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National Centre for Research Methods

National Centre for Research Methods

Advances in Diary Method for Qualitative Researchers

Advances in Diary Method for Qualitative Researchers

This advanced training event will help you to use solicited diary method to gather qualitative information. You will learn about gathering, handling, analysing and reporting data sourced through solicited diary method, through real-life diary data, small group work, and mini lectures.

The event will cover the practicalities, as well as the methodological and ethical decisions involved in using solicited diary method, such as getting diaries back, providing financial incentives, protecting the well-being and privacy of diarists and their diaries during the data collection phase, and techniques for analyzing diary data, including visual diaries.  In particular, we will consider how diary method is used and modified with participants who may lack the capacity to write, remember events, or think clearly and logically, including for example young children, adults with learning disabilities, people with dementia, and people living in low income countries. 

StartEndPlaces LeftCourse Fee 
01/12/201701/12/2017[Read More]
Applied Multilevel Modelling

Applied Multilevel Modelling 2017

This course will focus on the application of multilevel models to hierarchically clustered data structures. Topics will include types of multilevel data structures, linear multilevel and logistic multilevel models, random intercept and random slope models, and the use of graphical methods to display results. The course will focus primarily on situations where the dependent variable is continuous, but methods will also be introduced for dealing with binary response data. The course will include a mixture of lectures and practical workshops using the multilevel modelling software MLwiN.

  • Multilevel data structures
  • Random intercept and random slope models
  • Contextual effects and cross-level interactions
  • Diagnostic checking and model specification
  • Binary response models
  • Repeated measures analysis and non-nested data

The course will have a practical emphasis with computer workshops allowing participants to work through examples using the MLwiN software.

By the end of the course participants should:

  • Have a practical understanding of the ideas and methods of modelling data with a multilevel data structure, and know when their use is appropriate
  • Have a detailed understanding of how to critically interpret results from multilevel models
  • Gain a working knowledge of the multilevel statistical package MLwiN
  • Be able to apply these methods to continuous and binary response data

Participants are expected to have a good working knowledge of simple statistical methods, including a good understanding of linear regression. No familiarity with the software MLwiN is required.

StartEndPlaces LeftCourse Fee 
13/09/201715/09/2017[Read More]
Designing and Implementing Mobile Web Surveys

Designing and Implementing Mobile Web Surveys

Mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are increasingly being used by respondents to complete Web surveys. This presents a number of design challenges for survey researchers. Smartphones also offer a number of added possibilities for survey designers, such as the use of GPS to track movement, apps to trigger measurement at set times (ecological momentary assessment), the possibility of capturing images, and other features. This course will focus on the design implications of the rise of mobile device use for survey research. The research evidence will be reviewed, and the various options for accommodating mobile Web users will be discussed. The challenges of using the enhanced features of mobile phones for general population surveys will also be reviewed. The course is focused on situations where respondents are using their own devices, i.e., the designer has little control over the device used. Participants are encouraged to bring their own example surveys to the course to discuss.

The course covers:

  • The rise in mobile Web use
  • Coverage and nonresponse implications of mobile Web
  • How to identify mobile Web users (user agent strings and paradata)
  • How Web surveys on a mobile device are different from those on a PC
  • How to design Web surveys to accommodate mobile users
  • Challenges and opportunities of exploiting the features of mobile surveys


By the end of the course participants will:

  • Understand the varieties and uses of paradata in Web surveys
  • Have the knowledge or tools to collect, process, and analyse paradata
  • Understand how to extract meaning from paradata
StartEndCourse Fee 
08/12/201708/12/2017[Read More]

Introduction to Latent Class Analysis

Latent Class Analysis (LCA) is a branch of the more General Latent Variable Modelling approach. It is typically used to classify subjects (such as individuals or countries) in groups that represent underlying patterns from the data. In addition to this application LCA provides a flexible framework that can be used in a wide range of contexts: in longitudinal studies (e.g., mixture latent growth models, hidden Markov chains), in evaluation of data quality (e.g., extreme response style, cross-cultural equivalence), non-parametric multilevel models, joint modelling for dealing with missing data.

In this course you will receive an introduction to the essential topics of LCA such as: what is LCA, how to run models, how to choose between alternative models, how to classify observations, how to evaluate and predict classifications. You will also apply this knowledge to a number of more advanced models that look at the relationship between latent class variables and at longitudinal data.

