While observing the class, I chose to look at one thing that many people have already done- participation. However, I wanted to see if there was any correlation between “preparedness” and participation, particularly in a class where we’ve discussed the distraction of technology, but also it’s usefulness. With those criteria in mind, I measured formal responses to questions posed in Tuesday’s lecture/discussion on Part 4 of the bug. In the 35 minute lecture, there were 26 responses, divided with the other information as follows:
Now that we’ve gotten our raw data, let’s cook it a bit to see if there are any clear patterns.
Firstly, I’ve heard the phrase “Look good, do good” for a good portion of my life. Although it’s grammatically incorrect, in this class, students who were more put together (khakis, sweater, “Olive Garden nice”) did respond more than students who wore more typical college gear (sweatshirts, jeans, t shirts). I acknowledge that the distinction between casual and put together is a personal one, but it did show interesting results. Put together students made up 69% of the responses, despite having the class perfectly split with 8 casual dressers and 8 put together dressers. Not a dramatic difference, but its something.
Secondly, does bringing more stuff equal being more prepared? For this observation, I counted the materials out on each person’s desk at 5:05, right as class was starting to pick up. Each amount of items was recorded, and then the average number of responses per category was used to plot the overall expected participation. As can be seen in the graph, having many items on your desk doesn’t mean much when it comes to participation. There are several things to allow for here, as some students had just arrived and not unpacked yet, and I was also limited by what I could see. Also, pens and pencils weren’t counted, especially as most people were using computers, and I considered them more of an accessory to a notebook than their own item. Given the size of the class though, I feel that my results are accurate.
Continuing with an item count, does it matter whether the things on your desk are related to class or not? For this, the following items were counted as “class materials”: book, nametag, notebook, or computer. Examples of nonclass materials were drinks, phones, and planners. In an interesting turn, there was a positive correlation between the amount of unrelated items and participation, while the three students that had all 4 class materials responded the least.
In conclusion, very few factors of prepartion showed any relevance to participation in class. Those that did (the way you were dressed, unnecessary items) were most likely swayed as well, as one student had 7 responses, over 25% of total responses. The sample size for this observation was small, which also may have contributed to the lack of correlation. If nothing else, it was interesting to see how people chose to prepare themselves for class.