R. Rowe, Inquiry based approaching to teaching and assessing Psychological Research Methods
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R. Rowe, Inquiry based approaching to teaching and assessing Psychological Research Methods

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Presentation given by Richard Rowe, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield on a CILASS funded project at a BPS practice sharing event.

Presentation given by Richard Rowe, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield on a CILASS funded project at a BPS practice sharing event.

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R. Rowe, Inquiry based approaching to teaching and assessing Psychological Research Methods R. Rowe, Inquiry based approaching to teaching and assessing Psychological Research Methods Presentation Transcript

  • Inquiry based approaching to teaching and assessing Psychological Research Methods Richard Rowe Department of Psychology University of Sheffield
  • Inquiry Based Learning
    • Learning through self-directed exploration
    • Open-ended scenarios
    • Different approaches may provide valid solutions
    • Students choose the methods employed
  • Transferable inquiry skills
    • Information literacy
    • Collaboration
      • Interpersonal skills
    • Reflection
    • Independent learning
  • Research Methods and IBL
    • Statistical analysis is not inherently inquiry based
    • Psychological research IS an inquiry task
    • Psychology students not well motivated to learn research methods
      • Become interested during Level 3 project
      • When using statistics as an inquiry tool
  • The quantitative research process Topic choice Literature search Hypothesis generation Analysis Data Collection Experimental design Reporting Interpreting Write-up
  • Existing exam question
    • An experimenter wants to know whether anxiety is related to running time in high level athletes…
  • The quantitative research process Topic choice Literature search Hypothesis generation Analysis Data Collection Experimental design Reporting Interpreting Write-up
  • Inquiry based revisions
    • Combine with didactic lectures
    • Want to cover the whole research process at Levels 1 and 2
    • Introduce
      • Information literacy
      • Hypothesis formation and experimental design
      • Collaboration
    • Develop
      • Analysis and interpretation in context of research literature
      • Transferable skills:
        • interpersonal, communication, reflection, independence
  • Resources available
    • Level One
    • 4 postgraduate led tutorials
    • 2 coursework assignments
    • Level Two
    • 2 lab classes
    • 2 coursework assignments
    • (130 students)
  • Level One Information literacy activity Topic choice Literature search Hypothesis generation Analysis Data Collection Experimental design Reporting Interpreting Write-up
  • Collaborative review
    • Run in Groups of 4-5
    • Write single collaborative review
      • Use of different research methods in…
    • Topic chosen by PG tutors
    • Face-to-face tutorial
      • Introduce topic
      • Introduce literature search (Web of Knowledge)
  • Collaborative review
    • Search Web of Knowledge for relevant papers
      • 1 week to find 1 each
    • Discuss suitability with tutor via on-line discussion board
    • 1 week to write up integrated joint collaborative review
  • On-line tutorial
  • Submission
    • Single integrated literature review
      • All receive the same mark
    • Individual reflection on process of literature search and teamwork
    • Accounted for 8% and 2% of course mark
  • Evaluation
    • Introduced students to independent study gently
    • First experience of a literature review
    • First time asked to write without a reading list
    • Engages students with research literature
    • Engages students with different research methods
  • I feel more confident using the Web of Knowledge database 89% Agree
  • I feel I have improved my ability to evaluate the published literature 77% Agree
  • Selected qualitative student feedback
    • “ Group work just tends to be left to one person who has to take responsibility for it.”
    • “ The other members of my group had not put as much effort in as they should, especially one member that did a 2-second job of copying an articles abstract and writing a useless concluding section. ”
  • I enjoyed working collaboratively with my group members 75% Agree
  • Feedback from tutors
    • “ Lots of questions were asked about the topic and how to reference, showing an improvement in communication between the group members… ”
  • Feedback from tutors
    • “ I found this tutorial rewarding because it was nice to talk about my area of research and to see that this was interesting to other people”
    • “ While I made sure to give the information clearly and concisely, there was the risk of an information overload!”
  • Discussion
    • Expansion of research methods focus
    • Value of reflection
    • Involvement of postgraduate tutors
    • Approach to collaboration
  • Level One Design and Analysis Topic choice Literature search Hypothesis generation Analysis Data Collection Experimental design Reporting Interpreting Write-up Literature search activity
  • Research design tutorial
    • Tutors present choice of research questions
    • Collaboratively design study to test one
    • Fill out summary sheet at end of tutorial
      • Hypothesis , IV levels, Design choice, DV choice, confounds
  • Analysis Workshop tutorial
    • Collaboratively analyse data from experimental design
