The Institute’s 2019 Spring Seminar Series features courses on qualitative research methods starting April 25 and continuing to May 13, as well as more quantitative courses that run from May 3 through to May 29.

The qualitative research courses begin in the first week with a one-day seminar on the philosophy and methodology of social science research. This seminar is followed by a one-day workshop illustrating the wide range of approaches to the collection, recording, management and interpretation of qualitative data, including textual materials from interviews, focus groups and various other sources. The emphasis in this Short Course is on the interpretation and reporting of the findings from qualitative research methods. One particular and very popular method of data collection in qualitative research, focus groups, is fully discussed in the third session of this series.

The following survey data analysis course comprises a two-day workshop on the implementation and analysis of data from survey research projects. These two days are devoted to the execution of an analytical design appropriate to the survey chosen as an exemplary model of this research process, emphasizing a hands-on approach to survey data analysis in the lab. At a later date, the final two days of this series comprise a two-day workshop, introducing the computerized analysis of textual materials using NVivo, the most common software for this type of analysis.

Two of the more quantitative courses emphasize programming for statistical analysis, while the third one in this series covers the topic of factor analysis. We begin with the two programming sessions on (i) the use of the popular open-source software R, followed by (ii) an introduction to the SAS program. These Short Courses are designed to equip participants to undertake basic statistical analysis of quantitative data. The final course in this set deals with factor analysis, especially its extension to structural equation models. These three courses are offered in May and comprise three or four sessions.

These courses provide a hands-on approach to help researchers develop practical skills. They attract an interesting mix of graduate students, researchers from government and NGOs, faculty, and university staff. In our teaching we strive to provide a successful introduction to each topic, while offering new insights for more experienced researchers.

Pre-registration and payment of fees is required for all Short Courses

ISR Short Courses
(April 24 to May 13, 2019)

Philosophy and Methodology of Social Science Research

Instructor: Professor Bryn Greer-Wootten
Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Time: 9:30am-Noon; 1:00-3:30pm
Location: Room 5082, Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building (Formerly TEL Bldg.)
Enrolment Limit: 20

There are many methodological possibilities that can be considered in the decision-making processes for carrying out social science research, for any phenomena of interest. The choices that are made must therefore be contextualized. Commonly, they are located within the philosophical criteria employed in social research, i.e., taking into account the ontological, epistemological and methodological aspects of any research project. These general principles are discussed in this Workshop, with examples drawn from many social science areas using quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research designs. The afternoon group activity is based on an exercise for the questionnaire design elements of a survey research project, involving the reconstruction of the conceptual framework for the model survey used in the subsequent Survey Data Analysis course (May 1 and 2).

This course presents the view that social science research is applied philosophy. As such it is likely  to be valuable for graduate students entering into the research process for the first time, as well as for more advanced students wishing to refresh themselves as to what it is they are doing! Please note that this course is independent of the Survey Data Analysis Workshop.

About the Instructor
Bryn Greer-Wootten is Professor Emeritus in Environmental Studies and Geography at York University. In 2002 he joined the staff of the Statistical Consulting Service, where he is currently an Associate Coordinator, and in 2004 he was appointed an Associate Director of ISR. He has taught and carried out quantitative and qualitative research, with a particular interest in survey research, especially for environmental and social policy, for over fifty years.

Interpreting and Reporting Qualitative Data: An Overview

Instructors: Professors Les Jacobs and Brenda Jacobs
Date: Thursday, April 25, 2019
Time: 9:30am-Noon; 1:00-3:30pm
Location: Room 1005, Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building (Formerly TEL Bldg)
Enrolment Limit: 30

This course offers a broad overview of the major issues in the interpretation and analysis of qualitative social science research materials such as field notes, transcripts of in-depth interviews and focus groups, and documentary and archival information. The focus of the course is on writing up the final version, including a review of various formats and approaches, the voice of the author and reflexivity, addressing issues of intersectionality in personal identity information such as intersections between race and gender, and ethical and confidentiality issues. Several hands-on exercises will be undertaken.