The course covers:

  • Refresher of basic concepts in categorical analysis: (marginal) probability, odds ratios, logistic regression;
  • Basic concepts and assumptions of latent class analysis;
  • Introduction to Latent GOLD software;
  • Model fit evaluation: global, local and substantive evaluation;
  • Classification of cases;
  • Apply these concepts to a number of models looking at: predicting class membership, relationships between latent classes, hidden Markov chains.

 By the end of the course participants will:

  • Know what is Latent Class Analysis;
  • Be able to estimate and interpret results from Latent Class Analysis;
  • Be able to choose between alternative Latent Class Models;
  • Understand latent class classification and how to predict it;
  • Be able to investigate the relationship between latent class variables.
StartEndPlaces LeftCourse Fee 
16/11/201717/11/2017[Read More]
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Introduction to Spatial Analysis for Researchers

This two day course is designed to introduce researchers to the industry leading GIS software – ArcGIS. Participants will learn about data management, spatial analysis (including proximity analysis) and data presentation. No previous experience of using GIS is required.


The course covers:


  • Introduction to GIS theory
  • ArcGIS – ArcMap and ArcCatalog
  • Data Management
  • Spatial analysis
  • Data editing
  • Data presentation – creating maps


By the end of the course participants will:


  • Understand the fundamental concepts of GIS
  • Be able to carry out basic spatial analysis
  • Be able to create and edit spatial data
  • Be able to create a map layout – including North Arrow, Scale bar etc
  • Be able to use some basic geoprocessing tools


The course is designed for those who have little or no GIS knowledge and have never used ArcGIS but who wish to develop skills in using ArcGIS for spatial analysis and mapping. It is for users from all disciplines who are interesting in learning how to get the most out of their data by mapping and spatial analysis.

StartEndPlaces LeftCourse Fee 
04/10/201705/10/2017[Read More]

Managing Danger in Oral Historical Fieldwork

This one-day workshop will introduce participants to the literature on anticipating and managing danger in qualitative fieldwork as it pertains to the practice of oral history both in relatively benign and in overtly hostile settings. It offers an alternative perspective to the widespread assumption that oral history is an inherently positive endeavour that results in good relationships and positive outcomes, and explores some of the circumstances through which danger can emerge in the course of oral historical fieldwork. It also offers preliminary recommendations for anticipating and managing these forms of harm as it relates to different stages in the fieldwork process, including

(a) pre-fieldwork research design and ethics approval

(b) the recruitment and interview phase

(c) analysis and dissemination aimed at informing academic and public audiences.

StartEndPlaces LeftCourse Fee 
06/09/201706/09/2017[Read More]
Multilevel Analysis of Social Network Data

Multilevel Analysis of Social Network Data

The course will explain how multilevel analysis can be useful for the analysis of social network data, given certain research questions relating to it.

The course begins by briefly reviewing multilevel models for the classic “pupils-in-schools” multilevel analysis example, before explaining how the model framework for that example can then be adapted and developed for social network analysis.

The course focus is on two situations for the multilevel analysis of cross-sectional social network data, with theoretical and practical examples in both cases:

Multilevel Models for non- or minimal overlapping ego-nets.

Multilevel Models for social network dependencies.

StartEndCourse Fee 
10/10/201710/10/2017[Read More]

Spatial Interaction Modelling

This two day course is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to build, calibrate and apply powerful spatial interaction models (SIMs). SIMs are used to estimate flows between origins and destinations and have a broad range of applications within geography, planning, transportation, social science and the commercial sector. We assume no prior experience of working with SIMs (or gravity models as they are also known) and focus on both the theoretical and technical components of model building using examples which are intuitively straightforward and familiar to participants (shopping behaviours and migration).

StartEndPlaces LeftCourse Fee 
19/10/201720/10/2017[Read More]

Thinking with Ethics in and beyond the field

This workshop focuses on ethics in the space in which research is practised. Ethics as research practice involves going beyond the moments of ethics regulation and review to consider how ethical dilemmas feature at all stages of the research process.


