IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Leverhulme lecture: Quantitative ethnography – human science in the age of Big Data

22 February 2024, 4:45 pm–6:00 pm

Data on screen. Credit: Maximusdn/ Adobe Stock.

Join this event to hear David Williamson Shaffer discuss how to resolve the dichotomy between qualitative and quantitative methods.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Manolis Mavrikis


UCL Knowledge Lab
23-29 Emerald Street

David looks at the transformation of the social sciences in the age of Big Data, including how to go beyond simple “mixtures” of methods; and how this transformation makes it possible to build meaningful and fair analyses of data about learning, culture, and human experience.

The lecture will cover the integration of qualitative and quantitative research methods on social sciences, and the development of meaningful analyses of data related to learning, culture, and human experience.

This event will be particularly useful to students and researchers in a range of fields including the social sciences, learning analytics, educational technology, and data science.

Please note this is a hybrid event and can be joined either in-person or online, for a prompt start at 5pm.

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About the Speaker

Professor David Williamson Shaffer

Sears Bascom Professorship of Learning Analytics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

He serves as a Data Philosopher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and Director of the Center for Research on Complex Thinking.

David's career spans teaching, curriculum development, and game design. His current work focuses on unifying statistical, qualitative, and critical methods to construct fair models of complex and collaborative human activity.

More about Professor David Williamson Shaffer