The Duke Graduate Academy offers online short courses that introduce Duke graduate and professional students and postdoctoral fellows to skills, tools and knowledge that augment their regular coursework and research. We are thrilled to highlight a few sessions being taught by faculty and staff at SSRI:
Engaging and partnering with community members and entities in research, sometimes in the form of research practice partnership, can be a powerful mechanism for ensuring research is appropriately situated within the context and utilized for social change. These concepts and processes are highly complex and often quite challenging, both in theory and in practice. This course will interrogate the meaning of “community-engaged research” and related terms, explore their relevance for both researchers and communities, address the ethical considerations and logistical problems that often arise, and consider recommendations for enacting best practices. Throughout this course, we will apply our knowledge through active learning by developing a community-engaged research design.
Instructor: Jessica Sperling, Social Science Research Institute
Summer Session II GS990 Section 02; offered July 10 – 18 (one-week course), MTTH 12:30 – 2:35 p.m. EDT
Evaluation: Understanding Impact & Improving Effectiveness
This course focuses on understanding program/initiative impact and informing initiative decision-making through evaluation, which represents an area of increasing relevance in academic careers and in public/non-profit sectors. Topics include differences and similarities between evaluation and academic research; when and why to conduct evaluation; types of evaluations; foundational aspects of an evaluation process, including partnership and theory of change development; empirical processes, including study design considerations, data sources, data collection and analysis; and real-world recommendations for feasibly and effectively implementing evaluation. Throughout the course, students will apply concepts to a real-world initiative. In addition, we will address the applications of academic training for evaluation. It will address alignment of evaluation research with doctoral training and the uses of evaluation in numerous career paths, including academic and other career trajectories.
Instructors: Noelle Wyman Roth & Jessica Sperling, Social Science Research Institute
Summer Session I GS990 Section 18; offered June 12 – 20 (two-week course), MTTH 12:30 – 2:35 p.m. EDT
Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
This course presents an introduction to qualitative research methods with a lens on combining qualitative and quantitative data (i.e., mixed methods). The course will emphasize qualitative research methods, examining their uses — when they are appropriate, what unique strengths they offer, what challenges they can introduce. In addition, we will explore when it is useful and valuable to utilize a research design that combines qualitative and quantitative data. It will cover gathering qualitative and mixed data using both primary (interviews, focus groups, participant observation, surveys) and secondary sources, and managing such data during and after their collection. The course will also examine what is involved in coding qualitative data, including how coding schema are developed and applied, how coding can be done in ways that are consistent and replicable, and how to use NVivo software in coding. It will also explore how quantitative and qualitative analyses can be sequenced and/or combined, including in NVivo. Finally, we will consider reporting findings, including integrating findings from multiple data sources, how a researcher assesses what their materials teach them and how they can compile and present those findings to make their case, as well as how to respond to criticisms. This course will include lectures, active discussion and classroom exercises.
Instructors: Adrian Brown, Erin Haseley & Noelle Wyman Roth, Social Science Research Institute
Summer Session I GS990 Section 07; offered May 22 – June 1 (two-week course), MTTH 12:30 – 2:35 p.m. EDT
Exploring Race & History Through Southern Historic Places
This course invites students to grapple with major themes and events related to race and U.S. history through a virtual exploration of museums, state and national parks, and historical sites across North Carolina and the American South. Over two weeks, participants will “visit” sites that are presenting histories of American slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, segregation, lynching, Black education and entrepreneurship, and Black political and civil rights activism in compelling and challenging new ways. The class will offer a focused opportunity to learn about Black experiences in the United States and legacies of slavery. It will also introduce challenges that historical sites face in uncovering and confronting these complicated histories. Students will consider how encounters with place-based histories can expand understanding of our present, build empathy with multiple perspectives and give us tools to confront the dilemmas of our own time and work toward social justice. As a foundational text, students will read Clint Smith’s “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America” (2021). Since this course is built around engagement with sites and museums serving the visiting public, there is no expectation of any history background or prior knowledge. Imagine yourself a traveler; all you need bring is curiosity and an open mind.
Instructor: Anne Mitchell Whisnant, director, Graduate Liberal Studies, associate professor of the practice, Social Science Research Institute
Summer Session II GS990 Section 20; offered July 17 – 28 (two-week course), MTWTH 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. EDT