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Date:         Sun, 6 Jan 2008 10:15:29 -0500
Reply-To:     "Annette D. Hawkins" <hawkins@ADHAWKINS.ORG>
Sender:       "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         "Annette D. Hawkins" <hawkins@ADHAWKINS.ORG>
Subject:      Can This Research Project Be Saved?
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

I was asked to help evaluate an experimental design at my community college. When presented with the data, I told the instructor involved that the design was flawed because no random sampling occurred. This is the research:

Three math instructors selected two classes each for the experimental design.

One taught two classes of Math 070 Introductory Algebra One taught two classes of Math 080 Intermediate Algebra One taught two classes of Math 060 Basic Arithmetic

One class would be the treatment class and use MyMathLab, computer software by Prentice-Hall. I don’t know how often they used the software. I was told at least once a week. The other class did not use the software.

The students were matched by one of two methods: grade in a previous course or college placement score. For example, if a student in the treatment group tested into the course, the college placement score was used. The instructor then tried to find a student in the control group who tested in, too. If the student entered the class based on a grade in a previous course, then the control group match used the same method. In some cases, she matched students more than once in the control group. For the Basic Arithmetic class, all of those students used placement scores because there is no course below this one. For the Math 080 class, she included a night class with a day class for the control group. At the end of the semester, final grades in both groups were compared.

We have a grant and time has come to evaluate whether the treatment group performed better because of MyMathLab. I hope I have given enough details. I would appreciate any help with this project. Thanks.


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