Policy Analysis Using Interrupted Time Series

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edX online courses
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Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22611 reviews

Course Description

Interrupted time series analysis and regression discontinuity designs are two of the most rigorous ways to evaluate policies with routinely collected data. ITSx comprehensively introduces analysts to interrupted time series analysis (ITS) and regression discontinuity designs (RD) from start to finish, including selection and setup of data sources, statistical analysis, interpretation and presentation, and identification of potential pitfalls.

At the conclusion of the course, students will have all the tools necessary to propose, conduct and correctly interpret an analysis using ITS and RD approaches. This will help them position themselves as a go-to person within their company, government department, or academic department as the technical expert on this topic.

ITS and RD designs avoid many of the pitfalls associated with other techniques. As a result of their analytic strength, the use of ITS and RD approaches has been r...

Interrupted time series analysis and regression discontinuity designs are two of the most rigorous ways to evaluate policies with routinely collected data. ITSx comprehensively introduces analysts to interrupted time series analysis (ITS) and regression discontinuity designs (RD) from start to finish, including selection and setup of data sources, statistical analysis, interpretation and presentation, and identification of potential pitfalls.

At the conclusion of the course, students will have all the tools necessary to propose, conduct and correctly interpret an analysis using ITS and RD approaches. This will help them position themselves as a go-to person within their company, government department, or academic department as the technical expert on this topic.

ITS and RD designs avoid many of the pitfalls associated with other techniques. As a result of their analytic strength, the use of ITS and RD approaches has been rapidly increasing over the past decade. These studies have cut across the social sciences, including:

  • Studying the effect of traffic speed zones on mortality
  • Quantifying the impact of incentive payments to workers on productivity
  • Assessing whether alcohol policies reduce suicide
  • Measuring the impact of incentive payments to physicians on quality of care
  • Determining whether the use of HPV vaccination influences adolescent sexual behavior
Reviews 9/10 stars
26 Reviews for Policy Analysis Using Interrupted Time Series

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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 1 month ago
This course provides an extensive and practical overview on the use of interrupted time series in the evaluation of policy interventions. In addition to the theoretical background, the course involves some practical exercises (graded or not), analysis and interpretation of bibliography and the submission of a project involving the use of interrupted time series. The course is brilliantly designed, organised and coordinated by Mike Law (University of British Columbia), the quality of the course is comparable to what you would expect from University or continuous development courses in statistics. Therefore, if you enrol in this course, you have to expect a substantial amount of work (minimum 12 hours per week). Even if it is not a requirement, a minimum knowledge of statistics and R would certainly help to complete it. Overall, I can only recommend it.
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Karan Chawla profile image
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Karan Chawla

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 3 months ago
The course was instrumental in finishing my research thesis. There is no other course on this subject that describes key concepts, methods and theory in a manner that beginner's can easily grasp. My sincere appreciations to Dr. Law for being very helpful and replying to my questions.
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Catia Oliveira

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 6 months ago
I am a PhD at the University of São Paulo in Brazil. My project is about the effectiveness of SAMU - Emergency Mobile Service and I've been working with ITS since last year. This course is excellent; the modules cover very well all topics and the instructor, Dr. Law, responds quickly. In addition, Professor Law presents the R Package in a very practical way. I think knowledge of statistics is important, but during the course we can read and clarify doubts. It is a method still little explored in my country, but with the course I acquired knowledge about its applicability.
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Francesco Caberlin profile image
Francesco Caberlin profile image

Francesco Caberlin

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 9 months ago
The course is solid, as the topic is explained in a very clear, logical and progessive way, with good readings, examples and learning materials provided. The instructor is available for clarifications in the forum (the same can't be said of most of the courses on Coursera). Some previous exposure to basic statistics (in particular linear regression) and R will be necessary.
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Jean Adams profile image
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Jean Adams

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 9 months ago
This was an excellent course. It was well organised, progressed logically and provided a clear, structured overview of time series analysis. It covered theoretical knowledge plus practical application. The instructor was helpful and answered questions promptly.
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Rifani Natari profile image
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Rifani Natari

