In college courses that use group work to aid learning and evaluation, class groups are often selected randomly or by allowing students to organize groups themselves. This article describes how to control some aspect of the group structure, such as increasing schedule compatibility within groups, by forming the groups using multidimensional scaling. Applying this method in an undergraduate statistics course has resulted in groups that have been more homogeneous with respect to student schedules than groups selected randomly. For example, correlations between student schedules increased from a mean of 0.29 before grouping to a within-group mean of 0.50. Further, the exercise motivates class discussion of a number of statistical concepts, including surveys, association measures, multidimensional scaling, and statistical graphics.
Back to Research page.
Send me e-mail at ipardoe at lcbmail.uoregon.edu
Last updated: November 16, 2006
The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Oregon.
© 2006, Iain Pardoe, Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon