observational Research

Presents different types of observational research designs and includes a discussion on determining the best designs to fit with intended research activities. The module concludes with a discussion on the strengths and limitations of the designs.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 17582 (English)
Author(s): Michael Belotto, PhD, MPH, CCRA, CCRC - BRANY; Christina Ventura-DiPersia, MPH - Hofstra University

Interventional Research

Identifies the different types of interventional studies and designs, including special considerations associated with interventional research designs.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 17583 (English)
Author(s): Michael Belotto, PhD, MPH, CCRA, CCRC - BRANY; Christina Ventura-DiPersia, MPH - Hofstra University

Quantitative Research (Statistical Reasoning and Hypothesis Testing) - Part 1

Provides an overview of statistical reasoning, hypothesis testing, and research design. Explores how researchers develop research questions, generate research hypotheses, understand variability, and develop methods for explaining variability to the extent possible.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 17584 (English)
Author(s): Dee Andrews, PhD

Quantitative Research (Statistical Reasoning and Hypothesis Testing) - Part 2

Expands on the fundamentals of statistics and explores how statistics are used to make research decisions.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 17585 (English)
Author(s): Dee Andrews, PhD

Survey Research: Designing the Instrument

Provides an overview of survey research design, with a focus on developing and pilot testing the survey instrument.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 17586 (English)
Author(s): Seth J. Schwartz, PhD - University of Miami

Survey Research: Conducting the Research

Discusses key areas associated with conducting survey-based research, including ways to adapt surveys for new populations, different samples and sampling techniques, and ways to administer surveys.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 17587 (English)
Author(s): Seth J. Schwartz, PhD - University of Miami

Qualitative Research Methods

Provides an overview of qualitative research and differences among the major qualitative research designs. Highlights critical issues to consider when designing a qualitative study.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 19101 (English)
Author(s): Moin Syed, PhD - University of Minnesota

Mixed Methods Research

Describes mixed methods research and the rationale for using a mixed methods design. Includes an overview of the different mixed methods designs and the major design decisions to consider.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 17588 (English)
Author(s): Moin Syed, PhD - University of Minnesota

Data Management

Discusses the ethical issues associated with data, including data collection, management, sharing, ownership, and protection.

*Note, this module is part of the CITI Program’s Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course, but is also included in this course.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 16600 (English)
Author(s): Reid Cushman, PhD - CITI Program

Reproducibility of Research Results

Discusses factors that contribute to the lack of reproducibility and the resulting problems that can emerge. The module also describes the stakeholders affected by reproducibility problems, a collection of reproducibility initiatives, and strategies that can mitigate or prevent irreproducibility.

Recommended Use: Supplemental
ID (Language): 17756 (English)
Author(s): Teri A. Hamill, PhD - Nova Southeastern University


How is the Research Study Design course structured?

It consists of modules that contain detailed content, supporting visual elements, and supplemental materials (such as case studies, examples, and resources), and a quiz.  Learners may complete the modules at their own pace.

Note: The Data Management and Reproducibility of Research Results modules are part of the Responsible Conduct of Research course but are included with the purchase of the Research Study Design course.

When should learners and organizations consider subscribing to the Research Study Design course?

Learners should consider this course if they need a review of scientific research and different research designs. Organizations may subscribe to the course and provide access to learners who need such training.

Who might benefit from the Research Study Design course?

This course is suitable for individuals who would benefit from an overview of the scientific method and different research designs. Individuals new to scientific inquiry or unfamiliar with some elements of scientific inquiry might find the course meaningful. In addition, individuals involved in conducting or overseeing research, such as research team members, IRB members and administrators, or non-scientific community members, might find the Research Study Design course helpful.

What are the advantages of the Research Study Design course?

The Research Study Design course was developed and reviewed by experts to provide individuals with a succinct overview of scientific methods and various research designs. The course is self-paced, convenient, and available to learners around the world.

How long will a course take me to complete?

Although completion time will vary from one learner to the next, we estimate that each module will take about 25-35 minutes to complete. The modules are designed so that learners can complete them in one sitting or in multiple sittings, and there is no time limit for course activities.