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Thursday, 26 May 2005
Some good news and bad news about the ASI questionnaire
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Wildflowers (Dolly Parton)
Topic: Questionnaire
Well .. some good news - three of the lecturers from the UK survey wrote me back indicating they will be willing to forward a URL link to the ASI to their students. So, that was great news - however, when I contacted Donna found out that she will be away for next week, and Nick said it couldn't be done since the Survey Office has a lot of work to be done at the moment. So, he said it can be done the following week. Now, that ain't too bad ... but I sort of jumped the gun and replied the lecturers saying I'll see if the survey office can do it by the end of next week :D. So, I'm in a bit of hot water ... me and my big mouth! Why could I not wait for Donna's reply - I think it was because I wanted to reply the emails before a hour had passed by ... why you may ask? I have no clue!

Posted by prejudice at 3:42 PM BST
Cannot send off my ASI questionnaire
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Walk, Don't Run (The Ventures)
Topic: Questionnaire
Well, I've been stupid and careless!!! I should have sent out the ASI questionnaire email, everyone has their students in the exam period now - or they have stopped teaching them ... uh ... I feel like crying at the moment ... I'm wondering if the Australian, New Zealand or USA sample might be the same way - I'm thinking of sending it to them. Got to check the term times for these countries. Give me a sec.

Well, the US has a summer term - I guess that is summer school - I can try that out - I see for Australia in one university there is exams in mid-June - so if I can get that in.

James told me to write early - but I didn't listen - I feel terrible - this research is going from good to bad. I mean I still have the ATI and the linear programming part of the questionnaire to analyse - but still!

Posted by prejudice at 10:30 AM BST
Wednesday, 25 May 2005
ASI questionnaire
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Ah not lying (Rikki Jai ???)
Topic: Questionnaire
So, I wrote the email to the people asking about sending out the questionnaires. So, far gotten replies from 4 persons (well technically 3). One of them is away - so got an automated reply ... as for the other three - they've already finished teaching. One indicated that may the case for most UK universities i.e. finished in March (not sure what I'm going to do in that case - I can try the US, New Zealand and Australia people!). Well, most of them said they will be willing to do it during their next teaching term - so got to keep them in mind.

Anyway - if one person actually wrote and said they were willing to do it - it would have lifted my mood better - but got a compliment from one of the persons who wrote they said
" was a rare change to be filling in a questionnaire where the compiler knew something about both teaching and LP."
So, that made me feel a bit better! Anyway, going home now!

Posted by prejudice at 4:51 PM BST
ASI questionnaire for British lecturers
Mood:  down
Now Playing: Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge (Sholay)
Topic: Questionnaire
Well, on a good note I've sent out the LP and ATI questionnaires to people in UK, US, Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, could not rack up too much people for New Zealand (up to 32) since there have been limited universities - I think I have guessed what most of those people will be teaching. The US one I sent to about a hundred people - not sure how well that has been responded considering that for most of the people I weren't certain if they were indeed teaching LP, since I made an educated guess based on their specialization topics.

Some people have written back from Australia and New Zealand indicating that they no longer teacher LP - but so far none from the US - although I sent that out before those two. That reminds - got to update my excel sheet to indicate who has not replied.

Well, just did that - and it is making me feel a little better - that I've got a little piece of my work out of the way - got to break up my work into tasks - because otherwise it will seem way to overwhelming!

Anyway, I have to create the email for the ASI to send out to persons requesting them to share out the ASI to their students - I think I am going to do that now - so will feel as if I've accomplished something for today - because feeling really depressed that I've not been giving my 100 % to my work and feel as if I'm lacking to get things done.

Posted by prejudice at 2:46 PM BST
Friday, 29 April 2005
Questionnaire has been sent!!!
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Chicks dig it (Chris Cagle)
Topic: Questionnaire
Well my questionnaire is finally off .... its on the web - its live and it has been emailed to the participants. I've been getting some enquiries - one guy asked me what was my Ph.D research on and how I got his name. So had to explain, I got it off the net since to my knowledge there was not a list of LP lecturers in the UK. I think he probably thought there was a big conspiracy theory - or maybe didn't realise how easy it was to get information off the net.

Well this other guy wrote to me said he did not know what to do, since he taught two courses and wonder if he should amalgamate them in his mind and then answer the questions. Well, I told him to choose one course and answer it accordingly ... at least that was the instructions on the questionnaire. But that had been one of my problems with the questionnaire. I had wanted to send it for each course - but wasn't certain how that could be operationalised - and Doug had suggested that I should tell them to choose one of the courses - and I had agreed at the time since I didn't have a better solution. But I'm wondering how badly will that have skewed my data ... especially if they are teaching for two or three different types of students ... so thank goodness this is just a feasibility study - hate to think this was my Ph.D research because I already see a big hole in the validity of the results. Oh well, one more thing to talk about in my discussion :D and it may have influenced my results.

