Spring, 1 Credit, 5-week Session 2, Tu/Thu 11:30am-12:45pm

Instructors: Evan Thomas and Carlo Salvinelli
Office Hours: By Appointment ethomas@colorado.edu, carlo.salvinelli@colorado.edu

Course Information

This course will review the characteristics of the study designs that can be used to assess the impact of international development interventions. Students will be introduced to the main types of study design, including observational and experimental studies. Emphasis will be placed on Randomized Controlled Trials and Interrupted Time Series analysis through the review of two case studies. Ethical consideration faced when conducting research on human subjects and the compliance process to obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board will be presented.

 

Learning Goals

  1. Be familiar with the concept of theory of change and the indicators used to measure progress towards an intervention's outcome achievement.
  2. Be able to explain most commonly used impact evaluation designs and understand the conditions under which each may be used.
  3. Be aware of the ethical issues that need to be considered when running impact evaluations.

Textbooks and Materials

There is no required text. Readings will consist of textbook chapters, peer-reviewed journal articles and reports. All required readings will be provided through Canvas. Check regularly on Canvas for information about lecture content, readings and assignments.

Course Calendar (subject to change)

Week

Day

Topic

1

Feb 19

Introduction to Study Design

2

Feb 26

Ethics / IRB

3

Mar 4

Colorado WASH Symposium

4

Mar 11

Randomized Controlled Trials - Rwanda Case Study

5

Mar 18

Interrupted Time Series

Assignments

Attendance/Class participation: Attendance is required. Class participation is an essential component of the requirements for successful completion of this course. Points for class participation are not simply guaranteed by attendance; participation consists of being present in class, reading all assignments prior to the beginning of class, and being an active member in class discussions and presentations. (Each class session is 5% of final grade, 25% total)

Assignments: Directions for the weekly assignments will be given in class and posted in Canvas. (Each Assignment is 15% of final grade, 75% total)

Late Policy

The grade for late assignments will be reduced by 10 percentage points (on a 100 point scale) per day that the assignment is late. We may agree to make exceptions to this policy on a very limited basis, provided that the reason is very compelling and provided that you ask us in advance.

Extra Credit (TBD points)

Extra credit assignments are not anticipated but may arise as the course progresses. 

Exams

There will be no exams in this course. 

Grading Scheme

Grades will be recorded in Canvas throughout the semester. At the end of the term, the scores on all assignments are weighted by the percentages given above to determine a semester score. Student grades will be determined as follows based on their semester score rounded to the nearest single decimal place:

A+: 100 to 97.0 percent

A: 100.0 to 93.0 percent

A-: 92.9 to 90.0 percent

B+: 89.9 to 87.0 percent

B: 86.9 to 83.0 percent

B-: 82.9 to 80.0 percent

C+: 79.9 to 77.0 percent

B: 76.9 to 73.0 percent

C-: 72.9 to 70.0 percent

D+: 69.9 to 67.0 percent

B: 66.9 to 63.0 percent

D-: 62.9 to 60.0 percent

F: 60.0 to 0 percent

   

Accommodation for Disabilities

If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit your accommodation letter from Disability Services to your faculty member in a timely manner so that your needs can be addressed.  Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities in the academic environment.  Information on requesting accommodations is located on the Disability Services website. Contact Disability Services at 303-492-8671 or dsinfo@colorado.edu for further assistance.  If you have a temporary medical condition or injury, see Temporary Medical Conditions under the Students tab on the Disability Services website.

Classroom Behavior

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation or political philosophy.  For more information, see the policies on classroom behavior and the Student Code of Conduct.

Preferred Student Names and Pronouns

CU Boulder recognizes that students' legal information doesn't always align with how they identify. Students may update their preferred names and pronouns via the student portal; those preferred names and pronouns are listed on instructors' class rosters. In the absence of such updates, the name that appears on the class roster is the student's legal name.

Honor Code

All students enrolled in a University of Colorado Boulder course are responsible for knowing and adhering to the Honor Code. Violations of the policy may include: plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, lying, bribery, threat, unauthorized access to academic materials, clicker fraud, submitting the same or similar work in more than one course without permission from all course instructors involved, and aiding academic dishonesty. All incidents of academic misconduct will be reported to the Honor Code (honor@colorado.edu); 303-492-5550). Students found responsible for violating the academic integrity policy will be subject to nonacademic sanctions from the Honor Code as well as academic sanctions from the faculty member. Additional information regarding the Honor Code academic integrity policy can be found at the Honor Code Office website.

Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, Harassment and/or Related Retaliation

The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) is committed to fostering a positive and welcoming learning, working, and living environment. CU Boulder will not tolerate acts of sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse (including dating or domestic violence), stalking, or protected-class discrimination or harassment by members of our community. Individuals who believe they have been subject to misconduct or retaliatory actions for reporting a concern should contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) at 303-492-2127 or cureport@colorado.edu. Information about the OIEC, university policies, anonymous reporting (Links to an external site.), and the campus resources can be found on the OIEC websiteLinks to an external site..

Please know that faculty and instructors have a responsibility to inform OIEC when made aware of incidents of sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment and/or related retaliation, to ensure that individuals impacted receive information about options for reporting and support resources.

Religious Holidays

Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to deal reasonably and fairly with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance.  If this applies to you, please speak with us directly as soon as possible.

See the campus policy regarding religious observances for full details.