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Research Services

Summer 2010 Tutorials

To register, please send email to with the names of the tutorials that you are interested in attending. 

Creating Web-based Surveys with Qualtrics

Qualtrics offers a way to create complex surveys without complicated programming or coding.  It offers survey design functionality that is more extensive than that offered by Survey Monkey.  Qualtrics offers an extensive library of surveys and a number of options for encryption. Qualtrics also offers sophisticated foreign language functionality.  Working within pre-defined templates, you can use several different types of questions, including text, multiple checkboxes, sliders, single-answer radio buttons, Likert scales.  Qualtrics also offers extensive branching functionality.

Once the survey is completed, data can be downloaded into a format that can be used with Excel, SPSS, or other analysis programs.

BC’s School of Arts & Sciences, CSON, CSOM, and LSOE have recently purchased annual Qualtrics licenses that are available for use by faculty, staff, and students in those schools.  People not in the schools mentioned above are also welcome to attend this tutorial.

July 15, 2010  12:00 - 1:30 pm, O’Neill 245

Creating Web-based Surveys with Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey offers an easy way to create surveys without complicated programming or coding. Working within pre-defined templates, you can use several different types of questions, including text, multiple checkboxes, single-answer radio buttons, Likert scales. Once the survey is completed, data can be downloaded into a format that can be used with Excel, SPSS, or other analysis programs. Research Services Staff are also available, upon request, to schedule follow up consultations regarding analysis of your online survey data once the data has been collected. This tutorial will consist of a demonstration and opportunity to build a short survey.

June 18, 2010 12:00 - 1:30 pm O’Neill 245

Cross-Cultural Comparisons using Confirmatory Factor Analysis on Lisrel

This tutorial examines the topic of testing for measurement invariance using Lisrel 8.80. The session is designed for users with some experience with factor analysis and within group analysis on CFA models. The comparability of a scale for two distinct populations will be discussed, and factor patterns and loadings will be examined to assess measurement equivalence. A proposed model will be applied in CFA, and each step in testing the measurement invariance hypotheses will be followed for the two distinct groups. The goal of this tutorial is to introduce the methodology behind cross-cultural measurement testing and the use of Lisrel in the analysis.

July 20, 2010   12:00 - 1.30 pm O’Neill 245

Examining a Scale for Confirmatory Factor Analysis

This tutorial will explore the basic steps in constructing a model for confirmatory factor analysis with Lisrel 8.80. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) emphasizes the use of theory in measurement hypothesis testing, which is informed by the researcher’s applied theoretical framework and empirical evidence from reliability analysis and exploratory factor analysis (EFA). This session will discuss the interpretation of reliability and EFA results on SPSS, and then examine CFA results from Lisrel. The goal of this tutorial is to introduce some of the methodology behind CFA analysis and provide some resources for beginning users to expand their knowledge on the topic.

June 22, 2010 12:00 - 1:30 pm  O’Neill 245

Getting Started with SPSS 18

SPSS 18 is a powerful and yet easy to use statistical package. This hands-on tutorial is designed as an introduction for beginning users who are just getting started using SPSS.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Getting started with SPSS
  • Creating and importing data files
  • Descriptive statistics and graphs
  • Creating variables
  • Labeling variables and values
  • Compatibility with previous versions of SPSS
  • Cross platform compatibility

June 15, 2010 12:00 – 1:30 pm  O’Neill 245

Introduction to ArcGIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used today to analyze and represent data with geographical reference on maps. Such applications are widely used in academia, private industry and government agencies. ArcGIS Desktop software is an integrated suite of advanced GIS applications and interfaces, including ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcGlobe, ArcScene, ArcToolbox, and ModelBuilder. Using these applications and interfaces, you can perform various GIS tasks, from simple to advanced, including:  mapping, geographic analysis,  geostatistics, data editing, compilation, management and visualization. ArcGIS Desktop is scalable to meet the needs of many types of users.

This session will introduce users to:

  • ArcGIS software, data and technical support at Boston College
  • License options
  • Main ArcGIS features and capabilities (ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcTool, ArcGlobe)
  • Demos using Census and Environmental data.

Options to get data and training will be also discussed. No prior knowledge of ArcGIS is required.

June 15, 2010  10:00 – 11:30 am   O’Neill 245

Introduction to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is an internet-based computing environment; on-demand requests, shared resources, software and information are provided to user computers and other devices. This tutorial will briefly introduce cloud computing and show how the  Amazon cloud computing platform, Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), works. The purpose of the tutorial is to introduce the basic concepts of cloud computing, to explore its usability for academia and to help create applications of cloud computing for the teaching and research community at BC.

