How can we better develop dynamic computational models for impact? Doing this requires effective and clear research questions, conceptualizing your models in line with the purpose at hand, and operationalizing and analyzing them following best practice. At the end of this course, students will be better able to develop models that not only develop deeper insights into a specific problem but also clearly contributes to advancing existing knowledge.
This course will focus on two aspects of the model building process related respectively to the notions of “internal validity” and “external validity” of the research design. The first part focuses on scoping a model in a way that it is appropriate for addressing a specific research question, given the phenomenon, empirical realities, and existing understandings of the problem. The second part focuses on designing a robust behavioural dynamic model based on best-practice modelling allows analysing your hypothesis effectively.
The course format will be interactive, including discussions and student presentations, with faculty- and peer-feedback. As part of the course, students will be able to: i) read and discuss key papers addressing above challenges of model design; ii) develop models based on instructions and get feedback on this; iii) analyse successful and less successful examples from the literature; iv) discuss examples of actual paper submissions to mainstream journals and reviews involving a dynamic model; and, v) present one’s own research questions and models, receive feedback, and provide feedback on others’ research.
Course load and preparation
The course is 5 ECTS equivalent (about 125 hours). Students should expect to prepare in advance by doing the required readings, by preparing presenting one’s research in line with the to be specified requirements of the course, and by doing a model creation assignment. Reading materials and detailed requirements will be available at least 3 weeks in advance of the course.
Participants should be current or recent PhD students. There are no further formal requirements but the course focuses on those with an existing research project. (Advanced master students with a research project can participate by exception and those interested should contact Prof Struben directly.)