Basic Professional Reading Skills

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PTA 214

       Course Name: Basic Professional Reading Skills

       Credits: 1 (1 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

PTA 100, PTA103, PTA 105 with minimum grade of C in each course.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course covers instruction in basic research reading.  Content includes skills needed to interpret physical therapy professional literature and basic research designs.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student is able to:

  1. Identify and evaluate appropriate sources of research literature and other related publications.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of basic research design, identifying the difference between observational and experimental design.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of levels of measurement and relate to generalizability of research study conclusions.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of validity and reliability in research design.
  5. Differentiate between normal and skewed distributions. Describe how skewed distributions affect statistical choices.
  6. Relate various types of tables, figures and graphs to levels of measurement.
  7. Identify measures of central tendency.
  8. Relate measures of central tendency to corresponding levels of measurement.
  9. Demonstrate understanding of levels of statistical significance.
  10. Demonstrate ability to perform simple statistical tests including t-tests, correlations, and chi-square.
  11. Analyze professional research literature and apply to clinical practice. Present findings in public forum.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Sources of Research
    1. Public web sites
    2. Library databases
      1. CINANL
      2. Medline
    3. Cochrane Reviews
  2. Basic Research Designs
    1. Experimental
      1. Controlled vs. uncontrolled
      2. Randomized
      3. Blended
    2. Observational
      1. Cohort case control
      2. Cross-sectional
      3. Case series
    3. Validity and reliability requirements
  3. Different Levels of Measurement
    1. Nominal
    2. Ordinal
    3. Interval
    4. Ratio
  4. Distributions
  5. Charts and Graphs
    1. For nominal/ordinal data
    2. For interval/ratio data
  6. Measures of central tendency
    1. Mean
    2. Median
    3. Mode
  7. Levels of Significance
  8. Simple Statistical tests
    1. Student’s t-test for independent groups
    2. Correlations
    3. Chi-square
  9. Review professional article

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture/discussion, supplemented with audio-visual materials.


Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Attendance is required at all scheduled lectures.  Reading articles as assigned – analyze one major research article and present findings to class. Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  • Handouts
  • Articles

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

A.  Homework assignments  10%
B. Test 1 30%
C. Test 2 30%
D. Quizzes 10%
E. Research analysis 20%

There will be no rounding up of earned grades.

XI.   Other Course Information

Required attendance at all scheduled lectures.  Two or more absences or tardiness may result in lowering final grade.  Students who inform the instructor in advance (at the beginning of the semester) of an intended absence for a MAJOR religious observance will not be penalized.  However, instructors are not responsible for teaching material again and missed work, exams or quizzes must be made up either in advance or immediately following the intended absence.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services.  To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at Des Plaines or Skokie campus.  All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements.  The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.



If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.