While it was a new format, lacking the face-to-face exchange we are all so used to and experienced with, we were excited but well prepared with our lecturers to take this challenge.
Our three courses on ‘Methoden der sozialwissenschaftlichen Statistik’ in German for basic and advanced methods taught the theoretical backgrounds and empirical methods that are vital to applied social sciences. Participants liked these courses because they offer a well-prepared training in empirical methods and applications in Stata. Our four English courses on ‘Methods of Computational Social Science‘ (CSS) introduced up-to-date methods in data science for social scientists.
Our live real time seminars were held via Zoom. Interacting, learning, discussing, and networking with lecturers and fellow participants was possible through Q&A sessions, breakout rooms, consulting hours, chats and whiteboard tools.
We have received overall positive feedback and thank our participants and lecturers for their commitment and trust.
The results of the evaluation show that we mastered it quite well. All courses were positively evaluated by the participants: The average satisfaction was 4.2 on a scale from 1 ("very dissatisfied") to 5 ("very satisfied"). 84% of the participants said they would recommend the GESIS Methods Seminar.
These results are underlined by the statements of the participants of the courses methods of statistics: “The lecturers were superbly prepared, the didactics excellent and the seminar concept was really very good. The participation via Zoom worked unexpectedly and pleasingly well”.
Participants in the CSS courses praised the “open source spirit, the possibility to present own projects and that the instructors fueled discussions and made the class dynamic”. People also liked that the content was “very in depth, very comprehensive from both content and technical side”.
Although we missed to see all on-site, missed the evenings of the get-together meetings on GESIS’ roof-top terrace and our Cologne city tours, we explored a new way of learning and socializing.
We learned a lot and we are working on implementing improvement suggestions for the second virtual edition in September 2021.