Using ICPSR Resources to Teach Sociology

Rachael E. Barlow, Trinity College
Lynette F. Hoelter
Felicia B. LeClere
Amy M. Pienta
James W. McNally

Originally published Teaching Sociology, Vol. 36, 2008 (January:17-25) .


The focus on quantitative literacy has been increasingly outside the realm of mathematics. The social sciences are well suited to including quantitative elements throughout the curriculum but doing so can mean challenges in preparation and presentation of material for instructors and increased anxiety for students. This paper describes tools and resources available through the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) that will aid students and instructors engaging in quantitative literacy across the curriculum. The Online Learning Center is a source of empirical activities aimed at undergraduates in lower-division substantive courses and Exploring Data through Research Literature presents an alternative to traditional research methods assignments. Searching and browsing tools, archive structures, and extended online-analysis tools make it easier for students in upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses to engage in exercises that increase quantitative literacy, and paper competitions reward them for doing so.