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Teaching Philosophies, Attitudes, and Statistics. Winnifred R. Louis School of Psychology, The University of Queensland. Thanks and Acknowledgements. Donald M. Taylor, McGill University Judith Feeney, Julie Duck, Luke Smillie, Jackie Wellen and Deborah Terry, University of Queensland

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teaching philosophies attitudes and statistics

Teaching Philosophies, Attitudes, and Statistics

Winnifred R. Louis

School of Psychology,

The University of Queensland

thanks and acknowledgements
Thanks and Acknowledgements
  • Donald M. Taylor, McGill University
  • Judith Feeney, Julie Duck, Luke Smillie, Jackie Wellen and Deborah Terry, University of Queensland
  • The statistical methods curriculum review team
  • Valerie Stone, Paul Harnett and the Reconciliation Action Plan committee
  • Ms. Mentor at the Chronicles of Higher Education website
  • Bill McKeachie, Teaching Tips
  • Johnathan Mueller, CROW
  • Rick Reis, Tomorrow’s Professor
what do i do
What do I do ?
  • I am a senior lecturer at UQ
  • I teach 3rd year statistical methods
    • Difficult, required material
    • A hurdle students have to get over to get into honours and pursue psychology as a career
  • I teach 3rd year social psychology electives
    • Much more intuitive
    • Freely embraced by students, often intrinsically motivated
teaching to change the world
Teaching to change the world
  • Improving world stats literacy
    • SPSS syntax and worknotes, Excel files (google “Winnifred teaching”)
    • The stats repository (google “statistics repository”)
    • The UQ statistical methods curriculum review
  • Curriculum development re Indigenous Australians
    • The audit and the working group
    • The reference list and the resources
    • Indigenous Mental Health day
    • The School of Psychology Reconciliation Action Plan
my teaching philosophy
My teaching philosophy
  • Learning is for doing
  • Stats and social psychology are vital to psychologists (and all human beings!)
  • Enthusiasm
  • Respect
  • Combining Teaching, Service and Research
research on teaching
Research on Teaching
  • 4 ½ page surveys 4 x per year
  • Students record name, student #
  • Respond to miscellaneous questions, e.g. re previous grades, or anxiety
  • Report attendance at lectures and tutes
  • I feed back a summary of responses the following week
  • At the end of the year, I look at final year outcomes, particularly final grades
a note about the value of attendance for students
A note about the value of attendance (for students)
  • I post detailed slides before every lecture
  • I also keep track of attendance. There is no penalty for skipping, but keep this in mind ->
changing attendance patterns among students who completed all assessment
Changing Attendance Patterns among students who completed all assessment
  • 2005 stats: 0 to 9, M=3.48 (SD=3.76)
  • 2006 stats: 0 to 9, M=4.70 (SD=3.48)
  • 2007 stats: 0 to 9, M=4.50 (SD=3.49)
  • 2008 stats: 0 to 10, M=5.23 (SD=3.77)
  • 2006 Attitudes: 0 to 11, M=5.85 (SD=4.11)
  • 2007 Atts: 0 to 11, M=6.94 (SD=3.62)
  • 2008 Atts: 0 to 9, M=4.97 (SD=3.21)
  • 2009 Atts: 0 to 10, M=5.54 (SD=3.87)
slide9

Statistics for profs:The correlation between lecture attendance (tertiles) and final mark, after controlling for previous year’s mark, among only those who completed all assessment

what we do matters
What we do matters !
  • Attendance at lectures uniquely predicts students’ learning
    • After controlling for prior performance
    • In 8 data sets
    • In 2 quite different content areas
    • Despite changing patterns of attendance
    • And even after the introduction of online .mp3 files of the lectures
why is attendance so important
Why is attendance so important?

Strange because detailed class notes available every week online

Controlling for second year grades (and, in ’06, anxiety), attendance delivered a 15-20% boost in final 3rd year stats grades.

  • explanation #1:3rd factor hurts attendance & marks
      • sickness
      • family and/or work obligations
  • explanation #2:added value to regular attendance
      • immediate clarification of confusing material
      • rehearsal of knowledge over multiple classes
      • rate of knowledge absorption spread over term (rather than over the 2 weeks before the exam)
what else matters
What else matters?

Boosting learning – beyond prior grades & attendance

  • Intrinsic motives - Students’ nominating “interest” as something they hope for in the course

Harming learning – beyond prior grades and attendance

  • An Arts background (?!?)
  • Late anxiety (Week 13) but not early (Week 4) anxiety

Startlingly unrelated

      • Hours worked on the course
      • Hours worked on paid employment
      • Hours worked caring for others
      • Row seating
where next
Where next?

With respect to the research:

  • Some sort of publication ? 
  • Gender as a moderator
  • Comparing the content areas

Other initiatives and interests

  • World stats literacy
  • Curriculum reform at UQ
  • Engaging with Indigenous Australians
  • Psychology’s contribution to reconciliation