Methods and techniques in Social Sciences (2009/2010)

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Course code
Name of lecturer
Mauro Niero
Mauro Niero
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1A dal Oct 1, 2009 al Nov 15, 2009.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed at allowing students to design and implement research projects on issues relative to the pedagogic or training activities. These will meet the following criteria:
- targeted at specific practitioners' intervention programmes;
- including both qualitative and quantitative issues;
- that could be implemented on small sample or targeted groups with resources compatible with a work team of practitioners;
- self managed.


The course is organized as a workshop. It will be finalized at the construction of a research project on a topic selected by each student. Students’ activity will follow specific guidelines, the main of which consists of including at least one qualitative and one quantitative technique to be integrated in the analysis. Phases are the following.
1.Background and subject of the study.
2.Queries and hypotheses.
3.Definition of main concepts and their indicators (whether applicable).
4.Selection of research models to be used in the project.
5.Target selection, case inclusion and/or sampling.
6.Selection of data collection techniques.
7.Selection of data treatment techniques.
8.Building the model of analysis.
9.Deliverables e templates.
10. Appendix 1. Selecting and commenting possible alternative research approaches.
Students who intend to iterate this exam will be asked to proceed through phases 11-12-13 described below (in agreement with the teacher):
11.Operational construction of data collection instruments.
12.Pre-test of data collection instruments.
13.Costruction of study protocols.
For each phase students will rely on specific formal and content guidelines that can be downloaded together with support materials and bibliography from the following website:
The research project, prepared according to such giudelines will be discussed with the teacher during the workshop (students who will attend class) or during individual appointments with the teacher. The project will be furtherly discussed for appraisal.
Among downloaded materials students will find bibliography. Main texts are the following:
Niero M.(2008), Il Mix fra ricerca qualitativa e quantitativa, Quiedit Verona.
Niero M.(2008), La personalizzazione nella ricerca quantitativa, Angeli Milano.
The knowledge of the following texts will also be taken for granted:
Niero M.(2005), Introduzione alla progettazione e alla pratica della ricerca sociale, Guerini, Milano.
Lonardi C.(2005), Raccontare e raccontarsi, il metodo biografico, Quiedit, Verona 2006.

Assessment methods and criteria

Exam consists in the discussion of the project, furtherly officialized, with the teacher. Students should hand to the tacher one copy of the project at least one week before discussion.