Three online instructional modules teach students how to use sophisticated analytical tools to perform basic social science functions.
This module examining US voting behavior is the latest in a series of Supplementary Empirical Teaching Units in Political Science (SETUPS), sponsored by ICPSR and the American Political Science Association. The module is based on the 2004 National Election Study (NES) data. It provides background on the 2004 election, explains the dataset of voting behavior, and shows students how to analyze the data and interpret the results.
- Exploring Data through Research Literature
This instructional module teaches students how to conduct a literature search in the social sciences. It includes three exercises that require students to explore research on social science topics by using ICPSR's Bibliography of Data-related Literature. The exercises show how researchers pose their questions, conduct secondary analysis on existing datasets, and confirm conclusions by analyzing data from multiple sources.
- Investigating Community and Social Capital
This module introduces the methods of quantitative social science research with a case study examining Robert D. Putnam's arguments about the decline of social capital, as discussed in his influential book Bowling Alone. Students learn to replicate and extend Putnam's analysis. Students learn about units of analysis, levels of measurement, and longitudinal versus cross-sectional analysis. Exercises include creating line graphs to look at change over time, creating measures such as a social capital index, and running cross-tabulations and correlations. This resource is intended to enhance courses in disciplines such as political science, public administration and policy, and sociology.