Magazine article Information Today

SAGE Campus Begins Offering Data Science Courses

Magazine article Information Today

SAGE Campus Begins Offering Data Science Courses

Article excerpt

* SAGE recently launched a new educational endeavor offering online data science courses aimed at social science researchers. Called SAGE Campus (cam pus.sagepub.com), it kicked off in September 2017 with five courses:

* Introduction to Applied Data Science Methods for Social Scientists, in association with the Social Science Data Lab (D-Lab) at the University of California-Berkeley

* Introduction to Python for Social Scientists, in association with the Royal Statistical Society

* Practical Data Management With R for Social Scientists

* Interactive Visualization With R for Social Scientists, in association with the Royal Statistical Society

* Fundamentals of Quantitative Text Analysis for Social Scientists, in association with Essex Summer School of Social Science Data Analysis at the University of Essex

The courses run for 4 weeks, and students have access to them for an additional 2 months. They are interactive and practical, offering more than a series of video lectures and readings. Students can practice the skills they're learning during the course and apply them to their individual research activities, receiving feedback and support from faculty throughout the course.

Applying Big Data to Social Science Research

The idea of creating an online campus sprung from research done by SAGE and the University of Essex in 2016. They surveyed more than 9,000 academics and found that researchers wanted to work with Big Data but were unsure of how to do that. SAGE Campus is designed to alleviate this skills gap. Given SAGE's emphasis on social science, the courses are tailored to their needs. It's not generic, onesize-fits-all course material.

SAGE Campus courses come with a price tag of $399. That's certainly not exorbitant, but it is more of an investment than free massive open online courses (MOOCs). The justification from SAGE is that its courses provide extensive expert learning support, and the course content, datasets, examples, and language used deliver the learning that is relevant to social scientists.

SAGE Campus grew out of Methodspace (meth odspace.com), the publishing company's community for social scientist researchers. In a press release, Martha Sedgwick, SAGE's executive director of product management, commented, "As a key methods publisher for more than four decades, it is our firm belief at SAGE that supporting the development of research methodology is vital to making a positive, lasting impact on societal issues and challenges" (us. …

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