Thursday, June 25, 2009

USCOTS - Day 1

Although the conference didn't officially start until this evening's mixer, I consider today -- Day 1.

Business breakfast: discussed the day's plans with Candace.

Meeting 1: Met with Dennis Pearl to talk about grants for The SATS Project. Lots of good suggestions.

Duelling Computers: Candace and I sat in her hotel room with both laptops going. We were trying to figure out if it is possible to match SATS Pre-test results to Post-test results in Excel. We determined that one can't. So Candace will have to figure out how to get SPSS version 17 to work like SPSS version 15 worked. It is frustrating when you think that you have a problem worked out to only have it come back when you "upgrade" software packages.

Something simple -- like matching scores from the Pre- to scores from the Post- is NOT an easy task when you have file after file, when some of the files have 80 or so entries, when students REVERSE their first name with their last name or misspell their name, or when students only take the Pre- or just the Post- test. The first year of data collection, I did the matching visually, and Candace double checked me. I would miss the switching of names. Candace wrote SPSS code which did the matching (with some human interventions -- name reversal or misspelling), but the new version of SPSS isn't implementing the code. Aargh!

After a very late lunch, I finalized the poster and did some final copying for the cluster group.

FIRST CLUSTER GROUP meeting: Overall, it was a good meeting. We have some good researchers to work with.

Our group is interested in reading some articles on expectancy-value theory of motivation. So for one of our first conference calls, we are planning to read: Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J. (2000). Expectancy-value theory of achievement motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 68–81.

The plan is to have the group members "naturally" break into smaller groups of 2 - 3 and work on projects. Candace and I will facilitate as needed.

Right now, there is one group which may work on investigating the database. What hidden gems of knowledge about attitudes does it hold?

There is another researcher who may want to work with me and my research student on students' perception of statistics.

There will probably be another group (larger) which will look at expectancy-value theory.

But, we will see how things work out

MIXER: So many folks that I know from various conferences that I've gone to throughout the year as well as grading the AP exam. Ron Wasserstein, Joan Garfield, Chris Franklin, Deb Rumsey, Beth Chance, Allen Rossman, Bob Delmas, Jessica Utts, George Cobb, Amy Fraelich, Carolyn Cuff, Kim Gilbert, Jackie Dietz, Jennifer Kaplan, John Holcomb, Jackie Miller, Milo Schield, and the list goes on.

Well, it is off to bed for me. Oh yeah, Candace gave me a July 9th deadline for a rough draft of my article for The American Statistician. She also is extremely concerned about my fall schedule -- 4 different preps -- 16 hours in the classroom per week plus an independent study (research). When will I have anytime to do any research?

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