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 12 months ago
This course is superb! The course is easy to follow, it is even easier if you have some essential knowledge in using R for statistics analysis. If you don't know much about R, worry not, there is an easy step by step regarding R throughout the course. The instructor also explained the syntax for you. This course is really recommended!
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
2 years, 12 months ago
The Course is well structured, and the instructor is outstanding in the course presentations. Covered examples were detailed and addressed critical relevant current topics. I will recommend this course to anybody who wants to gain skills in policy analysis using the quantitative method. I appreciate the exposure and expertise gained and now using the analysis in my current work.
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Euijin Jung profile image
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Euijin Jung

9/10 starsCompleted
3 years ago
I audited this course and I loved it! The instructor's explanations are clear and easy to follow and since there are R codes given, I can easily apply to my current project. I don't have any prior knowledge of R, but I could be able to follow. Well, I'll try to learn R more, but for now, I think I can use it just as much as I needed for the analysis. One thing I want to add is that I wish that there are more contents for regression discontinuity. It's just one week and it's little short. But other than that, overall I love it! I would not have any chance to learn this Interrupted Time series design although it is highly relevant and needed for my study.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years ago
The focus of this course is on how to apply Interrupted Time Series to evaluate research and policy questions. (But before letting students loose using the tools, the instructor Mike Law, provided compelling heuristic explanations of the reason behind the process and an overview of the logic of the process. (If you are interested in the statistical proofs behind the process - this course isn't for you.) While the exposition of Interrupted Time Series is well developed the discussion of Regression Discontinuities serves more as an introduction. But the Instructor's presentations and explanations are so compelling I wish the course was longer! The instructor is also incredibly responsive. As evidenced in the discussion forums, Mike provided helpful feedback and advice to all students.
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Student

8/10 starsCompleted
3 years ago
The course content was very useful, and I will be using the techniques I learnt in my work. The teaching was excellent as the instructor did an excellent job explaining complex topics in an accessible manner. Having previous exposure to the topic (e.g. basic econometrics, statistics, etc) is helpful to get the most out of this course. Courses on edx tend to be of very high quality, and this course was a good example of the excellence the platform aims for. I highly recommend this course for students, as well as professionals working in the realms of economics, political science, policy analysis, or any other field where tracking metrics is involved.
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8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
3 years, 1 month ago
The course content was complete for Interrupted Time Series and an overview on Regression Discontinuity. Very well structured. It is oriented to the practical applications (which is what I looked for). Professor Law does an excellent work teaching it and working through very well designed and paced examples. I find it amazing that he manages to answer most -if not all- the questions in the Discussion forum! An unexpected benefit is an smooth introduction into R.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 1 month ago
This was my first course on edX and I really enjoyed the experience. The topic is relevant to anyone wishing to evaluate to impact of policy changes. Prof. Law's course does a great job of introducing ITS to the newcomer while being enough hands-on so that these skills maybe used professionally. Highly recommended!
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Igor Kleiner profile image
Igor Kleiner profile image
6/10 starsTaking Now
  • 4 reviews
  • 3 completed
3 years, 1 month ago
The subject of course is interesting. But manner of teaching is not self contained. The course do not teach the material in form of understanding. It teach its in manner "make as I did in example and everything will be great" This approach is problematic. The example are only example and it not provide partical or full understanding of the subject. I suggest that instructor must to work on quality and form of teaching material. Support more theory, more explanation and examples.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
A very good introductory course with quite adequate references and hints for those who demand more than an introduction. The educational approach is excellent with theory directly followed by review questions, hands-on practice on a variety of problems and a variety of databases and a graded quiz. Equally well I think worked the request to submit a proposal of research which made me think (very thoroughly) about output variables, counterfactuals and controls, data sources and possible methods of analyses. Despite I am new to the R programming environment, I had no difficulty following the course and I am now more than sure I will work with R in the immediate future. An enjoyable course worth the effort and the money.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
Course was extremely well-structured, appropriately paced, and effectively supplemented with datasets, examples, and research papers. I particularly liked the length of the videos, very helpful to fit into a more than full-time work schedule in small bits, and complete short quizzes one at a time. I feel very prepared in the foundation of ITS, at least in the applied sense, and hope to use it in the near future for my work. I would take another course by Dr. Law in the future and would also take another ITS course in the future.
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Abhay Jha profile image
Abhay Jha profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
3 years, 8 months ago
This course was very well organised and structured. The slides and notes were clear and Mike's guidance in the subject was awesome. This was an exciting and insightful course for me.
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Student

