Remote Observation Study … continues :P

Mood:  chillin’
Now Playing: Hey, Mr DJ (Backstreet Boys)
Topic: Methodology
Well, I think I might finally have a format for an experimental methodology when studying students learning software with mathematics. I was reading papers by Atkinson and Renkl, and their methodology seems to be always a 5 part method, which I think might be useful to adapt. This is how it goes:

  1. Demographic questionnaire of students
  2. Pre-test questionnaire (which will later be used as a covariate during the analysis of the post-test)
  3. Instructional materials (particularly on the mathematics topics and concepts)
  4. Study or do the worked-out examples and solve the problems provided by the programme (during which the learning time is recorded)
  5. Complete a post test (in which they compare the factors they were looking at)

I think mine would follow the ave steps, except since I’m doing solving problems on a computer the post-test will be on the computer, and there will be a practice session on the computer rather for step 4. I think that seems reasonable.

I’m restructuring my remote observation study with lotteries to follow this same kind of pattern to see how useful it might and how long it might take. Renkl and Atkinson usually took about 90 mins, but I’m not sure how long someone will sit through for 90 mins. They used psychology students who were offered extra credit. I have nothing to offer to students. But what I think is interesting about their research is that they use a wide variety of students with a differing mathematics ability. They also allow students who didn’t anything about the topic to learn it right there and then and then use the examples or problems to help understand their learning. I think this is something useful. Not sure how applicable it might be to linear programming, which might be more complex than simple probability that Atkinson and Renkl tend to employ.

(On a sidenote and an up note: the outlook servers are back on with all our email

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