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1. Identify situation to investigate
For a comparative study, note that you will need to apply the logs before the identified situation as well as after.
2. Identify key areas of interest
3. Construct statements
Generally, they should be short, concise and unambiguous. Keep each statement simple; avoid combining areas together in one statement (or using high level statements) - if the student feels very confident in one aspect and not in the other it is very difficult for them to rate their confidence and fairly meaningless for you. Hint
Remember to use language which the students will understand, particularly if you think they may have experience of the material in another context. Also, remember that there is a difference between an understanding of a theoretical and a technical competency so be clear what you are interested in, and communicate this to the student! (See note at end.)
4. Practicalities of application
Where will you be able to get access to the students? In an existing lecture or lab., or will you need to arrange something?
How will the logs be presented? Part of the how is the introduction/instructions you give to the students. Some people use a short introductory paragraph to explain what is required of the student, others give these instructions verbally, some use both. This is really dependant on the situation but the students should receive some guidance. Other aspects you might consider include: whether the logs are going to be electronic- or paper-based; who, if anyone, will need to be there to administer the logs; and how long will it take to complete the logs? Hint
Comparative - If you have anonymous logs you can look at the spread of confidence in a standard bar chart format for each of the statements. Comparing the bar charts before and after an activity will give you a general indication of any shift.
Snapshots - By constructing bar charts for each statement (as above) you can gain an overall impression of the confidence of the class at a given moment which can be compared with your expectations.
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Last modified: 25 March 1999.