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Thesis Testing

Yesterday I tested the software that I will be using to collect data for my thesis. Boy am I glad I did a test run. There are so many new variables I need to consider now that I had never imagined would be necessary for this type of study. 

The first problem I encountered was the setting up of students within the program as individual entries. This would have taken forever to individualize each entry. In the actual study, I’m thinking I may have to assign students a number and then ask for demographic info later (more info on demographics later).

The next problem I need to work around is that the default screen wasn’t large enough to contain all the students in the class. The icons for each student were so close together that I was unable to click on certain students as they were speaking. I immediately fixed this by exiting the program and starting over and creating my own rectangular layout. This helped immensely. 

Ok, back to problem number one which in all is really a few problems. One minor issue is that without the student names, I was unable to keep track of who was talking. I realize now that this probably won’t be as big an issue when tracking whole class activities where students are divided. But all that brings me back to demographics. If I include demographics within each icon at the onset of running the software, I am worried that this will make the study less reliable. However, thinking about it now, again, I’m not that worried. I do have a work-around if I need it. Basically, I would assign each student a number, have them sit with a number tent in front of them, then send out a survey asking demographic information after the study. I don’t think this is at all a necessary step as I am only targeting EL students. 

My next test will need to be a classroom run of the software. I need to see how this plan will work in a running classroom and not during a socratic seminar. 

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