6/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 11 months ago
This course was an excellent introduction to Interrupted Time Series Analysis for someone who had no prior experience with the subject. Course materials were structured, and had a clear progression--I always knew which step in the analysis we were discussing and how it fit into the larger picture. I often felt I did not have enough practice problems to really make sure I understood certain concepts, in some cases only fully understanding concepts weeks after they were originally presented (AR/MA). Similarly, the project proposal deadlines of Sunday mornings were inconvenient and always felt rushed. The course content was fascinating, and I look forward to reviewing the course materials on my own when I can work through examples, and continually refer to the course lectures and readings.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 10 months ago
This was the best online course I have ever taken, and it was clear the instructors put an incredible amount of work into it. Extremely well-designed videos explained how to conduct an interrupted time series, and the lessons were clear and well organized. I appreciated the R code with comments that was provided to us, as well as the weekly opportunities to practice analyzing data. I also enjoyed the process of designing our own proposals. The instructors were incredibly engaged in the discussion boards and provided great quality feedback. I am going to use the proposal I designed for this course in my current workplace,and I do feel I now have the tools needed to conduct an interrupted time series study.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 11 months ago
The course was very well teached by professor. The content is very strong with powerful details. Practices has been prioritized in lieu of massive loads of theory. I had a great journey with that course. Perhaps next time quizzes must have more questions. It will be very useful for evaluating policy and quality improvement projects at work. As an economist statistician, with background in econometry and time series,prior to the course, I thought that it might be a pure theory course, but I realize it was all about fear. Keep moving forward guys.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
This course was excellent: well taught, well paced, and well organized. The lectures were concise and clear, the assignments were helpful for solidifying the concepts, and the instructor was engaging. It was also helpful for those of us in low internet bandwidth settings that the video files were nice and small--fairly easy to download and watch!
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
The course was well organized for people who had no prior knowledge on this subject. However, I felt that some topics needed further explanations and/or more exercise problem sets to understand the method better. Some of the exercises, including the development of the proposal, needed more time to complete.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
Great course, good detail, helpful on discussion boards and I feel that I have the capability to run these studies now and describe and explain results to fellow colleagues.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
This was my first time taking an online course and this course was a great introduction to the realm. The video lectures were clear and easy to follow. All of the materials for the week are presented at once, which allows me to follow along and take notes. I also was unfamiliar with R, but very familiar with Stata; learning to use R was very intuitive for me because of Stata's coding language. Also, the instructor's notes within the code helps to explain the commands without him having to address each in-depth. The TA was fantastic. She and the instructor participated in the discussions, offering additional reading materials and responding to questions in a very prompt manner. All in all, the course was great. I learned a lot from the materials. It took me about 4-5 hours per week--I am a native English-speaker and familiar with statistics and statistical software, though not RD/ITS specifically. The course content was new informatio... This was my first time taking an online course and this course was a great introduction to the realm. The video lectures were clear and easy to follow. All of the materials for the week are presented at once, which allows me to follow along and take notes. I also was unfamiliar with R, but very familiar with Stata; learning to use R was very intuitive for me because of Stata's coding language. Also, the instructor's notes within the code helps to explain the commands without him having to address each in-depth. The TA was fantastic. She and the instructor participated in the discussions, offering additional reading materials and responding to questions in a very prompt manner. All in all, the course was great. I learned a lot from the materials. It took me about 4-5 hours per week--I am a native English-speaker and familiar with statistics and statistical software, though not RD/ITS specifically. The course content was new information to me. The thing you have to get used to is the time differences and keeping track of due dates based on UTC time. The instructors made assignments due after the weekend, which is helpful to those of us who work full-time. Also, do not expect to have a fully executable study at the end of the course. The feedback is somewhat helpful, but this course is not designed to be a place for you to practice your own research.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
The course was great. There was a lot of content packed into a few short weeks, but the instruction was very clear and practical. I feel after completing the course that I have a good enough understanding of the method to apply it in my own work.
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Student

8/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
It's a very interesting course! The course material was very well prepared. All videos were clear and the instructor participated in forum discussions. Overall, I found this course very useful. I only wish we had had more examples applied to economics, but, apparently, there are not many out there. Anyway, I recommend it without reservations.
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cina nz

9/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 4 months ago
This course is great but it should be free.
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.