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HNS Graduate Department | Brooklyn College Library

HNSC 7150X Fundamentals of Biostatistics: Syllabus

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Syllabus

 

Course Information:

  • HNSC 7150X Fundamentals of Biostatistics. 
  • Fall 2019 Semester
  • Section EW6 (class code 19063)

Day and Time Class Meets:


Instructor:


Course objectives:

After taking this course students should:

  1. Be familiar with how inferences are made using data from research studies
  2. Be able to understand and interpret statistical results of nutrition and health research studies
  3. Be able to perform basic descriptive and inferential statistics using a calculator, spreadsheet software and statistics software.
  4. The course contributes to the following ACEND knowledge requirement: KRDN 4.6 Analyze data for assessment and evaluate data to be used in decision-making for continuous quality improvement

Open Educational Resource (OER):

HNSC 7150X Fundamentals of Biostatistics is an Open Educational Resources (OER).  All class materials are available via this course OER site. The textbook and lab manual are available at no cost to students.

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.”- UNESCO

This OER textbook is a very valuable resource that covers much of what we will cover in this class. However, it was designed specifically for psychology students, and this might be distracting for non-psychology students. For the most part students can replace uses of the term “psychology” with “health and nutrition” or any other major in their minds, and the statistics explained are still applicable. Sections that are specific to psychology, such as psychological measurement, are relevant because much of health and nutrition research involves individuals answering survey questions. Understanding the psychology and potential bias of “self-reported” data is essential.


Textbook and Lab Manual:


Readings:

  • Complete assigned readings before class.
  • The main course readings will be listed and are accessible for free from this very OER site you are on. 
  • Links to readings are listed next to the day they are due on "Lecture Schedule & Readings" tab.
  • Optional background material will be provided covering basic math and algebra for students who need extra help
  • Optional advanced material will be provided for students who wish to go beyond what is covered in class

 

Important - Notes:

  • It is essential for students to take notes during class and keep materials used during class
  • Students need a class notebook that they bring to each class
  • Students need a class folder that they bring to each class to collect materials distributed during class

Blackboard:

Using Blackboard is a requirement for this class. Class materials and announcements will be available on the class Blackboard page. Please try to make sure that your email is correctly listed, and set Blackboard to send you class announcements automatically.


Class policies:

  • Please do not use cell phones or laptops during class unless you are using them to take notes
  • I will usually post the day’s lecture in a pdf file on Blackboard before class begins
  • Eating during class is prohibited, but drinking water during class in encouraged
  • If you are absent, please arrange with other students to copy notes for the class you missed
  • Please do assigned readings before each class
  • Calculators are not required for this course

Course Schedule


Grading:

Students’ understanding of the course material will be evaluated through quizzes and a final exam. The course grade will be calculated using the best 4 scores of 5 quizzes (the lowest score will be excluded). Students who fail to take a quiz due to an unexcused absence will not be allowed to make up the quiz, and will receive a score of zero for that quiz.

Requirement Percentage of Grade
Quiz 1 18%
Quiz 2 18%
Quiz 3 18%
Quiz 4 18%
Quiz 5 18%
Final exam 28%

For calculating your final course grade:

  • The worst quiz score is dropped (possibly including any quiz scores of zero due to an unexcused absence)
  • The remaining 4 quiz scores each account for 18% of the grade
  • The final exam accounts for 28% of the grad

Attendance and class participation:

  • Attendance is mandatory, but attendance is not recorded
  • Please arrive on time to class
  • In order to be successful in this course and receive a favorable grade students need to attend all of the class meetings, participate in class discussions or listen attentively, and take detailed notes.
  • Students who do not attend, do not take notes or do not pay attention during class are unlikely to pass. The class documents are not detailed enough to learn the material without attending class and participating or at least listening attentively and taking notes.
  • Absences from tests can only be excused with written documentation (e.g., a doctor’s note, funeral card or signed letter). I will schedule make-up quizzes for students with excused absences only.
  • Students who fall asleep during class or who are texting instead of participating will be asked to leave

Exercises:

  • We will work on exercises during class time for each class that is not a test or review
  • Exercises are mandatory, but will not be graded
  • Students should keep the completed exercises in a folder to refer to when studying
  • There are no homework assignments in this course

Quizzes/Exam:

  • Quizes will include questions about the material covered, and will require calculations and statistical tests performed by hand (with a calculator), with Excel, and with SPSS
  • (As described above in “Grading”) Students’ lowest quiz score will be thrown out before calculating the course grade
  • I will provide calculators for the tests, if needed.
  • Students are required to take all 5 of the quizzes and the final exam, with 1 exception:
    • Students who are satisfied with their first 4 quiz scores can choose to not take the last quiz and have their grade calculated using only the first 4 quiz scores
  • Make-up quizzes will be allowed for students with excused absences only
  • Students who miss the final exam will receive a grade of “Incomplete” until they take the final, after which their final grade will be calculated and posted, and those who received a failing grade will be able to register for the course again.

