Utilizing big data is becoming increasingly important in social research, but it brings an array of ethical challenges and research design elements to consider. On this course, you’ll gain an understanding of the emerging field of social data science and take your first steps into the big data-driven approach to research, learning from recent examples of social data science publications and projects.
By the end of this course you will be able to:
Understand the relationship between empirical research, theory generation and testing
Define and formulate research problems, questions and hypotheses to be tested
Understand the rationale for using qualitative or quantitative research methods and the integrated or complementary nature between different methods in mixed methods research designs
Understand different forms of sampling, sampling error, and case selection, and their potential implications when interpreting findings
Apply concepts of generalisability, validity, reliability, and replicability
Understand ethical aspects of social data science and how to cope with them
In this module you will be introduced to social data science and be familiarized with both social data science and scientific methods.
In this module you will learn how to determine the main parameters of a research project including boundaries, scale and time resolution of your research, what big data is, how it differs to traditional data collection and what consent refers to.
In this module you will become familiarized with the toolset of social data science, covering both quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.
In this module you will learn to develop research questions and hypotheses, be familiarized with validity, reproducibility, replicability and generalisability.
In this module you will be familiarized with the main ethical challenges in social data science and how to cope with them.
The course is introductory so no prior knowledge of social data science is required. However, it requires some familiarity with social science research.
No specific software is needed to take this course. You simply need a laptop or PC and an internet connection.
You have access to the course for 3 months.
You can take the course at whatever pace you choose over the 3 month access period. The course takes between 3-6 hours to complete, so you have plenty of time to fit it around your lifestyle.
The course contains 5 modules and it’s recommended that they are followed sequentially, however, the modules are self-contained and you may decide to skip if preferred.
All of our courses offer a certificate of completion signed by your instructor. You will be able to download this certificate, from the Learning Platform, when you complete the course.
The course is primarily conceptual, however, there are many hands-on examples, thought experiments and exercises.
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