If you follow me on social media you were probably super annoyed with me this past weekend! I posted a lot of pictures and tweeted some great things that were going on at the WPA conference I attended.
To make it simple this was a national conference that the Western Psychological Association (WPA) set up for students, teachers, schools, publishers, etc. to come and flaunt what they’ve got! For Lisa and I we were showing off our research project we’ve been working on since last August.
How did you get chosen to present?
Basically we wrote an abstract about our research, turned it in, and got accepted! We were really nervous about being accepted because we hadn’t completed our project so our entire abstract was all projected outcomes.
What was your research project on?
There is a whole lot of little details that I will skip over…
Lisa and I, along with our mentor Aaron, came up with an original hypothesis and did a pilot study. We came up with a reward based program and then implemented it in local middle schools to see if it our program would help student’s grades improve. Participants had to have C grades or lower and could not be currently enrolled in an IEP (individual education program). Each student was asked to write down their daily homework assignments and have their teachers initial that they wrote down their homework correctly. Once their homework was completed at home the parents would initial the calendar saying that it was completed and then students would turn in their homework and the teacher would again sign the calendar indicating that the student had turned in their homework.
|Isn’t our poster pretty?!|
Sounds like a lot of work? It was! If the student completed the calendar with x amount of signature they would receive a reward. The reward was to be determined and carried out by the parent the same weekend they turned in a completed calendar. Most rewards consisted of getting money, later curfew, sleepover that weekend, etc.
The treatment group did this for an entire school year and the control group did this for 1 school semester.
Our results didn’t show any significant changes which means that as an average the students didn’t get better grades or worse grades from when they started. Obviously there was some change in their grades but not enough to support our hypothesis. There were a few student’s who did do very well with the program though so hopefully they learned some new skills that they can take with them throughout high school and college.
Conference Day 1
This was our big presentation day where we were on the floor meeting face to face with people and discussing our research. It was a lot of fun being able to talk to people who were genuinely interested in our research and that understood what we were doing. We got a lot of positive feedback about our topic and research as well as a lot of compliments on taking on such a huge project for undergrad students.
The whole day was really validating and exciting! I loved being in a room with people who were all interested in the same things and passionate about psychology. Walking around and seeing other projects and hard work and discussing with everyone’s different research was really fun! I felt like I was a part of something big. Sounds super cheesy but it’s true!