The exercises use several statistical software packages.
- SPSS: a widely used statistical package. If your institution does not have a license for SPSS, you can rent a copy. A tutorial on the use of SPSS, developed by SSRIC faculty, is freely available.
- PSPP: The creators of PSPP describe it as "a [f]ree replacement for the proprietary program SPSS." It has a look and feel similar to SPSS, and many but not all of its capabilities. A tutorial on the use of PSPP, developed by SSRIC faculty, is freely available. For more information on PSPP, visit the PSPP website, or download our handouts, “Notes on Using PSPP” and “Differences between PSPP and SPSS.”
- SDA: Online statistical analysis program developed by the Survey Methods Program at UC Berkeley. SDA is freely available to anyone with internet access. Note that materials developed for use with PSPP can be run using SPSS; materials developed for use with SPSS can probably be run using PSPP, but this has not been verified.
- STATA: Stata is a proprietary software package with many options. It is especially useful for managing survey-based data sets and analyses. Stata's capabilities include data management, statistical analysis, graphics, simulations, regression, and custom programming. It also has a system to disseminate user-written programs.
- R: a free and open-source programming and software environment designed for statistical computing and graphics.
All exercises noted are covered by the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License.
At present, we offer about a half dozen textbooks that can be used in whole or in part (or modified as you wish) in introductory courses in research methods or statistics. These instructional materials are designed for use in a variety of social science disciplines. They vary in complexity from a series of short exercises to online textbooks. All are published under Creative Commons licenses and instructors have permission to modify the materials as they see fit.
|Department||Campus||Year Created||Last Updated|
|IBM SPSS Statistics (Version 26): A Basic Tutorial||Intended for those who want to learn the basics of SPSS. It includes all the functions of SPSS that you would use in introductory research methods and statistics classes.||Ed Nelson
|PSPP: A Basic Tutorial||A free alternative to SPSS, created by the Free Software Foundation. Includes many, but not all, of the features found in SPSS. This Tutorial includes a subset of the 2018 General Social Survey (GSS) for use in conjunction with the software.||
San Luis Obispo
|Introductory Statisics Using SPSS (Version 26)||Provides a series of exercises that could be used in an introductory statistics course in the social sciences using data from the 2018 General Social Survey.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2015||2020|
|Introductory Statistics Using PSPP||Provides a series of exercises that could be used in an introductory statistics course in the social sciences using data from the 2018 General Social Survey.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2020||2020|
|Introductory Statistics Using Survey Documentation Analysis (SDA)||Provides a series of exercises that could be used in an introductory statistics course in the social sciences using data from the 2018 General Social Survey.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2020||2020|
|Introduction to Research Methods in Political Science: The POWERMUTT Project||A Web site that can serve as a basic on-line textbook for teaching research methods (from frequency distributions through OLS) in political science and cognate disciplines. Included are data subsets of the American National Election Studies (ANES) and the GSS cumulative file, as well as data from the U.S. Senate, the American states, and the countries of the world. Statistical software used is SPSS.||John Korey||Political Science||San Luis Obispo||2003||2015|
For the past few years, the California State University (CSU) Social Science Research and Instructional Council has been able to provide honoraria of $3,000 to a limited number of CSU faculty submitting the best proposals. During the Spring Semester, the Council sends out an RFP to its mailing list. If you are a CSU faculty or staff member and would like to join this list, you may do so here. If you have any questions, please email the current Council Chair.
|Title||Description||Author(s)||Department||Campus||Year Created||Last Update|
|Exploring the Macroeconomy||An instructional module, using SPSS, the US national income and product accounts, and additional data from the Departments of Labor and Commerce. Designed to fill the gap between an introductory statistics course and either principles of macroeconomics or intermediate macroeconomics.||James Gerber||Economics||San Diego||1997||1998|
|Formulating and Testing Research Questions||A series of exercises to guide you through the research process, from selection of a topic through analysis and interpretation of data.||Nancy Arrington||Political Science||San Luis Obispo||2020||2020|
|Introduction to GIS for the Social Sciences||Exercises introduce students to collecting and managing Census data files, calculating descriptive statistics, and mapping data in the open-source GIS platform QGIS. Content dynamically linked to Google Drive.||Amber Crowell||Sociology||Fresno||2021||2021|
|Longitudinal Analysis of Survey Data||Introduction to several ways (cohort analysis, trend analysis, panel studies) of examining change over time. Data for the exercises consist of three subsets drawn from two national surveys, the General Social Survey (GSS) and the American National Election Study (ANES). Statistical analysis used is SPSS. Winner of a 2019 MERLOT Classic Award in Sociology.||John Korey||Political Science||San Luis Obispo||2016||2016|
|Puzzling it Out: Collaborative, Game Based Review Activities for Introductory Statistics||This activity incorporates high-impact practices to review and practice introductory statistics concepts. The exercises are inspired by “escape room” puzzle games. In small groups, students solve puzzles that require them to apply basic statistical knowledge and skills. Winner of an Instructional Materials Grant from the SSRIC.||Miranda McIntyre||Psychology||San Bernardino||2019||2019|
|Research Methods||Provides an introduction to research methods including research design, measurement, sampling, survey data collection, univariate, bivariate and multivariate data analysis using the 2018 survey of high school seniors which is part of the Monitoring the Future series. Includes a chapter on writing research reports. Statistical software used is SDA (Survey Documentation and Analysis).||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2019||2020|
|Abortion||Introduces students to issues of conceptualization, measurement, validity, bivariate and multivariate analysis using data from the 2018 General Social Survey. Statistical software used is SPSS.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2015||2020|
