Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The myth is BUSTED!

I can't believe that it is the end of July already. So here is a quick summary of The SATS Project:

The Spring 2010 data collection is almost done. We've collected the student, course, & instructor data, but due to some health issues, we haven't finalized all the files. Spring 2010 was one of our largest semesters yet. We had almost 30 different sections. The bad news is that due to lack of funding we won't be collecting data in the Fall :-( We hope that we can find some $ so that we continue to build the data warehouse.

At the Joint Statistics Meetings in Vancouver, Canada, August 1 - 5, the Attitudes' Cluster Group has a topic contributed session. YEAH!

Our session is titled: "Evidence-Based Education: Improving Teaching and Learning Through Understanding Students' Attitudes" The titles of the five papers which will be presented are given at the end of this blog.

Gloria Lehr (MC grad. 2010) and I worked on the second paper being presented on students' perceptions of statistics prior to taking a statistics course. We have some awesome results which will be a shocker to some of the folks at the meetings. I'll give you a hint -- even though students may have never taken a stats course before, they have an idea what statistics actually is.

I know -- you may be thinking, isn't this like a "non-result"? Well, no. Many researchers have discounted some of our attitudes' results because they think that the results are due do some mis-preception about statistics when students take the pre-test. From our study, the "myth" is BUSTED. Students may not have a strong understanding of statistics, but they feel comfortable enough with the word "statistics" to use it themselves and their definitions of statistics are "in the ball park."

When I get back, I'll let you know how the meetings went.

Oh yes, I'm on sabbatical for the Fall semester, so I plan to write often of the progress of The SATS Project and my research.

Here are the titles of the 5 papers being presented at the meetings:

" Understanding Students' Attitudes Toward Statistics: New Perspectives Using Expectancy Value Theory of Motivation and the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics" by Caroline Ann Ramirez, University of California, Davis; Esma Emmioglu, Middle East Technical University; Candace Schau, CS Consultants, LLC

"The Hidden Attitude: Students' Perceptions of 'Statistics' Prior to Taking the First Course" Marjorie E. Bond, Monmouth College; Gloria Lehr, Monmouth College

"Should I Use Gain Scores to Determine Treatment Effect from a Pretest-Posttest Design?: A Simulation Study" Michael Posner, Villanova University; AnneMichele Millar, Mount Saint Vincent University; Philip Yates, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

"Instructor Characteristics Associated with Student Appreciation of Statistics" Philip Yates, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; Michael Posner, Villanova University

"Assessing Changes in Students' Attitudes: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" AnneMichele Millar, Mount Saint Vincent University; Candace Schau, CS Consultants

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Break 2010

I am in Albuquerque, NM, visiting Candace during my Spring Break joining us is Michelle from Canada. So it is an international meeting. LOL.

Michelle and her husband, Rod, arrived last week and will stay until Wednesday. They planned their visit to overlap my visit. It is wonderful to see New Mexico through their eyes. Although they were both born in England, they currently live in Nova Scotia. Candace and Michelle are working on (1) a presentation that Michelle will give in May, (2) the continuation of the same presentation which will be part of the contributed session that the cluster group has organized for the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Vancouver in August, and (3) Structual Equation Modeling.

The contributed session for JSM is titled: Evidence-based Education: Improving Teaching and Learning through Understanding Students' Attitudes. If I recall correctly, the papers that will be presented are (1) Expectancy Value Theory presentation, (2) Candace and Michelle's paper on best way to analyze pre- post- data using several SATS data sets, (3) a paper on a simulation concerning analyzing SATS data, and (4) my presentation of the work that Gloria and I are doing concerning students' perception of statistics. I think that is the session. I'll try to post the "official" names soon.

Today, I am working on The SATS Project. We have 33 different course sections this semester which is way too many for us to handle. We need funding to fully pay an administrator to handle the data collection. So one of the objectives prior to Fall data collection is to write a document which says "sorry, we can't collect your data," and we need to determine an ideal number of sections which we can handle (15 sections???) But if we find funding, then we can collect from lots more sections.

The paper for The American Statistician will be finalized during this trip. Yeah!

Well, I best get back to work.