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LessonStudy:DevelopingStudents'ThoughtProcessesForChoosingAppropriate StatisticalMethods

PartI:Background
Authors:ElizabethKnowlesandJamesMurray,DepartmentofEconomics,Universityof WisconsinLaCrosse Disciplines:Researchmethods,statistics. Submissiondate:August232012. CourseName:BUS230:BusinessandEconomicsResearchandCommunication CourseDescription:Thecourseleadsstudentsthroughfivemainstepsintheresearch process:theidentificationanddefinitionofaresearchproblem,researchdesign,collectionof thedatausedtostudytheresearchproblem,statisticalanalysisofthisdata,andthe interpretationandpresentationoftheresultsofthestudy.Studentsapplyresearch methodologytoabusinessprobleminordertocompleteanoriginalresearchproject.The courseisacorerequirementintheCollegeofBusinessAdministration(CBA)undergraduate curriculum,andassuchitmustbetakenbyallstudentsplanningonmajoringinanyCBA major.Thelessonfocusesonthestatisticalanalysiscomponentofthecourse,specificallyon helpingstudentschooseappropriatestatisticalprocedurestoanswertheirresearchquestion. Elementarystatistics(MTH145)isaprerequisitetothecourse,andthelearningobjectiveof thislessonbuildsuponanddrawsfromthestudentsexistingstatisticalknowledge. Abstract:Introductorystatisticsclassestypicallyemphasizecomputationandimplementation proceduresforanumberofstatisticaltests.Whileitisessentialtobuildtheseskillsbefore achievinghigherordercriticalthinkingskills,studentsoftenstruggleinsubsequentresearch methodscourseswhenexpectedtoselectappropriatestatisticalteststoanswerresearch questions.Thisrequiresanunderstandingofhowstatisticalmethodsarerelatedtoone anotherandtoachievethis,studentsmustdevelopamoreadvancedorganizationof knowledge.Wedesignedalessontohelpstudentsbuildaknowledgeorganizationtoachieve thisoutcome,andobservedstudentstobetterunderstandtheirthoughtprocesses.We shareourthoughtprocessmapforselectingastatisticaltest,reportontheimpactithadfor ourstudents,andoffersuggestionsforimprovingthelesson.Inaddition,wedescribethe thoughtprocessesstudentsused,bothbeforeandafterbeingexposedtothethoughtprocess map,andidentifysourcesofconfusionrevealedthroughthelessonstudyprocess.These include:whentoapplyanindependentsamplestestversusapairedsamplestest,howthe identificationofscaleofmeasurementledstudentstochoosethewrongstatisticalmethod, thedifficultystudentshadrecognizingordefiningwhatthevariablesinaproblemwere,and

thelackofunderstandingofthedifferencebetweenstatisticallanguageandcolloquial language.

