Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Weeks twelve and thirteen: Analysis of data and results

The next two weeks in the course schedule have been allocated to the analysis of the data you have been collecting, and writing up your findings as results. For some of you this will be feasible, but for others data collection may just be beginning. And others have been in touch about extending the evaluation project. Flexibility is key in any project, so it is important to set yourself realistic timelines.

When you do get some data, remember to keep the analysis manageable, and use methods with which you are familiar. For example, calculating percentages (frequencies) and means can transform raw data into manageable chunks. For this project the key is to keep your data analysis simple - when you have more time you can explore the fancy stuff. Think about how you will present the data. Will it be in tables and/or graphs?

My suggestion is that you load your data into a spreadsheet so you can easily manipulate it, and create graphs if that is the way you wish to illustrate your findings. It is important to explain your findings to the reader whether they are presented in tables or graphs. The results section should have tables of data which has been manipulated e.g. means or frequencies. Tables which show basic data with little done to it, can be added to the appendices in your final report.

There are some examples of results and reports in the Resources area so you can see what others have done. Make sure you post your initial findings to your blog and ask for help if you need some direction. And do give feedback to at least two other people on their blogs; every bit helps.

Results of polls
It looks like people favour some synchronous sessions in the evening at 7.30 pm. There is a mix of preference for a question and answer session and a social get together, and the majority would like to hear from an expert. Keep your eyes on the blog for announcements.

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