Shapesplosion is an on-line game in which a person is expected to place specifically shaped pegs into the appropriate holes within a short time period. In this project, students are asked to use the Shapesplosion game to design an experiment and collect data. This game is specifically designed so that students have the opportunity to develop and test their own unique research question.
You can leave all the variables blank when you are simply trying out the game, however, if you want to find your score is the database of results, you will need to select the Participant Info box.
The following link allows you to play to the Shapesplosion Game.
In the following activites, students will have the opportunity to design and analyze an experiment. They will:
Some older versions of Adobe Acrobat may have some trouble displaying the pdf files. You can download the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader at www.adobe.com.
Instructors Notes for Research Project:
Prerequisites: This lab can easily be done as a 2-sample t-test or a paired t-test using one explanatory variable. If students are planning to conduct a multifactor experiment, they should read and answer questions from Chapter 4: Design of Experiments. This chapter is freely available for class testing. More complex designs, such as repeated measure designs, are discussed in Chapter 5.
Research Project Materials:
1) Experience statistics as it is practiced by researchers in psychology:
2) Develop a systematic model for development of an experimental design:
Paper Review: I have found that some students are initially frustrated or intimidated when they are asked to read a research paper outside of their major. In my experience, providing more time to read the paper has not been helpful. It may, however, be appropriate to:
Class Discussion: I suggest spending at least part of three separate class periods to discuss the Stroop (1935) paper and develop a class project or several group projects. It is helpful to initially identify that your goal as a professor is not to be able to answer all of their questions about current research in cognitive psychology, but to teach them a process in which they can find their own answers.
You may want to consider additional discussion topics:
Step 1: Spend at least 20 minutes discussing the paper review questions. Students may not feel qualified to design a psychology study, but they often can suggest appropriate modifications to a given study. Start students thinking about their own primary research questions and ask them:
Step 2: Invite a psychologist to the class (or a statistician if you are a psychologist) to answer student questions that are beyond your scope of knowledge.
Step 3: After students have submitted their experimental ideas, the class can vote on one experiment to conduct as an entire class. This allows you to test more factors and levels with replicates in less time. However, each group of students could just as easily design and analyze their own experiments.
It is beneficial to talk about scale-attenuation effects (i.e. floor or ceiling effects) before students finalize their design. If the subjects rarely finish before the timer expires (i.e. the dependant variable is almost always at the highest time level), no differences will be seen between the conditions (even if one truly exists). While students may not consider it as fun as the other options, "no time limit" provides the most straightforward response variable to analyze.
One related topic not discussed in the listed research papers is how stress can impact reaction time. The students can calculate the average time per piece and determine if a time limitation of "short", "medium", "long", or "no time limit" impacts there average time per piece.
Final Paper or Poster Discussion: During the in-class review day, spend some time discussing how the process details (which are rarely discussed in textbooks and are often only given cursory comments in research papers) can significantly impact the analyses and conclusions of the data. My students are typically surprised by:
Grading: I would suggest 50 points for the entire project (this is the same value as an exam in my course).
If your institution does not have an Institutional Review Board, you can find more information on registration as well as educational materials at http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/
Thanks to Teitronix software, Sam Rebelsky, and Grinnell MAP students Betsy Lorton, Andrew Applebaum, Alex Cohn, Nathan Levin, Jeffrey Thompson for creating, editing and maintaining the on-line game.
Stat2labs was developed with partial support provided by the Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science (TUES).program at the National Science Foundation under DUE 0510392 and DUE #1043814
All rights are reserved. Users may electronically copy and print in hard copy portions of this Web site solely for personal, and in-class education purposes. Any other use of materials on this Web site - including reproduction for purposes other than those noted above, modification, distribution, or republication - without prior written permission of the author is strictly prohibited.