Overwhelming quantity for qualitative

1 Comment

I am excited to see the positive response to RSG’s NVivo workshops! Within hours of sending out initial email announcements of workshops, we had RSVP steadily emailed to us. Last week I led two introductory workshops with 22 people RSVP’d for each! Due to this high demand and space limitations of 22 computers in our training room in Anderson Lab, we had to turn some people away. But I also promised we’d schedule additional workshops. Now I can share the dates.

Who would use NVivo?

Consider using NVivo to analyze your qualitative research

Introduction to NVivo
Wed. Mar. 21, 2:30-4:00 pm
Thurs. Mar. 22, 12:00-1:30pm
Anderson Lower Level, B-13
RSVP at ssrl AT american.edu

There are many students across AU who prefer to do qualitative research for their SRP, thesis or when working for professors as research assistants. Of course it would be awesome to find a software program that could aid the process! Many of the people who attended last week fell into these prior categories: I’m preparing to analyze for my SRP now; I hope to use it next year on my SRP; I’m working with a professor’s research project this semester; I’m a PhD student and think this would be excellent! Faculty members also attended or requested private trainings.

NVivo is one of the most respected and robust software programs for qualitative research projects including content analysis, open-ended surveys, focus groups, etc. It is not the only software, but the RSG team has been building staff capacity to support it and now train others to use it. Last semester we offered NVivo 8, but we’ve just upgraded to NVivo 9. This brings a learning curve for our staff, but also some very cool new features!!

If you have an interest, check out these video tutorials created by the company:

Coding your data
Importing your “data” or sources
What’s new in NVivo 9?

Each qualitative or mixed method research project is unique and requires a slightly different approach. Our introductory trainings, as advertised above, will provide a nice overview of the basics for coding text, audio or video. I hope you can attend, but please remember to RSVP! Also, you can always stop by our lab to “play with” NVivo 8 or 9 using our staff-created tutorial found on the CTRL website here.

Spring 2012 Drop-in Tutorial Schedule

Leave a comment

Get ready to mark your calendars! The Spring 2012 semester drop in tutorial schedule is now up! Find our schedule on the bulletin board outside of the lab (It will likely be the most colorful thing tacked on there) or right here.

Why should you care about the lab’s drop-in tutorial schedule, you might ponder. Well, dear reader, if you need help learning a specific quantitative or qualitative software that the lab supports, you can use the schedule to find out the day and time the tutorial is offered (..for this semester. The schedule will change every semester.)

There are several great advantages to these tutorials:

  • They are generally one-on-one, so if you have a burning question that you didn’t want to ask in class, you can ask one of our consultants without the pressure of your classmates surrounding you
  • You get your individual questions answered, and we’ll work at your pace so that you can understand the software better
  • Most exciting part: they are ABSOLUTELY FREE and appointments are not required!

We have experts not only on the popular SPSS, STATA, and SAS – you can get help on Mathematica, R, Dreamweaver, Matlab, Python, Google Earth, EViews, NVivo and ArcGIS. Come in if you need a refresher on any of these programs, have a specific question, or just need a quick tutorial on how to get started. We will work with you no matter the level of your experience with these programs.

Although making an appointment is not required for any of the tutorials, you may call or email us to confirm your arrival if you’d like.  Also remember that the schedule reflects guaranteed times an expert on that software will be available. If you have a software question but can’t make the tutorial, you can still drop by one of the labs anytime and a consultant on duty will assist you.

Fall 2011 Drop-In Tutorial Schedule Now Available

Leave a comment

Our tutorial schedule - now in technicolor!

Get your agendas ready…because the lab’s drop-in tutorial schedule for this fall is now available!

Why should you care about the lab’s drop-in tutorial schedule, you might ponder. Well, dear reader, if you need help learning a specific quantitative or qualitative software that the lab supports, you can use the schedule to find out the day and time the tutorial is offered (..for this semester. The schedule will change every semester.) You can find the Fall 2011 Drop-In Tutorial schedule on the CTRL website.  It is also located on the bulletin board outside of the lab (It will likely be the most colorful thing tacked on there).

There are several great advantages to these tutorials:

  • They are generally one-on-one, so if you have a burning question that you didn’t want to ask in class, you can ask one of our consultants without the pressure of your classmates surrounding you
  • You get your individual questions answered, and we’ll work at your pace so that you can understand the software better
  • Most exciting part: they are ABSOLUTELY FREE and appointments are not required!

This semester you will find more software tutorial options than we have had in the past. We have experts not only on the popular SPSS, STATA, and SAS – you can get help on Mathematica, R, Dreamweaver, Matlab, Python, Google Earth, EViews, NVivo and ArcGIS. Come in if you need a refresher on any of these programs, have a specific question, or just need a quick tutorial on how to get started. We will work with you no matter the level of your experience with these programs.

Although making an appointment is not required for any of the tutorials, you may call or email us to confirm your arrival if you’d like.  Also remember that the schedule reflects guaranteed times an expert on that software will be available. If you have a software question but can’t make the tutorial, you can still drop by one of the labs anytime and a consultant on duty will assist you.