|Confidence in Societal Institutions and Spending Priorities||Introduces students to univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis using data from the 2018 General Social Survey. Statistical software used is SPSS.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2016||2020|
|Critical Thinking I: Exercises for Critical Thinking||Provides a series of exercises that could be used in a critical thinking course. Exercises 14 and 15 use the 2018 General Social Survey and Survey Documentation and Analysis, an online statistical program. Both the GSS and SDA are freely available on the Internet.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2016||2020|
|Critical Thinking II: Resources for Critical Thinking||These resources accompany "Critical Thinking I – Exercises for Critical Thinking.". They provide resources for teaching critical thinking using a data-driven approach.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2014||2020|
|Fair Housing Practices||Students will use Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data and SPSS to help determine whether there are differences in mortgage approval rates for different demographic groups (race, ethnicity, gender) controlling for income.||Nancy Hudspeth||Political Science & Public Admin||Stanislaus||2020||2020|
|Gender Differences||Introduces students to univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analysis using data from the 2018 General Social Survey. Statistical software used is SPSS.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||2016||2020||2020|
|Globalization: A Data Analysis Approach||These exercises integrate key concepts related to the study of international political economy by applying quantitative methods. These exercises help students understand the dynamics of international trade, contrasting patterns of international development, and how the winners and losers from globalization behave at the ballot box. Students will also learn how to present quantitative information graphically. Data are from the 2013 Field Poll. Statistical Software used is Stata.||Scott Siegel||International Relations||San Francisco||2020||2020|
|Gun Control I||Included are six sets of exercises can use to analyze public opinion regarding gun control laws student. Statistical software used is SPSS for the first four exercise sets; SDA is used for exercise sets 5 and 6.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2014||2020|
|Gun Control II||Introduces students to research design, univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analysis using data from a 2016 Pew Research Center political survey. Includes a chapter on writing research reports. Statistical software used is SPSS.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2016||2020|
|Immigration||This series of modules will help students think about immigration and the factors that shape views on immigration among the U.S. population. In addition, the purpose of this assignment is to guide students to use SPSS to generate information, analysis, and a report about a large dataset (i.e., the General Social Survey).||Heidy Sarabia||Sociology||Sacramento||2020||2020|
|Introduction to Human Geography||This manual meets a need for a free collection of exercises for students enrolled in Introduction to Human Geography (and faculty teaching it), using real world data. Topics include crime mapping, demography and segregation, food and fitness, and retail site location. Exercises include work with ArcGIS 10.8 and/or ArcGIS Pro.||Steve Graves||Geography & Environmental Studies||Northridge||2021||2021|
|Introduction to the Study of War||This module uses an integrative approach that allows students to practice analyzing war data as they learn about how war is defined, the levels of analysis used in the study of war, and what major theories of international relations have to say about war. Statistical software used is SPSS.||Cynthia McMeekin & Emily Acevedo||Political Science||Los Angeles||2020||2020|
|Mapping Exercises||Exercises in Geographic Information Systems (GIS): mapping animal movement, airline access, food security, droughts, travel time, pipelines and oil spills.||Nicholas Perdue||Geography, Environment, & Spatial Analysis||Humboldt||2020||2020|
|Political and Social Divisions in American Society||The goal of these exercises is to introduce students to the analysis of political and social divisions in American society using the 2018 General Social Survey, a large national probability survey of adults in the U.S. The focus is on political, gender, socioeconomic, racial, religious, and geographical divisions. The statistical program we're using is Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) written at UC Berkeley and freely available wherever you have an internet connection. There is a brief introduction to SDA at the end of these exercises. Users have permission to use these exercises and the data set and to revise them to fit their needs.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2020||2020|
|Public Opinion on Social Issues 1975-2017||Introduces students to bivariate and multivariate analysis using data from the General Social Survey. Two data sets are used -- one that includes only the 2018 file and the other that includes data from seven time periods. Statistical software used is SPSS or PSPP.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2019||2019|
|Religion I||Introduces students to issues of conceptualization, measurement, validity, bivariate and multivariate analysis using data from the 2018 General Social Survey. Statistical software used is SPSS.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2015||2020|
|Religion II||Introduces students to measurement, bivariate and multivariate analysis using data from the 2014 Pew Research Center's Religious Landscape Survey. Statistical software used is SPSS.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2017||2020|
|Sports Medicine||This module consists of six exercises dealing with data in the field of sports medicine. Statistical software used is SPSS.||Leilani Madrigal||Kinesiology||Long Beach||2020||2020|
|Tolerance||Introduces students to univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis using the 2018 General Social Survey. Statistical software used is SPSS.||Ed Nelson||Sociology||Fresno||2016||2020|
You can use them from an instructor's station in a classroom or in a computer lab for a presentation or demonstration.
You can provide links to them from your on-line syllabus for regular assignments or as independent and extra credit projects, with little or no modification.
Materials can be downloaded; you can then modify them as needed, and distribute or place them on a local server.
Instructional handouts, PowerPoint presentations, videos, etc. are available from SSRIC and individual CSU campuses.
Links to Other Instructional Sites
Links to resources for teaching graphs, maps, research design, sampling, SPSS, statistics, as well as general resources for teaching data analysis.