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Online · School of Health Sciences · Public and Community Health


  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 07/28/2020

Contact Information

See detailed faculty information in Blackboard.

Course Description

The course prepares the student in the development and application of statistical reasoning and methods in addressing, analyzing and solving problems in public health; healthcare; and biomedical, clinical and population-based research.





The purpose of this biostatistics course is to provide students in the Master of Public Health program the opportunity to attain statistical literacy. It is important for public health professionals to be able to understand, apply, and effectively articulate concepts pertaining to research design, data collection, data analysis, results reporting, statistical testing and interpretation. Additionally these professionals must be able to critically evaluate the public health scientific literature in light of the aforementioned concepts.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Utilize hypothesis testing methods to correctly perform parametric and non-parametric inferential statistical procedures.
  2. Apply basic informatics techniques with vital statistics and public health records to describe a public health problem.
  3. Apply appropriate biostatistical research designs and methods to address a public health problem.
  4. Critically analyze, evaluate, and interpret results from descriptive and inferential statistical procedures.
  5. Develop written and oral presentations reporting statistical analyses for selected audiences.
  6. Recognize the limitations of evidence (e.g., validity, reliability, sample size, bias, and generalizability) in informing public health decisions.
  7. Describe the role of biostatistics in the delivery of essential public health services.
  8. Critically evaluate the results of public health research from the Christian worldview.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchase

Sullivan, L. (2018). Essentials of biostatistics in public health – With Access (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning. ISBN: 9781284108194.

Disclaimer: The above resource provides information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in this resource.

Additional Materials for Learning

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Blackboard recommended browsers
  4. Microsoft Word
  5. Microsoft Excel

Course Assignments

Textbook readings, Bible readings, and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 300 words, not including title and references, and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200 words, not including title and references.

Chapter Problems (8)

Each week the student will complete 10–30 problems from the chapters that are from the assigned reading. This work will ensure the student understands the concepts he or she is reading and is able to apply those concepts to statistical problems.

Excel Exercises (5)

The student will complete 5 Excel exercises.

Case Study Analysis

The student will be given a case study to evaluate. The evaluation will include analysis and interpretation of data.  The student will use the provided rubric to evaluate/grade the case study and report the findings in both written and oral formats.

Quizzes (2)

The quizzes will be based on the chapter readings. The quizzes are open-book/notes and comprised of multiple choice and true/false questions. Each student will have one week to complete each quiz.

Exams (2)

The exams will be based on the chapter readings. The exams are open-book/notes and comprise of multiple-choice, true/false, and essay questions. The student will have a week to complete each exam. The Final Exam will include all material presented during the term.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (3 at 30 pts ea)


Chapter Problems (8 at 30 pts ea)


Excel Exercises (5 at 20 pts ea)


Framingham Case Study Analysis Summary (Part I)


Framingham Case Study Presentation (Part II)


Quiz 1

(Modules 1–2)


Quiz 2

(Modules 7–10)


Midterm Exam

(Modules 1–4)


Final Exam

(Modules 1–8)




Course Policies

Writing Style

For this course, all papers and written assignments must be completed in the American Medical Association style (AMA).

Confidentiality and Limits of Confidentiality

Because many of our students are already actively involved in a career in Health Promotion, the student may have experiences that will naturally lend themselves to the curriculum of this course. To respect the privacy of others, it is imperative that students do not use the names of individuals that they have worked with and/or treated.

In the event of a student’s disclosure, either verbally or in writing, of threat of serious or foreseeable harm to self or others, abuse or neglect of a minor, elderly or disabled person, or current involvement in criminal activity, the faculty, staff, administrator, or supervisor will take immediate action. This action may include, but is not limited to, immediate notification of appropriate state law enforcement or social services personnel, emergency contacts, and notification of the appropriate program chair or online dean. The incident and action taken will become part of the student’s permanent record.


Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


HLTH 501

Textbook: Sullivan, Essentials of Biostatistics in Public Health (2018).


Reading & Study




Sullivan: chs. 1–2

2 Powerpoint presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

DB Forum 1

Chapter Problems 1

Excel Exercise Week 1






Sullivan: ch. 3-4

2 Powerpoint presentations

Chapter Problems 2

Excel Exercise Week 2

Quiz 1 (chs 1-4)





Sullivan: chs. 5

1 Powerpoint presentation

DB Forum 2

Chapter Problems 3

Excel Exercise Week 3





Sullivan: chs. 6

1 Powerpoint presentation

Chapter Problems 4

Midterm Exam (chs 1-6)




Sullivan: ch. 7

1 Powerpoint presentation

DB Forum 3

Chapter Problems 5

Excel Exercise Week 5





Sullivan: ch. 8-9

2 Powerpoint presentations

Chapter Problems 6

Framingham  Case Study Summary Part I




Sullivan: ch. 10

1 Powerpoint presentation

Chapter Problems 7

Quiz 2 (chs 6-10)

Framingham Case Study Presentation Part II





Sullivan: ch. 11-12

2 Powerpoint presentations

Chapter Problems 8

Excel Exercise Week 8

Final Exam (chs 1-12)






DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.