ISS Announces New Research Methods Course

We are excited to announce that a new course has been added to the ISS core course series beginning winter 2016. The course, ISS 302:  Survey of Social Science Methods, offers an inclusive survey of methods used across the social sciences. The course is designed to be taken following ISS 301 and 350, and sometimes in conjunction with 355 and 401.  

The course is a unique collaboration across the University of Washington campus; the course was developed by faculty from several disciplines at the University of Washington, including economics, anthropology, philosophy, history, sociology, geography, and political science. Several of the modules were developed by ISS core faculty members, including Megan Carney, Lauren Hartzell-Nichols, and Polly Myers. Many of the developers worked in pairs to develop the lessons, and so the course is truly an interdisciplinary and team-taught endeavor. 

Together the lessons work to provide students with an overview of the major research methods and approaches in the social sciences, including qualitative and quantitative approaches, as well as mixed-methods approaches. Students get to experience a broad range of social science methods, from the most mathematical and quantitatively analytical to the most humanistic and qualitatively interpretative. 

The course provides a shared intellectual experience and common methodological training for all ISS students, further enabling interdisciplinary engagement across the degree’s 7 thematic areas. It also serves as an opportunity to continue to integrate a range of approaches and perspectives into students’ learning, and more concretely into the learning portfolios developed earlier in the core course series. The diverse perspectives, research experiences, and methods expertise of the contributing faculty open opportunities for student reflection on how mixed methods can be brought together in addition to comparisons of all the different disciplinary perspectives. 

We are excited by the opportunities this course will open to our students to see the range and depth of the social sciences and how interdisciplinarity is an approach that can provide new and exciting insights into social problems and issues.