Statistics Video Tutorials (and more!) with The Khan Academy

Leave a comment

Misplaced all of your statistics knowledge? Forgot which mental filing cabinet you stored everything you learned last year in the statistics class you aced (because you got help from the SSRL?). Or maybe all of your statistics books and notes “accidentally” fell down the garbage chute last semester…and you need your notes again?  Well, good luck getting those back.

Aside from what we can offer you (Even during the summertime!), check out this website that can help you brush up on your statistics or even help you learn something new:

The Kahn Academy is a non-profit organization that provides video tutorials on almost any academic subject out there – including Statistics!  Their videos are generally about 10 minutes or less, and the “instructor” (a casual, informative, and often humorous voice narrating the lesson) will guide you through the lesson using colorful visuals. There are no tests, just lectures. At the moment the Academy is striving to cover all the essentials of a first year statistics course. You can see on their webpage that they have already covered most of the basics:

These video tutorials can help you understand the fundamentals of statistics, but they won’t show you how to actually use statistics programs such as SPSS or STATA. For help on how to use these programs and more, feel free to visit us in the lab and we will show you how it’s done.

A Beautiful Union: How to merge data on SPSS

1 Comment

You’ve just spent hours finding the perfect data for your project. The problem now is that you have two (or more) different data sets and you need to smoosh them all into one. Here is how you can do that:

YouTube video: California State University, ITS Training Program

1. First, the two data sets you want to merge need to have a common, unique identifier (key variable) for each case in your data set. Both data files should provide different data for the same set of cases. Also, make sure the cases are spelled exactly the same and are in the same order in both data sets (You could try sorting them in ascending order before trying to merge).

2. Open the first file that you wish to merge. Under the “Merge Files” item in the Data menu, select “Add Variables”

3. Select the file you wish to merge

4. If the cases have the same name one will show up in the “Excluded Variables” list. This will be the common variable that you will use to merge the data files together. If your key variables have different names you should rename one so they both have the same name. Select the key variable from the “Excluded Variables” list and check the “Match cases on key variables in sorted files” checkbox. Then send the variable to the key variables box (using the arrow pointing to the right).

5. Click OK. SPSS will give you a warning regarding sorted key variables. If everything is in order (make sure both files have key variables that are spelled the same and are sorted in order before trying to do a file merge) click OK again. All variables from both files will be merged in a new datafile, and cases are matched by the key variable.

As always, ask a consultant for help if you get lost!

Why Lynda can be your best friend

Leave a comment

Have you met our good friend Lynda? Her face is one you can’t miss…she sort of looks like MTV’s cartoon character Daria with her best friend Jane’s haircut. She can help you learn most of the leading software out there to enhance your skills for that job you want to land or that term project to you want to ace.

Lynda.com includes a collection of online video tutorials on how to use various software. The tutorials range from beginner level to showing more advanced features of the product. The video clips are generally short, usually between 2 and 10 minutes. And because they are videos, you can stop and go back at anytime to hear the instructor repeat the lesson. Unfortunately, Lynda.com doesn’t cover any statistical packages.

As an American University student or faculty member, you have free access to Lynda.com’s services online. Just log into your my.american.edu account >> Technology >> Web-based software training library. Some of the featured software that we do support in the lab that is found on Lynda.com are Dreamweaver and Excel (many of the media and design programs are supported by New Media Center, also located in Hurst). But don’t stop there! Make Lynda your best friend and learn a software you never knew before!

Spring 2011 drop-in tutorial schedule is up!

Leave a comment

tutorial high-five

Go SPSS!

Hooray! The drop-in tutorial schedule is available!

How does a “drop-in tutorial” work, you ask?  The concept is quite simple. If you need help learning a specific statistics software, check the Spring 2011 Drop-In Tutorial schedule on the CTRL website and look for the day and time the tutorial is offered (for this semester. The schedule will change every semester). The schedule is also located on the bulletin boards outside of the Hurst and SPA labs. Even more exciting is that they are absolutely free and there is no registration required!

The advantage of these tutorials is that they are generally one-on-one, so if you had a burning question that you didn’t want to ask in class, you can ask one of our consultants without the pressure of twenty other people surrounding you. You also get your individual questions answered, and we’ll work with you at your pace so that you can understand the software better.

This semester, we have experts in SAS, SPSS, STATA, EViews, Python, and Dreamweaver. Our consultants work in both the Hurst and SPA labs, so check to see which tutorial you want to attend will be held. You can come in if you need a refresher on any of these programs, have a specific question, or just need a quick tutorial on how to get started. We will work with you no matter the level of your experience with these programs.

Although there is no registration required for any of the tutorials, you may call or email us to confirm your arrival if you’d like (but it’s not necessary). Also remember that the schedule reflects guaranteed times an expert on that software will be available. If you have a software question but can’t make the tutorial, you can still drop by one of the labs anytime and a consultant on duty will assist you.

%d bloggers like this: