Web-based data analysis: Creating a sociological laboratory

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Higher Education | Sociology


Instructors of sociology courses strive to teach their students how to “think sociologically” or how to apply a “sociological perspective” to the world. In other words, besides the substantive content of the course, the highest pedagogical goal of an undergraduate sociology course is to show students how they can explore their own world and ideas in sociological ways, even if they do not end up being professional sociologists.

Many creative methods, often framed as “applied” or “active learning,” have been created to pursue this goal, but these active learning projects are not perfect solutions. The natural sciences have an advantage over their social sciences counterparts because their courses are often accompanied by a laboratory course that gives students “hands-on” experience in the subject’s research methods.