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Peer Review

by David Strohmetz , Gary Lewandowski , Natalie Ciarocco


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Oct 29, 2012 by Psychology
Overview: is a collection of peer-reviewed resources designed to supplement effective teaching of statistics and research methods. The site provides a categorized (searchable) list of online demonstrations, descriptions of class demonstrations, suggestions for class/lab activities, class assignments, lecture materials, and/or student exercises. The learning materials can inform both undergraduate and graduate level psychology courses in research methods and statistics.
Type of Material: Collection; this site provides a categorized, peer-reviewed set of links to other websites that contain the teaching resources.
Recommended Uses: This site would be best utilized by a psychology instructor teaching statistics and/or research methods. Most activities are geared toward the faculty member conducting a classroom activity rather than stand-alone demonstrations or exercises (although there are some links to these as well). Overall, the wide variety of resources contained in the site provides instructors with many options for engaging students in the study of research methods and statistics--e.g., in-class research design activities, out-of-class statistics simulations and videos.
Technical Requirements: The site was successfully reviewed on a PC running Windows 7 and using both Mozilla Firefox 16 and Internet Explorer 8. Accessing specific resources on the site requires additional software such as Adobe Flash and Adobe PDF Reader. Most materials are PDF documents; links to some interactive websites also are included. At the time of the review, all links were working properly.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The goal of this website is to enhance the teaching of statistics and research methods through the dissemination and sharing of effective teaching resources. Incorporating these learning materials in courses would inform the following general learning outcomes. • Students will understand key concepts in research methods and statistics. • Students will be able to apply key concepts in research methods and statistics.
Target Student Population: The target population is faculty who are teaching statistics and research methods. The materials are appropriate for advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate level coursework.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: While prerequisite knowledge is not strictly required, an Introduction to Psychology course would serve as beneficial background.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • Like MERLOT, this is a peer-reviewed site. As such, the quality of the content is very good. • The exercises and links cover a broad range of relevant concepts and operations. • The material is organized/presented such that concepts build upon one another. For example, the research methods section of the website builds from ethical considerations and reliability/validity to the design of descriptive studies and experiments.
Concerns: Some areas of the site are better populated than others (e.g., the link for a single sample t-test is empty).

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • The materials selected for inclusion in this collection are very good (likely a result of the peer-review process used for selection). Most provide extensive description and/or explanation for their use in class. • The learning materials take a wide variety of forms, thus providing instructors with many choices regarding approach. • The learning materials have been selected and included specifically to engender student engagement and interest. • Students are likely to enjoy materials that offer a contemporary view of the subject matter (e.g., Statz 4 Life, a hip-hop video approach to understanding research methods and statistics).
Concerns: • Materials are geared toward faculty as instructional supplements, so they would not be effective to give directly to students without additional guidance. • Some learning materials (e.g., simulations) are not entirely self-contained and would require the instructor to develop additional instructions/objectives.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: • The content is organized very effectively to facilitate ease of use. The website is easy to navigate and clearly organized by theme. In addition to the listed categories of materials, one can also utilize the integrated search to quickly find select materials. All materials are links to other websites (or links to external documents). • All of the links are functioning.
Concerns: None.

Other Issues and Comments: • Very good collection of instructional supplements appropriate for instructors to enhance the teaching of statistics and research methods. Nice to note that they also provide cross-linking back to the MERLOT site as a resource for faculty. • Overall, an excellent compendium of engaging resources in a subject matter area that students typically find challenging.