Ethical dilemmas are often played out in grey zone areas where regulations and codes of conduct for research integrity are not sufficient to guide the individual researcher. Ethical dilemmas are thus often difficult to talk about or write about – fear of being judged as unethical can make researchers feel vulnerable – and so be reluctant to expose their experiences, this in turn can make it harder to learn. This workshop provides a  safe space in which participants – including the workshop convenors – will share reflections on ethics dilemmas across the research process (from inception, through fieldwork and analysis to dissemination).


We offer an opportunity to unpack hesitancy as a way of dealing with real-life research concerns and potential vulnerabilities that have no obvious or easily anticipated solution. Hesitancy offers a productive moment:  in refraining from action, we resist the idea of prescriptive formula for ethical research practice, and draw on underpinning knowledge of ethics codes and regulatory systems as a framework for thinking productively about grey zones in research ethics.  In this way, the workshop will offer a containing space, where the vulnerabilities of ethical dilemmas and decisions can be shared, and strategies developed through shared reflection and discussion. We will consider how hesitancy can bring about a productive pause, creating a space in which to question immediate impulses and attend to aspects of the situation that are more complicated and difficult to resolve, before moving forwards in considered action.


When out in the field, or engaged in writing and dissemination, the researcher is often left on her own in deciding and manoeuvring potential ethical pitfalls, looking to do the right ethical thing at critical points in the research process.  This workshop is designed to provide participants with skills and strategies for recognising and managing uncertainty and not-knowing in the face of ethical risks and dilemmas in the field and in writing about research, drawing in particular on the concept of ‘ethical hesitancy’ as a strategy for thinking with ethics.


Bringing together perspectives from Denmark, the UK and beyond, the workshop will examine the ways in which national contexts and cultural perspectives frame our understandings of what is ethical, what is risky, and who is vulnerable, and hence how we should deal with ethics in research.

StartEndPlaces LeftCourse Fee 
07/09/201707/09/2017[Read More]
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Using the Relational Event Model to investigate patterns in ordered or timed sequences of actions

The course will explain how the Relational Event Model (REM) may be used to investigate patterns in ordered or timed sequences of actions.


We begin by giving some examples for which ordered sequences of timed data may be collected, including patterns of behaviour of individuals over time, and interactions in a network of individuals over time.


We then introduce the REM in the context of other related methods, such as survival analysis, and also in the context of other ways of looking at sequences of actions, such as sequence analysis.


We explain the importance of taking into account the way in which the ordered or timed data were collected, and the actions that were observable at each point in the sequence, when analysing it, and explain how this can be achieved.


Next, we explain how an R package called informR can enable us to prepare ordered or timed data for analysis with a REM. Data preparation with InformR allows us to take into account the way in which the data were collected, and the actions that are observable at each point in the sequence. InformR also allows us to create “sequence statistics” to allow us to investigate particular patterns in the timed or ordered sequence of actions that may be of particular substantive interest.


Finally we explain how relevent, an R package, can be used to fit REMs to ordered or timed sequence data. We give examples, and explain how the results of a REM analysis that has been carried out using relevent can be interpreted.

StartEndPlaces LeftCourse Fee 
09/10/201709/10/2017[Read More]
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Web Survey Paradata

Paradata are the data automatically generated when respondents answer Web surveys. There are many different kinds of Web survey paradata, including email tracking tools, user agent strings (to identify devices used), and server-side and client-side paradata providing information on things like response times, mouse-clicks, scrolling behaviour, and so on. This course will provide participants with an overview of the different types of Web paradata, and how they can be collected, managed, and analysed to provide useful information on data quality and nonresponse in Web surveys, leading to design improvements.


The course covers:

  • Different types of Web paradata and their uses
  • Capturing paradata in Web surveys
  • Processing Web survey paradata
  • Analysing paradata


By the end of the course participants will:

  • Understand the varieties and uses of paradata in Web surveys
  • Have the knowledge or tools to collect, process, and analyse paradata
  • Understand how to extract meaning from paradata
    • Introduction and overview
    • What do we mean by paradata: client-side versus server-side paradata
    • Classification of different types of paradata
    • Capturing paradata in Web surveys: conceptual and practical issues
    • How paradata can be used: examples of use
    • Processing Web paradata: concept and practical issues
    • Analysing Web paradata: conceptual and practical issues
    • Combining paradata with other sources of information
    • Using paradata to improve online instruments


    Detailed programme to follow
StartEndCourse Fee 
07/12/201707/12/2017[Read More]

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