Produce a report of up to 2,500 words. Worth 60% of overall mark. The report is designed to evaluate students ability to conduct and report quantitative research. Note the word limit penalties as described in notes of guidance.
Using an appropriate dataset (you can use an appropriate dataset from your own research field or a standard dataset will be provided), students will be required to examine relationships between independent and dependent variables, and when doing so, create and test at least three hypotheses. Broadly, students will be expected to perform the steps outlined in the marking criteria below (statistics).
It is essential that the Conclusion presents the findings in a way understandable to the lay audience who are not familiar with statistics, and it discusses the limitations of the study. Before embarking upon this work, the assessment will be discussed fully in one of the sessions. Marking Criteria
For the report, the marker will be looking to see evidence of the following:
An explanation of the chosen research questions. There should be at least three testable directional hypotheses.
For each hypothesis:
1. Identification of dependent and independent variables, and justification for the variables chosen
2. Comments on the distribution of data (e.g. outliers)
3. Clearly report descriptive data for the variables, including means and standard deviations where relevant
4. Rationale for choice of test
5. Report and interpret findings in the appropriate manner. Accept/reject hypothesis In the report, it is essential that:
1. At least one test of association/correlation will be performed (e.g. parametric: Pearsons r; non-parametric: Chi2)
2. At least one test of variance will be performed (e.g. ANOVA)
3. At least one test looking at sub-sampling into different groups In the report, it is essential that the Conclusion section
1. Summarises findings in a way that is understandable to a lay audience and
2. Identifies weaknesses in the study such as limitations of the data set.
Finally, please note that sophisticated tests such as a MANOVA and/or a multiple regression can be incorporated, but are not essential. Marking Scheme
An excellent pass. The report produces a set of clear testable hypotheses, a coherent discussion of why variables were chosen and demonstrates an awareness of statistical assumptions. The report uses the appropriate techniques in a sophisticated fashion and the analysis of the results is clearly based on the model results.
Clear Pass (60-69)
The hypotheses are identified with some precision. There is some discussion of why the variables were chosen. Some discussion of the statistical assumptions is made and there is an attempt to critically analyse the statistical results.
The hypotheses are identified, but its formulation is in need of considerable refinement to make them clear. There is some but limited awareness of the assumptions and the choice of variables for analysis. Reports in this category are likely to have only a basic understanding of the relevant ideas, concepts and arguments and produce little detailed analysis of the statistical output.
The report produces incoherent analyses. Hypotheses are incorrect and the methodology is very poor. The report will make little attempt to analyse the data and will provide little discussion of the assumptions of the regression model. The report will provide very basic overview of results with no in-depth interpretations.
Clear Fail (0-39)
The report is poorly formulated. No hypotheses are identified and understanding of the methodology is non-existent. The report will lack any sense of analysis and will not attempt to explain data in terms of a model. The report will provide only a very superficial discussion of the quantitative results.
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