Teaching Internship – Week 11

Dr. M emailed me this morning to say that he would be late to class because of a meeting off-campus. He asked me to start class by asking if there were any questions about nonexperimental quantitative designs. Class got off to a slow start because because a number of students were missing, so I waited about 10 minutes to give them time to arrive. When I asked students whether there were any topics that had been confusing from chapter 7, it took a little while for anyone to speak up, so I prompted them with the framework that we covered and some of the terms.

This led to some questions regarding the types of  nonexperimental designs and some confusion about overlap between designs. For example, students seemed to have trouble understanding how to determine the design when a study was ex post facto but also involved comparisons. I’m not sure I did a great job of explaining this, so I talked to Dr. M later when he arrived, and he clarified (which was actually helpful to me as well). Another question came from a student who didn’t completely understand multiple correlation. I think I did a better job of answering that one.

After reviewing chapter 7 questions, I asked students whether any of their projects could be classified as causal-comparative or ex post facto designs, and we talked about a couple of proposals. Then we moved into small groups/pairs to evaluate a research article that Dr. M had distributed the previous week. I circulated among the groups to make sure they were on track. By the time we were wrapping up, Dr. M arrived.

At that point, we moved on to chapter 8 and began covering experimental designs. After talking about the characteristics of experimental research, we began focusing on experimental validity, specifically the threats to internal validity. Dr. M told the class that he doesn’t usually tell students to memorize things, but he did tell them that they needed to know all 11 threats to internal validity that are listed in the book. He suggested that they write them all on an index card and stick it to the bathroom mirror. His tone was serious, but the students laughed and left class on a high note.

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