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Monday, 21 January 2008
Back to work ...
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: White Christmas (Dean Martin)
Topic: Data Collection

Well, after my Christmas break I'm back at the OU ... whilst the Christmas break may seem long - I seemed to be occupied after New Years doing mostly my PhD work unfortunately (or fortunately). I collected two more observations - so got four more - but have decided to do back any observations where students scored less than 5 - because it's skewing my data - so that is an additional 2 observations! Oh well, they would have to get done. Also, Allison have put me in touch with 2 students from Cambridge who would be willing to participate in the study - so that's good. Although Amalia was suggesting that I collect data for the additional 2 persons who were UK students so, that might mean that I need 8 more observations - but would see what happens. I think what I could do for the 2 persons from the UK do the additional 2 observations (that will work as well since I wanted the additional students to do back glass-box and I'm missing glass-box observations for UK students) and let Amalia get me the other 4 and then proceed from there. That might be more useful.

Anyway, analyse my data for 32 students (although 1 will have to drop when I do my final analysis as I lost the voice data for him - got three additional from Trinidad but dropped J. from this analysis because her results were skewing my data) - but analysed it thoroughly - didn't find any difference however - but will figure what to do about that at some later stage but did write some preliminary analysis and thoughts about it for my PME paper - not sure if it was enough - but will see the comments from the reviewers and see what happens.

Posted by prejudice at 3:19 PM GMT
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Data Collection woes continue
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Thru my eyes (Phil Collins)
Topic: Data Collection

I'm off to a seminar in about 10 mins ... so making a quick entry into this blog - since I have to :) ... anyway, bit frustrated last night as I lost one of my data collection - all because the broadband wasn't working well and Skype decided to freeze my whole computer ... so, had to manually turn my computer and in so doing losing all my data .... although just now I discovered the answers the participant placed into the Excel file is save - so in some sense that is great - but lost all the audio and video data and these are essential for the research - so I would just keep that extra data just in case there is something interesting in it. Anyway, last night thought I should 'celebrate' a bit - because no true PhD student should go through their research without at least losing one bit of data - and now I've done that - hopefully it would not happen again - or if it does - I can just take it as nonchalantly as I can.

I think I might be getting less and less undergrad students to participate as it is coming up to exams time ... I just need 12 more ... one dozen sounds a lot less than 36 ... hopefully it would dwindle ... got to call up the contacts here in the UK and see if I can get some students - because Allison said she could get some and probably I could send a link around the PGSS emailing list ... anyway - taking it easy right now - since I got to analyse some of the data qualitatively and send of a report on Monday - haven't even begun to transcribe as yet  ... by some miracle it would get done by Monday ... guess no cinema this week ... well maybe one movie won't kill me :D. 

Anyhow ... having a problem with memory space in that computer - so needing to transfer stuff and share the around. I was trying to get it on the back-up server but it seems as if you are only allocated a certain amount of space (7GB) - my videos are alone about 27 GB ... so, got to sort that storage problem out soon. Anyway, off to the seminar by Matthew Riddle who is doing something on methodology - hopefully it is interesting.

Posted by prejudice at 1:57 PM GMT
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
14 participants!
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Noise of the OU
Topic: Data Collection

Well, things are getting better on the data collection front. I have 14 participants so far .... still need another 22 ... but let's worry about that a little bit later.

Here are the bigger worries - is trying to transcribe all of the data which I haven't started but I think that'll be a huge headache - but got to start sometime soon otherwise I'll never do it.

On the other front - got my writing to get done which I'm never keen on ... but in three weeks time got to submit my methodology chapter - which when I think about it ... is quite long - and needs a lot of literature which I don't quite have at the moment ... so, got to work on that whilst transcribing and collecting data.

Posted by prejudice at 11:04 AM BST
Friday, 5 October 2007
The Hunt for Participants Continues!
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Another Day In Paradise (Phil Collins)
Topic: Data Collection

Well, again I've put up adverts on facebook ... this time I'm trying on the marketplace for London, Manchester etc. (pay US$4 to advertise it in a noticeable place - this is just a test - just want to see if it will work) - if that fails got to go back to my flyers I guess.

And E. hasn't replied me as yet - maybe she isn't so keen in doing it again ... feeling a bit as if this thing is running away with me again. Got to contact R. and see if he can get me some more participants. Got to be on the ball on this - otherwise this might stretch till Dec., and that won't be good.

On a brighter note, I've made a really detailed plan on my thesis outline - so I really can see how the story can be told - just got to flesh it out now :D.

Posted by prejudice at 2:29 PM BST
Thursday, 27 September 2007
Skype works!!!
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: When You Were Sweet Sixteen (Perry Como)
Topic: Data Collection

Well, after much worrying and testing (with Macs and PCs), changes in Ports ... I've finally hit on the problem why I was unable to receive Skype video. As it seems, when I upgraded Skype, it seems that caused me not to receive video ... but once I downgraded it work. And just in time as well!!

I have data collection this afternoon with a student from Bristol ... but I do so need more undergraduate students from the UK ... if anyone is reading out there - HELP ME!! I thought the 10 pound voucher was sufficient incentive but it seems it wasn't - well at least not for the facebookers for whom I've been advertising constantly with ... I got to try some other forums.