The seminar presents a conceptual orientation to qualitative data analysis from varying disciplines (especially political science, education, sociology, and law), analytical stances (critical discourse analysis and narrative analysis), and areas of substantive focus (health, law and society, human rights, social policy, schools and education). Class participants are encouraged to discuss their own research projects in the context of issues raised throughout the course, which is suited to those wishing to know more about interpretive analysis in general.

About the Instructors
Les Jacobs holds the Research Chair in Human Rights and Access to Justice (Tier 1) and is  Professor of Law & Society and Political Science at York University. He is also the Director of the Institute for Social Research. He completed his PhD at Oxford University. In 2017, he was appointed to the Royal Society of Canada which is the highest honour for a Canadian academic. His research is currently focused on legal problems in everyday life, access to justice, and anti-racism.

Brenda Jacobs, PhD, teaches in the Faculty of Education at York University. Her research focuses on how emergent curriculum inquiries support the children’s ability to self-regulate in Kindergarten. She completed her B.A. and B.Ed. at the University of Western Ontario and her M.Ed. and PhD at York University. Brenda is also a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and the College of Early Childhood Educators. Previously she taught elementary school-aged children in Oxford, England, Vancouver, British Columbia and Toronto, Ontario.

Focus Groups

Instructor: Dr. Darla Rhyne
Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Time: 9:30am-Noon; 1:00-3:30pm
Location: Room 5082, Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building (Formerly TEL Bldg.)
Enrolment Limit: 20

This seminar is an introduction to focus group research. The morning session deals with the basic features of focus group planning and implementation, including current applications, strengths and weaknesses, ethical considerations, and the stages of focus group research. The afternoon session looks at a number of practical aspects of conducting focus groups, including appropriate settings, selecting and recruiting participants, developing a discussion guide, recording focus groups, and moderator techniques.

There will be opportunities for participants to discuss focus group research they have conducted or may be considering. The workshop will include some hands-on focus group practice. This presentation is suitable for students, faculty, staff and other researchers who are considering focus group research for the first time, and also for researchers wanting to refresh their knowledge of this method.

About the Instructor
Darla Rhyne, PhD, is Research Associate Emerita at ISR. With a background in Anthropology and Sociology, she has considerable expertise with qualitative research methods including community fieldwork, participant observation, depth interviewing, focus groups and the coding and analysis of qualitative data. Her own research has been primarily in the areas of community, family and ethnic studies, education, recreation, the quality of life and health studies. At the Institute, her research included program and policy evaluations, needs assessments and exploratory research in a variety of areas such as smoking cessation and prevention, education, immigration and social assistance.

Survey Data Analysis

Instructors: Professor Bryn Greer-Wootten and Mgr. Mirka Ondrack
Dates: Wednesday – Thursday, May 1 – 2, 2019
Time: 9:30am-Noon; 1:00-3:30pm
Location: Room 2014 Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building (Formerly TEL Bldg.)
Enrolment Limit: 30

The practical analysis of survey research data is presented in this two-day Workshop. First, we explore the properties of the data, using a matrix representation of the survey data, including levels of measurement for typical survey questions, the distributional properties of variables and simple descriptive statistics. Subsequently, the construction of scales (e.g., for attitude items) and the fundamentals of statistical inference and hypothesis testing in a survey context are developed. The second day continues with the implementation of a survey analysis design, including the analysis of groups (e.g., gender differences using t-tests; age or regional differentials using the analysis of variance), and extended analyses of contingency tables, the most common form of data representation in surveys.

On these analysis days, the morning sessions are used for lectures and demonstrations; afternoon lab sessions involve individual assignments that replicate procedures used in the morning, for the same data set. To benefit from the course, participants should have some background knowledge in basic statistics or the fundamentals of survey research, as well as some prior knowledge of SPSS.

