Thursday, October 11, 2007

Facebook and Memory

During a faculty dinner a couple of weeks ago a faculty member from the computer science department, Dean Stevens, and I somehow got on the topic of student use of compters, specifically Facebooking, during class and the effects. We got interested in finding empirical evidence for the belief that engaging in Facebook during a lecture would lead to poorer retention of the material presented.

Currently we are collaborating on digging a couple of studies out of this idea: First, how much to students use Facebook during class, what applications do they use the most, and do students perceive it as a problem for retention when they use it during class. Secondly, we plan do to a controlled lab study involving memory retention and the use of Facebook.

We are in the early stages and will hopefully be deploying the first suvey research in a few weeks. Additionally, I have a couple of psychology students working with us (what a new concept for me and exciting!).

Friday, September 21, 2007

Designing an online study questions program

I have been working for the past 6 months or so on developing and building a program that has the potential to present online study questions to students for use when preparing for exams. Not only will this serve as a resource for my students, but also as a research tool for myself. I also plan to incorporate data gathering tools within this system.

I am using Macromedia Authorware for this project. This program is a pretty flexible program to build interactive educational software. It requires little formal programming knowledge, but allows programmers to build interactive games, simulations, animations, tutorials, and the like.

This is a long-term project that I hope will be successful and allow me to investigate different aspects of such tools and to investigate what the best design and use of such a tool would be.

Reanalysis and Writing of Dissertation Publication

I successfully defended my dissertation in time for May 2007 graduation and have received my PhD from the University of North Dakota. The next step in this process is for me to formulate a means to mine some data from the large data set from this project and write up my results for a publication in a journal.

Currently I am still attempting to find a set of analyses that will be appropriate for publication and after that is accomplished I intend to submit the final manuscript to Teaching of Psychology.


The purpose of this blog is for a convenient place to list the projects (professional and community) that I am involved in.