PartII:TheLesson
LearningGoal:Helpstudentsdevelopawaytoorganizeknowledgeofstatisticalteststhatis conducivetoapplyingthisknowledgetoanswerresearchquestions.Todoso,wedesigna classroomlessonwhichpresentsamethodfororganizingknowledgeofstatisticaltests,in additiontodesigningasetofactivitieswhichmakelearningevident,andanobservationguide torecordstudents'thoughtprocesses,before,during,andafterthisintervention. LessonPlan Throughoutthestatisticsportionofthecourse,weinstructedourstudentsonhowtoidentify theappropriatestatisticalteststoanswerresearchquestionsandusedmultipleexamplesto demonstratethethoughtprocess.Webothemphasizedtheconsiderationoftheresearch questiontobeanswered,thenumberofvariables,thescaleofmeasurementofthevariables, whetherobservationswereindependentorpaired,andwhetherthegoaloftheresearch questionwastotestfordifferencesbetweengroupsorrelationships/comovementbetween variables.Whilestudentswereexposedtoalargenumberofstatisticaltestsbothintheir introductorystatisticsclassesandinthepresentbusinessresearchmethodsclass,thecurrent lessondesignfocusedononlythefollowingfourstatisticaltests:onesamplettest, independentsamplesdifferenceinmeanstest,pairedsamplesdifferenceinmeanstest,and aChisquaredtestofindependencefortwocategoricalvariables.Weconductedthelesson andmadeobservationsinbothProfessorsKnowlesandMurraysclasses.Wedidnotmake anexplicitattempttomaketheactualpresentationofthematerialidentical,soourstudents' performancemayhavebeeninfluencedbyinstructorspecificeffects. Wejointlydevelopedasingleclassperiodlessononhowtoorganizestatisticalknowledge, whichincludedabrieflecture,theintroductionofastatisticaldecisiontree,andfourinclass exercises(includedinAppendixA).Eachexercisepresentedastudentwithadescriptionofa singleresearchquestionandsurveydatawhichcouldbeusedtoanswerit.Students determinedtheappropriatestatisticaltest,describedaspectsofthescenariothatledthemto thisdecision,andfinallyreportedhowconfidenttheywereintheiranswer.Studentsworked ingroupsontheseexercises,butallstudentswereexpectedtoindividuallycompleteandturn ineachexercise.Weintroducedthestatisticaldecisiontreeasawayoforganizing knowledgeforstudents.Itsuggestedthespecificquestionsstudentsshouldaskthemselves whenthinkingabouttheirdecisionandtheorderinwhichthesequestionsarerelevant. Althoughourclassesdifferedfromeachotherinthemenuofstatisticaltestspresented throughouttheterm(soeachofourdecisiontreesincludedadifferentsetofbranchesand statisticaltests),bothincludedthesamefourstatisticaltestspreviouslymentioned.Figure1 showsaunionofeachofourdecisiontrees,coveringthestatisticaltestsfrombothofour

classes. ThelessonwasdeliveredintwodifferentwaysintheFall2011andSpring2012basedupon whenthestatisticaldecisiontreewasintroduced.IntheFall2011semester,students completedtwooftheinclassexercisesattheendofthestatisticsunit.Theneachinstructor developedastatisticaldecisiontreewiththestudentstoillustratethethoughtprocessforthe choiceofstatisticaltest.Followingthis,weinstructedthestudentstoputawaytheirnotesso thattheycouldnotreferencethefigure,andthencompletethefinaltwoexercises.The intentionofpresentingthedecisiontreeistoprovidestudentsamentalorganizationfortheir existingknowledgeofstatisticaltests,nottoprovideaphysicalreferencetodependonwhen taskedwithchoosingstatisticaltests.IntheSpring2012semester,insteadofpresentingthe decisiontreeattheendoftheunitwhentheinclassexerciseswerebeingcompleted,we developedandusedthedecisiontreethroughouttheentireunitonstatistics.Attheendof thestatisticsunit,studentscompletedallfouroftheinclassexercisesconsecutively. Weconductedthelessoninmultiplesectionsofthebusinessresearchmethodscourse,and eachtimeweadministeredthefourexercisesinadifferentorderinordertoobservetheeffect presentingaknowledgeorganizationhadonchoosingastatisticaltest,whileaccountingfora possibleimprovementinperformancederivedfromsimplypracticingmultipleexercises,as wellasthepossibilitythatstudentsmaysimplybemorefamiliarwithsometeststhanothers. Tomeasurehowwellstudentsretainedthisknowledgeorganization,inthefollowingweekwe gaveourstudentsanunannouncedquizandaskedthemtoreconstructthedecisiontreefrom memory.

