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Event Description

AUC Data Science Initiative Workshop, August 2022

This workshop is limited to instructors and staff of the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It will be delivered synchronously via Zoom, and consist of four sessions:

Session 1: Thursday, August 4, 9:30am-1:30pm (EDT)

Session 2: Friday, August 5, 9:30am-1:30pm (EDT)

Session 3: Monday, August 8, 9:30am-1:30pm (EDT)

Session 4: Tuesday, August 9, 9:30am-1:30pm (EDT)


Content of the workshop

This workshop will introduce attendees to Project TIER’s principles and practices of integrating reproducible methods into teaching and research.

The workshop will feature examples in the R programming language. Attendees should already be familiar with R or another statistical scripting language (e.g., Stata, SPSS, SAS, etc.).

Attendees should also have some experience teaching courses involving applied data analysis and/or supervising data-based student research projects, as well as plants to teach such a course again in the near future.

During the workshop, attendees will create an output (such as a lab exercise or instructions for a reproducible research project) based on principles they learn in the workshop that they can use in their own teaching in the upcoming academic year.

Attendees will have the option of participating in a follow-up meeting in the summer of 2023 to discuss their experiences integrating reproducibility into their classes or personal research practices.

The program of the workshop includes:

  • Workflows for reproducible research. The TIER Protocol is based on a research style that has been and remains prevalent in the social sciences, but introduces standards of documentation that ensure transparency and reproducibility. This approach emphasizes the importance of constructing replication documentation incrementally throughout all phases of a research project, and preserving scripts containing commands that execute every step of data processing and analysis underlying the results of a study.
  • Teaching strategies. Discussion of strategies for teaching students to conduct research using these reproducible research methods, and of how these strategies can be adapted to serve in diverse environments--differing, for example, in class size, preparedness of students, access to data and computing resources, and the amount of time available to devote to reproducibility.
  • File-sharing platforms. Demonstrations of one or more file-sharing platforms (e.g., Dropbox, OSF, GitHub, etc.), and of how they can be used to radically transform the nature of collaboration among students working on projects together as well as communication between instructors and students.
  • Pedagogical benefits. Discussion of the benefits of teaching reproducible research methods. These benefits have to do both with developing the professional skills of the next generation of researchers, and with reinforcing fundamental principles of inquiry, argument, and integrity that are essential elements in the education of all students, regardless of their later career paths.

Software

The demonstrations and examples presented at the workshop will be conducted using R, RStudio, and R Markdown. Some experience with R will be helpful, but not necessary. There will be a brief introduction to R for those who have not used that software before.

Note, however, that all the concepts and principles we will present during the workshop are software-neutral: they can be implemented with R, Stata, SPSS, SAS, or any other scriptable statistical software. Although R is the main software we will use, we will also point workshop participants to resources for instructors who teach with Stata and SPSS.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Despite this neutrality with respect to which particular software is used, the use of some programmable statistical package is essential. The methods presented at the workshop are not applicable in settings in which students work with their data interactively in Excel or other spreadsheets, or in which students rely on the drop-down menus available in some programs.

Instructors whose students use spreadsheets or drop-down menus, but who wish to wean them from those tools and teach them to work with editable scripts instead, are welcome at the workshop and may find much of it valuable. The workshop does not have much to offer for situations in which switching from spreadsheets and drop-down menus to editable scripts is not feasible.

Workshop organizers

The organizers and instructors for the workshop are:

Richard Ball Professor of Economics, Haverford College; and Project TIER co-director

Norm Medeiros, Associate Librarian, Haverford College; and Project TIER co-director

Matthew Platt, Associate Professor of Political Science, Morehouse College; and Project TIER Executive Committee member

David Vera, Professor of Economics, California State University, Fresno; and Project TIER Executive Committee member


Application Information

Applications are due April 15; preference is given to those who register by April 2. The application form is available here.

This workshop is available to instructors and staff of the Atlanta University Center Consortium. Enrollment in the workshop will be limited to 20 people. Each participant will receive a stipend of $1,000 upon completion of the workshop and submission of deliverables. For additional eligibility and deliverable information, please see this announcement.

To be notified when future workshops are scheduled, sign up for the Project TIER newsletter or follow @Project_TIER on Twitter.


About Project TIER Faculty Development Workshops

Project TIER's Faculty Development Workshops are designed for college and university educators who are interested in integrating principles of transparency and reproducibility into quantitative methods courses and research training.

The workshops introduce participants to protocols for conducting and documenting empirical research that ensure the reproducibility of all computational results, and then present a`range of pedagogical strategies and curricular resources for teaching these methods to students in a variety of educational settings.

The objective is to help instructors develop plans for teaching reproducible research practices that will be feasible and effective in their particular contexts, so that they are fully prepared to implement the methods presented at the workshops when they return to their home institutions.

Participants are also introduced to opportunities to collaborate with Project TIER in the development and dissemination of curricular resources for practicing and teaching transparent research methods. The ultimate goal is to foster the development of a community of educators committed to the idea that transparency and reproducibility should be integrated into all levels of research training for students in quantitative fields.

Who can benefit from attending a workshop?

  • Faculty who teach courses involving statistics and data analysis, and/or supervise student research.
  • Staff of libraries, interdisciplinary centers for research and education, or IT departments with responsibility for training or support of student research.
  • Graduate students and post-docs who currently serve as instructors or TAs, or anticipate doing so in the future.
  • Any other individuals in a position to use the methods presented at the workshops in some way that promotes transparent and reproducible methods in the research training of students in quantitative fields.

Individuals who teach or advise quantitative research methods are welcome, regardless of their disciplines. Most participants in past workshops have been social scientists, but the number of individuals from mathematics, statistics, and the natural sciences has been growing. Further increases in the diversity of the disciplines represented at the workshops would be welcome.

Commitment to inclusion and diversity

Project TIER is committed to serving members of underrepresented minorities, women, and low-income and first-generation college students.

We seek to collaborate with colleagues whose talents and perspectives reflect diverse backgrounds and life experiences, and value the distinctive perspectives they bring to Project TIER.

Individuals belonging to underrepresented groups, and/or whose teaching and advising will reach large numbers of under-served students, are especially encouraged to apply.