Please note that food and drink are not allowed in the lab. The only exceptions are capped bottles of water (not juice/pop) and spill proof mugs (not cups of coffee).

Because these materials are presented sequentially and build upon the basics presented at the beginning of each day, participants need to arrive on time and attend all sessions.

About the Instructors
Bryn Greer-Wootten is Professor Emeritus in Environmental Studies and Geography at York University. In 2002 he joined the staff of the Statistical Consulting Service, where he is currently an Associate Coordinator, and in 2004 was appointed an Associate Director of ISR. He has taught and carried out quantitative and qualitative research, with a particular interest in survey research, especially for environmental and social policy, for over fifty years.

Mirka Ondrack is Statistical Consultant Emerita at ISR. She received her Master’s degree in Physics from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic. She has held the position of Programmer/Analyst at ISR since 1971. Ms. Ondrack is currently a consultant with the Statistical Consulting Service and also does custom programming and data analysis, consulting in statistical analysis and computing using SPSS and SAS.

Using Computers in Qualitative Analysis: An NVivo 12 for Windows Workshop

Instructor: Stella Park, MA
Dates: Friday May 10 AND Monday May 13, 2019
Time: 9:30am-Noon; 1:00pm-3:30pm
Location: Room 2004, Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building (Formerly TEL Bldg.)
Enrolment Limit: 20

This hands-on Workshop will provide both a basic and advanced introduction to NVivo 12 for Windows. As this Workshop will focus on how to move forward into your analysis, participants are required to have had some prior experience and/or exposure to qualitative assumptions, theories and methods before attending this Workshop. The overall objective of this two-day (note: both morning and afternoon) course is to provide you with the tools to ensure that the theory and methods guiding your project remain central as you move into NVivo.

On Day One you will create a project and learn how to import and work with a wide range of qualitative data formats (e.g. interview transcripts, focus group transcripts, survey spreadsheets, web content, etc.). On Day Two you will learn how to organize and explore your material, use advanced queries, identify relationships, use models and charts to show patterns in your information, and create reports. Time will be provided on both days of the Workshop for participants to work with their own data, and the Instructor will respond to questions related to your specific projects.

Please note this course is designed for NVivo 12 for Windows users (and not NVivo for Mac users). NVivo for Mac has different features and cross platform limitations.

Please note that food and drink are not allowed in the lab. The only exceptions are capped bottles of water (not juice/pop) and spill proof mugs (not cups of coffee).

Because these materials are presented sequentially and build upon the basics presented at the beginning of each of the two days, participants need to arrive on time and attend both sessions.

About the Instructor
Stella Park is a Project Manager at ISR. She has over 10 years of experience in conducting both quantitative and qualitative research projects at the local, provincial, and international levels, on a diverse range of topics, including health, education, employment, and the non-profit sector.  Stella has used NVivo to analyze large provincial-wide qualitative studies, including the YouthREX project, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, ONN’s Nonprofit Labour Force study, and CAMH’s Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey. She has also used NVivo to analyze various York-university campus projects.

SCS Short Courses
(May 3 to 29, 2019)

Introduction to R & the Tidyverse

Instructor: Mark Adkins, MA
Course Dates: Fridays, May 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2019
Course Time: 9:00am-12:30pm
Course Location: 
Steacie Instructional Lab, Room 021, Steacie Science Library
Enrolment Limit: 35
Enrolment Minimum: At least five (5) registrants are required in order to hold the course.

R is an independent open source statistical software package that is of value for its wide-ranging pre-programmed statistical procedures and capacity for programming tailored statistical analyses. Also, R is invaluable for generating informative high-quality graphics.

