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Enabling Ed.D. Graduation: Intelligent Technology to Support Statistical Skills and Broader Institutional Initiatives

James Lani (Statistics Solutions, LLC, USA)
Gerry Hanley (California State University, Office of the Chancellor & MERLOT, USA)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 9:15am
Student Services and Learner Support
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research Study
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Asia 1
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 5

A demonstration of how modern statistical software can be used as an educational tool to support the development of student skills and institutional initiatives.

Extended Abstract

California State University Doctor of Education degree programs are designed to achieve the following goals:

- Prepare administrative leaders for possible service in one of the following settings: (A) public elementary and secondary schools, or (B) community colleges;
- Focus on the knowledge and skills needed by administrators to be effective leaders in California public schools and community colleges;
- Offer programs through partnerships in which California public elementary and secondary schools and community colleges, as appropriate, shall participate substantively in program design, candidate recruitment and admissions, teaching, dissertation development, and program assessment and evaluation;
- Enable professionals to earn their degree while working full time.

The professional development, education, and training for working professionals pursuing an Ed.D. is critical for CSU graduating its candidates. Conducting statistical analyses, understanding the results of their analyses, and writing up the results required for their projects and dissertations are significant barriers for working professionals. Selecting between basic parametric and non-parametric statistical analyses, or conducting and interpreting more advanced statistical analyses, has kept faculty and students away from the using of these powerful techniques. In light of these barriers, the goals of the workshop are:

1. Showcase how usable, intelligent technologies can be key enablers for professional development in teacher preparation programs.
2. Enable participants to become more confident in appropriately selecting, accurately conducting and confidently presenting statistical analyses for an institutional research project. Participants will be able to statistically test a hypothesis and share the results of their findings with others using Statistics Solutions Pro (SSP).
3. Draft strategies for using Statistics Solutions Pro for their institutional initiative.

The workshop will begin with a case study using Ed.D. students from the California State University system, some of which used SSP and others that did not, and will illustrate the overcoming of barriers to selecting, conducting and presenting statistical analyses. The case study will compare different types of analyses used, the length of time to conduct analyses, and the benefits of working with a findings draft. Further, a comparison to traditional modes of data screening, selecting and conducting of the analyses and assumptions, and the preparation of a results draft will be shown.

The hands-on component of the workshop will begin with a brief introduction to SSP, and will be presented through five mini-lessons. The mini-lessons are: (1) data management and screening: composite scores and their reliability, imputing of missing data, and more, (2) selecting the appropriate analyses by using "quickplots" to assess the shape of the data, as well as the mouse scroll-over function reminding users of the goal and level of measurement of each analysis, (3) understanding the assumptions of the analyses using appropriate tests and the glossary of terms, (4) conducting, interpreting, and presenting the statistical findings in the proper APA format, and (5) explanatory tables and figures. Several examples will be worked through in each mini-lesson.

Finally, users will get hands-on experience with the online tool by using either their own data or one of several mock datasets. They will conduct analyses and work through each of the five mini-lessons. The participants will learn to easily impute missing data, create subscales in their dataset, and examine numerous plots. Next, participants will develop several hypotheses and then statistically test each of them. After downloading the findings in narrative, tables, and figures, each participant will present those findings to a peer. The workshop will finish with participants discussing possible applications to the participants' own institutional initiatives.

Following the workshop, the participants will recognize the value of Statistics Solutions Pro to overcome challenges facing the completion of advance degree programs in teacher education and other applied disciplines. Participants will engage with peers and presenters and have hands-on experience with the online tool to create a statistical findings draft in just 5 minutes. Participants will develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence of selecting, conducting and presenting of statistical analyses to test hypotheses so they can share the tool when they return to their institution.

Lead Presenter

Dr. Lani holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Miami University and a Masters of Arts in Psychology, option in Psychological Research, from California State University Long Beach. For the past 12 years his company has made the research process and quantitative analyses more understandable to graduate students and businesses through training, consulting, and quantitative software.