Current Courses

M.Sc. Programme
Second semester – 1438/1439 – 2017/2018
Course Number:                   RHS 505
Course Title:                         Research seminars
Credit Hours:                        2 credit hours
Course Instructor:               Dr. Einas Al-Eisa (

Course Description: 
This course explores the underlying theoretical concepts that guide research design in clinical 
studies. Students will be introduced to different concepts in scientific methodology, and will be 
expected to develop a research questions, design appropriate study, and critically appraise 
research literature. The course also includes converting the research question to a research 
hypothesis, and proposal writing. There will be activities involving data analysis, data 
interpretation, problem solving, manuscript preparation, and presentation of results to class and 
other professionals. Special emphasis will be given to descriptive and inferential statistics in 
clinical studies. 

Course Obiectives: 
Upon completion the course, students should be able to: 
1- Analyze research articles and critique the outcome measures, subject selection, physical 
therapy intervention, research design and ethics. 
2- Search about certain knowledge in the area of interest. 
3- Practice presenting and justifying their findings. 
4- Conduct the proper statistical tests to analyze generated data, interpret the results and 
present it in public. 

Expectations from students: 
Throughout the semester, students will: 
- Give a seminar in a class on selected topics 
- Appraise literature on recent advances in the field of physical therapy 
- Defend a research proposal in class 
- Collect relevant data to test validity and reliability of selected outcome measures 
- Conduct a research study and present it in public 

Learning and Teaching Approach: 
Student presentations and student-led seminars 
Group work 
Reading and discussion/debate 
Individual supervision 
Reflection and self-direction 

Student Seminars 
Each student will choose 2 topics from the list below to lead a discussion and present in class: 

  • Effective communication/presentation 
  • Validity and reliability in research designs 
  • Experimental and non/quasi experimental designs 
  • Questionnaire design 
  • Null hypothesis and significance testing 
  • Sampling 
  • Qualitative methods 
  • Mixed methods 
  • Research questions and strong inference 
  • Developing research questions and hypothesis 

On Sunday, the lead presenter will submit 2 questions to the class via email based on the 
primary readings (below in bold). Each student will answer the questions on their own and 
bring to class Tuesday. 

In Class 

  • In groups of 2, you will discuss the answers to the 2 questions (10 min) 
  • Then you will discuss all your answers as a class with the lead presenter guiding the discussion (15 min) 
  • The lead presenter will give the presentation (30 minutes) including any questions 


  • Students’ seminar (2X15 = 30%) 
  • Stroop data collection and stats analysis using SPSS (5%) 
  • Critical appraisal assignment (10%) 
  • Open book exam (10%) 
  • Statistics assignment (5%) 
  • F inal Project- written (20%) 
  • Final Project- presentation (20%) 

Seminar Supplement and Reading List

Lead presenter
Discussion Questions

  • Send 2 good questions based on the BOLD readings by Sunday to the class via email
  • questions should stimulate dlscussion rather than just testing knowledge of the readings-use Your own previous experience and readings
  • You are not required to know the exact answers but have thought of them to steer and lead the discussion

In class 

  • first 10 min, groups of 2 will discuss answers to your questions-you are welcome to listen, but not interact unless to clarify terms 
  • The next 15 min will be spent talking about the questions as a whole class-you will lead the discussion and create an interactive session for the whole class 

Presentation (30 min) 

  • Focus on the supplemental readings and try to present:
  • Key points that span all readings-do not attempt to cover everything 
  • What were useful/controversial/interesting points?
  • Try to relate readings and issues to your research/past expenence, anticipated future experiences where appropriate . 
  • Feel free to use anecdotes, figures, pictures, videos to illustrate 

Reading List

  • Readings in Bold are required for ALL each week 
  • Readings in regular font are required for Lead presenter 
  • Readings in italics are for reference, suggested extra 
  • If KSU does not carry the journal, ask Cynthia for a copy 
  • Feel free to do your own search to add to our general knowledge 

Effective communication

  • Presentation skills: Skills
  • Alley M. 2103 The craft of scientific presentations: Critical steps to succeed and critical errors to avoid e-book. Ask Cynthia for the PDF copy. Skim the book and look for unexpected, novel, different ideas
  • Ted T alks-lots of talks on research and stats. Think about what makes a good/bad talk
  • Thomas et al (2015). Ch 22: Ways of reporting research

Non experimental compared to experimental research designs

Follow the links in menu/toolbar:primarily focus on experimental and quantitative designs

  • Thomas et al (2015). Ch 16: Other descriptive research methods
  • Thomas et al (2015). Ch 18: Experimental and quasi experimental research

Validity, threats to validity, reliability

  • Martyn Shuttelworth (October 20, 2008). Validity and Reliability. Retrieved Jan 24,2015 from :  
  • Thomas et al (2015). Ch 11: Measuring research variables (just sections on validity and reliability) 
  • Thomas et al (2015). Ch 18: Experimental research and quasi experimental research, sources of validity, threats to internal and external validity. Also skim through examples and types of designs that control threats to validity 

Questionnaire survey design 

Null hwothesis and significance testing

  • Carver, R. P. (1978). The case against statistical significance testing. HarvardEducational Review, 48(3), 378-399 .
  • Franks & Huck ( 1986). Why does everyone use the .05? Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 57, 245-249
  • Hunter, JE. (1997). Needed: A Ban on the Significance Test. Psychological  Science, 8, 3- 7. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.1997.tb00534.x http://>


Qualitative methods

  • Belgrave, L., Zablotsky, D., & Guadagno, M. (2002). How do we talk to each other? Writing qualitative research for quantitative readers. Qualitative healyhResearch,12(10), 1427-1439 .
  • Thomas et al (2015). Ch 19: Qualitative research
  • Gill, D. (2011). Beyond the qualitative-quantitative dichotomy:  Notes from a nonqualitative researcher. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise & Health, 3(3 ),305-312
  • Latimer, AE, Martin Ginis, KA, & Perriera, M-J (2011). The story behind the numbers: ataleof three quantitative researchers ’ foray into qualitative research territory. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 3 (3), 278 -284. D0I:10.1080/2159676X.2011.607179,
  • Schutz (1989). Qualitative research: Comments and controversies. Research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport, 60, 30-35.

Mixed methods research

  • Moran, AP, Matthews, JJ & Kirby, K (2011). Whatever happened to the third paradigm? Exploring mixed methods research designs in sport and exercisepsychology. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health 3(3), 362-369.DOI :10.1080/2159676X.201 1.607843
  • Firestone, W.A. ( 1987). Meaning in method: The rhetoric of quantitative and qualitativeresearch: Educational researcher, 16 (7), 16-21. 6/7/16.abstract DOI: 10.3 102/0013 189X016007016
  • Thomas et al (2015). Chapter 20: Mixed-Methods Research

Research questions and strong inference 

  • Salzinger, k. (2001). Scientists should look for basic causes, not just effects. Chroncle of Higher Education, 47(23), B14.​Should-Look-for/6007  
  • Kinraide, T.B., & Denison, R.F (2003). Strong inference: The way of science. The Amencan Biology Teacher, 65, 419-424. 
  • Platt, JR. (1964). Strong inference: Certain systematic methods of scientific thinking may produce more rapid progress than others. Science, 146 (3642), 347-353 

Developing research questions 

  • Thomas et al (2015) Ch 2: Developing the problem and using the literature 
  • Biddle S. (199 7). Chaos in the brickyard revisited: on research integration, accumulated knowledge and evidence -based practice in the exercise and sport  sciences. Journal of Sports Sciences, 15, 383-384.