Figure1:DecisionTree

PartIII:TheStudy
Approach Weobservedourstudents'groupdiscussionsastheycompletedthefourinclassexercises andnotedwhethertheelementsfromthedecisiontreewereconsideredintheirdiscussions, andinwhatordertheywereconsidered.Ourclassroomobservationguideisgivenin AppendixB. Wecollectedthestudents'writtenresponsestotheinclassexercisesandnotedwhetheror notthestudentcorrectlyansweredthequestion,howconfidenttheywereintheiranswer,and whetherthestudents'logicincludedthefollowingfourconsiderations:1)thenumberof variablesinvolvedintheresearchquestion,2)thescaleofmeasurementforthegiven variables,3)theintentofthestatisticaltest(i.e.,whetherthemethodtestsfordifferencesora relationshipbetweentwovariables),and4)independentversuspairedsamples(relevant whenconsideringeithertheindependentsamplesttestorpaireddifferencettest).Ifthe students'responsesdidincludeoneormoreoftheseconsiderations,wenotedwhethertheir responsetothisconsiderationwascorrectforthegivenscenario. Finally,wecollectedthedecisiontreesthatthestudentscreatedfrommemoryaweekafter theexercisetookplace.Foreachstudentwemadenoteofwhethertheyincludedeachofthe fourconsiderationsdescribedinFigure1,andwhetherornottheyarrivedtoeachofthefour statisticaltestswithoutanyincorrectconsiderations. Findings/Discussion INCLASSEXERCISERESULTS: Table1summarizesthepercentageofstudentswhocorrectlyansweredeachinclass exerciseforeachpresentationofthelesson.EachexerciseisdescribedinAppendixB,and areidentifiedinTable1bytheappropriatestatisticaltestforeachresearchquestion.The percentageofstudentscorrectlyidentifyingeachstatisticaltestbeforeandafterintroducing thedecisiontreelgenerallyimprovesinFall2011.Theimprovementmaybefortworeasons: thestudentsmaysimplyimproveafterpracticewitheachsubsequentexercise,and/orthe decisiontreemayhavehelpedstudentsbetterunderstandthestatisticaltestsandgiventhem amoreeffectivementalorganizationfromwhichtodrawthisknowledge.Weexaminethis possibilitymoredeeplybelowwhenwedeterminewhatconsiderationsstudentsusedintheir decisionforeachscenario. TheoverallFall2011percentagecorrectrevealsthepairedsamplesttestwasthemost difficultforstudents,asonly41%ofstudentscorrectlyidentifiedthistest.Interestingly,none

ofthe22studentswhoweregiventhisquestionbeforethedecisiontreeintervention answeredthisquestioncorrectly.Followingtheintervention,67%ofstudentsansweredit correctly. ThepercentagecorrectfortheChisquaredtestofindependenceshowsthatstudent performanceactuallydecreasedafterthedecisiontreeintervention.About86%ofstudents answeredthisquestioncorrectlybeforetheintervention,andonly58%afterward.Themost commonincorrectanswerforthisquestionwasaPearsoncorrelationcoefficient,anothertest thatexaminesarelationshipbetweentwovariables,butusedforinterval/ratiodataratherthan categoricaldata.Classroomobservationsrevealedthatthisdecisionwasbasedontheword relationshipappearingintheexercise,andeventhoughmanystudentscorrectlyestablished thatthescaleofmeasurementwasnominal,theystilloftenmadethewrongconclusion. TheresultsforSpring2012aresomewhatdisconcerting.Thestudentshadexposuretothe decisiontreeforafewweeksinclasswhiletheywereintroducedtothestatisticaltests.Still, theresultsshowthatstudentsperformedaswellasthetheFall2011studentswhohadnot yetbeenintroducedtothedecisiontree,withtheexceptionofthechisquaretestinwhich studentsinSpring2012performedworseonaveragethaninFall2011. Table1:PercentCorrectforEachStatisticalTest
Fall2011 AllResults Spring2012 AllResults N=84 92%Correct N=84 56%Correct N=83 47%Correct N=84 29%Correct

Statistical Test OneSampleTTest (A) IndependentSamples TTest (B) PairedSamplesTTest (C) ChiSquare (D)

BeforeDecision AfterDecision TreeIntroduced TreeIntroduced N=57 N=35 N=22 79%Correct 77%Correct 82%Correct N=57 72%Correct N=58 41%Correct N=58 69%Correct N=35 54%Correct N=22 0%Correct N=22 86%Correct N=22 100%Correct N=36 67%Correct N=36 58%Correct

Tables2through5describetheoverallpercentageofstudentsthatconsideredeachofthe followingfactorsintheirwrittenresponses:1)thenumberofvariablesinvolvedinthe researchquestion,2)thescaleofmeasurementforthegivenvariables,3)theintentofthe statisticaltest(i.e.,whetherthemethodtestsfordifferencesorarelationshipbetweentwo variables),and4)independentversuspairedsamples.Thesearetheconsiderations presentedinthedecisiontree.Inaddition,thetablealsoreportsthepercentageofstudents madethecorrectdeterminationregardingthefactor.

