The next faculty development workshop will be delivered virtually March 11-13, 2021 to instructors at the Atlanta University Center Consortium (Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University).
To be notified when future workshops are scheduled, sign up for the Project TIER newsletter or follow @Project_TIER on Twitter. We will resume in-person workshops as the COVID-19 pandemic permits.
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.
Lodging and meals during the workshop are provided at no charge. Lodging is in single guest rooms on the Haverford College campus.
We ask participants to secure funding for costs of travel to and from the workshop from their home institutions or other sources that may be available to them. For individuals who are not able to obtain travel support elsewhere, some funds are available from Project TIER. Requests for travel support may be made on the workshop application.
Enrollment in the workshop will be limited to 12 people.
Content of the workshop
The program of the workshop includes:
- Workflows for reproducible research. Two general approaches to reproducible research are presented:
--The TIER Protocol: 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.
--Dynamic documents: This workflow involves writing a single document containing the text of a report (in some version of a markup language), with chunks of statistical code inserted; sending this document to a processor renders a formatted report with the output generated by the statistical code inserted as specified by the author. This approach is rapidly gaining popularity in many quantitative fields.
- 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.
The workshops are software-neutral, in the sense that all the methods presented can be implemented with any programmable statistical package--e.g., Stata, R, SPSS, SAS, Matlab, and many others. Of necessity, the demonstrations and examples will be conducted with particular programs, but they are easily adapted to any other programmable package.
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 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 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.
The main criteria for selection are:
- Evidence of a candidate’s commitment to incorporating principles and practices of transparency and reproducibility into their own teaching and/or supervision of student research.
- Evidence of a candidate’s motivation to remain in touch with us after the workshop and play an active role in the community of transparency-minded educators we seek to foster.
No recommendation letters are required, but we ask that you include a letter from a department chair, dean, or some other responsible figure, indicating that your responsibilities in the next few years will include opportunities to incorporate principles and methods discussed at the workshop into your courses and/or research advising.
To be notified when future workshops are scheduled, sign up for the Project TIER newsletter (on the footer of any page on the TIER website) or follow @Project_TIER on Twitter.