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It is not misrepresenting the data, but transforming the need help writing a essay way it is viewed...

A second theme found in both sets of writing samples was personal connections. Students made personal connections to the concepts they were writing about in both their journal entries and in their discussion board posts.

These personal connections may help students become more engaged. For example, students asked to investigate the Gallup poll web site will choose to write about polls to which they feel some connection.

This is the first time it dawned on me that numbers could be so loaded with meaning. It may be that students asked questions less frequently in their journal entries because, even though they knew their instructor would be reading and returning the work, the answers were likely to be delayed by several days. Were they all the same questions done by the same pollers?

The prevalence of questions in the discussion board, versus a relative paucity in the journal entries, is one place where the difference in audience may be playing a role.

The writing that students did on the discussion board showed a wider range of types of writing. One theme in the data from the discussion boards was validation. You could find out if people went to places around the world with their parents or actually set off by themselves. You could also compare where people live and where they have traveled to. An important value of the discussion board, in fact, seems to be that the students were engaging in a dialogue. One student might, for example, re- phrase what a classmate says using statistics vocabulary and thereby help the first student, or perhaps even others in the class, become more comfortable connecting that vocabulary to already existing schema. For example, regarding the use of custom college essay graphs in general publications, one student wrote the following: There are plenty of pros and cons of using graphs. When they are used in magazines, newspapers, and other media related documents, they can be very misleading. The information that they represent may be the truth, but the information that is presented in the graph may not be what they are really trying to prove.

Another student wrote this in response: I thought that your response was very observant. I had never even thought about the fact that they have all these statistics about smoking, but have never stated the sample size or the population size that they are using.

In the following exchange, several students worked together to clarify terminology they have learned in class. Also it is a voluntary survey which usually people who only care about the topic answer. That if someone did not participate need help writing a essay then they were a loss, and Gallup could not choose another participant.

The value of the journal entries seems to be that the students are able to engage in reflective thinking about statistics. When asked to respond to the journal prompts, students asked questions, created their own examples of key concepts, connected the material to their prior knowledge, and corrected their understanding as they wrote. But when students wrote to one another and then wrote responses, there seemed to be added benefits. The re-phrasing function of student responses was key to the social construction of knowledge that appeared to happen in the discussion board exchanges.

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In addition, there were several conversational features here which demonstrated that during this discussion, knowledge was experienced by the students as negotiable. This re-phrasing and negotiation were qualitatively different than simply asking the teacher for a definition or clarification, and they may have helped student writers as they constructed their own growing knowledge. At the same time, the teacher was able to read the discussion, at need help writing a essay her convenience, and intervene when it seemed that a little nudge might help. The discussion board also offered another advantage: speed of intervention. More Bindings: Survey Results The survey at the end of the semester provided insight into how the students viewed the writing assignments in the context of their introduction to statistics and their learning in the course.

Table 3 summarizes some of the results of the survey, comparing how students from the two different sections, the A section that wrote on the discussion board and the B section that wrote journal entries, responded to statements in that survey. In our study, more students appeared to enjoy the discussion board than the solitary journal writing. Only two students in each section, however, indicated they did not enjoy the activity.

A majority of the students thought the writing assignments were worth keeping. Sixty-seven percent of the students in Section A would recommend the discussion board become a permanent part of the course. Most of the students surveyed agreed that the writing assignments did not add excessively to the course workload. Perhaps more importantly, most of the students felt that the addition of writing to the course was beneficial to their learning.

In addition to the six statements using the Likert scale, students were asked for general comments, and some of the narrative comments in this section may provide some specifics about why the students saw the discussion board as beneficial. Journal entries were not seen by students as being quite so beneficial. In contrast, only two-thirds of the students in section B indicated they would not have preferred the discussion board. Four students in the latter section actually indicated they would have preferred the discussion board. For this survey question, a non- parametric test was used to compare student responses in Section A to student responses in Section B. The results of this analysis support the overall preference for the discussion board. Table 4 shows the results of non-parametric Mann-Whitney U tests on each of the six survey questions Question 5, regarding the preference for the typed journal responses versus the discussion board, was the only question to show statistical significance. It should be noted that for each survey item, the responses of students in Section A were overall slightly more positive.

We believe that the writing we saw students doing during this study, however, justifies the extra work for the instructor. It is probable that both forms of writing helped students to improve their understanding need help writing a essay of mathematics and their ability to communicate mathematically. The differences in achievement between the two groups were not clear enough to indicate that one type of assignment is preferable to the other.

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