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Using Sensors in Social Research

4th April 2018 - 5th April 2018

Course Code HUB-16-17/18-P-R
Organised by NCRM, University of Southampton and University of Surrey
Presenter Nigel Gilbert, Kristrun Gunnarsdottir, Jie Jiang and Riccardo Pozza
Date 04/04/2018 – 05/04/2018
Venue Building AD, Room 40 AD 03, University of Surrey,388 Stag Hill, Guildford
Map View in Google Maps  (GU2 7XH)
Contact Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir,
Tel: +44 1483 683965
Email: [email protected]
Description Learning outcomes of this course include: 1) understanding the nature of the technology and what it takes to operate various types of digital sensors for research purposes; 2) knowing if and how sensors could be useful in your research; 3) understanding the ethical, consent, data security, confidentiality and other pastoral issues involved in fieldwork with sensors; and, 4) understanding basic analytic tools and techniques.
The course will offer a mixture of short presentations, interactive hands-on and exploratory sessions, group work and discussion, and you will receive a certificate of attendance.
Day 1  –   noon – 5pm  (04/04/20118)
• Introduction to the range of available sensors, what they can capture, what to expect in terms of accuracy and access to the data and what the options might be in gathering sensor-generated data for research purposes.
• Data communications, data organisation, transfer and other matters of data management.
• Ethical considerations: confidentiality, consent, privacy and data security.
Day 2  –  9am – 2:30pm  (05/04/2018)
• Practical issues and tips, e.g., on recruitment, installation of sensors, motivation and rewards, and monitoring the equipment in the field.
• Analysing the data and drawing conclusions, e.g., using data visualisation, activity recognition, and triangulating with other data sources.
• Considering how sensors could be useful in addressing your research question.
Prerequisite. The course is classified as ‘entry level’, meaning that we do not expect participants to have any prior experience of using digital sensors. However, we have designed the course for active researchers with dedicated research interests and experience in standard social science research methods.
Further information – related publications and presentationshttp://sensors-in-social-research.net/



Level Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)
Cost £60 Registered PhD students
£120 Staff at educational, government and charitable institutions
£220 Business and enterpriseThe cost includes lunch and refreshments on both days and also a certificate of attendance. Also included is dinner on Wednesday evening (4th April).

Website and registration
Region South East
Keywords Data security, Sensitive data, digital sensors , sensor-generated data , triangulation , visualisation , activity recognition , research ethics , fieldwork with sensors
Related publications and presentations Data security
Sensitive data




4th April 2018
5th April 2018


Building AD, Room 40 AD 03, University of Surrey,388 Stag Hill, Guildford
NINE DTP - a collaborative partnership funded by the ESRC