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Thursday, 14 June 2007
Remote Observation - seems to be working
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: The Sermon of Samson (Bobby Darin)
Topic: Methodology

Well, I've tried the remote observation again behind the firewall (on the LAN) and it seems to be working there ... interesting ... tried it there yesterday and today - and I don't know why - but it is working - hoping it is not a server glitch and it comes all crashing down :).

However, it works on Windows Live Messenger - I think! Well, I can get webcam in - but can't get webcam out ... well that was yesterday - not sure about today.

But everything works perfectly on Skype!! So, that's great I can use that but it is not so ubiquitous as Messenger ... so got to test back messenger to see what happens. Although, I kind of like Skype's application sharing thing a lot more ....

Posted by prejudice at 4:55 PM BST
Friday, 9 March 2007
Instructional Materials
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam)
Topic: Methodology

Well, this morning I was putting together the instructional materials for the linear programming and it is 4 pages long!! I wonder if that is too long ... and wonder if linear programming is too complex of a topic.

 Of course I understand it perfectly :). Anyway, awaiting to see what Doug says about it.

Posted by prejudice at 1:38 PM GMT
Friday, 2 March 2007
Latin Square Design
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Chaand Sitare (Kaho Naa Pyar Hai)
Topic: Methodology

Well, I showed my experimental design to John, and I told him that Doug and James were concerned about sequencing effects and John suggested I used a Latin Square design. He even photocopied a chapter on it for me! However, the one he siad will work, cannot possibly work since it assumes that my tasks within my problems are independent which they're not! I want the students to do all three problems and all three tasks (i.e. 9 things in all) - the Latin square only allows them to do 3, which is not good at all.

I haven't broached this with John as yet, but during our discussion he indicated that I would have to check n see if there is any interaction between the tasks and the main groups and if there is, then this will represent a sequencing effect (I think!) and the same when I do the problems. Hoepfully, I understand what that means when I come to analyse it.

In the meantime trying to programme the linear programming software in Excel, and it is proving to be very draining and also, the software I'm developing are not in anyway flexible which I hope won't be a problem.

Posted by prejudice at 11:52 AM GMT
Monday, 29 January 2007
Mathematical Task
Mood:  crushed out
Now Playing: This Love (Maroon 5)
Topic: Methodology

(Stupid thing just asked me to load the active x control for the spelling and lost my whole post!)

Anyway, as I had written before ... I was saying that I spent most of the morning looking for a mathematical task that I can convert to BB, WB and GB unfortunately most of the tasks are usually for primary and secondary school and I need one for undergraduate students. Besides that I need a task in which I can measure both conceptual and procedural knoweldge and not sure how I'm going to get one like that. I was thinking of reviewing Galbraith and Haines' problems they used to see if I can get anything from that but if I recalled they used graphs and I don't want to use graphs since that get too much into the domains of representations.

Anyway, got Hiebert's book from the library on conceptual and procedural knowledge so hopefully that will give me some ideas. 

Posted by prejudice at 2:38 PM GMT
Friday, 15 December 2006
Ideas from Jonathan
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Knights of Cydonia (Muse)
Topic: Methodology

Jonathan was telling me that what I plan on doing is somewhat similar to what he did, in that he looked at dynamic (equivalent to WB) and static (equivalent to GB?). Anyway, what he was saying that he found that students who just had to looked at things being displayed were quite passive in their learning but when students had to enter the numbers they became more engaged and perhaps had better learning or understanding - or as I understand were able to self-explain better. So, thought that was a useful finding to me - he called this the sequence effect.

He then said that he thought my tasks that I had were nice and simple and should stick to simple tasks and it was better if I made them happen quick so, only had like 30 minutes of working time. He suggested that I do 3 tasks for each box, 1st taking 1 min, 2nd 2mins and 3rd 3mins. So, makes it 18 mins in all ... that is if I decided to give each student only one box. However, he did caution me that I should make sure the tasks between the three boxes are the same and suggests that I test the tasks out for reliability probably in a class over at the Milton Keynes College, and I might just have to give the teachers some kind of gift for their help (ethical problems anyone?).

Posted by prejudice at 7:23 PM GMT
Friday, 24 November 2006
Still no sign of the software
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Can't Help Falling in Love (Michael Buble)
Topic: Methodology

Well ... so far no sign of the software ... but should in the meantime put together stuff for it ... double checking the software ... moving around the spreadsheets etc.

Hopefully, everything will work once I get the software. I want to finish this before Christmas because hoping it would inform my main study!

