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    ICPSR - InterUniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
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Online Learning Center (OLC) from ICPSR

ICPSR's Online Learning Center (OLC) is the result of discussions with teaching faculty about using data in their classrooms and the challenges such an undertaking can entail, in which several key themes emerged. Instructors wanted the ability to 1) quickly locate relevant data that are easy to work with and work to demonstrate the concept(s) and 2) customize any materials to their own teaching approach and syllabus. To that end, Data-Driven Learning Guides are being created for the express purpose of making ICPSR data more user-friendly for classroom exercises.

Designed for faculty to use for in-class demonstrations or to assign as supplemental activities for giving students greater exposure to concepts, the Data-driven Learning Guides share the following characteristics:

  • All Guides follow a template that includes a clearly stated learning objective, brief background of the focal concept and chosen dataset, analysis that demonstrates the concept, interpretation guides and further reference material
  • Topics and concepts chosen represent those that are typically taught in an introductory (100- or 200-level) course in the relevant discipline
  • Multiple Guides representing various sub-areas of a single topic are useful in lower-division substantive courses in addition to survey courses
  • Datasets used represent the wide range of data available through ICPSR and are therefore different than other exercise series that focus on a single omnibus survey
  • Analysis is simplified through the recoding of variables to collapse categories or deal with missing data as appropriate
  • Bibliographies of related materials are included


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September 13, 2010

Related Links

  • ICPSR - InterUniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research

    Established in 1962 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is a membership-based organization providing access to the world's largest archive of computer-based research and instructional data for the social sciences. ICPSR further serves social scientists around the world by offering training facilities in basic and advanced techniques of quantitative social analysis and other resources that facilitate secondary analysis. ICPSR includes among its members over 500 colleges and universities from around the world. Virginia Tech Libraries pay annual dues that entitle faculty, staff, and students to acquire the full range of service.


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mobile interface Mobile interface available, see description for link.
Screencast tutorial available Screencast tutorial available, icon linked to list.
Contents in summon Contents of this database are in Summon.
get VText Resource provides Get VText links to access full text.
gold open access - publishing Resource provides open access publishing opportunities and open access publications.
get VText Resource provides self archiving opportunities and open access documents.


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