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Scientific Coordination

Dr.
Sebastian E. Wenz
Tel: +49 221 47694-159

Administrative Coordination

Angelika Ruf
Tel: +49 221 47694-162

Course 7: (Non-)Probability Samples in the Social Sciences

About
Location:
Online via Zoom
 
General Topics:
Course Level:
Format:
Software used:
none
Duration:
Language:
Fees:
Students: 400 €
Academics: 600 €
Commercial: 1200 €
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Additional links
Lecturer(s): Dr. Carina Cornesse

About the lecturer - Dr. Carina Cornesse

Course description

[This is a 30 hour class.]
The main objective of the course is to provide students with a full overview of the history, theoretical foundations, critical arguments, and accumulated empirical evidence surrounding the debate about probability and nonprobability sample surveys. A focus will be on real-world examples of why and how the choice of sample type matters, including topics such as gender data gap, election polling debacles, and the role that surveys can have in supporting versus debunking fake news. In addition to discussing these topics, the course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the conditions under which probability and nonprobability samples can provide useful data to answer social scientific research questions (so-called "fit-for-purpose" designs), including hands-on recommendations and excercises on how to design your own (hypothetical) research study.


Target group

Participants will find the course useful if:
  • they would like to get a full picture of the debate about probability and nonprobability sample surveys.
  • they plan to design their own research study and need to choose a sample type.


  • Learning objectives

    By the end of the course participants will:
  • Have a full overview of the history, theoretical foundations, critical arguments, and accumulated empirical evidence surrounding the debate about probability and nonprobability sample surveys.
  • Possess the necessary skills to evaluate whether any given sample is fit for the purpose of answering a particular research question.
  • Be able to choose an appropriate sample type when designing their own social scientific research studies.
  •  
    Organizational Structure of the Course:
     This is a five-day course with a total amount of 30 hours of virtual class time. Participants can expect a mix of interactive teaching, group exercises, and opportunity for individual consultation. Exercises
    are designed to deepen the understanding of the course material and to apply it to hypothetical and real-world research settings. This will not require using any statistical software (although participants will have the opportunity to work with data voluntarily using their preferred software). To get the most out of the course, students are strongly encouraged to participate pro-actively in small-group projects, present their thoughts and work output in class, and critically discuss the course material with the lecturer and classmates.


    Prerequisites

  • Basic knowledge of introductory statistics (e.g., descriptive statistics, basic regression analysis)
  • Basic conceptual understanding of survey data collection (e.g., survey lifecycle, Total Survey Error framework)
  • Basic understanding of sampling theory and/or survey weighting procedures is desirable, but not strictly necessary.


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