IA Online: Which studies are the best?

Travis DixonInternal Assessment (IB)

Doing the IA can be a challenge, but it's also a productive way to use online learning time.

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Online learning can be a challenge so here are some tips for doing the IA online. 

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Which studies work best?

I’ve been through my complete recommended IA studies list and found the ones I recommend to my own students online. They are:

  • Peterson and Peterson – Short term memory duration
  • Kahneman and Tversky – Anchoring effect
  • Diemand-Yauman et al. – Fortune favours the bold
  • Loftus, Loftus and Messo – Weapon focus
  • Kruger et al. The Effort Heuristic (painter version)

FYI: last year my own students conducted Bransford and Johnson without troubles, as well as Sparrow et al.’s study on the google effect.

Why these studies?

Image result for internet 404 error

Before conducting or even choosing a study, think about the possible ways a glitch in internet connection could affect results. The best ones are those that can use static visual images as stimulus material. Problems may occur when participants have to listen to or watch extended stimuli.

Avoiding internet problems with brief stimuli
You want to avoid conducting an experiment that could be jeopardized by a poor internet connection. It might be advisable to avoid any student that involes participants having to read, watch or listen to an extended stimuli.

For instance, imagine doing Bransford and Johnson and half way through the listening passage the internet freezes for five seconds. It’s a serious confounding variable. The above studies can all be conducted using PPT slides or images. The shorter the time needed to show participants the stimulus material, the less chance a poor internet connection can have a negative effect.


Tip: Controlling Internet Connection

In the Exploration students must explain their controlled variables. This means identifying potential confounding variables and figuring out how you can make both groups equal. If one condition of your experiment is affected by poor internet connection resulting in distorted results, this could affect the validity of the results. Solution? After the experiment give participants a quick survey to rank their internet connection. If anyone gives a really low ranking, you could consider removing their data from the experiment.

Teacher Tip: I will be probing my own students to problem solve the above issues and come up with proposed solutions like this one by themselves.