This workshop will cover:

  • Concepts of cloud computing
  • Amazon clouding computing web services
  • Get started with Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
    o EC2 features
    o EC2 charges
    o EC2 hardware and operating system
    o EC2 workflow
    o EC2 general process steps
    o Related storage system

June 16, 2010 12:00–1:30pm O’Neill 245

Intro to Qualitative Analysis Using Nvivo8, Atlas.ti, or HyperResearch

This tutorial will provide a general discussion of qualitative research and a demonstration of Nvivo8.   We will also discuss Nvivo9 which is scheduled for Release in October 2010 and has new features to expedite mixed methods research.  We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of other computer assisted qualitative analysis tools including Atlas.ti and HyperResearch. Each of these software products have strengths and weaknesses when used for coding and analyzing quantitative data. However they can all be used, with planning, to eliminate the problems of managing large amounts of qualitative data, can be used to code and re-code qualitative data, keep an audit trail of the analysis process, and to support both individual researchers and research teams in thinking about coding and analysis issues.

July 22, 2010 12:00  – 1:30 pm  O’Neill 245

MATLAB 1: Introduction to Matlab programming

MATLAB fundamentals provide a working introduction to the MATLAB technical computing environment. Matlab can be used with all aspects Mathematical computation, analysis, visualization, and algorithm development. This course is intended for beginning
and intermediate users. No prior knowledge of MATLAB is required. Familiarity with a programming language (Fortran, C, for example) would be helpful. Themes of vector and matrix data analysis, graphical visualization, data modeling, and MATLAB programming are explored in the context of realistic examples.

This Matlab workshop will present:

  • Matlab documentation and help
  • Starting and quitting Matlab
  • How to use Matlab on Linux cluster “scorpio”
  • Interaction and Script Files
  • Automatic Storage Allocation
  • Functions with Variable Arguments Lists
  • Mathematical Functions
  • Relational and Logical Operators
  • Flow Control
  • Importing and exporting text and Excel data

June 22, 2010  10:00 – 11:30 am   O’Neill 245

MATLAB 2: Statistics

This MATLAB hands-on practice workshop, with focus on statistical toolbox, will illustrate some of the methods used in univariate, and bivariate statistics. The objective is to work with data in the MATLAB environment, perform statistical analysis, and visualize data in a variety of ways. It is assumed that participants already have some knowledge of MATLAB (at the level of previous workshop) and background in Applied Statistics.

  • Descriptive statistics: Measures of center, spread, and shape
  • Statistical plotting: Histograms, scatter plots, and box plots
  • Random variables, Sampling distributions, Bootstrapping
  • Explore regression analysis for bivariate data
  • Correlation and covariance

June 29, 2010  10:00 – 11:30 am   O’Neill 245

Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access 2007 is a very popular database program.  it can be used for business and personal.  The tutorial is designed for the person who has never used Access, or has a little bit knowledge about Access.  This tutorial will go over the Access basics:

  • Create a database and tables
  • Store data information
  • Create reports. 

After the tutorial, you should be able to use  Access on your own. 

July 29, 2010 10:00 - 11:30 am  O'Neill 245

SAS 1: Introduction to SAS

Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) is a powerful software package which is widely used in statistical analysis. This hands-on tutorial is an introduction for beginning users. No prior experience with SAS software is needed. The following topics will be covered:

  • Getting started with SAS
  • Temporary versus Permanent SAS data sets
  • Using SAS procedures
  • SAS data sets versus raw data, SPSS, and PC database files.
  • Modifying a data set using the SET statement
  • IF-THEN/ELSE statements
  • Stacking data sets by using the SET statement
  • Combining data sets using a one-to-one or one-to-many match merge
  • Simplifying Programs with Arrays
  • Using basic statistical procedures: PROC UNIVARIATE, PROC MEANS, PROC FREQ, PROC REG;

June 23, 2010 11:30 - 1:30pm, O’Neill 245

Stata 1: Learning the Package

Stata is a powerful and yet easy to use statistical package. This hands-on tutorial is designed as an introduction for beginning users who are just getting started using Stata. The following topics will be covered:

  • Getting started with Stata
  • Creating and using "log" files
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Creating variables
  • Labeling variables and values
  • And some other introductory commands…

June 29, 2010 12:00 - 1:30 pm - O’Neill 245

Stata 2: Linear Regression

This hands-on tutorial is designed as an introduction for beginning users who knows basics of Stata. The following topics will be covered:

  • Simple regression models
  • Significance tests for coefficients
  • Using indicator variables in a linear regression model
  • Using and interpreting interactions between regressors
  • Creating and using "do" files

July 13, 2010 12:00 - 1:30 pm - O’Neill 245