Thursday, December 31, 2015

1st Annual Ed Psych RGSO Data Blitz was a Success!

The purpose of the Data Blitz was to give graduate students an opportunity to share their research with other graduate students.  Each student was given a maximum of seven minutes to present their research.  The Data Blitz allowed students to learn more about what peers have been working on, share feedback, and participate in discussions.

The following graduate students shared their research at the Data Blitz:

David Franklin
Franklin, D. (2015). The importance of instructor and student variables in course evaluations.             

Project Advisor: Dr. Zheng Yan (completed in EPSY 680)

Allyson Kaczmarek
Kaczmarek, A. (2015). Virtual multi-player game type and its effect on altruistic behavior tendencies.
Project Advisor: Dr. Joan Newman   

Kara Hogan
Hogan, K. (2015). Self-regulated learning by adults in an online professional development context.

Project Advisor: Dr. Heidi Andrade (dissertation)

Sung Yong Park
Park, S. Y. (2015). Self-compassion as a moderator of relationship between perceived stress, victimization experience and depression in soldiers in Korea.

Project Advisor: Dr. Zheng Yan

Park, S. Y. (2015). Self-disclosure on social networking sites: A systematic review.
Project Advisor: Dr. Zheng Yan

Hirah Mir
Mir, H. (2015). School experiences and change in ethnic identity over time.

Project Advisor: Dr. Zheng Yan (completed in EPSY 680)

Tom Robertson
Robertson, T. (2015). Haiti house person tree test: A multivariate generalizability study.

Project Advisor: Dr. Kim Colvin

Robertson, T. (2015). How to create and use factorial surveys for psychology.

Project Advisor: Dr. Zheng Yan

Julio McLaughlin
McLaughlin, T. (2015). Use of formative assessment instruments to foster creativity in science inquiry contexts.

Project Advisor: Dr. David Dai

Fusun Sahin
Sahin, F. (2015). Analyzing students’ usage of Blackboard Learning Management System from log data.

Project Advisor: Dr. Zheng Yan 

Sahin, F. (2015). Automated detection of items for key validation.

Project Advisor: Jerome Clauser, American Board of Internal Medicine

Wenqian Wang
Wang, W. Q. (2015). Ethnic differences in helicopter parenting in the U.S.

Project Advisor: Dr. Zheng Yan (completed in EPSY 680)

A huge thank you to the event coordinators for making the first Data Blitz possible, the presenters for sharing their research, and everyone who attended!

Fall Brown Bag #3 with Dr. Jessica Namkung

For our last Brown Bag of the semester, Dr. Jessica Namkung presented her research regarding students' learning of fractions.  She presented two studies, and a discussion followed regarding students' fraction knowledge.

One study investigated the cognitive mechanisms underlying students' fraction and whole-number learning.  Dr. Namkung chose to focus on specific cognitive factors used for calculations including working memory, processing speed, phonological reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, language, incoming calculation, and attentive behavior.  She then examined these predictors to determine if there was a difference in which underlying mechanisms are present for fraction learning compared to whole-number learning.  Dr. Namkung used factor analysis to determine that the significant predictors of fraction learning are language, processing speed, and attentive behavior.  Significant predictors of whole-number learning were found to be processing speed, attentive behavior, and incoming calculation.  In conclusion, both attentive behavior and processing speed are common predictors.  Some implications for instruction include training students on using the predictors, teaching more mathematical strategies that allow for students to compensate for slow processing speed in order to increase efficiency, explicitly teaching vocabulary, and requiring students to explain their understanding of terms.

The second study examined the abundance of fraction difficulties that exist among students.  According to Dr. Namkung, whole-number bias is a common occurrence in students' understanding of fractions, and this reasoning has an effect on students' understanding of fraction magnitudes.  Dr. Namkung examined fourth graders considered to have adequate whole-number knowledge and fourth graders with deficits in whole-number knowledge.  She found that students with adequate whole-number knowledge performed better on fraction problems than students with less severe whole-number knowledge deficits, and students with less severe whole-number knowledge deficits performed better than students with more severe whole-number knowledge deficits.  Significant differences were shown for all groups.  In conclusion, this study found that if a student has difficulties with whole-numbers then the student is likely to also have difficulties understanding fractions, and more research needs to be conducted to determine why this relationship exists.