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Summary guide to SPSS tutorials
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Survey Analysis Workshop and SPSS
Author’s note: History and development of the course [posted 03 Nov 2011]
This set of tutorials is based on the post-graduate course SR501 Survey Analysis Workshop (hands-on, part-time, evening) which I developed and taught at the then Polytechnic of North London from 1976 to 1992.
The materials derive from teaching professional practice-oriented courses in survey data collection, data management, computer processing and statistical analysis to social science students at the Polytechnic of North London since 1976, which were a continuation of the computing and statistical elements of
the Summer Schools in Survey Methods offered by the then SSRC Survey Unit from 1970 to 1976.
Originally taught in the form of part-time evening short courses over 20 sessions, split between one hour of statistics (from 1976 to 1980 by the late John Utting, from 1981 to1988 by Jim Ring) and two hours of SPSS (taught throughout by John Hall) the course was targeted primarily at research staff in the voluntary sector and central and local government, at academic teaching and research staff, and at postgraduate students.
A sister course, Survey Research Practice, was taught over 10 sessions entirely by practising professionals from commercial and not-for-profit research organizations. In a much condensed form, survey analysis was also taughtto final year undergraduate students on the new 4-year BA Applied Social Studies (Social Research Option) from 1979.
On semesterisation of all Polytechnic courses and timetables, the sessions in Survey Analysis were reduced from 20 to 15 (later only 13), and those in Survey Research Practice increased from 10 to 15 (later 14). When Jim Ring was unable to continue evening teaching, he provided an early draft of the additional statistical notesfor distribution to students whilst John Hall revamped the sessions into one hour of presentation followed by two hours of hands-on computing, covering the statistical elements as and when appropriate, but not to the same depth.
The undergraduate version of survey analysis was subsequently moved into the second semester of the second year of the re-validated course and continued into the modular degree scheme for BSc Social Science (SR206: Data Management and Analysis). It was compulsory for Social Research and strongly recommended for Sociology students. It continued as a part-time evening postgraduate course (SR501) for which, from 1990, students could gain 15 points towards a CNAA Masters’ degree, provided they took the
For BSc Social Research students this not only complemented their statistics course, but also prepared them for effective professional placements in their 3rd year, since many of them later got jobs with their placement agency: others even found employment as researchers ahead of candidates with Master’s or PhD’s from other universities. Graduates from both courses are now frequently to be found in senior positions in UK social research.
I am extremely grateful to previous students of the Survey Analysis Workshop and of the BA Applied Social Studies (Social Research Option) and BSc Social Science (Research Pathway) on whom earlier versions were tested and for whom they were written.
 SPSS Inc. was acquired by IBM in October, 2009. As a result, the organization’s name changed immediately and is now SPSS, an IBM company.
 See separate document Statistical Notes These notes represented an attempt to fill a gap in the textbook provision for students who found computers and statistics daunting, and were mostly written before the appearance of the first edition of Marija Norusis’ SPSS Guide to Data Analysis. They are not intended as a replacement, and should be used in conjuction with the recommended texts.