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Advanced Training Institutes Attract Researchers Worldwide
By Nicolle Singer
During the month of July, the Science Directorate sponsored the final two Advanced Training Institutes of 2006, bringing the total number of researchers who took part in an ATI this year to 121. The first three programs were summarized in the June PSA. These week-long training sessions for faculty and grad students were well received by participants, a few of who traveled from as far as Japan and New Zealand.
The Science Directorate sponsored an ATI on Performing Web-Based Research, from July 10-14 at the University of Northern Iowa. Due to increasing interest in internet-based research by psychologists, this popular program attracted an eager group of psychologists and advanced graduate students. These researchers could imagine harnessing the power of listservs and online discussion groups to recruit nationwide samples for their studies. They learned ways to avoid common problems in online research, such as insuring that individual responses are from different people by tracking IP addresses and instituting high hurdle techniques. The instructors at this ATI discussed the potential and limitations of web-based research, while including lots of personal anecdotes from their vast experience conducting net-based studies and coordinating a large web-based subject pool.
Even though many attendees had no prior experience with html, they all left with more confidence in their ability to post surveys to the web and a more thorough understanding of this method of data collection. The four expert instructors were on-hand throughout the entire workshop to answer questions and provide personalized advice for the use of the web in research. The workshop included lecture, discussion, and lots of hands-on computer time with the software.
The Science Directorate offered a new ATI on Nonlinear Methods for Psychological Science from July 17-21 at University of Cincinnati. This ATI prepared participants to design and execute experiments and to analyze data using nonlinear methods, a data analysis technique of increasing importance within psychology and related disciplines. In addition to lectures by the five outstanding instructors, there was ample hands-on computer time in which participants became familiar with software for non-linear analysis. The expertise and enthusiasm of the presenters was noted by many of the participants at this ATI. Overall, the training was viewed as a very positive experience by all attendees. One person noted that "the instructors did an amazing job of explaining the materials & giving us exercises to apply our knowledge."
Be sure to check the Science Directorate website in late November to learn about the ATIs that will be offered in 2007!