module 8

 
Assignment 1: Final Exam
The purpose of this exam is to give you the opportunity to formulate research questions, run the analyses, and interpret the results of the statistics covered in this class. The final exam is due by midnight on the due date, by the due date assigned, as a single Microsoft Word document placed in the Submissions Area. The document must be in APA format.
Please read through the entire exam first.
The exam consists of three sections
I. The research scenario—to provide the context for the data. Please note that the data are “content-neutral,” i.e., they do not refer to a specific discipline or field.
II. The codebook—this identifies the variables (names, labels, and measurement scale) in the database.
III. The exam instructions—for completing the exam. Be sure to read each question carefully and answer each question completely.
I. Research Scenario:
An organization wants to know if participants with varying levels of expertise (professionals, paraprofessionals, and nonprofessionals) improve their knowledge after completing a training program.
The organization collected demographic information: gender, age, type of training (professional, paraprofessional, or nonprofessional), location of the worksite (on-site or off-site) and years of experience.
A pre-training test of knowledge, a training program, and post-training test of knowledge was developed. Participants were tested, then participated in the three-week training program, and then were tested again.
The dataset also includes (1) a measure of participant confidence in knowledge and (2) a certification exam score.
The data are discipline-neutral. Therefore, part of your final project is to create a context for the research that is associated with your discipline or area of interest (e.g., training to assess mental health status; training to work with special education children; training to become a technician or consultant).
II. Codebook
Variable InformationVariableLabelMeasurement ScaleCatagory NameIDN/AN/AN/AGenderGenderNominal
1 = Male
2 = Female
ageAge in YearsRatio 
qualification
Professional Qualification
Nominal1 = Professional
2 = Paraprofessional
3 = NonprofessionalworksiteLocation of WorkNominal1 = On-Site
2 = Off-Siteknowledge1Level of knowledge before TrainingIntervalN/Aknowledge2Level of knowledge after TrainingIntervalN/AyearsYears of ExperienceRatioN/AconfidenceConfidence in knowledgeIntervalN/AexamCertification in knowledgeIntervalN/A
III. Exam Instructions
Overview
Your task is to review the dataset, formulate a context, and then use your knowledge of statistics to answer the research questions and test hypotheses that will help the organization evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
Part I. Create your context.
Using the research scenario and variables identified in the codebook, create a “story” that describes the purpose and focus of the study. In a few paragraphs describe the intent of your investigation in the form of a problem background and purpose statement.
Part II. Describe your sample.
Generate frequency tables and bar charts for the nominal variables. Generate and interpret descriptive statistics of central tendency, variability, skewness, and kurtosis for the continuous (scale) variables. Generate frequency tables and histograms with the normal curve superimposed for each scale variable. Label your tables and graphs according to APA format. Conclude with a paragraph summarizing the demographic characteristics of this sample.

Gender (nominal)
Age (scale)
Qualification (nominal)
Worksite (nominal)
Knowledge1 (scale)
Knowledge2 (scale)
Years (scale)
Confidence (scale)
Exam (scale)

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Part III. Describe relationships among the variables.
Select the variables that are measured on interval or ratio scales. Create a correlation matrix.  Label the table according to APA format. Identify and discuss the strongest and weakest correlations.
Part IV. Answer any FOUR of the nine following research questions. Clearly identify which question(s) you have selected to answer by writing the number associated with the question (1-9) before each answer. Make sure to select four questions that must be answered by 4 DIFFERENT tests. For example. One t-test, one ANOVA, one regression and one chi-square; NOT a single sample t-test, independent sample t-test and paired sample t-test as these all fall under t-test.
Based on the research scenario and the data, restate the research question, identify the Independent and Dependent Variable(s), formulate the hypothesis, conduct an analysis, and interpret the results for each of the following. Please use the 7 step hypothesis testing model for each analysis, including an APA-style conclusion statement summarizing the findings, interpreting the results and answering the research question.

Is there a significant difference in knowledge between on-site and off-site workers beforethey take the training?
Is there a significant increase in knowledge as a result of the training?
Do participants of different classifications (professional, paraprofessional, and nonprofessional) perform differently on the certification exam? Which group performs best?
What are the effects of gender and worksite location (on- or off-site) on level of confidence? In other words:

Is there a gender difference in confidence?
Does type of worksite experience affect confidence?
Is there an interaction between gender and worksite in their effect on confidence?

After controlling for prior knowledge, is there a difference between professionals, paraprofessionals, and non-professionals in knowledge after the training?
Does age predict performance on the certification exam?
In addition to age, does confidence improve the ability to predict performance on the certification exam?
Does the distribution of the classifications of participants (professional, paraprofessional, and nonprofessional) differ than what one would expect by chance?
Does the distribution of the classifications (professional, paraprofessional, and nonprofessional) differ from the State data reported as 15%, 25% and 60%?

Part V. Summarize your findings.
Synthesize the results of your four analyses. Include a brief summary of the sample characteristics and the major findings. Interpret the findings so that the organization’s leaders will have an understanding of the similarities and differences in knowledge, and how effective the training program is in improving knowledge.
All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.
Assignment 1 Grading CriteriaMaximum Points
Part I.  Create your context.
Using the research scenario and variables identified in the codebook, create a “story” that describes the purpose and focus of the study. In a few short paragraphs describe the intent of your investigation in the form of a problem background and purpose statement.
10 = problem background described
10 = purpose described
5 = relevance to field of study
5 = APA format and writing style
30
Part II. Describe your sample.
Generate frequency tables and bar charts for the nominal variables. Generate and interpret descriptive statistics of central tendency, variability, skewness, and kurtosis for the continuous (scale) variables. Generate frequency tables and histograms with the normal curve superimposed for all scale variables. Label your tables and graphs according to APA format. Conclude with a paragraph summarizing the demographic characteristics of this sample.
Displays correct choice of graph or chart and describes sample using correct descriptive statistics
5 = Gender
10 = Age
5 = qualification
5 = worksite
10 = knowledge1
10 = knowledge2
10 = years
10 = confidence
10 = exam
5 = APA format and writing style
80
Part III. Describe relationships among the variables.
Select the variables that are measured on interval or ratio scales. Create a correlation matrix. Label the table according to APA format. Identify and discuss the strongest and weakest correlations.
10 = identify and discuss strong positive and negative correlations.
10 = identify and discuss weak positive and negative correlations.
5 = APA format and writing style
25
Part IV. Answer FOUR of the nine following research questions.
Based on the research scenario and the data, you restate the research question, formulate the hypothesis, conduct an analysis, and interpret the results for each of the following. Please use the 7-step hypothesis testing model for each analysis, including a summary statement interpreting the results and answering the research question. You should select items so that you present 4 different types of analyses.
24 = Correct hypothesis
24 = Correct choice of statistical technique
24 = Correct tables
32 = Correct summary and interpretation
24 = APA format and writing style
Question Breakdown: (32 pts each)
6 = Correct hypothesis
6 = Correct choice of statistical technique
6 = Correct tables
8 = Correct summary and interpretation
6 = APA format and writing style
128
Part V. Summarize your results.
Summarize the findings and relate them to the stated purpose of the research. This includes a brief summary of the sample characteristics, including (based on your results) interesting differences between groups. Then, discuss what the results say about the effectiveness of the program that would be relevant to the organization’s intent.
5 = Summarize findings
14 = Describe and interpret sample characteristics and differences in knowledge
14 = Interpret results in terms of program effectiveness
4 = APA format and writing style
37Total:300 

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