Monday, December 03, 2012

The Beauty of Facebook

For my Stats class, the final project is a ten question survey, one that I have to analyze the results and present as a report. Originally, since I'm working with the student population that I ultimately will be developing the dissertation research, it seemed to make sense to give them one. However, the IRB (Internal Review Board) would probably take issue with me asking questions of my study population before they've given approval to do so.

Instead, I created a teacher survey. The objective is to reach a minimum participants of 30 to have significance in the results. Smaller than that and you can't really apply what you've learned to the population. According to our textbook, 121 is the ideal and our professor says you never need a group more than 630 to achieve significance, because it's a large enough sample of the population.

So, teacher survey. I work with 15 teachers, but that still doesn't get me to N=30, the goal of this assignment. This is where Facebook comes in: I've reconnected with many of my past coworkers, and many of my friends are teachers. Probably 75 people in my friends list are teachers, so I've been shaking the trees for people to take my survey.

Today, a teacher asked if she could share my survey, since she's at a large school, and her friend list probably has 200 teachers in it. Then friends who aren't teachers shared it, because they also know teachers.

In a half hour, the responses to my survey have doubled-and I'll have my N=30 before I go to sleep tonight.

Beats those people with the clipboards standing in the mall!

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