Posted by prejudice at 12:11 PM GMT
Tuesday, 21 November 2006
Software for pilot study
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: White Christmas (Bing Crosby)
Topic: Methodology

I am getting a bit anxious about my vemotion software that IET supposedly ordered but can't seem to get a hold of the licence as yet since it is with paypal ... its been 3 weeks since they ordered it but although been asking Fil about it, there hasn't been anything positive feedback as yet.

On the plus side, Jonathan has showed me a software called Netviewer which seems quite promising for remote observation. Jonathan is actually going to be using Netviewer for remote observation in the same way I am going to do it, and he suggested we can write something up later on the differences we've found. It says it has high security so wondering if it will be easier to use behind the OU's firewall than the Windows messenger. It also has a VoIP but not sure if I can record this VoIP with vemotion ... will have to check it out with Jonathan, once I get the software.

Posted by prejudice at 11:59 AM GMT
Friday, 17 November 2006
Grand Unified Theories (GUT)
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: When It Comes Down To It (Tasmin Archer)
Topic: Methodology

Well, I'm reading Diana Laurillard's Conversational Framework for learning, I don't think I'm likely to be using it (well who knows!) ... because I do like my cognitive load theory, however, I couldn't help noticing that in the Conversational Framework there is a period in which the student has to internalised or rather reflect on what is being said to them, now in cognitive load theory won't that be the point in the reflection where the germane load is occurring? Laurillard also speaks about the experiential environment wouldn't that in some way be considered a sort of extraneous load if there is no effect in the learning and the teacher providing the information being some part of the intraneous load.

Well, that is just some of my equivalency of learning theories - but that got me thinking ... won't it be cool if we were able to unify all these learning theories and have only one the "Grand Unified Learning Theories" (GULT -has a nice ring to it) - that's my physics background coming into play.

As, can be seen I sort of unified the conversational framework with the cognitive load theory all I got to do is add on the situative learning and the first GULT would be made. I think that might become the ambition of my life ... creating GULTs :)

Posted by prejudice at 2:53 PM GMT
Friday, 3 November 2006
Remote Observation Study ... continues :P
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Hey, Mr DJ (Backstreet Boys)
Topic: Methodology

Well, I think I might finally have a format for an experimental methodology when studying students learning software with mathematics. I was reading papers by Atkinson and Renkl, and their methodology seems to be always a 5 part method, which I think might be useful to adapt. This is how it goes:

  1. Demographic questionnaire of students
  2. Pre-test questionnaire (which will later be used as a covariate during the analysis of the post-test)
  3. Instructional materials (particularly on the mathematics topics and concepts)
  4. Study or do the worked-out examples and solve the problems provided by the programme (during which the learning time is recorded)
  5. Complete a post test (in which they compare the factors they were looking at)

I think mine would follow the ave steps, except since I'm doing solving problems on a computer the post-test will be on the computer, and there will be a practice session on the computer rather for step 4. I think that seems reasonable.

I'm restructuring my remote observation study with lotteries to follow this same kind of pattern to see how useful it might and how long it might take. Renkl and Atkinson usually took about 90 mins, but I'm not sure how long someone will sit through for 90 mins. They used psychology students who were offered extra credit. I have nothing to offer to students. But what I think is interesting about their research is that they use a wide variety of students with a differing mathematics ability. They also allow students who didn't anything about the topic to learn it right there and then and then use the examples or problems to help understand their learning. I think this is something useful. Not sure how applicable it might be to linear programming, which might be more complex than simple probability that Atkinson and Renkl tend to employ.

(On a sidenote and an up note: the outlook servers are back on with all our email!)

Posted by prejudice at 10:28 AM GMT
Thursday, 26 October 2006
Research ideas coming in ...
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Champions Trophy: WI vs India (WI 48/1; India 223/9)
Topic: Methodology

So, I've been reading a number of papers by Atkinson and Renkl and by Sweller on cognitive learning and fading steps etc. I'm still wondering if these fading steps is not exactly what I wanted to do, and that my research has already been done. What I noted that was interested about this research is that they sort of assumed people didn't know their problems and then taught it to them (but then again they had their students as guinea pigs!) - and used a pretest as a covariate when they were doing their analysis - which I think that might be a good idea.

Something else is that, they're not using traditional mathematics software, but rather constructing their problems (although they did use CASCADE for the fading problems) - so, it is not learning with software but learning in general. So, maybe I can extend this to learning with software. What's interesting also, that the steps are not random but rather sequential - wondering if that'll make a difference.

Posted by prejudice at 3:09 PM BST

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