Syllabus

Time: 8:30am - 9:50am Monday and Wednesday

Location: Sherrerd Hall 306

Size: Seminar.

Office Hours: 10-11am Mondays & Wednesdays Sherrerd Hall 3rd floor Lounge

Weekly Activities: Students will read 30-40 pages per week, complete a weekly writing or analysis challenge in pairs, and document their work in a short blog post. The final is a project and a short paper. The class will also be coordinated with an optional speaker series featuring leading experimentalists in industry and public service.

Grading: Class participation: 20%. Weekly assignments: 20%. Midterm experiment design: 20%. Final project: 40%.

Pre-requisites: POL 345/SOC 301, or with permission of the instructor, other background in statistics or data analysis.

Meeting topics and assigned readings

Ninety-minute class sessions will alternate between discussions of key issues that include student-led components and workshops that focus on methods and project feedback.

Required readings are starred; others are recommended and will be presented by students who have chosen that week. Graduate students are expected to read all of the items on the list. Grading policies and specific instructions for assignments will be handed out on the first day of class, and available on the course website.

This syllabus is a living document, and the readings are subject to change as we go along, so please keep checking this document for the latest.

Part I: Understanding Field Experiments

Lecture & Discussion Field Experiments in Policy, Products, and Social Science (Feb 5)
Workshop Introduction to Randomized Trials (Feb 7)
Lecture & Discussion Studying Online Behavior at Scale (Feb 12)
Workshop Research Ethics (Feb 14)
Lecture & Discussion Moderation, Fact-Checking, Influence: Studying Online Behavior of Humans & Machines (Feb 19)
Workshop Statistics of Experiment Design (Feb 21)

Part II: Planning Your Field Experiment

Lecture & Discussion The Role of Experiments in a Democracy (Feb 26)
Workshop Planning An Experiment (Outcomes, Power Analysis) (Feb 28)
Lecture & Discussion Improving the Quality of Experiments and Their Results (March 5)
Workshop Developing a Pre-Analysis Plan (March 7)
Lecture & Discussion Planning an Experiment with Community Partners (March 12)
Workshop Designing and Planning an Experiment With Partners (March 14)

(Spring Recess)


Lecture & Discussion Context, Structure, and Mechanisms in Experiment Design (March 26)
Workshop Discussing Final Projects (March 28)
Workshop Managing Things You Cannot Control: Regression Adjustment, Stratification, Cluster Randomization (April 2)
Workshop Feedback on Final Project Pre-Analysis Plan (April 4)
Workshop Continuing Experiment Design (April 9)
Lecture & Discussion Interpreting, Using, and Misusing Experiment Results (April 11)

Part III: Deploying & Reporting Your Field Experiments

Workshop Analyzing and Communicating Experiment Results (April 16)
Lecture & Discussion Debriefing, Harm, and Accountability in Field Experiments (April 18)
Workshop Graceful Recovery from Problems in Field Experiments (April 23)
Workshop Preparing for Public Knowledge of Your Research (April 25)
Lecture & Discussion Advanced Topics in Field Experimentation (April 30)
Presentations Final Project Presentations (May 2)