COVER PAGE

Title of Proposal: Social Sciences Teaching Resources Depository

Category: Instructional Technology Development

Abstract:

There are three primary objectives of this proposal:

Additionally, the SSRIC will maintain a website of downloadable instructional materials consisting of the materials described in this proposal and other materials submitted by CSU faculty. Listservs will be established to link faculty and encourage the sharing of instructional materials. After the project has been completed, the project staff will continue to maintain the depository. Additional instructional materials will be added.

Proposal Submitted by Campus and Discipline Council: California State University Fresno and Social Science Research and Instructional Council (SSRIC)

Total Proposal Request: $25,387


Project Director

Edward Nelson
Professor, Department of Sociology

California State University Fresno

Fresno CA 93740

209-278-2275 (campus phone--office)

209-278-2234 (campus phone--department)

209-431-2630 (home phone)

ednelson@csufresno.edu

Campus Official Authorized to Commit Resources:

Richard Tellier
Associate Provost of Academic Resources

California State University Fresno

Fresno CA 93740

209-278-3079 (campus phone--office)


SOCIAL SCIENCES TEACHING RESOURCES DEPOSITORY PROPOSAL NARRATIVE

PROGRAM BACKGROUND AND NEEDS STATEMENT

The Social Science Research and Instructional Council (SSRIC) consists of one representative from each of the CSU campuses, the Chancellor's Office, and the Social Science Data Base Archive at CSU, Los Angeles. The goals of the SSRIC are to facilitate the use of quantitative methods and computing technology in teaching and to support the acquisition and dissemination of social science data.

To achieve these goals, the SSRIC has tried to make sure that faculty and students in the CSU have the necessary data sets to teach and do research. The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) located at the University of Michigan serves as the national data archive for the social sciences. Our membership in the ICPSR ensures that we have most of the major data sets in sociology, political science, history, anthropology, and economics. Census data are also obtained (in part) through the ICPSR. Census data are extremely important to the emerging field of geographic information systems and are heavily used by geography, business, and other fields.

The Field Institute conducts The Field Poll which is one of two major state polls in California. Our membership in The Field Consortium gives us access to all the data archives of The Field Poll and to current polls soon after completion. These data are not available in the ICPSR and the Roper Center (or elsewhere) and are essential in order to focus on state and regional issues.

The Roper Center consists mainly of public opinion polls (both national and international). Most of these data are not available elsewhere. Our membership in the Roper Center gives us access to data that allow us to trace public opinion over time and across societies.

Having the data available for teaching and research is not sufficient. The SSRIC has offered workshops which provide training for faculty in the use of these data and in the use of SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences), which is the statistical package most widely used in the CSU. Since its beginning in 1972, the SSRIC has trained approximately 800 faculty who have, in turn, helped their colleagues and students learn to use these data and SPSS. These workshops have been funded through Academic Opportunity Funds, the Chancellor's Office, and the campuses.

The SSRIC has also developed five computer-based instructional modules which have been used by many faculty and students. These materials use data from the ICPSR, The Field Institute, the Roper Center, and other sources. Workshops have introduced faculty to these modules.

The SSRIC wants to continue to make access to these data easier for the user (both faculty and students). The purpose of this project is to create twenty-five instructional subsets of data in an easy-to-use form along with instructional materials that can be used in the classroom and six instructional modules which will consist of essays, exercises and data sets on topics such as social issues, health, politics, population change, student opinions, macroeconomics, and the California legislature. These materials will be put on the SSRIC Web site for use by anyone in the CSU. Regional workshops will be scheduled to introduce faculty to these materials. Listservs will be established to link faculty and encourage the sharing of instructional materials.

OBJECTIVES AND GENERAL METHOD FOR ACHIEVING OBJECTIVES

One of the primary objectives of this proposal is to create twenty-five instructional subsets accompanied by instructional materials that can be used in the classroom. Data sets in the social sciences often consist of a large number of cases and variables. For example, the General Social Survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago has approximately 3,000 cases and almost 1,000 variables. The American National Election Study conducted by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan consists of approximately 2,500 cases and over 1,000 variables. Each of these large data sets will be divided into a series of subsets consisting of approximately 50 variables. Each subset will include the data set in the form of a portable SPSS file, a machine-readable codebook, and two or more instructional exercises that could be used by students. Each subset will have a particular focus. For example, one subset from the General Social Survey could focus on religion, while another subset could focus on race relations.

It is important to select data sets which are of interest to a variety of disciplines in the social sciences and which represent the most popular and important data in these disciplines. The instructional subsets will be selected from the following data sets (and other data sets that might be added later): (1) General Social Survey (a survey conducted every two years with a large number of questions of interest to many social science disciplines), (2) American National Election Study (a series of surveys conducted every two years focusing on political opinions and behavior), (3) the Human Relations Area Files (anthropological data on human societies over time), (4) the U.S. decennial Census (including both the Public-Use Microdata and the aggregate data), (5) the Field Poll (statewide polls focusing on political opinions and behavior and on social issues), (6) the National Hospital Discharge Survey, (7) the National Health Interview Survey, (8) the National Income and Product Accounts, (9) the Business Cycles Indicators, (10) income, employment, and demographic data contained in the Regional Economic Information System maintained by the Department of Commerce, and (11) the CSU Student Survey (survey of opinions of college students on five CSU campuses in 1987 and 1994).

In addition to the data set (in the form of a SPSS portable file) and a machine-readable codebook, each instructional subset will include two or more exercises designed to teach students a particular analytical skill. Exercises will focus on the following skills: use of graphs (histograms, bar charts, stem-and-leaf displays, box plots, scattergrams), central tendency and dispersion, crosstabulation, regression and correlation, and statistical inference. Other exercises will focus on critical thinking skills such as developing hypotheses, constructing arguments to support hypotheses, and testing hypotheses.

The second primary objective is to create instructional modules. Six of the instructional subsets that are created in the first phase of the project will be selected for more extensive development. These six data sets will be made into instructional modules. An instructional module consists of the data set (in SPSS portable file format), a machine-readable codebook, textual material, and an expanded series of instructional exercises for students. Each module will be 50 to 75 pages in length and provide a comprehensive introduction to a particular field of interest (e.g., political behavior, social issues such as abortion and religion) along with the methods of data analysis. The six modules that are planned are the following: Opinions on Social Issues, The Health and Well-being of Americans, Population Geography Using Census data, The California Legislature, Exploring Empirical Relations in the Macroeconomy, and Opinions and Behavioral Characteristics of College Students.

The twenty-five instructional subsets and the six instructional modules will become the initial basis of the Social Sciences Teaching Resources Depository. The instructional subsets and the modules will be located on the SSRIC web site. The data sets and the accompanying materials will be downloadable. In addition to these materials, a series of links to other social science web sites will be maintained for faculty and student use. This part of the web site was developed for the 1996 Social Sciences Instructional Computing Workshop and has been maintained by the SSRIC. Additional links will be added over time. Faculty and students will be able to send email to the project staff requesting information about the data sets. The project staff will provide assistance over email, fax, and the telephone.

Faculty throughout the CSU will be invited to deposit their data sets and instructional materials in the depository. The project staff will develop standards to describe how the data sets and instructional materials should be formatted and structured and will review all materials to be added to the web site. SSRIC members also create instructional materials for their classes and are aware of materials developed by other faculty. These materials will also be added to the web site. In this way, a depository of social science instructional materials will be developed and made available to the entire CSU.

The third primary objective is to encourage the use of these materials. To accomplish this, the SSRIC will host four regional one-day workshops during June of 1998. These workshops will be held in San Diego, the Los Angeles area, central California, and the Bay area. Each workshop will consist of an overview of the materials developed, discussion of ways in which these materials could be incorporated into classes, and opportunity to use the materials. In this way, networks of faculty will be developed with specific teaching interests. Listservs will be created to allow these faculty to communicate with each other in the future.

The SSRIC has compiled a list of about 400 faculty who have expressed an interest in the use of quantitative data in the classroom. Information about the project and the workshops will be sent to these faculty by email. Information will also be sent to all deans of schools of social and behavioral sciences and they will be asked to disseminate the information.

