Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Publications

2 Design of a Statistics Lecture for Multidisciplinary Postgraduate Students Using a Range of Tools and Techniques

Authors: S. Assi, M. Haffar

Abstract:

Teaching statistics is a critical and challenging issue especially to students from multidisciplinary and diverse postgraduate backgrounds. Postgraduate research students require statistics not only for the design of experiments; but also for data analysis. Students often perceive statistics as a complex and technical subject; thus, they leave data analysis to the last moment. The lecture needs to be simple and inclusive at the same time to make it comprehendible and address the learning needs of each student. Therefore, the aim of this work was to design a simple and comprehendible statistics lecture to postgraduate research students regarding ‘Research plan, design and data collection’. The lecture adopted the constructive alignment learning theory which facilitated the learning environments for the students. The learning environment utilized a student-centered approach and used interactive learning environment with in-class discussion, handouts and electronic voting system handsets. For evaluation of the lecture, formative assessment was made with in-class discussions and poll questions which were introduced during and after the lecture. The whole approach showed to be effective in creating a learning environment to the students who were able to apply the concepts addressed to their individual research projects.

Keywords: Teaching, statistics, lecture, multidisciplinary, postgraduate, learning theory, learning environment, student-centered approach, data analysis.

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1 Development of a Rating Scale for Elementary EFL Writing

Authors: Mohammed S. Assiri

Abstract:

In EFL programs, rating scales used in writing assessment are often constructed by intuition. Intuition-based scales tend to provide inaccurate and divisive ratings of learners’ writing performance. Hence, following an empirical approach, this study attempted to develop a rating scale for elementary-level writing at an EFL program in Saudi Arabia. Towards this goal, 98 students’ essays were scored and then coded using comprehensive taxonomy of writing constructs and their measures. An automatic linear modeling was run to find out which measures would best predict essay scores. A nonparametric ANOVA, the Kruskal-Wallis test, was then used to determine which measures could best differentiate among scoring levels. Findings indicated that there were certain measures that could serve as either good predictors of essay scores or differentiators among scoring levels, or both. The main conclusion was that a rating scale can be empirically developed using predictive and discriminative statistical tests.

Keywords: Analytic scoring, rating scales, writing assessment, writing performance.

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