Through a combination of narrated PowerPoint slides and real-time screen capture of PASW/SPSS, we present a novel research scenario, help students identify relevant variables of interest, identify the level of measurement for each variable, review some measures of central tendency (mean, median) and variability (standard deviation), input the data into PASW/SPSS, obtain descriptive statistics for nominal and scale variables for the entire sample and specific groups within the sample (by splitting the file), describe how to interpret the output, and communicate the findings in APA format. Captioning and highlighting are used to reinforce critical concepts and call attention to important information. The tutorial runs about 40 minutes. Reinforcing multiple-choice questions are periodically interspersed throughout the tutorial. Students select an answer and click on "Submit" to receive feedback. Students can select alternatives until they obtain the correct answer. Students have the option to fast-forward, rewind, and pause the tutorial using the “movie bar” below the tutorial.
Instructors have two means of making this resource available to students. First, the tutorial can be downloaded to any personal computer (Click the Link Below "Go to Screencast Tutorial for Descriptive Statistics" to download the zip file). The tutorial consists of four files. Create a folder called "Descriptive Statistics" on your Desktop or in My Documents. Download the files to this folder. Please note, the tutorial will not run if any files are missing or if files are housed in different locations. Click on the CatherineWMC.htm file. This will launch your default web browser and play the tutorial. The tutorial may take a few moments to load depending on the speed of your computer.
Author: Marianne Fallon, Jason F. Sikorski, Steven Horowitz, Laura Bowman, and Anna Patton
Central Connecticut State University
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