Internet Research Team

Public Group active 5 months ago

Help requested: Survey of students online compostion practices

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
  • #16932
    Amanda Licastro

    Hello IRT hive mind,

    I am beginning to work on my dissertation which is an in-depth study of student writing in open online spaces. To begin this investigation I am conducting an online, anonymous survey of entering freshman about their online composition habits previous to entering CUNY. My hope is to discover how and why students wrote online before entering college, and assess how prepared/comfortable student were composing online before entering college.

    However, I am not trained as a social scientist and formulated survey questions is a tricky business. I would greatly appreciate the guidance of a mentor who has experience conducting this kind of research so I can execute this study in adherence to best practices.

    I already have a draft of this survey, I am in the midst of IRB approval, and am working on a Google Forms/ WordPress based dissemination method. If anyone is this wonderful group has advice for me I would greatly appreciate it!

    Thank you in advance!
    Amanda Licastro

    Jen Jack Gieseking

    Hi Amanda,

    I’d love to participate in giving you feedback. While surveys aren’t my forte, I can still contribute some thoughts and ideas. Besides general feedback, I wanted to share that I am sure other folks have done something similar. It would save you a huge amount of brainstorming to find those other survey “instruments” (as the terminology goes), and then build yours in comparison according to what did and did not work for those people. I would dig through the socsci and pedagogy journals with mention of anything like this and see if they list their instruments or if the authors would share theirs with you.

    One question I want to through in the mix is that CUNY is one of the most diverse university systems in the world. Given the strong population of ESL students, how will you account for that? I’m not sure if you were ever a Writing Fellow, but Denis Paoli at Hunter who runs the Writing Center has a lot of thoughts, material, and knowledge about this that would be a huge boost for you in this area. And he’s just fabulous and will be so excited about your work.

    It sounds like a great study! I’m excited to see what you find!

    Amanda Licastro

    JJG, thank you for the encouragement! I am asking the students to identify their native language, and am considering how to account for that as I proceed. Can you suggest some particularly relevant journals for me? I would be interested in seeing similar studies from other disciplines (I am working in writing studies/ composition and rhetoric).

    Sonia K. González

    Hi Amanda,

    In addition to what Jack’s contributed, I’d also encourage you to think about using a secure site for storing your data. My understanding is that by using google forms, google then owns your data. Just something to think about.

    I’ve used the CUNY Opinio system and that worked fine, and I’ve also pre-tested Survey Monkey but that’s a paid service if you want to use more than 10 questions.

    Hope this is helpful,

    Steve Brier

    A couple of my students have used Opinio and have said it works well.

    Jen Jack Gieseking

    Howdy again,

    I don’t know exact journals but I would look to communication studies and psychology journal databases and search in there. I would see what folks at the Anenberg Ctr at UPenn are doing because your research overlaps in cool, new ways with what I have heard about folks doing there.

    Also, the GC really should look into Qualtrics. There is a rep who keeps trying to get us to buy their services but doesn’t know who to speak to at the GC. It has the same price as Opinio and much easier and greater functionality. Opinio will be fine though.

    Lastly, when you have your data, I suggest looking into hiring a psych grad student who does stats in all of their work. They can sit with you for a few weeks, a couple hours a day a week, to run regressions, etc., with you if you don’t know how. I did this recently and it was a huge, fun, and smart learning experience that was worth what I spent. I had taken stats my first year but it had been so long since I applied them. You’ll find really awesome things in your data through statistical graph analyses you might not otherwise know. Or you know R? Or R is calling you? 😉 If the latter, Evan Misshula is awesome in this and should do some (livestreamed, eh hem) IRT sessions on it because he’s fabulous and so instructive.

    Cheers from the north,

    Amanda Licastro

    Wow, this group is really fantastic! I did consult with the IRB personnel, and they did suggest using a GC support survey tool. Opinio looks to be a good option as the documentation claims:
    Opinio is a comprehensive system to create, publish, analyze and maintain surveys. With java/servlets at its base, it is a platform independent, robust and scalable survey system.

    Opinio is designed to be:

    Platform/OS independent . The use of Java/servlets makes this possible.
    Database independent . All database interaction are in compliance with the ANSI standard. This enables Opinio to support databases like Oracle, Microsoft Sql Server, DB2, PostgreSQL, MySql and others.
    Client independent. The administration module is designed as a web-based interface, but the survey module is designed to handle any type of client. A web based survey module has been implemented, and new client types will be added soon (WAP, PDAs, Email, phone, etc).
    Language independent . New languages are very easy to add.

    Opinio stores all its information in a central database; surveys, responses to surveys, admin users and access rights – all stored in one single place. Opinio does not require a specific database engine. Apache Derby (default), Oracle, MS Sql server, IBM DB2, MySql, and Postgres are supported.

    I have an account and am working on testing this program now!

    Also, I am interested in learning R and am considering applying to DHWI to get a crash course this winter. However if anyone can refer me to a statistician that would be interested send them my way!

    A very sincere thank you to all,

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.