230.636 Research Designs for Causal Inference and Mixed Methods

This course is designed to help students think critically, theoretically, and empirically about issues in design of sociological research that aims to answer causal questions and incorporate mixed methods approaches. Specifically, we will focus on: 1) Understanding causal inference and the objectives of social science; 2) Learning the types of validity in research designs; 3) Becoming familiar with the elements of experimental research design, such as treatment, observation and assignment; 4) Comparing and contrasting experimental and quasi-experimental designs and their applications for the study of social processes and social problems; 5) Understanding designs that employ mixed methods to answer questions of social and policy importance . The course will give a general overview of the challenges of causal inference, but we will focus on research in a few specific areas, such as education and urban sociology, for the sake of consistent, coherent examples. Sociology/Statistics background is helpful, but not required.

Instructor: DeLuca