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Understanding the LSSSE Reports

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Getting Started: Things to Keep in Mind Engagement scores are process measures Engagement scores depend on context Ask general questions first How accurate was your LSSSE sample? What confirms what you suspected? What surprises you? Consider significance and effect size Consider your comparison groups Look for differences in how sub-groups answer

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The LSSSE Reports: Respondent Characteristics A quick snapshot of your institution Data quality: Confirming if sample is representative Response Rate and Sample Error

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Who is Included in Columns? Adjusted sample size: Does not include students with non- deliverable e-mail or ineligible students (e.g. no longer enrolled). Response rate: Number respondents divided by adjusted sample size. Based on school- reported info (if available). Students for whom this info was not provided are included in the overall response rates, but not class response rates. Student Characteristics: Student- reported class used when school- reported info not available. Students where class is unknown, not reported in 'All' column. Comparison Groups: Comparison group does not include respondents from your law school. Comparative data by population size based on adjusted sample size.

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Respondent Characteristics: Other Things to Consider What is Sampling Error? An estimate of the margin likely to contain your "true" score, for various reasons including differences in characteristics between your sample and population. Ex: If 60% of students reply "very often" & sampling error is ± 5%, it is likely that the true value is between 55% and 65%. More respondents --> smaller sampling error

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20102011 lower bound45%52% point estimate50%55% upper bound55%58% +/- 5%+/- 3% Sampling Error: Use when comparing frequencies. + 5% sampling error 6 Respondent Characteristics: Other Things to Consider

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20052007 lower bound45%52% point estimate50%55% upper bound55%58% +/- 5%+/- 3% + 13% sampling error Data Quality Issues Sampling Error: Use when comparing frequencies. 7

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8 Sample size for 95% confidence level with 5% SE Population SizeSample Size 10080 200132 400196 1000278 2000322 6000361 How many respondents do I need?

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Sampling Error vs. Sample Size 384

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10 Sampling Error vs. Sample Size 1,067

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11 Improving Response Rates Remove roadblocks (SPAM filter…etc.) Inform students about the survey beforehand Avoid bad timing (Mid-term exam, Final week…etc.) Provide incentives

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The LSSSE Reports: Frequency Distributions Counts and percentages for each response option

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Institution Results Compared to Peers By Class Year

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The LSSSE Reports: Mean Comparisons Means, statistical significance and effect sizes

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The LSSSE Reports: Mean Comparisons What is Statistical Significance? Helps you know, “How likely is it that the difference between my average student and the average student at [group] is due to chance? Significance determined by standard alpha values of p<.05,.01, or.001. Ex: p<.05, “this difference could have occurred by chance less than 5 times in 100”, so you can be fairly certain a true difference exists

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How Do I Know What is Statistically Significant?

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Potential problem: As N becomes large, almost everything becomes statistically significant How do we identify truly significant differences? This is a question of … practical significance The LSSSE Reports: Mean Comparisons

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What is Effect Size? Practical significance of the mean difference ES=mean difference/standard deviation .2 is often considered small,.5 moderate, and.8 large (but rare!) For example, while the difference in the means is statistically significant, the difference is so nominal that it doesn’t warrant further attention

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Next Steps Ok, I read my report, now what? What are the key areas of strength? What are you most concerned about? Digging into the data to answer questions Exploring what’s happening for your students

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