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This online course comes from the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) by Carnegie Mellon. “The course includes self-guiding materials and activities, and is ideal for independent learners, or instructors trying out this course package.”"Regression analysis is an enormously popular and powerful tool, used ubiquitously in the social and...
This online course comes from the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) by Carnegie Mellon. “The course includes self-guiding materials and activities, and is ideal for independent learners, or instructors trying out this course package.”
"Regression analysis is an enormously popular and powerful tool, used ubiquitously in the social and behavioral sciences. Most courses on the subject immediately dive into the mathematical aspects of the subject and illustrate the technique on problems that are already highly structured. As a result, most students come away with little idea of the wide range of problems to which regression analysis can be applied and how to represent those problems in a way that cleverly utilizes readily available data. Few understand, at a conceptual level, the limitations of regression analysis.
The OLI Empirical Research Methods course bridges the gap between the mathematical foundations of regression and its practical application. We teach students how to move from an interesting question about the world to a regression model that, when estimated, meaningfully addresses the question asked. It emphasizes causal analysis as the main research goal and multivariate linear regression as the main statistical tool. We teach a process that involves:
1.Formulating a research problem,
2.Developing and formalizing hypotheses,
3.Collecting data relevant to these hypotheses,
4.Analyzing the data using an appropriate regression model, and
5.Critically interpreting the results of these analyses
A learner who successfully completes our course will be able to do much more than mechanically estimate a regression model with standard statistical software like SPSS or Minitab, or check whether coefficient estimates are “significant” at the .05 or .01 level. They will be able to bring to bear their own scientific imagination in order to use regression as a tool to investigate problems about the real world. They will be able, perhaps not with professional sophistication, but with competence, to do real empirical research.