Methods U attracts over 80 researchers to UC Santa Barbara to learn a range of research methods

Monday, July 1, 2019
Karen Nylund-Gibson teaching at the 2019 Methods U

Karen Nylund-Gibson teaching at the 2019 Methods U

The second annual Methods U—housed in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education—provided multi-day intensive workshops focused on specific methodological topics June 17-19 on the UC Santa Barbara campus. Over 80 graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and early career faculty from around the globe attended, receiving rigorous preparation of advanced methodological approaches to research.

Dr. Karen Nylund-Gibson, Associate Professor of Quantitative Research Methodology in the Department of Education, created Methods U and leads group of talented faculty and advanced graduate students who teach the range of workshops each year. Other instructors include Gevirtz School facultymembers Dr. Andrew Maul and Dr. Hunter Gehlbach, Dr. Nancy Collins, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Chair of UCSB’s Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences program, and UCSB Department of Education Ph.D. candidates J. Jacob Kirksey and Daniel Katz.

“The information presented at this workshop was useful and compelling,” wrote one attendee in an exit survey. “The topics spoke to questions II had been carrying for a long time, and I felt I was shown many paths that would be fruitful to further explore. I would definitely recommend this workshop.”

Workshops explored topics that are often not covered in many traditional and graduate training programs, ranging from “An Introduction to Latent Class Analysis” to “Mediation and Moderation Analysis: A Regression Based Approach.”

“It’s been great,” said Cameron Williams, an attendee from the University of New South Wales in Australia, on the final day. Williams, in particular pointed out the personal attention he received before and during the workshops, which ultimately helped him decide that Methods U was the workshop outlet for him. With a growing number of methodological workshops around the country, Methods U aims to provide a unique methodological training opportunity for researchers on the West Coast, providing attendees with cutting edge and rigorous training workshops that is delivered though really effective and engaging instruction.

Dr. Nylund-Gibson, who had taught for GGSE and for a range of these methodological workshops across the country, started Methods U to highlight the range of methodological perspectives in the GGSE and provide an opportunity to show the research community the strength of the program. “We doubled Methods U in the second year, offering more classes and a range of mulit-day workshops and from feedback we’ve gotten so far, we’ll likely be doubling next year too,” Nylund-Gibson says. Many participants who attended year 1 came back for year 2 and seemed eager to return for year 3.  

“The success of Methods U rests in the dedicated instructors who provide a deep dive into a methodological area and teach it in an engaging and personable way,” Nylund-Gibson elaborates. “People leave Methods U with a brain full of methods, ready to use the newly acquired skills in their own research.

“It’s such a fun space to talk about methods. The workshops participants are there to learn, asking engaging questions and interacting with the material. I just love teaching in Methods U as it provides an opportunity to engage with a range of researchers who are so excited to learn.”

[Karen Nylund-Gibson is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]