- Code SOCY2169
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Sociology
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Sociology
- Areas of interest Political Communication, Sociology, Digital Humanities, Politics
The Internet is increasingly a source of data for social science research and this course provides students with training in quantitative and qualitative online research methods for social research. The course covers unobtrusive/non-reactive methods involving socially-generated digital trace data (networks and text) from sources such as websites, social networking sites such as Facebook and microblogs such as Twitter. Obtrusive/reactive social research methods are also covered, including both quantitative methods (online surveys, online experiments) and qualitative methods (online focus groups and interviews, online field research).
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- compare online research methods to methods traditionally used by social scientists;
- locate available tools and data for online research;
- collect digital trace data and conduct basic social network and text analysis;
- conduct qualitative online research; and
- understand the advantages and disadvantages of various online research methods, and their ethical implications.
- Computer lab assignment: Basic social network analysis using R, 500 words (10) [LO 3]
- Computer lab assignment: Basic text analysis using R, 500 words (10) [LO 3]
- Computer lab assignment: Collection and analysis of digital trace data, 1500 words (30) [LO 1,2,3,5]
- Critical review of qualitative online research methods paper, 750 words (15) [LO 1,4,5]
- Designing of research project involving qualitative online methods, and troubleshoot potential problem, 1000 words (20) [LO 1,4,5]
- Online test reviewing online research methods, 750 words (15) [LO 1,3,4,5]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing
Requisite and Incompatibility
Halfpenny, P. and Procter, R. (2015). Innovations in Digital Research Methods, London: SAGE Publications.
Ackland, R. (2013). Web Social Science: Concepts, Data and Tools for Social Scientists in the Digital Age, London: SAGE Publications.
Salganik, M. (2016). Bit By Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age, http://www.bitbybitbook.com.
Dicks, B. (2012): Digital Qualitative Research Methods (SAGE Benchmarks in Social Research Methods Series), London: SAGE Publications.
Graham, T. and Ackland, R. (2015). SocialMediaLab - an R package for collecting and constructing networks from social media data. https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/SocialMediaLab/index.html
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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