Table2:OneSampleTTest(A)
Fall2011 AllResults(%) BeforeDecision TreeIntroduced (N=57) (N=35) NumberofVariables wasincluded/considered NumberofVariables wascorrect ScaleofMeasurement wasincluded/considered ScaleofMeasurement wascorrect IndependentvsPaired sampleswas included/considered IndependentvsPaired sampleswascorrect Differenceorrelationship wasincluded/considered Differenceorrelationship wascorrect 90 75 68 63 14 86 5 95 83 71 57 57 6 94 6 94 AfterDecision TreeIntroduced (N=22) 100 82 86 73 27 73 5 95 Spring2012 AllResults(%) (N=84) 96 90 71 69 4 96 0 100

Table3:IndependentSamplesTtest(B)
Fall2011 AllResults(%) BeforeDecision (N=57) NumberofVariables wasincluded/considered NumberofVariables wascorrect ScaleofMeasurement wasincluded/considered ScaleofMeasurement wascorrect IndependentvsPaired sampleswas included/considered IndependentvsPaired sampleswascorrect Differenceor relationshipwas included/considered Differenceor relationshipwascorrect TreeIntroduced (%) (N=35) 95 95 88 70 40 33 61 51 91 91 83 71 26 17 49 37 AfterDecision TreeIntroduced (%) (N=22) 100 100 95 68 64 59 82 73 Spring2012 AllResults(%) (N=84)

96 95 96 83 49 42 60 50

Table4:PairedSamplesTtest
Fall2011 AllResults(%) (N=58) NumberofVariables wasincluded/considered NumberofVariables wascorrect ScaleofMeasurement wasincluded/considered ScaleofMeasurement wascorrect IndependentvsPaired sampleswas included/considered IndependentvsPaired sampleswascorrect Differenceor relationshipwas included/considered Differenceor relationshipwascorrect 97 90 86 86 59 38 33 33 BeforeDecision Tree(%) (N=22) 95 82 91 91 18 0 50 50 AfterDecision Tree(%) (N=36) 97 94 83 83 83 61 22 22 Spring2012 AllResults(%) (N=83) 100 100 92 86 84 55 80 80

Table5:ChiSquaredTtest(D)
Fall2011 AllResults(%) (N=58) NumberofVariables wasincluded/considered NumberofVariables wascorrect ScaleofMeasurement wasincluded/considered ScaleofMeasurement wascorrect IndependentvsPaired sampleswas included/considered IndependentvsPaired sampleswascorrect Differenceor relationshipwas included/considered Differenceor relationshipwascorrect 97 97 83 69 14 86 62 48 Spring2012 BeforeDecision AfterDecisionTree AllResults(%) TreeIntroduced(%) Introduced(%) (N=22) (N=36) (N=84) 91 91 64 64 5 95 82 73 100 100 94 72 19 81 50 33 95 95 86 32 2 98 77 69

Forthemostpart,studentsdidconsiderthenumberofvariablesandthescaleof measurementofthevariables.Recognizingwhetherornotsampleswereindependentor pairedandwhetherthescenariosuggestedexaminingdifferencesorarelationshipoccurred lessfrequently,andhadmixedresultsbytest.InTable3weseethatthedecisiontreedid leadtoanimprovementinthisaspectofstudents'thoughtprocessesinFall2011.Before introducingthedecisiontree,lessthanhalfofthestudents(49%)consideredwhetheratest foradifferenceorrelationshipwasappropriate,andaboutoneforth(26%)considered whetherthesampleswereindependentorpaired.Followingthedecisiontree,thepercentage ofstudentsconsideringdifferenceversusrelationshipincreasedto82%andthepercentageof studentsconsideringindependentversuspairedsamplesincreasedto64%.InTable1,we seethisisassociatedwithanincreasefrom54%ofstudentscorrectlyansweringthisquestion beforetheinterventionto100%ofstudentscorrectlyansweringthisquestionafterthe intervention. Table4revealssomeconsistentandinconsistentbehaviorregardingthepairedsamplesttest inFall2011.Followingtheintervention,studentsweremorelikelytoconsiderindependent versuspairedsamples,butwerelesslikelytoconsiderwhetheratestinvolvedtaking differencesorlookingforarelationship. WhencomparingthebeforedecisiontreeresultsinFall2011totheresultsinSpring2012 (whenstudentshadlongerexposuretothedecisiontree)fromTables2through5,inmost casesstudentsweremorelikelytoconsidereachfactorintheirdecision,andmoreoften consideritcorrectly.Still,asisevidentinTable1,thisfailedtotranslateintoahigher percentageofcorrectanswers.Wediscusstheseissuesinthesubsectionbelow. Tables6and7describethestudents'presentationofthedecisiontree,drawnfrommemory oneweekfollowingourlessonstudyclassroomobservation.Table6showsthatinFall2011 almostallstudentsincludedthenumberofvariablesandthescaleofmeasurementintheir decisiontrees.Inthissemester,onlyhalfofthestudentsincludedthetwo,seeminglymore difficultconceptsofindependentversuspairedsamplesandwhetheratestisforadifference orrelationship.WesawmuchbetterretentioninSpring2012.Averylargemajorityof studentsrememberedeveryimportantfactor. Table6:PostStatisticalTree:Inclusionofelements
TraitConsidered NumberofVariables ScaleofMeasurement SampleisIndependentor Paired DifferenceorRelationship Fall2011 Numberof responses Spring2012 Percentof Numberof Percentof CompletedTrees responses CompletedTrees 57 93% 82 99% 57 89% 82 100% 57 57 54% 53% 82 82 84% 89%

