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Research Methods for the online world. The program at LSE

Each year the London School of Economics opens its school for the methods of quantitative research, which on famous scientists are invited and are attracted students from all over the world. Intern researcher at LINIS Eleonora Kirkizh has participated in the school this year and has told us how it had been.

Indeed, Methods Summer Programme LSE is a great event both for the university and, likely, for students of the social sciences. Around 500 students from all over the world gather here. Because I work at LINIS, towers gave me a grant to participate in this famous and this very expensive program.


The program includes more than ten LSE summer schools with duration from 1 to 2 weeks. For example, there is a school on the analysis of data using SPSS or more general school on main quantitative methods. I had chosen a course online research - Research Methods for the Online World - and was happy when I was selected to participate.


Our teacher was Dr. Giuseppe A. Veltri from the University of Leicester, who is also an alumni of the LSE. Despite the fact that this is a young PhD, he has already got an impressive list of publications in highly cited journals. The main focus of Veltri is data analysis on the Internet.


The program for online research was a new to the LSE so only 15 people were selected. But there were also schools, according to students, which was made more students. A student from Georgetown University, with whom I met during the opening of the program, told me that about 80 people were selected because the program was leaded by very well-known economist.


Nevertheless, our school on methods for the online world was very intense. First, we studied the theory of the methods, and then moves on to another class for testing methods with some software. For example, it was very interesting to learn how to conduct a focus group online, or just an interview: limitations, risks, and great benefits?


We managed to get acquainted with several very useful tools for data analysis on the Internet. For example, Nvivo and T-lab. In class we were their personal profiles at the LSE, so we could use any programs in the database.


However, the school was not only about lectures and practice. We also need to record carefully all information and repeated before the next class, as at the end we had to take an exam. It was quite difficult, despite the fact that all the information we have obtained the same week.


As it turned out later, all have passed the exam successfully and we could go home. LSE certificates were sent by mail some time after the end of the program.