This assignment focuses on the analysis of data within the research design process. Essentially there are two parts to it:
- The first part will be an analysis of numerical data using IBM SPSS.
- The second, following on from your findings in the first part will be the analysis of qualitative data.
The data file you will be given has the data for the number of students by region for the years 2011 and 2010. In addition to which it contains the average salary for the region for the year 2011, and the participation rates for 2011 and 2010. These rates represent the average number of students in the region who are at university and in the Standard Economic Classification groups 4,5,6& 7. These groups represent those people who tend not to go to university.
The nature of this assignment is such that you will be working on it throughout the year. As such you would be well advised not to leave it to the last moment as you will find it almost impossible to do. Throughout the year the tutors will be giving you advice on the assignment, and guiding you through the various stages. However, they will not answer the assignment for you - you must think about what you are doing, or going to do, and ask the tutors if they think this is a sensible approach / analysis. This will most likely take place within the practical however, tutors will also see students vis a vis an appointment made with them.
Part 1
Your task here is to carry out an analysis of the changes in student figures for the regions in 2011 and 2010. You do not need to link this to educational theory or policy i.e. explain why the figures have changed. You will need to concentrate on the size of changes etc. You should clearly demonstrate how levels have changed in the regions over the years. In addition to this you must demonstrate the ability to interpret the findings from the analysis you have performed. Additional tests such as the means / distribution shapes will also need to be included. To help you below is a set of questions that you will need to provide answers to.
1. Identify the variables and explain what type of data they are. Why is it necessary to undertake this analysis.(hint think about parametric and non-parametric analysis) ?
2. Produce a bar chart showing the total number of students within each region forthe period 2011 - 2010. Discuss your findings.
3. Produce a bar chart showing how the total number of full time students have changed between the two time periods. Discuss your findings.
4. Produce a pie chart showing percentage total number of postgraduate students in each region for the year 2011. Discuss your findings.
5. Calculate the average number of students (post and undergraduate) for each year. Discuss your findings.
6. Why is it a more appropriate analysis to use percentages rather than absolutes ? Using information from your analysis prove why it is more appropriate to use percentages rather than absolutes ?
7. Recode the following:
Participation rates for 2011 into two groups. Group 1 - low participation, contains all those rates below 33%, while group 2 - high participation, contains all those rates which are above this.
Participation rates for 2010 into two groups. Group 1 - low participation, contains all those rates below 29%, while group 2 - high participation, contains all those rates which are above this.
Produce a cross tabulation of these new recoded variables. Is there a significant relationship between them?
Part 2
Following on from that analysis you are to undertake a qualitative analysis of data that you are going to construct / collect. Your research question is - "What were the factors and influences which made you decide to go to University". You are to:
- construct an interview schedule with all the associated protocols.
- carry out an interview on a fellow student.
- transcribe the interview.
- undertake a discussion of how you would analyse the data.