Course Outline

The IRDL summer workshop covers all of the various stages of designing an effective library science research project with a social science focus: research ethics, developing effective research questions and objectives, operationalizing research, method selection (qualitative and quantitative), sampling, and logistical considerations. It also provides detailed instruction on how to collect and analyze both qualitative and quantitative data.

Illustrative examples and personal consultation will be provided throughout the workshop to exemplify principles that are covered. The workshop is comprised of lecture, containing numerous illustrative examples of concepts discussed, discussion, and group work with consultation from the instructors.  Small group work will provide Scholars the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned and get feedback on their ideas from peers and course instructors. Two instructors will be available throughout the training, increasing the amount of time devoted to personalized instruction.

Course Objectives:

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and address ethics considerations specific to library research
  • Explain the conceptual logic behind various data collection approaches and describe the rationale for selection of specific methods
  • Describe several different integrated research designs
  • Write effective research questions and hypotheses
  • Design an effective research framework for a library science study
  • Explain the conceptual connection between sampling and research design
  • Identify appropriate sampling strategies for research projects
  • Use and apply three qualitative data collection methods (participant observation, in-depth interviews, focus groups)
  • Assess and execute different qualitative data analysis options
  • Articulate the various forms of surveys and the advantages/disadvantages of each
  • Design and implement a survey
  • Analyze basic survey data
  • Write an effective research report

An abbreviated list of Course Topics (this is not a complete list of topics covered during the workshop):
Basic types of research designs
Qualitative data collection (Techniques and how to choose them based on the research question)
Reliability and validity
Sampling
In-depth interviews
Focus groups
Comparing qualitative data
Writing an analysis plan
Themes and codes
Creating a codebook
Writing questions
Research designs for survey research
Univariate analysis
Bivariate analysis
Mixed methods
Inferential statistics

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