4. Prepare a preliminary analysis plan for this study. Which variables do you want frequencies on? Why?
The initial stage of the data correlation and analysis would be the proper coding of the data and entry into an appropriate software database. For this case study, the data was presented as an Excel file, so the exploratory data analysis would include a complete descriptive statistical calculations and frequencies for applicable questions. I would suggest questions that create nominal or ordinal data are the most appropriate for frequency tables, and provide a clearer picture of the survey respondents. The data sets may be utilized to confirm if the teacher sample is representative of the overall population, and cross tabulations conducted to draw correlations between categories. I would suggest that data specifically addressing respondents who require a master’s degree, or those contemplating pursuing higher education would be of particular interest, as they represent the potential student market. Researchers will also need to account for non-response errors and missing data within the coding and analysis stages program, the program needs to continue the liberal arts tradition and strengthen the undergraduate teacher education program, as high quality under- graduate education is seen as part of Wittenberg’s primary mission. Additionally, new academic initiatives such as the one proposed are increasingly asked by the board to reach break-even within their first operating year. I don’t think the sample was appropriate for this research because the parameters of the systematic sampling are not detailed; such as were the teachers who already completed a MEd degree included in the sample? It would have been better to mail the 400 surveys to a more convenient sampling instead of the surrounding counties. It would be a lot better to see the market potential of the program.
5. Which variables do you want to cross-tabulate? Why?
Given the nature of the research questions, it would be beneficial to identity, through crosstabulations, those teachers who have not yet applied for their second licensure to teach and what level of education those teachers currently have. This would clarify the potential market for the WU program. In addition, cross-tabulations to identify potential teachers relative to their home counties would give a clearer picture of those teachers who could/would realistically attend the WU program over another program closer to their homes. A final cross tabulation that may prove beneficial is the number of teachers who currently are not impacted by the new legislation, but may look to the WU MEd. program for professional development courses. As noted earlier, the new legislation presents an opportunity for to expand upon their graduate level programs, but given the costs to initiate a new program, the decision to proceed must be based upon valid and credible research data. Therefore, the exploratory research undertaken is critical, as it will form the foundation for any decisions made by the university administration.