This course is a step-by-step hands-on introduction to R. No familiarity with R is assumed, but participants will need a basic working knowledge of statistics. Participants will learn how to: 1) install R on their computers; 2) enter, import, and manipulate data; and 3) carry out basic mathematical, statistical and graphical operations and procedures in R. Much of this course will be structured around a collection of packages called the tidyverse (www.tidyverse.org), which contains all of the tools necessary to learn R more easily and quickly. Upon completion of this course, participants will be comfortable with, and able to do, basic statistical work in R. Additionally, they will be familiar with resources for follow-up help and learning about R.

The Steacie Instructional Lab [Steacie 021] is accessed by entering Steacie Library and then proceeding to the basement of that Library.

Please note that food and drink are not allowed in Steacie Library and the Steacie Instructional Lab. The only exceptions are capped bottles of water (not juice/pop) and spill proof mugs (not cups of coffee).  Washrooms are available nearby outside the library.

Because this material is presented sequentially and builds upon the basics presented at the beginning of each class, course participants need to arrive on time and attend the entire session.

About the Instructor
Mark Adkins is a doctoral candidate in Quantitative Methods in the Psychology Department at York University and a TA in SCS. He has years of experience as a statistical/programming tutor and has the ability to help students master complicated material regardless of their stage in the learning process.

An Introduction to SAS for Windows

Instructor: Professor Chris Ardern
Course Dates: Wednesdays – May 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2019
Course Time: 1:00 – 4:30pm
Course Location: Steacie Instructional Lab, Room 021, Steacie Science Library
Enrolment Limit: 35
Enrolment Minimum: At least five (5) registrants are required in order to hold the course.

This Short Course provides an introduction to the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) syntax commands and procedures. We will cover the basics of:

  • reading, transforming, sorting, merging and saving data files in some common formats;
  • selecting cases, and modifying and computing variables;
  • performing some basic statistical procedures and tests such as descriptive statistics, correlations, contingency tables, Chi-square tests, t-tests, ANOVA and linear regression;
  • creating bar charts and scatter plots;
  • composing simple macros for tailored procedures; and
  • saving output results and work in some common formats.

This course is designed for participants with some introductory level statistical knowledge, but no previous experience in using SAS. Please note that while this course will focus on the implementation of introductory statistics in SAS, it is not intended as a review of basic statistics. This hands-on short course will get you well underway in using SAS.

Please note that the Steacie Instructional Lab [Steacie 021] is accessed by entering Steacie Library and then proceeding to the basement of that Library.

Please note that food and drink are not allowed in Steacie Library and the Steacie Instructional Lab. The only exceptions are capped bottles of water (not juice/pop) and spill proof mugs (not cups of coffee).

Because these materials are presented sequentially and build upon the basics presented at the beginning of each class, course participants need to arrive on time and attend the entire session.

Click here for the SAS course materials

About the Instructor
Chris Ardern is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science. His primary research interests include the epidemiology of physical activity, obesity and cardiometabolic risk. Most recently, his work has focused on the use of risk algorithms, behavioural profiling, and geospatial analysis for the identification of high-risk subgroups of the population. Much of this work involves the harmonization of large national level surveys and routinely collected administrative and clinical data to examine temporal relationships in SAS.

Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Models

Instructor: Professor Michael Friendly
Course Dates: Wednesdays, May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
Course Time: 2:00-4:50pm
Course Location: 
159 Behavioural Sciences Building (Hebb Computer Lab)
Enrolment Limit: 20
Enrolment Minimum: At least five (5) registrants are required in order to hold the course.

Structural equation modeling (SEM) is a very general framework for specifying and evaluating parametric directional and non-directional relationships among variables. There can be any number of independent and dependent variables as well as hypothetical “latent” variables. Using latent variables allows estimation of relationships that are not affected by measurement error. Specific types of SEM include multiple regression, path analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and growth curve models, among others.

This Short Course provides an overview of the basic concepts of SEM, with a particular focus on confirmatory factor analysis, and then moving to the “general model” for structural relations among latent variables. Each session will incorporate work in the computer lab, when participants have an opportunity to apply the material covered in the lecture. These lab exercises will be presented for SAS software (i.e., proc calis) and R (sem, lavaan), but with the main emphasis on R.

