Publications and Presentations

StatHand has been the subject of several academic journal articles and presentations. Further details are provided below.

Publications

Allen, P. J., Dorozenko, K. P., & Roberts, L. D. (2016) Difficult decisions: A qualitative exploration of the statistical decision making process from the perspectives of psychology students and academics. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, Article 188. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00188

  • Link: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00188/full
  • Abstract: Quantitative research methods are essential to the development of professional competence in psychology. They are also an area of weakness for many students. In particular, students are known to struggle with the skill of selecting quantitative analytical strategies appropriate for common research questions, hypotheses and data types. To begin understanding this apparent deficit, we presented nine psychology undergraduates (who had all completed at least one quantitative methods course) with brief research vignettes, and asked them to explicate the process they would follow to identify an appropriate statistical technique for each. Thematic analysis revealed that all participants found this task challenging, and even those who had completed several research methods courses struggled to articulate how they would approach the vignettes on more than a very superficial and intuitive level. While some students recognized that there is a systematic decision making process that can be followed, none could describe it clearly or completely. We then presented the same vignettes to 10 psychology academics with particular expertise in conducting research and/or research methods instruction. Predictably, these "experts" were able to describe a far more systematic, comprehensive, flexible, and nuanced approach to statistical decision making, which begins early in the research process, and pays consideration to multiple contextual factors. They were sensitive to the challenges that students experience when making statistical decisions, which they attributed partially to how research methods and statistics are commonly taught. This sensitivity was reflected in their pedagogic practices. When asked to consider the format and features of an aid that could facilitate the statistical decision making process, both groups expressed a preference for an accessible, comprehensive and reputable resource that follows a basic decision tree logic. For the academics in particular, this aid should function as a teaching tool, which engages the user with each choice-point in the decision making process, rather than simply providing an "answer." Based on these findings, we offer suggestions for tools and strategies that could be deployed in the research methods classroom to facilitate and strengthen students' statistical decision making abilities.

Allen, P. J., Roberts, L. D., Baughman, F. D., Loxton, N. J., Van Rooy, D., Rock, A. J., & Finlay, J. (2016). Introducing StatHand: A cross-platform mobile application to support students’ statistical decision making. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, Article 288. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00288

  • Link: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00288/full
  • Abstract: Although essential to professional competence in psychology, quantitative research methods are a known area of weakness for many undergraduate psychology students. Students find selecting appropriate statistical tests and procedures for different types of research questions, hypotheses and data types particularly challenging, and these skills are not often practiced in class. Decision trees (a type of graphic organizer) are known to facilitate this decision making process, but extant trees have a number of limitations. Furthermore, emerging research suggests that mobile technologies offer many possibilities for facilitating learning. It is within this context that we have developed StatHand, a free cross-platform application designed to support students’ statistical decision making. Developed with the support of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, StatHand guides users through a series of simple, annotated questions to help them identify a statistical test or procedure appropriate to their circumstances. It further offers the guidance necessary to run these tests and procedures, then interpret and report their results. In this Technology Report we will overview the rationale behind StatHand, before describing the feature set of the application. We will then provide guidelines for integrating StatHand into the research methods curriculum, before concluding by outlining our road map for the ongoing development and evaluation of StatHand.

A third paper, describing an experimental evaluation of StatHand, is currently in preparation. Once published the details will be added to this page.

Presentations

Presentations are listed in chronological order. Note that StatHand was referred to as StatTree in some of the earlier presentations.

Allen, P., Baughman, F., & Roberts, L. (2013, March 7-9). StatTree: An interactive decision tree app to guide statistical decision making. Paper presented at the ATEE (Association for Teacher Education in Europe) Winter Conference, University of Genoa, Italy.

Allen, P. (2013, November 14). StatTree: An interactive decision tree mobile application to guide students’ statistical decision making. Poster presented at the WAND (West Australian Network for Dissemination) Sharing Day, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Australia.

Allen, P. (2014, March 10-14). StatTree: An interactive decision tree mobile application to guide students’ statistical decision making. Paper presented at the Festival of Learning, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Allen, P., Baughman, F., Roberts, L., Van Rooy, D., Rock, A., Loxton, N., & Lourenco, A. (2014, June 10-11). StatHand: A rationale for the development of a mobile application to guide students' statistical decision making. Poster presented at the 2014 OLT (Office for Learning and Teaching) Conference: Learning and Teaching for our Times: Higher Education in the Digital Era, Sydney. Australia

Allen, P., & Roberts, L. D. (2014, July 7-10). StatHand: Progressing a mobile application to support statistical decision making. Poster presented at the 37th HERDSA (Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia) Conference: Higher Education in a Globalized World, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong.

Allen, P., Lourenco, A., Finlay, J., Roberts, L. (2014, August 3-5). Difficult decisions: A qualitative exploration of students' statistical decision making strategies. Paper to be presented at the 6th International Conference on Psychology Education (ICOPE6), Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, USA.

Allen, P., Roberts, L., & Baughman, F. (2015, January 29-30). Introducing StatHand: A mobile application supporting students' statistical decision making. Paper presented at the 24th WA Teaching and Learning Forum, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.

Allen, P. (2015, March 16-20). Introducing StatHand: A mobile application supporting students’ statistical decision making. Paper presented at the Festival of Learning, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Allen, P., Roberts, L., Baughman, F., Loxton, N., Van Rooy, D., Rock, A., & Finlay, J. (2015, October 27-30). StatHand: A mobile application supporting students’ statistical decision making. Poster presented at the 12th ISSOTL (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) Conference, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

Allen, P., Roberts, L., Baughman, F., Rock, A., Van Rooy, D., Loxton, N., & Finlay, J. (2016, January 28-29). StatHand: A mobile application supporting students’ statistical decision making. Paper presented at the 25th WA Teaching and Learning Forum, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Roberts, L., Allen, P., Baughman, F., Loxton, N., Van Rooy, D., Rock, A., & Finlay, J. (2016, July 24-29). StatHand: A mobile application supporting student statistical decision making. Paper presented at the 31st International Congress of Psychology, Yokohama, Japan.