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The Importance of Embedding Data

One of the main reasons there is a shortage of social sciences graduates with the quantitative skills required to evaluate evidence and analyse data, is the lack of reference to quantitative data in substantive modules across the higher education sector (Nuffield Foundation, 2012).

However, recent research indicates students are more likely to engage with quantitative data, and feel less anxious doing so, if they encounter it as a normal and integrated part of learning about substantive issues (Brown and Buckley, 2014; Chamberlain, Hillier and Signoretta, 2015).

In 2014, the Cambridge Undergraduate Quantitative Methods Centre (CUQM) was established to tackle these issues head on for social science students at Cambridge. We aim to motivate students to see the value of quantitative data and methods even if their prime interest is in arts, humanities or qualitative approaches.

 

How we can help

The CUQM centre offers support to lecturers across the social sciences to help them embed quantitative research and data into their substantive lecture material. We can support in any way required, and this could involve:

  • assistance with the develop of undergraduate methods courses;
  • presentation of quantitative data – using visuals or info-graphics – that are relevant to your course;
  • summaries of quantitative research findings and their methods;
  • assistance with the design of quantitative assessments;
  • support for undergraduate students undertaking quantitative research projects.

The Lecturer Testimonials contextualise the support we can provide, and they show how embedding quantitative research into substantive topics opens up avenues to explore concepts in new and exciting ways.

So if you believe that quantitative data and research could enhance the content of your teaching material and would like assistance, please contact (bb101) and (ms2268).

 


 References

Brown, M. and Buckley, J. (2011). Teaching Politics with Quantitative Data. Enriching Social Science Teaching with Empirical Data (ESSTED). [Online]. Available from: www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/essted

Chamberlain, J., Hillier, J. and Signoretta, P. (2015). Counting better? An examination of the impact of quantitative method teaching on statistical anxiety and confidence. Active Learning in Higher Education, 16,(1), 51–66.

Nuffield Foundation. (2012). Programme Background – Promoting a Step-Change in the Quantitative Skills of Social Science Undergraduates. London: Nuffield Foundation.