Andy LlerenaMelaraPSY 102November 26th
Andy LlerenaMelaraPSY 102November 26th, 2018Introduction:1a. Students in college today show a much higher risk of failing a course and dropping a course than certain other students. According to the data, “Who Gets To Graduate”, the two biggest risk factors in college retention and graduation are student’s family incomes and the student SAT/ACT test score. Students that come from a higher income family tend to graduate over students who are in lower class families. 1b. SAT scores play a partial role in determining whether a student graduates or not because these standardized tests are “college ready” exams, however, a student graduation is mainly determined by their family’s income. A poor student with a high SAT is less likely to graduate compared to a rich student with a low SAT score because graduation rates are based on the student socioeconomic background. 1c. One intervention universities used to address college failure and drop out of at-risk student was the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan or TIP which was created by Professor Laude to help at-risk students in his Chemistry 301 class. He ensured that the student met with advisors and taught the classes in smaller sizes and taught the same material, but provided more help. In the end, the at-risk students were getting the same grades as his other class. 1d. The hypothesis that is being addressed in the study I am designing is to determine students who go to supplemental instruction will show either better or improved grades compared to those who do not go to supplemental instruction. Method:2a. The participants in this study will be students who are undergrads at City College of New York, but more specifically freshman or sophomores who are taking the introductory to psychology course. The target population will be students who are struggling in the class. The participants that would be selected will be students who do poorly on the test, quizzes, paper, and that do not attend supplemental instruction. My target population cannot be random because I am looking at a specific target population, so choosing at random would not make an effective study. Most at-risk students do not attend supplemental instruction because they are either a hardheaded student who will not admit they need help or they simply do not have the time because of other obligations. So in order to address Dr.Steph concerns, some sort of incentive would need to be given to motivate at-risk students to attend supplemental instruction. The more help they are willing to receive, the better the incentive. I will have 2 different groups of different students from different classes in the intro to psychology class. In each group, there will be about 30 students were on half are students who are struggling in the class and the other half being students who are doing well in the class. No, a random assignment of participants will not be used because it will make the study ineffective by not knowing who the students that are struggling and that are not. 2b. SI is used for those students who need extra help, whether it might be for papers, test, homework, etc. The control group will not receive any intervention because the goal is to see how a student’s grade either changes or improves depending on whether or not they went to supplemental insurrection. I will address Dr.Steph’s concern by stating the goal is not to affect one’s grades, especially those at risk, but rather to determine whether supplemental instruction truly as a positive effect on one’s grade. One variable that I would need to control are TA visits; TA visits are helpful because they allow one to one with an expert on the material, but to counteract we would provide a greater incentive such as extra credit if the student were to come to SI. Most students have outside obligations which withhold them from SI, so to counteract that we would implement more flexible times in which students can have a variety of choices to come to SI. In order to tackle inconsistency in SI sessions, we must show why SI is beneficial. By reminding students that coming to SI means extra credit, but it also means they would be able to capture the material and interact with students who are also struggling and/or know the material. Two other variables that I would need to include will inconsistency in homework; by having homework be implemented into the overall grade and making it mandatory will also motivate students to want to do it. Another variable is inconsistency in attendance at lectures and recitation classes. By making attendance mandatory as well and a part of the grade; students will be more prone to attend those classes. 2c. I would operationally define the dependent variable by observing how students are performing after SI sessions and seeing if students grades are improving or worsening. Three benefits of attending SI sessions would be better grades in the class, more confidence to participate in lectures and recitation classes, and become masters of the material which can be used to help their peers. 2d. The independent variable is the at-risk students, and the control variables are the TA visits, outside work, the inconsistency of attendance in SI sessions, lectures, and recitation classes, and not doing homework to practice the material. Results: 3a. One method I would use to perform a statistical test on the experiment, I designed for Dr.Steph would be to figure out the mean or the average of final grades of the two groups. By finding the mean of final grades of the experimental group which are the at-risk students and the control group which are the students who did not receive SI; I will compare those two means to find the mean difference. I would calculate the difference between the two groups by finding the standard deviation after finding the mean because the standard deviation will tell me which students are closer to the average or far from the average. 3b. I would calculate the variation within groups by determining how many hours each at-risk student went to SI; if there is a correlation between the number of hours at SI and the improvement of their grade that will then tell me the variation within the experimental group. The same mindset would be used for the control group; since they cannot go to SI they would most likely use other resources such as TA visits in which I would compare how many hours they went to the TA and determine how that might have affected their grade. 3c. Statistical significance is that a relationship between two or more variables is caused by something other than chance. What would lead me to conclude that the difference between groups is statistically significant is if the difference between my two groups is twice or 1.96 as large as the variation within the group. Meaning the experimental will need to be twice as large than the control groups. Conclusions:4a. No, I do not think Dr.Steph would be correct in concluding that after undergoing SI any at-risk student is at least as capable of passing her course as any student not at risk because of her sample size are only 4 students total, two being at-risk and the other being random, she cannot accurately determine that all students would be able to at least pass after SI. 4b. It is possible that the at-risk students pilot participants actually have a much better course performance than the comparison pilot participants because Dr. Steph’s control group was done at random; this allows for the possibility that in her control group there can be one at-risk student and one not at-risk. So, this can be a reason why the control group final course grade was much lower than the at-risk students. As well, the two students that Dr.Steph chose for the pilot experimental group were two students who were going to see her regardless every day for extra help. 4c. The counterclaim SI had nothing to do with the difference between groups in the pilot study can be because the pilot study sample size was small, the two students in the experimental group can be doing their own outside studying, and the control group was a random sample. 4d. Two recommendations I would give to improve Dr. Steph’s pilot study would be to have a larger sample study; this can be why there is a noticeable difference between the final course grade for the experimental and control group. And the other recommendation being selective in the control group and not choosing at random. These two extraneous variables can be fixed to make her study more effective.