 I'm going to advertise again sometime next week ... hopefully I can get some. I've only got 3 proper data collections and I need to get 33 more ... I've still got one to finish off from E., so that will make it 4. So, need to just talk to her and see what happens. Also, got to see whether Amalia and Ritchie would try and get some more for me. Should be testing the webcam and application sharing with Amalia today in UWI. Because she said she might be able to get some from there for me. So, we'll see :D.

Posted by prejudice at 7:58 AM BST
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Getting worried about data collection ....
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Listening to the workmen pound at something
Topic: Data Collection

Well, it's almost October and I've only collected data for 2 persons ... although I really didn't get the equipment etc. working properly till about late August ... but still, that is really no excuse when you need to get your work done and your PhD submitted on time.

So, getting really worried about that ... and I feel as if I'm not making sufficient progress in my work as I should ... hopefully things should pick up by next week ... anyway, off to supervision now.

Posted by prejudice at 1:58 PM BST
Tuesday, 31 July 2007
Facebook flyer
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: To Where You Are (Josh Groban)
Topic: Data Collection

Well ... I decided to advertise to recruit students using the facebook flyer ... I'm not sure if this will generate any response but I have it posted over the next two days ... so will see what happens ... it is supposed to have 5000 views (that should generate some response ... shouldn't it?)

Anyway, if all else fails ... I go home in August ... I'm gonna recruit some people from there and if not there well ... then it is going to be in the OU!

Well, we shall see how this goes.

Posted by prejudice at 2:18 PM BST
Monday, 25 June 2007
Getting one participant!
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: You Were Meant For Me (Jewel)
Topic: Data Collection

Well ... Gill has said that Esther will do my study next week ... so, I think that is great news!!

Only thing is that Esther doesn't know that as yet. I've talked to Anne F. and she has said I can use Amazon vouchers to pay people. So, I have that outlet.

And if all fails I can still use UWI students hopefully :D.

Posted by prejudice at 3:08 PM BST
Monday, 11 June 2007
Problems with the firewall
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Meaningless Kiss (Hugh Grant)
Topic: Data Collection

So, on Thursday and Friday decided to test out the remote observation outside of the OU's firewall with Ritchie ... that is when large amount of problems occurred!!!

First of all, MSN can't work on the wireless - i.e. the voice/video conversation and application sharing... Skype could work ...  with application sharing. However, although I can send video ... I can't receive any ... which makes it really frustrating.

Not the mention the frustration of not getting any students to participate. I've decided to see whether I can use some of Amalia's students. Haven't asked her as yet though.

I'm still deciding on how to choose students ... I mean there should be some criteria in making sure that students can be compared sufficiently across, shouldn't I?

Well, if things fail ... I just might have to take the RAM I have in this computer and install in in my laptop and then use it from home - well it will definitely work from home.

I also ran the trial with Ritch ... unfortunately it seems as if the video didn't record!! I got his voice conversation though - which is good. He was doing some interesting stuff with the glass-box as he did a lot of exploration and it was interested that although he seemed to be getting towards the answer in some cases, he then turn tail and came to a completely different decision ... don't quite know why. Obviously is the understanding and was wondering what the strategies involved in the learning - I mean I've got to think about the qualitative data analysis - is there particular strategies that students use when using different software and whether this can be profiled - or is this the nature of the student?

How can you profile the nature of the student? I don't want to ask them to fill in an ASI ... but that might be interesting won't it? Probably if I can find 10 question ASI. I think there is a 20 question ASI I used. Hmmm ... gonna look that up ... would that be too much for the student to do? I think I got a 20 question Biggs approach to mathematics questionnaire. Or will that be alright if I'm paying them??

Posted by prejudice at 3:29 PM BST
Monday, 21 May 2007
Pilot of the main study
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Way Back into Love (Hugh Grant)
Topic: Data Collection

Well, I'm still waiting on some RAM, so I can pilot the last box ... the glass box ... but still waiting for IET to get me the RAM and also need more storage on my computer ... I lost the whole webcam video when I did the open-box as I didn't have enough space to render it ... oh well, still had the audio recordings and the video of the software ... but I'm thinking if I'm doing it on one screen now rather than two, if I have a problem with the rendering ... then I'm going to lose that whole set of data ... so, hopefully that doesn't happen! I think that'll make me go stark-raving mad.

Anyway, I've transcribed the relevant quotes (well what I thought I was relevant) for the black-box and open-box studies, but still have to analyse them in NVivo, I'm not certain what tact I'm going to be taking for them. I should have a theoretical framework (or at least some coding framework) but I have no idea ... I could start with open-coding and see where that takes me for developing a coding framework. I wanted to code somewhere along the line of cognitive load, self-explanations and perhaps some kind of interaction with technology? I think the important thing to ask myself, is what I'm looking for ... and I think one of the basis for my studies has been to see whether these boxes help learn more ... so think I'll be looking at self-explanations, but think I need to define what kind of self-explanations they're doing.

Posted by prejudice at 10:29 AM BST

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