Table7describesthepercentageofstudentsthatarrivedtoeachstatisticaltestwithout makinganyincorrectstepsinthetree.toclarify,wenotedthatabranchwaslabeledas correctevenifitwasmissingsomeconsiderationsleadinguptothestatisticaltest,justso longastheconsiderationsthatweremadeweredonecorrectly.Onthisbasis,thestudents performedverywellinFall2011,andextremelywellinSpring2012.InFall2011,itisevident thatmanystudentshadnotyetinternalizedthecompleteorganizationalstructureofthe decisiontree,asmanystudentstreesfailedtoincludeallfourimportantfactors,andmany didnotincludeallfourstatisticaltests.Thereweresomestudents,though,thatwereableto correctlyreconstructtheentiredecisiontreefrommemory.Wefindthatretentionofthe decisiontreewasfarinSpring2012.Moststudentsincludedallfourtestswithnowrong informationinthebranchleadingtothetest.Alargenumberwereabletorecreatewithout errortheentiredecisiontreethatwaspresentedtotheminclass,whichincludedmanymore teststhanthefourexaminedinthislesson. Table7:PostStatisticalTree:Testidentifiedwithnowronginformation
Fall2011 Spring2012 Numberof Percentof Numberof Percentof responseswhich CompletedTrees responses CompletedTrees includedtest thatidentifiedtest whichincluded thatidentifiedtest withnowrong test withnowrong information information OneSampleTTest(A) 49 84% 80 94% IndependentSamplesTTest(B) 43 88% 69 93% PairedSamplesTTest(C) 38 76% 66 92% ChiSquare(D) 45 82% 75 93% StatisticalTest

ConsideringourstudentssuccessesandfailuresinSpring2012relativetothestudentsinFall 2011whohadnotyetbeenexposedtothedecisiontree,itisdifficulttojudgewhetherthe statisticaldecisiontreeisaneffectivetoolforhelpingstudentsdevelopathoughtprocessfor choosingastatisticaltest.Whenmeasuringfinalperformanceinchoosingtherightstatistical testtoansweraquestion,thestudentsdidnotdobetter,andoftenperformedworse. However,inSpring2012,studentshadhighretentionofthedecisiontree,theimportant factorsbehindchoosingastatisticaltest,andtheexistingtoolboxofstatisticalteststheyhad recentlybeenexposedto.Weexpectstudentsfailureinfinalperformanceusingthedecision treederivedfromalackofpracticeactuallyusingit.InbothFall2011andSpring2012,the exercisesinthislessonwereamongstudentsfirstexperiencesactuallyusingthethought processtomakeresearchdesigndecisions,ratherthanitservingasawaytoconnectideasin lecture.GiventhesuccesseswemeasuredinSpring2012,weexpectwedohaveavaluable teachingtool,andthatcontinuedpracticewillnotonlymakeitmoreeffective,butalsoclosely