After the project has been completed, the project staff will continue to maintain the depository. Additional instructional materials will be added. In addition, we have begun discussions with the American Sociological Association and the American Political Science Association on ways this project can be expanded and continued in the years to come.

EVALUATION PROCEDURES

Project evaluation will focus on two areas: (1) assessment of the particular instructional subsets and modules created and (2) the use of these materials in the classroom. A survey will be sent to all social science faculty on the SSRIC mailing list to determine their knowledge, interest, and use of these materials. This is a list of about 400 faculty that campus representatives think will be interested in the use of quantitative data in the classroom. Additionally, all faculty attending the four regional workshops will be asked to complete an evaluation form about the workshop and will be included in the survey. The survey will be distributed at the end of the 1998-99 academic year to assess the impact of the project.

PROJECT ADMINISTRATION

Ed Nelson will be the project director. He will coordinate the development of all materials, the planning of the regional workshops, publicity, and evaluation. Jim Ross will be the webmaster, assisted by Nan Chico and John Korey.

PROPOSED TIME SCHEDULE

Operation Date

Development of course materials June, 1997 through April, 1998

Development of Web site Oct, 1997 through May, 1998

Announcement of regional workshops Feb, 1998

Regional Workshops June, 1998

Evaluation Academic Year 1998-99

Reports Issued Summer, 1998 and 1999


Budget

Title of Proposal: Social Sciences Teaching Resources Depository

Salaries $ 21,800

Workshop expenses $ 2,000

Equipment $ 0

Travel $ 1,587

Total $ 25,387

Detailed Budget

Title of Proposal: SOCIAL SCIENCES TEACHING RESOURCES DEPOSITORY

Salaries

There will be eight staff working on developing materials (Chico, Gerber, Korey and Emenhiser, Nelson and Nelson, Ross, Turner). Each unit will be paid for seven days of work. This will cover one day for the workshop, one day of preparation for the workshop, and five days for the preparation of the instructional materials. The rate of pay is $376/day which is $65,004/173.

$376 x 7 days x 6 units $15,792

Project director--additional three days for administrative responsibilities

$376 x 3 days $ 1,128

Webmaster and assistants--additional three days for the webmaster and one day each for two assistants

$376 x 5 days $ 1,880

Student assistant--each of the six units will be allowed $500 for student assistance to help with the preparation of the instructional materials

$500 x 6 units $ 3,000

TOTAL SALARIES $21,800

Workshop Expenses
 
Supplies: Paper, disks, cartridges for laser printer $ 200
Duplicating: 1,000 pages for each workshop x $0.05/page $ 200 
Food Estimated number of participants per workshop is 40. Cost of lunch = $10.00. For four workshops, cost of food will be 4 x 40 x $10.00. $ 1,600 
TOTAL WORKSHOP EXPENSES $ 2,000

Equipment $ 0

There will be no equipment needed for the workshop. All equipment (computers, scanners, software) will be supplied by the campuses. Other donations by the campus include consultation by the Academic Innovation Center staff on the development of the project website.

Travel $ 1,587

Travel for seven team members to meet twice in Bakersfield--estimated 4,120 miles @ $0.31/mile-- and to attend workshops--estimated 1,000 miles

TOTAL PROPOSAL REQUEST $25,387


Disclosures

We have not submitted this proposal to any outside agency. We are discussing possible ways the project could be expanded in the years to come with the American Sociological Association and the American Political Science Association.

We have received funding from AOF in 1996 ($27,393) and 1994 ($23,146) for the Social Sciences Instructional Computing Workshop. These workshops focused on the use of the Social Science Data Base Archive at CSU Los Angeles and SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). We also received funding from the Academic Computer Enhancement (ACE) Institute in 1986 ($25,000) to develop five instructional modules. Two of these modules have been updated since that time by the SSRIC without additional funding.


BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATIONON THE PROJECT DIRECTOR AND PROJECT STAFF

Project Director

Edward Nelson is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University Fresno. Professor Nelson received his Ph.D. from the University of California Los Angeles. He teaches undergraduate courses in research methods, quantitative methods, computer applications, and critical thinking. He developed (with Elizabeth Nelson) a computer module, California Opinions on Women's Issues 1985-1995, which is a revision of an earlier module. During the 1989-90 academic year, he received (with Elizabeth Nelson) a dissemination grant from the Chancellor's Office to conduct workshops on campuses to promote the use of the modules. Professor Nelson has been a member of the SSRIC since 1976 and is a former chair of the council. He was one of the faculty in the 1983 Workshop in Quantitative Data Analysis in the Social Sciences and was the director of the 1989, 1994, and 1996 Social Sciences Instructional Computing Workshops held on the Fresno campus. He is the director of the Social Research Laboratory at California State University Fresno and has been the project director for many surveys conducted for groups such as the State Department of Health, the Fresno County Department of Health, the City of Fresno, and various school districts.

Project Staff

Nan Chico is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University Hayward. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California San Francisco. She currently teaches courses in research methods at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Professor Chico has been a member of the SSRIC since 1994 and was the 96-97 chair of the council. She taught in the 1996 Social Sciences Instructional Computing Workshop.

JeDon Emenhiser is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Humboldt State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He teaches courses in American government, elections and public opinion, Congress and the president, constitutional law, American political thought, and quantitative analysis. He recently was a Visiting Scholar on the Congress at the Congressional Research Service in the Library of Congress. His research focuses on government, politics, and administration. Professor Emenhiser has been a member of the SSRIC since 1991 and is a past chair of the council.

Jim Gerber is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at San Diego State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California Davis. He has taught courses in statistics, econometrics, American economic history, international economic problems, the economies of postwar Latin America, and macroeconomics. His research focuses on trade policy, international economic integration, and the economic history of California. He is currently writing an innovative book on international economics for Addison Wesley called International Economics: Issues and Applications. Professor Gerber has been a member of the SSRIC since 1996.

John Korey is a Professor in the Political Science Department at California State Polytechnic University Pomona. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. His areas of specialization are methodology (computer usage and statistics) and American politics (legislative process, political behavior, California politics). He is the former director of CSPU's Social Data Facility and the former director of Academic Computer Planning for CSPU. Professor Korey was an instructor for the 1983 Workshop in Quantitative Data Analysis in the Social Sciences, and the 1987, 1989, 1994, and 1996 Social Sciences Instructional Computing Workshops. Professor Korey was also an instructor for a workshop on "Computers in the Classroom" presented by the American Sociological Association during 1986 and taught in a workshop on program management for personnel in the Lesotho Ministry of Agriculture at CSPU under USAID auspices. He has been a member of the SSRIC since its beginning in 1972 and is a former chair of the council.

Elizabeth Ness Nelson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at California State University Fresno. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California Los Angeles. She teaches undergraduate courses in gender roles, gerontology, work, and critical thinking. She developed (with Edward Nelson) instructional materials for beginning computer data analysis, California Opinions on Women's Issues: 1985-1995, which revises an earlier work. During the 1989-90 academic year, she (with Edward Nelson) received a dissemination grant from the Chancellor's Office to conduct workshops with faculty to promote the use of these materials.

Jim Ross is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University Bakersfield. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University. His areas of specialization are computer applications in the social sciences, collective behavior, and sociology of religion. Professor Ross was an instructor for the 1983 Workshop in Quantitative Data Analysis in the Social Sciences, the 1994 Social Sciences Instructional Computing Workshop, and has led many workshops on SPSS and social science data analysis. He is the author of a computer module on crime and the quality of life in California and has recently completed a revision of a module on the opinions and behavioral characteristics of college students. He has been a member of the SSRIC since 1975 and is a former chair of the council.

Eugene Turner is a Professor in the Department of Geography at California State University Northridge. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He teaches courses in cartography and geographic systems. He is the author (with James Allen) of We the People: At Atlas of America's Ethnic Diversity which was awarded the Dartmouth Medal by the American Library Association for the best reference books published in the U.S.. Professor Turner has been a member of the SSRIC since 1980 and will be chair during the 1997-98 academic year. He was an instructor in the 1994 Social Science Instructional Computing Workshop and has presented workshops on mapping for the Association of American Geographers.

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