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Advanced methodology course: Surveys and Experimental Methods

Semester
F2021
Subject
global studies / International Development Studies / International Public Administration and Politics / Politics and Administration / Public Administration
Activitytype
master course
Teaching language
English
Registration

You register for activities through stads selvbetjening during the announced registration period, which you can see on the Study administration homepage.

When registering for courses, please be aware of the potential conflicts and overlaps between course and exam time and dates. The planning of course activities at Roskilde University is based on the recommended study programmes, which should not overlap. However, if you choose optional courses and/or study plans that goes beyond the recommended study programmes, an overlap of lectures or exam dates may occur depending on which courses you choose.

In case of too few registrations, the course will be cancelled.

Detailed description of content

Students are expected to have completed Basic Course 8: Quantitative Methods or equivalent.

We used to believe that experiments did not work in the social sciences. Today, that view has radically changed. Randomized controlled trials and survey experiments fill the pages of scholarly journals, covering everything from government corruption and development interventions over voting behavior and attitudes to immigrants to public sector recruitment and motivation.

Outside the academy as well, experiments are gaining ground. Governments, including Danish central and local government, evaluate policies experimentally with increasing frequency; international organizations such as the World Bank have teams devoted to randomized trials; think tanks, experts, and even algorithms used to budget public expenditure, increasingly weigh experimental evidence highly; and consultancies increasingly place experimentation as the gold standard for evidence used in serving their clients.

The course introduces students to the art and science of social experimentation, focusing extensively on survey experiments. While readings do include some math and statistical tools, the course itself places emphasis heavily on design, for a simple reason: With properly designed and executed experiments, the statistical tools needed for analysis are simple. For most analyses, you already know them.

The course consists of ten modules, each oscillating between lectures focused on exemplary published experiments and student work on designing their own experiment, which will form the basis of the exam.

The aim is that students will gain: Knowledge: 1. Knowledge of the purpose and logic of experimental research design. 2. Knowledge of types of experimental designs in social science. 3. Knowledge of the tools needed to analyze experimental data.

Skills: 1. Skills in understanding and evaluating experimental results. 2. Skills in designing experiments to answer given or self-determined research questions. 3. Skills in critically assessing and discussing limitations of experimental designs.

Competences: 1. Competence to evaluate and assess the benefits and feasibility of experimentation in study and work-life settings. 2. Competence to collaborate with others in the design and implementation of experiments. 3. Competence to reflect on skills acquisition and take responsibility for professional development.

Expected work effort (ects-declaration)

Sessions: 20 hours Preparation: 70 hours including readings, exercises, and design of own experiments. Exam: 45 hours. In total: 135 hours.

Course material and reading list

The syllabus totals approximately 500 pages distributed between readings on experimental design and analysis and more or less exemplary applications. Examples include

  1. Boly, A., & Gillanders, R. (2018). Anti-corruption policy making, discretionary power and institutional quality: An experimental analysis. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 152, 314-327.
  2. Gerber, A. S., & Green, D. P. (2012). Field experiments: Design, analysis, and interpretation. New York: WW Norton
  3. Green, D. P., Ha, S. E., & Bullock, J. G. (2010). Enough already about “black box” experiments: Studying mediation is more difficult than most scholars suppose. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 628(1), 200-208
  4. Pedersen, M. J., Stritch, J. M., & Taggart, G. 2017. “Citizen perceptions of procedural fairness and the moderating roles of ‘belief in a just world’ and ‘public service motivation’ in public hiring”. Public Administration, 95(4), 874-894 2
Evaluation- and feedback forms

Evaluation of students occurs in the exam, via exercises, peer feedback, and discussions with lecturer. Evaluation surveys will be distributed at least once during the course.