Posted by prejudice at 11:49 AM BST
Tuesday, 19 April 2005
Questionnaire on the web!
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Some boring Indian song - sounds a bit like classical music
Topic: Questionnaire
Well ... my questionnaire is finally on the web - and I have a list of 101 potential participants. I've not sent it out as yet ... This morning Donna sent Roland and Kevin links to the questionnaire to pre-test it for me, so hoping to get their feedback soon ... So, far only Kevin said he will look at it -hopefully Roland would do the same.

Donna says once they test it, she will tell me - and then we can send it out for the persons. Wow, that reminds me got to make a list of US and Australian persons also. I wish my British list was exhaustive, but when I reached 100 - I called it quits ... because had exams coming up. I'm going to set a reminder to do the British and Australian lists on Outlook now - before I forget.

I have the literature review coming up after exams - so got to prepare for that as well as the exams. We'll see how that goes.

Posted by prejudice at 4:06 PM BST
Wednesday, 13 April 2005
How to get on top of my work!
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Tujhe jeevan ki dor se baandh liya hai (Rafi and Lata: Asli Naqli)
Topic: Questionnaire
Well ... Donna has sent me back the questionnaire in a web format - I have to go through and correct it - and I have to finish the list of OR lecturers in UK -there is so much work to get done - and I can't seem to make headway - since I am also trying to get in top of my work for the exams coming up in two weeks -I want to be able to get this off by this week - but wondering if I can do it - just got to work hard I guess ... I am going to work on getting that list of OR lecturers - although finishing log-linear analysis looks more important - but I'll see how I divide my time.

Posted by prejudice at 1:15 PM BST
Thursday, 7 April 2005
Questionnaire oft to be electronic
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Ventura Highway (America)
Topic: Questionnaire
So, this morning I had a meeting with Donna and Nick ... and I handed over my questionnaire to them to make into an electronic format - so that's great since I have to do that myself. Anyway, Doug, James and I did some correction on it yesterday - not sure if it is perfect - but we'll see as time progress. Donna says she'll have something for me by mid next week ... so, we'll see how that goes. I have to in the meantime get a list of these British lecturers and that seems to be a daunting task since I have exams etc coming up and I have to study those also - anyway, need to send these of as soon as possible although I told Donna by the end of April ... I really will prefer by the 15th or thereabouts and that is next Friday ... so, got to get cracking on those email addresses.

Well, I've also included the ATI from John in that - I haven't read much literature in it - but yet I am using it - so I hope I don't find too much problem ... I am not certain what to do about analysis as yet - I know I should have determined the analysis beforehand - but there just isn't time if I expect to get this off by April ... not sure how to link this with the linear programming questionnaire, well I could see if there are any correlations between some of the factors in the ATI to the focus and teaching of somethings in the linear programming questionnaire - I hope it does not come down to only descriptive statistics - I really need some inferential stuff.

I wonder if I should ask how long the person has been teaching LP - I'm just wondering if that will have some influence on what is being taught - since the old school might like to have all the details of the LP.

Anyway, I need to find the RASI ... got to ask John for his latest copy - dreading doing that though - not sure how willing he is to part with that - I did find a copy of the NASI because it is included in Thang's paper. Not sure how it is different - well I think the RASI that John uses is 52 items whilst the NASI that Thang uses is 53 items - so need to see the difference. Thang said she used some items from the original ASI and from the RASI - so will have to look at that - have not read the paper completely as yet - but it looks interesting - probably Linda has a copy of the RASI - will have to check with her.

Posted by prejudice at 2:52 PM BST
Friday, 11 March 2005
Some questions for the Computational and Learning Questionnaire
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Put your head on my shoulders (Paul Anka)
Topic: Questionnaire
James and Doug basically made me scrapped my two dimensional questionnaire, because it is going to be difficult to find relationships if the two dimensions don't correlate (there were some more arguments :D). Anyway, they probably know what's best - especially since this is a one year project - must make it as simple as possible - probably for the Ph.D can revisit that. Well, actually they did say that, probably, in this year find some foundation for those two dimensions and that type of questionnaire would become more meaningful.

So, James and Doug wants me to create some questions for the questionnaire by the 21st and not to worry about dimensions and scales!!! Sheesh ... suddenly realized how close that is, because the truth is I'll have to create it somewhere around the 17th so, I can send it off with the agenda, but I have DTZY840 due on the 18th.