Because SEM is essentially a framework for specifying and estimating regression models, it will be expected that course participants have a strong background in multiple linear regression analysis. Specific topics are as follows:

  1. From EFA to CFA: basic ideas
  2. Specification and identification of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) models;
  3. Special CFA models: Higher order models, hierarchical models, and multi-trait multi-method models; and
  4. The full SEM: Models with structural equations among latent variables.

About the Instructor
Michael Friendly is a Joint-Coordinator of the Statistical Consulting, Professor in the Department of Psychology, and a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. In addition to his research interests in psychology, Professor Friendly has broad experience in data analysis, statistics and computer applications. He is the author of several books using SAS (SAS for Statistical Graphics, 1st Edition and Visualizing Categorical Data), and more recently of Discrete Data Analysis with R. He is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics and Statistical Science. His recent work includes the further development of graphical methods for categorical data and multivariate data analysis.

Course Fees

All fees include HST.

York students (with FAS account)
  • Philosophy of Social Science Research … $62.15
  • Interpreting Qualitative Data … $62.15
  • Conducting Focus Groups for Social Research … $62.15
  • Survey Data Analysis … $124.30
  • An NVivo 12 for Windows Workshop … $226.00
  • Introduction to R & the Tidyverse … $122.04
  • An Introduction to SAS for Windows … $122.04
  • Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Models … $122.04
York faculty and staff
  • Philosophy of Social Science Research … $135.60
  • Interpreting Qualitative Data … $135.60
  • Conducting Focus Groups for Social Research … $135.60
  • Survey Data Analysis … $271.20
  • An NVivo 12 for Windows Workshop … $456.00
  • Introduction to R & the Tidyverse … $271.20
  • An Introduction to SAS for Windows … $271.20
  • Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Models … $271.20
Full-time students at other post-secondary institutions

*  For non-York students, a lab access fee of $33.90 has been included.

  • Philosophy of Social Science Research … $113.00
  • Interpreting Qualitative Data … $113.00
  • Conducting Focus Groups for Social Research … $113.00
  • Survey Data Analysis … $259.90*
  • An NVivo 12 for Windows Workshop … $372.90*
  • Introduction to R & the Tidyverse … $246.34*
  • An Introduction to SAS for Windows … $246.34*
  • Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Models … $246.34*
External participants

* For external participants, a lab access fee of $33.90 has been included.

  • Philosophy of Social Science Research … $248.90
  • Interpreting Qualitative Data … $248.90
  • Conducting Focus Groups for Social Research … $248.90
  • Survey Data Analysis … $531.10*
  • An NVivo 12 for Windows Workshop … $711.90*
  • Introduction to R & the Tidyverse … $531.10*
  • An Introduction to SAS for Windows … $531.10*
  • Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Models … $531.10*

See the registration form for payment options.

Refunds are available upon three business days’ notice prior to the course start date and are subject to an administrative fee.

Please review our policy regarding refunds.

Certificate of Completion
Available on request, full attendance is required.
A $5.65 administrative fee applies, for each certificate requested.

Registration

You can register for courses by completing the on-line registration form, which is date-stamped.

You can register in person (weekdays, from 10:00am to 12:00pm or 2:00pm to 4:00pm), please see:

Betty Tai
Room 5075
Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building (DB)

To register by mail, print a blank registration form, complete, and send to:

Betty Tai
Institute for Social Research
Room 5075
Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building (DB)

York University
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
Canada

You may also fax a completed registration form to: 416-736-5749.

Additional Information

Additional information regarding registration, contact Institute for Social Research (ISR) by telephone at 416-736-5061, weekdays, from 10:00am to 12:00pm or 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Directions to York University (Keele Campus), building and parking lot locations.

Additional information on parking.