    • Data not collected – time constraint
    • Data simulated to have properties expected from collected data
      • More variables than specified to allow all Level One Tests
  • Analysis Workshop tutorial
    • Analyze and write-up data in one hour session (groups of 4):
      • Choose statistical tests, run tests, interpret, write-up
      • 2 Laptop computers provided (running SPSS and Word), notes and books allowed, Tutor as a resource
    • Submit report at end of tutorial
    • All get same mark: 10% of course
  • Analysis worksheet
    • Describes variables in data set
    • 5 questions address:
      • T-test (related)
      • T-test (unrelated)
      • Pearson correlation
      • Chi-square
  • Example data description
    • age (measured in years), sex (0=f 1=m)
    • driving aggression (dragg) pre intervention scored on a questionnaire, range 0-20, higher scores means more aggressive
    • driving aggression post intervention (dragg2). The same driving aggression scale conducted at a later date. In the interim all drivers had taken part in an anger management course.
    • Ever had an accident (accid: 0=no 1=yes)
  • Example questions
    • 1. Is age related to pre-intervention driving aggression?
    • 2. Are male drivers more aggressive than female drivers (pre-intervention)?
    • 3. Are male drivers more likely to have been involved in an accident?
    • 4. Did the anger management program reduce driving aggression?
    • 5. Choose one further analysis to run based on your dataset.
  • Conceptual evaluation
    • Test interpretation and writing
    • Also test
      • choice of statistical test
      • Use of SPSS
        • Without risk of unfair collusion
    • More like real research
      • Collaboration, tutor as “expert” resource
    • Group obscures individual assessment
      • 80% course assessed via exam
    • Too many questions in assignment!
  • Collaboration and tutor role
    • Shared responsibility for daunting task
    • Tutor helps to ensure success
      • Mimics availability of real-world expert resource
      • Unsure how much help to give
    • Tutorial is a learning environment
      • Assessment provides motivation to engage
    • Fewer scripts to mark
      • Easier to provide detailed feedback
  • I feel more able to formulate research questions 69% Agree
  • Tutor feedback
    • Design tutorial
    • “ I have learned that by speaking in an enthusiastic way about an area of research, it is possible to inspire students to take a deeper level of interest.”
    • Analysis workshop
    • “ The atmosphere was quite different to normal and I realised I had to be very considerate of the instructions I issued.”
    • “ The students seemed familiar enough with the material being tested, but had trouble applying their knowledge to a practical problem.”
  • Tutor feedback
    • “ The students completed the task within the set guidelines and seemed pleased with their work-although they may just have been relieved it was over!”
  • The group projects helped me develop my communication skills 71% Agree
  • The group projects helped me develop my negotiation skills 63% Agree
  • I feel more confident working collaboratively with others 51% Agree
  • I feel more confident studying independently 60% Agree
  • I feel the IBL activities encouraged me to take an active role in class 74% Agree
  • Discussion
    • Introducing students to research process
    • More interactive teaching
    • Drawbacks to IBL approach
      • Issues in collaboration
      • Tutor uncertainty about contribution
      • Logistic demands
  • Level 2: Putting it all together Topic choice Literature search Hypothesis generation Analysis Data Collection Experimental design Reporting Interpreting Write-up
  • Level 2
    • Semester One
      • Research proposal
      • Analysis and report simulated data
    • Semester Two
      • Full experimental design and report
  • Semester 1 Research proposal
    • Work in groups of 4 during lab class
    • 2 computers per group
    • Choose research topic between group
    • Search for papers on topic
    • Design experiment to follow-up
    • Constrained to design suitable for 1-way ANOVA
    • Summarize proposal during class
  • Data generation and analysis
    • Dataset simulated to mimic that which might have been collected
    • Personalised versions for each student
    • Analysis in own time
      • 1 way ANOVA (all significant)
      • Post hoc test (all 2 groups same, 1 different)
  • Semester 1 Submission
    • Individual research proposal
      • Comprises literature review
      • Details hypothesis and methods
    • Individual results write-up
      • Write-up analysis of simulated data
    • 10% of module mark
  • Semester 2 activity
    • Similar topic choice and literature search
      • Design suitable for multiple regression required
      • Data simulation
    • Write up as if a real experimental study
      • Individual analysis and write-up
    • 20% of module mark
  • Evaluation
    • Historically research methods has lots of maths
    • Challenge to fill the void
      • Conceptual understanding of statistical tests?
      • Full engagement with entire research process
    • Inquiry based methods well suited
    • Also develops transferable skills
    • Further test of efficacy will be project students in 2008-2009
  • Acknowledgements
    • Psychology Department
    • Paul Norman
    • Myles Jones
    • CILASS
    • Pamela McKinney
    • Jamie Wood
  • Inquiry based approaching to teaching and assessing Psychological Research Methods Richard Rowe Department of Psychology University of Sheffield