Using Statistical Regression Methods in Education Research

SRME

How to use this site

Contents

Who is this site is aimed at? The Glossary
How is the site organised? Worked examples
What are the Modules? Exercises and Quizzes
How do I get about? Video demonstrations
How do I access the datasets? Additional resources

 

Why not check out our Introduction Video? video Demonstration Icon

 

Who this website is aimed at?

This site is primarily for researchers and students in the field of Education who have limited experience in quantitative research methods and wish to expand their expertise without drowning in a sea of abstract examples and formulae.

This site is not aimed at statisticians or those with high levels of experience in quantitative methods. There are plenty of resources available which are pitched at such audiences. What there is a relative lack of are resources aimed at students or researchers in the field of education who do not have a background in statistics but wish to develop their quantitative skills and apply new tools to their work. If you fall into this second group then this site may be for you!

We root regression analysis firmly within the context of education research and try to use relevant examples throughout (largely from the impressive LSYPE data set). Though we provide the technical information about the statistics which is important for understanding when and how to use the techniques we try to avoid burdening you with anything you don't need. We do not want to melt your minds with a barrage of formulae and equations that are more confusing than helpful! The emphasis is on developing good research skills within the field of education.

Though the focus is on education research we hope that the site will also be useful to social scientists from a variety of backgrounds.

 

How is the site organised?

The majority of the content is split between five core modules that largely tackle differing types of regression analysis. There are tasks and quizzes for you to practice with, most of which use real data from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE).

Though we want this site to be useful to those without a high degree of experience in statistics the unfortunate truth is that regression analysis is not easy and requires at least a basic level of statistical understanding. For this reason the first module is a Foundation Module which serves to cover some of the pre-requisite statistical knowledge required to understand regression techniques.

Modules two to five cover four types of regression analysis and contain lessons, exercises, quizzes and worked examples. Generally each of these core modules provides an explanation of the principles, assumptions and statistics underlying the technique and explains what the test does, what it is for and how to run it and interpret the output using SPSS. Though these modules have a clear sequence and build upon each other they can be tackled in whatever order you please depending on your experience with quantitative methods. We even have a short epilogue so those of you keen to learn more know where to head!

Finally there is a pool of resources that we hope will help to enrich the experience for you or help you to get clarity on anything you are unsure about. These resources include a full pop-up glossary, extension pages that covers tangential or advanced material, links to other sources and examples of how to report your findings in your paper or thesis.

 

What are the Modules?

There are five modules. You can visit the homepage for each of these modules using the links below:

Module 1 - A Foundation in Statistics

Module 2 - Simple Linear Regression

Module 3 - Multiple Linear Regression

Module 4 - Logistic Regression

Module 5 - Ordinal Regression

You can go to the main Modules Page if you would prefer to see brief descriptions of the content of each of these. Modules are also available in PDF form if you wish to print them out (though you will miss out on some of the site features if you choose this option).

 

How do I get about?

Navigating the site is fairly straight forward for seasoned Internet users - the menu on the left-hand side of each page can be used to get around along with the navigation links on the right. Try to avoid the blue frame on the periphery of each page though as this will take you away from Statistical Regression Methods for Education.

Both the left and right hand menus are available on most pages so darting between the content is rather straightforward. If you feel like two navigation menus is a bit overwhelming feel free to resize or minimise the left hand menu by clicking on the '↔' icon.

The pages for each module allow you to click through the material page by page using the 'next' and 'previous' buttons and you can also move about using the contents section on each module's main page. In addition, look for the star boxes like the one below to move quickly to the start of each module. You will see similar style boxes that allow you quick access to the various quizzes and exercises that are spread throughout the site.

star

Start Module 2: Simple Linear Regression

Get started with the basics of regression analysis.
Star

 

How do I access the Datasets?

You can access a specially tailored version of the LSYPE dataset for use with the examples and exercises featured on this website. Details can be found on this Data Page.

This website is free to access and does not require registration or a password. The tailored datasets for the examples and exercises can be downloaded from the data page. However the main LSYPE datasets are only available via the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) website. This is because such data should only be for academic research and teaching purposes. Signing up to the ESDS take only a few minutes and will give you access to all of their wonderful resources so it is worth taking the time!

 

The glossary

The glossary is always available from the left-hand menu should you need to look up a definition. In addition many key terms can be clicked on to generate a definition in a small pop-up window.

Statistics has a language of its own that can be highly confusing when first encountered! In order to make picking up the key terms as painless as possible we have included a fairly comprehensive glossary which is always available from the left hand menu. Definitions for key terms are also available through pop-ups as they appear throughout the site - all you have to do is click on them as in this example: histogram.

 

Worked Examples

Each module is focused around a real world example that uses the LSYPE data. You can use SPSS and the datasets we provide to follow these examples and get a full understanding of the process.

The examples all provide step by step details of the procedure for setting up the different analyses and a guide to interpreting the output. They come complete with annotated screenshots like the one below:

SPSS screen shot

 

Exercises and quizzes

At the end of each module you will find an exercise and a quiz. The quiz will provide you with a set of multiple choice and 'drag and drop' questions to test your general knowledge of the subject area. The exercises will task you with answering a set of questions using SPSS and the LSYPE dataset.

This website does not provide formal assessment but we hope that these tools will help you to consolidate your learning and gain a practical insight into performing regression analysis. Both the quizzes and exercises include detailed feedback to help guide you.

 

Video Demonstrations

Video demonstrations are linked to the site through YouTube and follow the process of running the various analyses using SPSS.

These videos are narrated and provide reinforcement of the written material. They are particularly useful if you do not have access to SPSS or if you are bored of reading! Look out for this icon: Video icon. We also have a Videos Page which lists all of the videos we have on the site and a YouTube Page which hosts the videos.

 

Additional resources

The Resources page allows you to find all of the sources that we reference in our material as well as a number of excellent alternative texts and websites about research methods.

Though we like to think that we have covered a rather comprehensive and broad range of material you may want a more technical explanation of certain topics or perhaps just a slightly different perspective. Aside from the material we do cover we also try to suggest resources which may help you learn more advanced techniques of statistical analysis. We try to provide all of the necessary information (including links where possible) so that you can track down these resources. The resources page also hosts our own version of the LSYPE dataset and a list of foundation reading for those of you who feel you need a stronger grounding in research methods before you embark on our regression odyssey.

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Page contact: Feedback to ReStore team Last revised: Fri 29 Jul 2011
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