Anyway, not sure what kind of questions to ask as yet. I have to find some questions that characterize the software and I am not sure if they should be yes/no or scaled questions. Let me think of some of the questions I can have related to the formulation of the problem:
1. Are students required to know how to formulate linear programming questions? (I wonder if giving an importance scale might be better - or something along AHP).

2. Is the formulation done by paper and pen or in the computer?
(I think I am going off track, the questions have to relate to defining computational and learning software - I am getting lost!)
Let me try some questions along the line of computation:
1. Are you aware if your software allows you to display the tableaus?

2. Are you able to choose the pivot row and variable without prompting from the software? (Was looking up on the net and see some people refer to it as the pivot element rather than variable and some just say the entering variable or basic variable)

3. Do you use the software to find the solution for the linear programming problem? (you see this is why I think there should be some scale - since everyone is going to use the software for some solution - yeah but thinking if there is only one yes to a list of questions then obviously using computational).

4. What algorithm is taught to students for using the software? (I am hoping it is simplex algorithm and nothing like interior-point or not only the network problems!)

5. What method are used for learning the simplex algorithm? (Using tableaus or matrices ... obviously can only answer this question if the previous one is answered simplex algorithm)
I think some practical course questions are also needed:
1. For how long is linear programming taught for in the course?
(Guess this can be a scale like 2 hrs, 8 hrs, 20 hrs - this will vary depending on the type of course I think).

2. What is the software used in conjunction with linear programming (if any)? (Not sure if I should provide a list or ask them to write it down.)

3. Are students provided with a workshop/ computer session for familiarization of the software? (Well, guess they should - unless it is some kind of TI calculator which they may be familiar with)

4. Is there a linear programming project associated with the course to use the software? (Not sure how useful this is - but in UWI students did this).

5. For which students is the course geared to? (I'm thinking maths, business and engineering - but there is also OR, agriculture, engineering management, business management, industrial engineering and economics that might have various levels).

6. Which department is the course based in? (Some courses although a business course could be taught by the math department - I'm thinking the math dept might influence the business style of course - guess that is where I can throw in some factor analysis - or the very least loglinear or logistic regression).
You know I am thinking, probably should make this a scorecard, like the first half positive towards learning software, so if answered yes, then add those points up, and the second half to computational software and if answered no, then those become points to add. A high score means using the software in a more learning basis. I will need to mix the questions up to ensure validity and reliability of the questionnaire.

Posted by prejudice at 4:56 PM GMT
Tuesday, 1 March 2005
Computational and Learning Questionnaire
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Karma Chameleon (Culture Club)
Topic: Questionnaire

So, had an informal meeting yesterday with Doug and James ... that went well ... James and I were updating Doug on the position of my research ... and its great to get Doug's input ... at first I was wondering if he would have added anything ... but he did!! I definitely think I should have as much people on my supervisory meetings as possible ... they do add ideas for you.

Anyway, what he said was that I should create a questionnaire that will be able to classify how lecturers use their software (or if at all) and try to make it a continuum such as from black-box to hand written. I think however the continuum in teaching linear programming should have two dimensions with respect to the:

1. teaching of the linear programming - that is from completely learning oriented to completely computational oriented

2. teaching using the software - that is from completely software oriented to completely hand-work oriented

Therefore, there can have four combinations:

1. hand work-learning oriented

2. hand work-computational oriented

3. software-learning oriented

3. software-computational oriented

Now, not sure what is teaching that is learning oriented - but I think I mean understanding the concepts - so I guess probably the nitty-gritty of why they are doing stuff - but I'm conflicted now ... won't the nitty gritty implied that you're doing the computational stuff??? I guess I should imply that the computational stuff means where the answer is given or maybe I should call that the blackbox approach. So, for hand-written I mean everything is done by hand, and by software I mean everything is done by software, the student doesn't touch pen and paper.

Alright, if I am going with that, I'm theorizing that math students in particular will most likely go with learning and hand written, learn the nitty gritty and do all iterations by hand. In this case they are using intermediate steps but practically. Then I am theorising that those who have learning and software, these will use intermediate step software.

So, what I'm saying there is two types of teaching one with intermediate steps and one without. Hmmm ... this comes to an interesting aspect ... does how the teacher teach the course relate to their intentions or beliefs ... i.e. how is learning-software related to their intentions or beliefs?

I think I've totally confused myself as yet! I am not sure what I am measuring any more .... oh well got to untangle this web I wove just now ... my brain is tied up in knots!

Posted by prejudice at 3:56 PM GMT

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