Application of Scholarship

Lesson Plan

The following is a lesson plan from my Research Methods 2 class, which represents how I incorporate empirically supported practices into my classroom.

This class was the start to chapter 8 (bivariate correlational research) and had the following learning objectives:

  • Identify and describe two different types of bivariate correlations
    • Correlation with two continuous variables
    • Correlation with one continuous variable and one dichotomous variable
  • Draw two different types of bivariate correlations
  • Draw and describe the results from two different correlational studies

Below was the estimated schedule. The first 20 minutes of class was a lecture style presentation of class material. Following this, students broke into groups of 3-5 and worked together on an in-class worksheet (this was handed out following completion of the lecture) that applied content from the lecture. During this time, I walked around the class answering any questions that students had. I have my students participate in this activity for several reasons. First, formative assessments are an effective tool for testing student comprehension of class material (Cherney, 2008). Moreover, the formulation of my activities gives students the opportunity to apply the class content. Second, active learning has been shown to both improve student retention and understanding of that material (Kingston, & Nash, 2011).

After working in groups for approximately 20 minutes, we came together as a class and used the remaining time to go over every question on the worksheet. Starting with the first question, students shared their answers, and after they do this I reveal my own answers on the projection screen. If there were any incorrect answers and/or confusion, I used my own completed worksheet to explain to the class how to arrive at the correct answer. Between this and the small group work, students have the opportunity to participate in several discussions pertaining to class content, which has been shown to improve students’ understanding of class material (Smith et al., 2009). Moreover, providing feedback in this way is critical in facilitating student learning (Juwah, Macfarlane-Dick, Matthew, Nicol, Ross, & Smith, 2004).

After we completed this feedback process, students fixed any mistakes they had and turned in the worksheets. After class I reviewed these documents, and if there were any persistent issues that did not come up during the feedback session, I addressed this at the start of next class.


Class Schedule


  • Class announcements
  • Questions pertaining to previous class and/or research proposal project.


  • Introduction to bivariate correlations
  • Explanation of sample data set


  • Graphing correlations with two continuous variables
  • Evaluating strengths of associations


  • Correlations with one continuous and one dichotomous variable
    • How to graph them
    • How to analyze and interpret them


  • Work in groups on work sheet


  • Go over answers together as a class


In Class Worksheet

Below you will find data from two separate studies.  For each study, please answer each of the following questions (HINT: what you answer about question 2 may depend on what type of data the study collected….)

1)      How would you graph this data? (please draw)

2)      What kind of statistic would you use to analyze this association?

3)      Does this look like a weak, moderate, or strong relationship? Is it positive or negative? Do the groups differ?

4)      Describe the results of this study.


NDSU Campus Dining wants to see if there is an association between customer type and how often they buy food from Panda Express.  They used quota sampling to collect data from 5 students and 5 faculty members.  They categorized customer into 2 groups (1= student, 2=faculty) and operationalized the other variable by asking participants how often they visited and purchased food from Panda Express in the previous 30 days.

Participant Group # of Visits
1 7
1 4
2 2
1 5
2 3
2 2
1 4
2 1
1 8
2 3








Jenna is an academic psychologist and wants to see if there is a relationship between Netflix consumption and academic achievement.  She sampled ten students and asked them, on average, how much they watch Netflix per week and what their current grade is in Introductory Psychology.


Netflix Hours Intro Psych Grade
12 86
8 79
13 76
4 88
8 79
9 83
14 68
11 84
5 79
9 75













Cherney, I. D. (2008). The effects of active learning on students’ memories for course content. Active learning in higher education, 9(2), 152-171.

Juwah, C., Macfarlane-Dick, D., Matthew, B., Nicol, D., Ross, D., & Smith, B. (2004). Enhancing student learning through effective formative feedback. The Higher Education Academy, 140.

Kingston, N., & Nash, B. (2011). Formative assessment: A meta‐analysis and a call for research. Educational measurement: Issues and practice, 30(4), 28-37.

Smith, M. K., Wood, W. B., Adams, W. K., Wieman, C., Knight, J. K., Guild, N., & Su, T. T. (2009). Why peer discussion improves student performance on in-class concept questions. Science, 323(5910), 122-124.