Administration of exams
ISE Studyadministration (ise-studyadministration@ruc.dk)
The responsible course lecturer
Kim Sass Mikkelsen (ksass@ruc.dk)
ECTS
5
Learning outcomes and assessment criteria

Knowledge and understanding:

Knowledge and understanding of academic and/or scientifically based practice-oriented methods and their application and relevance on an advanced level

Being able to communicate and discuss academic and/or scientifically based practice-oriented studies in a type of language that is correct, clear, professionally accurate, well-structured and well-argued

  • Skills:

    Carrying out studies and analyses with the aid of academic and/or scientifically based practice-oriented methods

  • Evaluating and selecting methods from research-related and professional practices

  • Competences:

    Co-operation with colleagues in the application of various academic and/or scientifically based practice-oriented methods and forms of analysis in relation to relevant issues in research-related and professional contexts

  • Reflection on one’s own learning and taking responsibility for one’s own professional development

Overall content
  • Research and professional premises for academic and scientifically based practice-oriented analyses

  • Approaches to the use of academic and/or scientifically based practice-oriented tools in research and professional contexts, respectively

Prerequisites for participation
Currently no data from curriculum.
Prerequisites for participation in the exam
Currently no data from curriculum.
Teaching and working methods

Lectures, exercises, student presentations, peer feedback and discussions. The course requires that the students contribute and participate actively.

Type of activity

Elective course

Form of examination
Oral group exam based on an assignment (the written product) and a poster (size: two A2 pages or equivalent) both made by the group.

The students begin the exam with a short presentation, after which the exam takes place as a dialogue
There may be posed questions in any part of the curriculum.

Permitted group size: 2-6 students.

The character limits of the written product:
For 2 students: maximum 21,600 characters, including spaces.
For 3 students: maximum 21,600 characters, including spaces.
For 4 students: maximum 21,600 characters, including spaces.
For 5 students: maximum 21,600 characters, including spaces.
For 6 students: maximum 21,600 characters, including spaces.
The character limits include the cover, table of contents, bibliography, figures and other illustrations, but exclude any appendices.

Time allowed for exam including time used for assessment is for:
2 students: 20 minutes.
3 students: 30 minutes.
4 students: 40 minutes.
5 students: 50 minutes.
6 students: 60 minutes.

The assessment is individual and based on the student's individual performance.
The assessment s based on the product(s) and the oral exam.

Permitted support and preparation materials for the oral exam: All.

Assessment: 7-point grading scale.
Moderation: Internal co-assessor.
Form of Re-examination
Samme som ordinær eksamen
Exam code(s)
Exam code(s) : U41298
Last changed 12/10/2020

lecture list:

Show lessons for Subclass: 1 Find calendar (1) PDF for print (1)

Thursday 11-02-2021 10:15 - 11-02-2021 12:00 in week 06
Surveys and Experimental Methods (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Thursday 18-02-2021 10:15 - 18-02-2021 12:00 in week 07
Surveys and Experimental Methods (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Thursday 25-02-2021 10:15 - 25-02-2021 12:00 in week 08
Surveys and Experimental Methods (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Thursday 04-03-2021 10:15 - 04-03-2021 12:00 in week 09
Surveys and Experimental Methods (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Thursday 11-03-2021 10:15 - 11-03-2021 12:00 in week 10
Surveys and Experimental Methods (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Thursday 18-03-2021 10:15 - 18-03-2021 12:00 in week 11
Surveys and Experimental Methods (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Thursday 25-03-2021 10:15 - 25-03-2021 12:00 in week 12
Surveys and Experimental Methods (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Thursday 08-04-2021 10:15 - 08-04-2021 12:00 in week 14
Surveys and Experimental Methods (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Thursday 15-04-2021 10:15 - 15-04-2021 12:00 in week 15
Surveys and Experimental Methods (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Thursday 22-04-2021 10:15 - 22-04-2021 12:00 in week 16
Surveys and Experimental Methods (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Monday 31-05-2021 10:00 - 31-05-2021 10:00 in week 22
Surveys and Experimental Methods - Hand-in, exam (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Monday 14-06-2021 08:15 - Tuesday 15-06-2021 18:00 in week 24
Surveys and Experimental Methods - Oral exam (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Monday 02-08-2021 10:00 - 02-08-2021 10:00 in week 31
Surveys and Experimental Methods - Hand-in, reexam (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)

Tuesday 17-08-2021 08:15 - 17-08-2021 18:00 in week 33
Surveys and Experimental Methods - Oral reexam (GS, IDS, IPAP, PF, POL)