Thursday, November 20, 2008

Margin of Error

Posters advertising anonymous surveys and free food have been put up around campus recently, asking students if they've "got secrets?"

It may be fine and dandy that Lee University students are more than willing to share their secrets, but the posters seem to hold a secret themselves: who is conducting the survey?

Is that why they call it anonymous?

To be fair, however, the Facebook event page for the study does contain the names of the students working on the project.

The secret survey is up for a surprise encore tonight at the same time in the same place because of a low turnout the evening it was originally conducted.

Many students may confuse it with the "secrets" campaign carried out by the "We Are Becoming" string of chapel services, where students were encouraged to anonymously write down their secrets and place them in boxes on campus.

More of the same?

No, but one wouldn't realize that until they show up at the door in Walker Memorial.

"Got Secrets?" is a student survey for a research methods and statistics class.

But there's yet another secret the posters won't tell you:

Spelling isn't a priority. Want the proof? Check out the photo examples below.

Now, wait a minute, isn't this supposed to be a professional-class research project? And the English language has been overlooked?

I pointed out a few of the errors to the research facilitator, who fortunately seemed genuinely concerned about correcting the mistakes. But since that time, new mistakes have been made in announcements about the project.

Is this how Lee University research should be recognized and known? With writing errors?

We'll see when all off the research projects from the class are presented at an event titled "Skinnerian Idol" held on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Johnson Lecture Hall of the Humanities Building.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the aforementioned survey was the posters. Other campus organizations could learn a lot from the vivid color, sharp photography, clear wording and simple design seen on the posters.

But maybe it shouldn't be that surprising considering that the student conducting the research is the lead student photographer for the Lee University Office of Publications.

So, as promised, here are those errors:


Ace said...

Perhaps you should look into the substance of the study rather than focus on spelling errors in the invitations. If a person is able to discern the meaning of the sentences even with the errors present, then what purpose does it serve to point out and ridicule the spelling errors. Have you ever published anything with a spelling error? I would believe the answer would be yes, as have every other person. I would suggest (as a professional to another professional), rather than nit-pick about trivial inconsistancies and mishaps, look at the value of the meaning of the research because what you missed is far more important than what you apparently found.

Anonymous said...

I guess this is just another example of the impartial media. It would appear from your comments that you had an agenda from the moment you volunteered to participate in this research project. Has psychological testing shown you to be either deficient or defective in the past therefore causing you some negative bias? It is interesting that you are so critical of the copy editing skills of the researchers when your own newspaper is a middle school English teachers worst nightmare each week.