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ROLE OF NUMBERS

 

Introduction | RCBN Activities | References | Resources | Links | Software

Introduction (return to top)

The consultation exercise has shown that there is limited use and knowledge of quantitative research generally. While there is an identifiable need to help researchers consume research that uses multi-level modelling or time-series analysis many articulate this need without little knowledge of the use of basic numerical data analysis. This theme relates to the use of large-scale secondary datasets and the more advanced programme theme of longitudinal data analysis. However, there is a specific need to encourage researchers to use numerical datasets, be less fearful of such data and ultimately overcome disruptive ‘methodological identities’. Such a theme would also have to show how numerical data could be combined with more qualitative data.

RCBN Activities (return to top)

March 19 2004, Introduction to Multilevel Modelling, University of Leicester
This is a one-day workshop being led by Professor Harvey Goldstein and John Rasbash of the Centre for Multilevel Modelling at the Institute of Education, University of London. Issues to be covered include the calculation of confidence intervals for value added scores, the importance of allowing for 'differential value added effects’ e.g. that depend on initial achievement and the use of aggregate data such as school means. The emphasis throughout will be on conceptual understanding and an appreciation of the weaknesses as well as the strengths of the technique. Please click here for more information.

This introductory session may be followed by a further hands-on practical workshop - please revisit the RCBN website for updates information.

23 Jan 2004 Longitudinal Research in Education, York
This one-day workshop/seminar will introduce participants to different ways in which longitudinal research can be used in education. It will show how time can be introduced into research both within a single study and for repeated research studies. The workshop/seminar will also examine a range of different types of research that use different forms of data – including ‘qualitative’ and ‘quantitative’ data. The workshop will also discuss the use of existing large-scale datasets, such as the British Household Panel Survey and the Youth Cohort Study, in the context of education research.
Further Details.

22-23 May 2003 Applying for small grant funding and Introducing quantitative research skills, Belfast
This is a two-day workshop principally for new career researchers. The first day will focus on applying for small grant funding. The second day will then focus on quantitative research in preparing and using such data. Please click here for more information about this two-day workshop.

Roadshow seminars on the role of numbers in research
The RCBN is undertaking a series of seminars around the UK at various dates intended to stimulate discussion and awareness of the relatively simple role of numbers in educational and, more specifically, teaching and learning research. For more information about these seminars or to see if we are coming to an Institution near you click here.

July 2003
Role of numbers in research for ‘consumers’ of research; 1-day seminar/workshop (location TBA); 15 places

August 2003
Role of numbers in research for ‘trainers’ of new researchers; 1-day seminar/workshop (location TBA); 15 places

 

References (return to top)

Building Research Capacity journal

Coe, R (2002) What is an effect size?, Building Research Capacity, 4, pp.6-8

Gorard, S (2003) Anyone can calculate conditional probabilities, Building Research Capacity, 5, pp.9-11

Gorard, S (2002) What do statistical tests signify?, Building Research Capacity, 2, pp.4-5

Nash, R (2002) A realist scheme for social explanation: on 'numbers and narratives', Building Research Capacity, 4, pp.1-4

Prandy, K (2002) Measuring quantities: the qualitative foundation of quantity, Building Research Capacity, 2, pp.3-4

Steele, T (2003) Positivism's progressive past, Building Research Capacity, 5, pp.6-9

Other useful references

Berka, K (1983) Measurement: its concepts, theories and problems, London: Reidel

Booth, W., Colomb, G. and Williams, J. (1995) The craft of research, Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Brignell, J. (2000) Sorry, wrong number! The abuse of measurement, European Science and Environment Forum

Clegg, F. (1992) Simple Statistics: a course book for the social sciences, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Dawes, R. (2001) Everyday irrationality, Oxford: Westview Press

Gephart, R. (1988) Ethnostatistics: Qualitative foundations for quantitative research, London: Sage

Gigerenzer, G. (2002) Reckoning with risk, London: Penguin

Gorard, S. (2003) Quantitative methods in social science, London: Continuum

Huck, S. and Sandler, H., (1979) Rival hypotheses: Alternative interpretations of data based conclusions, New York: Harper and Row

Huff, D. (1991) How to lie with statistics, Harmondsworth: Penguin

Reichmann, W. (1961) Use and abuse of statistics, Harmondsworth: Penguin

Thouless, R. (1974) Straight and crooked thinking, London: Pan

 

Resources (return to top)

Gorard, S., Prandy, K. & Roberts K. (2002) An Introduction to the simple role of numbers in social science research, Cardiff University School of Social Sciences Occasional Paper 53
Abstract | Paper

The significance of signficance
Rob Coe (Durham University) usefully outlines the main criticisms of significance testing before highlighting alternative ways of interpreting empirical results and allowing for their sampling variability. Also includes useful references on significance testing. To see Rob Coe's resource please click here.

 

Links (return to top)

Use of Numeric Data in Learning and Teaching
This website provides resources, case studies, recommendations and research on the use of numeric data in learning and teaching, primarily for undergraduate and postgraduate students. It focuses upon the use of existing national data resources that are readily available to all learners.

The Association for Survey Computing (ASC)
The Association for Survey Computing (ASC), originally known as the Study Group on Computers in Survey Analysis (SGCSA), was formed in 1971 in order to improve knowledge of good practice in survey computing and to disseminate information on techniques and survey software.

Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research (CCSR)
CCSR is an interdisciplinary research centre in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Manchester.

Centre for Applied Social Surveys (CASS)
CASS aims to strengthen skills in survey design and analysis within the UK social science research community.

The Centre for Applied Statistics, Lancaster University
The Centre's activities include
statistical research, postgraduate training, the provision of statistical consultancy services for University staff and research students and a short course programme open to external participants.

Statistical Services Centre, University of Reading
Specialists in statistical consultancy, short courses and training UK and overseas.

TRAMSS
TRAMSS aims to develop a web-based learning and teaching resource for quantitative social science researchers, students and trainers.

Exploratory Software for Confidence Intervals (ESCI)
ESCI (Pronounced "esky") is a set of interactive simulations that run under Microsoft Excel.

Electronic Textbook Statsoft
This Electronic Statistics Textbook offers training in the understanding and application of statistics.

Statnotes: An Online Textbook
This is an on-line statistical textbook providing information on a range of different statistical techniques.

Software (return to top)

 


       
 
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This page was last updated 21st February 2004
Email: RCBN@Cardiff.ac.uk