integratetheclassroomlectureonstatisticaltoolswiththethoughtprocessforchoosingwhat toolstouseindifferentsituations. CLASSROOMOBSERVATION: Inthissubsection,wedescribemoreaboutstudentsthoughtprocessesasevidentfromour experiencesittingwiththestudentsandobservingtheirconversations. Studentslargelyconsideredscaleofmeasurement,bothbeforeandafterthedecisiontree intervention.Often,scaleofmeasurementwasnotstatedsoexplicitly,butinsteadsuggested intermsofwhatcouldbecalculatedwiththedata,suchasamean.Studentsoftenhad difficultywiththeconceptofpairedversusindependentsamples.Itisunclearwhether studentsdidnotconsiderthisfactorbecausetheydidnotunderstandthedifference,or becausetheydidnotunderstandtheimportanceofthisdistinctioninidentifyingthe appropriatestatisticaltest.Onesignificantsourceofconfusionconcernedtheword ``independent''beingusedtodescribesampleswithdifferentobservationsversushaving pairedobservations.Oftentheyconfusedthewordwithanotheruseofthewordintheclass fortwovariablesbeingrelatedtooneanother. Followingthedecisiontreeintervention,manystudentsusedaprocessofeliminationtocome toaconclusion.Sometimesstudentseliminatedatestbecauseithadalreadybeenusedto answerapreviousquestion.Sometimesstudentsusedwhatappearedtobeaquiterandom processofelimination,wheretheystartedwithanytesttheycouldrememberandtriedtofind reasonstoeliminateit.Moresubstantiallythough,somestudentsusedtheprocessof eliminationbyconsideringafactorpresentinthedecisiontreeandtheneliminatedtestson thebasisofthatfactor.Forexample,sometimesstudentsidentifiedthataproblemconcerned aratiovariableandtherebyeliminatedtheChisquaretestofindependence.Thisisa reasonablygoodstrategy,butthediscussionindicatedthattherewerefactorsinthedecision treethattheyweremorecomfortablewiththanothers. Wealsofoundthatsometimesthedecisiontreecausedmoreconfusion,especiallyinFall 2011whenstudentswereinitiallyintroducedtothedecisiontree,thenimmediatelyaskedto applyit.Insomecasesstudentsaskedtherightsetofquestions,butmanytimeswerenot abletoanswerthesecorrectly,andwereunabletoreachthecorrectconclusion.When observingtheorderofthefactorsthatstudentsconsidered,inFall2011itrarelyfollowedthe orderthatthetreepresented,evenafterthedecisiontreewasintroduced.Therewas improvementinthisregardinSpring2012.Inbothsemesters,wefoundthatwhilestudents weretryingtousethedecisiontreetochooseastatisticaltest,theyoftendidnotpauseto reflectonthepurposeorintentoftheresearchquestionfirst. Bothbeforeandaftertheintervention,weidentifiedothersourcesofconfusionconcerning

statisticallanguage.Firstistheuseoftheword,independenttodescribesampleswith differentobservationsineachsample.Secondly,studentshadtroubleidentifyingwhatshould beconsideredavariable.Fortheindependentsamplesttest,studentswereaskedto determinewhetherthenumberofhoursstudentsspendstudying(ratiovariable)isdifferent betweenstudentsthatareemployedversusthosewhoarenotemployed.Manytimes, studentsidentifiedemploymentstatusasanominalvariable,whichisappropriate.Butwhen consideringanindependentsamplesttest(thecorrectanswerforthisparticularproblem), somerejectedtheideabecausethatwasatestfordifferencesinmeans,whichconcernstwo ratiovariables. Finally,studentsstruggledwiththecolloquialuseoftheterm,relationship.Intheproblem fortheChiSquaredtestsofindependence,studentswereaskedtodeterminetherelationship betweenemploymentstatus(giveninthreecategories)andclassstanding(giveninfour categories).InbothFall2011andSpring2012,manystudentspeevishlyhungontothatword anduseditasabasisfordecidingonaPearsonorSpearmancorrelationtest. CONCLUSION: WefoundsomelimitedevidenceinFall2011thatteachingstudentsthedecisiontreeledto improvedstudentperformanceandthoughtprocesses.Ourclassroomobservationsinboth Fall2011andSpring2012revealedthatstudentsstilldidnotcompletelyunderstandthe decisionmakingprocess.ThestudentsdecisiontreesdrawnfrommemoryinFall2011 revealedthattheyhadnotyetcompletelyinternalizedthedecisiontree,eventhoughitdid leadtosmallimprovementsinstudentperformance.Thestudentsdecisiontreesdrawnfrom memoryinSpring2012revealedthattherewasstrongretentionofthedecisiontree,yetthey hadlesssuccessinimplementingit. Weconcludethatwedohaveavaluablelesson.Ourlessonstudyrevealedsome unexpectedsourcesofconfusion,includingunderstandingthedifferencebetween independentsamplesversuspairedsamples,theimplicationofwordssuchasindependence andrelationship,andwhatshouldbeconsideredasavariable.Asweproceed,wewill strivetodesignclassactivitiescenteredaroundthedecisiontreethatbuilduponthe successesrevealedinFall2011andSpring2012.

