I have data!

I’ve now completed data collection for my pilot survey, and have taken a peek at it in the statistics program SPSS. I haven’t used this program before, but it looks like it should be fairly easy to learn (famous last words!). I’m now coding in the correct answers.

Here’s what my data looks like.

I thought that I’d gotten 408 responses from students, but when I looked more closely, several hadn’t answered all the questions. I really only got 268 usable responses, but that’s still enough since I only needed 5 times the number of questions (51).

Tove and Torstein helped me to get started today with exporting and “cleaning” my data. They also showed me how to do the tests I need in order to determine which questions (called “items” in research) are useful, and to eliminate items that aren’t useful. For this I’ll use Classical test theory (Point biserial correlation and Item facility), Exploratory factor analysis, and Item response theory.

Yippee! I’m on my way!

Today’s exam

Today I had a 2-hour final exam in my statistics class. It was a digital exam with 19 short answer, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank  questions. It’s pass/fail, and although I know that I got some questions (partly) wrong, I’m pretty sure I’ll pass.  The first question was really hard, and I was worried that if all were that difficult I’d be in serious trouble, but luckily there were some easier questions too.  Most of the topics were covered in the lectures, but one question included a term that I’d never heard before, so I just had to “row” as we say in Norwegian (or “BS” as we say in English!).

This is our textbook and it’s actually quite funny. The author makes statistics (almost) enjoyable!

I studied hard and struggled learning the material, using flash cards towards the end to memorize definitions and formulas. It was a useful, yet sometimes frustrating (see my last blog post) process, and goes to show that one can still learn new things at the ripe age of √3364! 🙂

Speaking of numbers, I started as a PhD student 6 months ago today! My trial period is over in a few hours, and since no one has asked me to leave yet, I’ll most likely stay for another 3 1/2 years. 🙂