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ERIC Number: EJ1024706
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
Is It the Intervention or the Students? Using Linear Regression to Control for Student Characteristics in Undergraduate STEM Education Research
Theobald, Roddy; Freeman, Scott
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v13 n1 p41-48 Mar 2014
Although researchers in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education are currently using several methods to analyze learning gains from pre- and posttest data, the most commonly used approaches have significant shortcomings. Chief among these is the inability to distinguish whether differences in learning gains are due to the effect of an instructional intervention or to differences in student characteristics when students cannot be assigned to control and treatment groups at random. Using pre- and posttest scores from an introductory biology course, we illustrate how the methods currently in wide use can lead to erroneous conclusions, and how multiple linear regression offers an effective framework for distinguishing the impact of an instructional intervention from the impact of student characteristics on test score gains. In general, we recommend that researchers always use student-level regression models that control for possible differences in student ability and preparation to estimate the effect of any nonrandomized instructional intervention on student performance.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail: ascbinfo@ascb.org; Website: http://www.ascb.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A