Appendix:LessonandStudyMaterials
AppendixA.InclassExercise:ChoosingStatisticalToolstoAnswerResearch
Questions Directions:Youwillbegivenfourresearchquestionsinvolvingthesurveyquestionsbelow. Workinyourgroupstoanswerthequestionswhenprompted.Allpaperswillbecollected. Scenario:Aresearcherisinterestedinexploringtherelationshipbetweenstudent employmentandeffortputforthtowardsacademics.Sheadministersasurveytofulltime UniversityofWisconsinLaCrosse(UWL)studentswhichincludesthefollowingquestions: Whatisyouremploymentstatus?Fulltime/Parttime/Notemployed. Onaverage,howmanyhoursdoyouworkperweek?(Openended) Onaverage,howmanyhoursdoyoustudyperweek?(Openended) Whatisyourclassstanding? Freshman/Sophomore/Junior/Senior/GraduateStudent/Other

1.Supposethenationalaverageforthenumberofhoursfulltimecollegestudentsworkis12 hoursperweek.TheresearcherisinterestedindeterminingifthereisevidencethatUWL studentsstudyonaveragemorehoursthanthenationalaverage. 2.Theresearcherisinterestedindeterminingwhetherthereisadifferenceintheaverage numberofhoursstudentsstudyperweekbetweenthosewhoareemployed(eitherfulltimeor parttime)andthosewhoarenotemployed. 3.Theresearcherisinterestedindeterminingwhetherthereisarelationshipbetweenclass standingandemploymentstatus. 4.Theresearcherisinterestedindeterminingwhetheronaveragestudentsspendmore hoursstudyingthanthenumberofhoursstudentsspendworking. a. Whatstatisticalmethod/testwouldyouusetoanswerthisquestion. b. Explainyourreasoningforyouranswerinpart(a).Whatcharacteristicsofthis researchquestionandmethodologymakethetestyouchoseappropriate. c. Howconfidentareyouthatyouranswerto(a)and(b)iscorrect? Yourlevelofconfidencecanbedifferentthanothermembersofyourgroup.

VeryConfident

SomewhatConfident

NotConfident

(CircleOne)

AppendixB.BUS230LessonStudyObservationGuide Observethegroupdiscussionaboutthestatisticaltestwhichisappropriatetoanswer thequestion.Recordeachobservationwithanumbertoindicatetheorderthatthe studentsconsidereachelement.Theymaycirclearoundtoanelementmorethan once,recordthisasithappens(i.e.anyelementmayhavemorethanonenumber besideit). Iftheconclusionabouttheelementisincorrect,recordanXbythenumber. Groupnumber_________ Observationnumber(circle) Element 1 2 3 4 Considerati on

Reflectonthepurposeorintentofstatisticaltest(forexample theytalkaboutdeterminingthedifferenceorrelationship). Discussthenumberofvariablesconsidered Discussthescaleofmeasurement Discusswhethervariablesareindependentornot Other Didstudentstakeintoaccountanyirrelevantconsiderations? Didstudentsreachthecorrectconclusionwithoutwellarticulatedreasons? Didstudentsreachtheincorrectconclusion,butusemostlycorrectandwellarticulated reasons? Howmanygroupmemberswereactivelyengaged?(Includethosewhoactively listeningtounderstandtheconcepts,butnotthosejusttryingtowritethecorrect answer)