Teaching Internship – Week 9

I was away at a conference Sunday through mid-day Tuesday and rushed back just in time for class. Last week was the midterm, so Dr. M gave back the graded exams first to dispel any suspense. He allowed them to review their correct/incorrect answers and ask any questions. There were very few comments. Once they were done reviewing, he collected the tests and told students he would keep them in his office, and they were free to stop by and look at them whenever they wished. The mood in the classroom was a bit somber after this, and I wondered whether it would have been better to hand back the tests at the end of class.

At this point, I went over the e-portfolio assignment. I gave them a handout with details, and we drew names to assign peer reviewers. Dr. M had used portfolios in previous years and asked students to include work related to their final projects. This year, he decided that he wanted to do them electronically. It was my idea to assign peer reviewers to give them feedback on their literature reviews during the process. Following the class, I prepared an additional handout with the peer reviewer assignments and posted it on Blackboard.

We started covering chapter 7  on nonexperimental quantitative designs, and Dr. M began with a disclaimer. He clarified that his text categorizes these designs into descriptive, comparative, correlational, causal-comparative, and ex post facto studies, while many texts will classify all nonexperimental research as “descriptive.” He then talked about the basic characteristics of each of the designs in his framework, and asked students to think about their individual class projects.  We went around and took inventory to determine which research design applied to each project. This seemed to be a good way to apply the definitions in a concrete way, but it was clear that some students were still a bit confused.

Then Dr. M began breaking down each research design in a bit more detail. When we got to multiple correlation, it was late, and there were a lot of glazed expressions. He closed class by stressing that research questions should always be aligned with the research design, the data analysis method, and the conclusions…. which should all go back to the literature. I thought this was a good way to get back to the big picture, which often seems to get lost in the details.

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