Excel:

  • We will use Excel frequently to make calculations automatically, perform simple statistical tests and create graphical displays

SPSS:

  • We will use SPSS (Statistical Software for the Social Sciences) frequently to enter and analyze data; I will provide instruction. SPSS is licensed by CUNY. SPSS is available on most Brooklyn College computers. Students can also access SPSS remotely using the CUNY Virtual Desktop

Grades:

  • Final grades will be available after they are submitted
  • Students may have grades available a few days early by submitting a course evaluation
  • The last day to withdraw without receiving a “W” grade is September 16
  • The last day to withdraw and receive a “W” (but not an “F”) is November 5

University policy on academic integrity:

  • The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism.
  • Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both.
  • The complete text of the CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and the Brooklyn College procedure for policy implementation can be found on the Policies page .
  • If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member must report the violation.
  • Please read the section entitled “Academic Regulations and Procedures” in the Brooklyn College Undergraduate Bulletin or Graduate Bulletin for a complete listing of academic regulations of the College.

Accessibility:

  • In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services.
  • Students who have a documented disability or suspect they may have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell at 718-951-5538.
  • If you have already registered with the Center for Student Disability Services, please provide your professor with the course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with him/her.

Student bereavement policy:

  • Students who experience the death of a loved one must contact the Division of Student Affairs, 2113 Boylan Hall, if they wish to implement either the Standard Bereavement Procedure or the Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure (see #3 and #4, below). The Division of Student Affairs has the right to request a document that verifies the death (e.g., a funeral program or death notice).
  • Typically, this death involves that of a family member, in parallel to the bereavement policy for faculty and staff. However, it is up to the discretion of the Division of Student Affairs to determine if a death outside of the immediate family warrants implementation of the student bereavement policy.
  • Standard Bereavement Procedure:
    • Upon approval from the Division of Student Affairs, the student is allowed one week, commencing from the day of notification to the Division of Student Affairs, of excused absence.
    • Should the student feel that he/she needs additional days, these should be discussed with individual course instructors and/or the Division of Student Affairs.
    • The Division of Student Affairs will contact the student's faculty and academic staff of the student's courses.
    • Faculty and academic staff will be advised that extensions must be granted to the student for the period of one week of excused absence.
    • Further extensions may be negotiated with the student when he or she returns to campus.
    • Students are encouraged to discuss options with their instructors.
  • Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure:
    • Students may be allowed to withdraw from the semester in which the death occurs.
    • The Bereavement Leave of Absence is for one semester only.
    • Students who have opted to take the Bereavement Leave of Absence and have already attended classes for the semester of the leave will be allowed to re-enter the following semester without having to reapply to the college.
    • Students who wish to take the leave of absence prior to the beginning of the semester will be required to reapply for the following semester.
    • Students who are in good academic standing will be given the opportunity to successfully complete the credits for the semester in which they return.
    • Students will consult with the Division of Student Affairs, on a case-by-case basis, as to whether they should withdraw from their courses during this leave of absence or to request incompletes from the faculty member.
    • Given that there may be a potential impact on financial aid, students who receive financial aid and who take the Bereavement Leave of Absence, upon arrangement with the Division of Student Affairs, will meet with a financial aid adviser prior to taking this option.
  • As an option, and in consultation with the Division of Student Affairs, students may take the Leave of Absence Bereavement after the Standard Bereavement.
  • Reference to the Student Bereavement Policies will be noted on course syllabi.
  • Students requesting a religious accommodation should contact the Division of Student Affairs as well. The chief student affairs officer, or a designee, and the student will engage in an interactive process with the goal of finding an acceptable accommodation.

Nonattendance because of religious beliefs:

  • The New York State Education Law provides that no student shall be expelled or refused admission to an institution of higher education because he or she is unable to attend classes or participate in examinations or study or work requirements on any particular day or days because of religious beliefs.
  • Students who are unable to attend classes on a particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be excused from any examination or study or work requirements.
  • Faculty must make good-faith efforts to provide students absent from class because of religious beliefs equivalent opportunities to make up the work missed; no additional fees may be charged for this consideration.
  • If classes, examinations, or study or work requirements occur on Friday after 4 p.m. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, or study or work requirements will be made available on other days, where possible and practical.
  • The faculty and the administration will not allow any adverse or prejudicial effects to accrue to students availing themselves of this regulation.
  • If students have complaints about the application of this policy, they are entitled to bring action or a proceeding for enforcement of their rights in the Supreme Court of Kings County.

Useful links:

2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin [PDF]

2018-2019 Graduate Bulletin [PDF]