Teaching with data about college experiences

Ciaran Evans Speaker
Monday, Aug 7: 11:15 AM - 11:35 AM
Invited Paper Session 
Metro Toronto Convention Centre 
In this talk, we explore two different datasets which were collected to study two common aspects of the college experience: group projects and final exam stress. Both datasets are accessible to students without requiring detailed subject-area knowledge, and both are closely related to student experiences in classes and on campus. In the first study, researchers investigated how group identities and diversity related to performance on projects in a large business course, while the second study assesses whether petting and interacting with animals can really help manage stress. Each study allows students to think carefully about data collection, identity, and ethics: How should "group diversity" be measured from demographic characteristics? What demographic information is appropriate to collect and share in a study, and how does data privacy conflict with reproducibility? Throughout the talk, we suggest discussion questions on the data and the original research papers, and give examples of how these data can be used to teach topics like paired-sample tests, interaction terms in linear regression, and multiple comparisons.