directory

Ooodles of old stuff including How-To's, Writers Resources, Directories of all Types, Technology Reviews, Health Information, Marketing Statisitcs, Affluent Markets, Hospital and Medical Market Data and more

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Real Estate Investing Survival Guide - Protect Yourself from Realtors, Agents, Investors and Sales people

This is a bit of a continuation from the prior post so be sure to read it if you haven't already. I was 
discussing the need to really and truly understand what you are getting into...but DON"T rely solely
upon the advice of someone who is trying to sell you something.

It's natural formany people to seek out expertise when making an important decision-- we go to a doctor when we need medical advice and we go to an attorney when we need legal advice,
so most people are under the impression that the real estate sales person they are working with is the expert. Let's consider a few things. The doctor requires years and years of college, studying and money
to complete graduate school...so does the attorney. So does your child's school teacher to a lesser degree,
your accountant...ditto.  But, it takes VERY little time and money to sell real estate. I took the class
myself but didn't become licensed...I just wanted to find out what it takes to become a real estate sales 
person. It took about $500 and two weeks in a very dull classroom. Then you take a very very easy examination. That' it! Chances are that your beautician or hair stylist was required to invest hundreds of more dollars and hundreds and hundred of more hours to cut your hair than your real estate salesperson is required in order to sell your house or help you buy your next investment property!

So-first lesson. Don't count on your salesperson to be an expert. They are simply a sales person and the only way they get paid is if you or someone else buys. Who do you think they will have the most interst in serving?

That leads to a few more items that any novice investor should be aware of. First, real estate sales make money when a property sells so you should always keep their primary motivation in mind...to make a profit. That's fine as long as it doesn't conflict with your needs or motivations.

Before we go further, let's look at how real estate sales people are paid. Typically, a house is listed and a commission is set...it used to be 6 or 7 percent but now there is a wide variety of fee's depending upon who you list with. Let's say you go with a traditional listing and a 6% fee. Just to keep the numbers easy, let's say you've seen houses going up up and up so you call a realtor who sends out a lot of postcards and he tells you he's listing homes in your area for 200,000. You sign the contract and agree to pay 6% if it sells.  Now, most listings go like this...the listing agent and his broker...the one you just signed an agreement with, will get all 6% if they list and sell the house. But, often someone else drives by or another realtor has a client 
searching for a home in that area and bring a buyer...if another agent brings a buyer then the listing agent/broker get 3% and the selling agent/broker get 3%....they split it.

Now, here is where some people get into trouble. Some agents do nothing more than try to get people to list their homes with them...the list as many as they can but then do nothing more to sell your home. They just hope and wait that someone else brings the buyer. It's strictly a numbers game for them...list as many as they can and then take their share when/if the home sell. Because they list so many, they can make a handsome profit...and they will often tell a prospective seller anthing they want to hear just to get the listing!  They figure the seller will eventually drop the price to snag a buyer and they get their commission without doing any addittional work.

Remember one thing--ASKING AINT GETTING. Don't believe everyone simply because they name a number that sounds good. Demand comparisons  of SOLD properties not just other listings.

Next - Demand copies of the agents track record...how many of their listings did THEY sell? Find an agent that will actually perform the duties which you are paying them for! Be cautious of agents who simply try to list any house and tell you any price...

Okay, closely related to this is the decision to use a full service [that usually means full fee] versus a discount agency where you might pay less than 6 r 7% commission. Since many fee's are actually split [and then they are often split again...the saleperson has to split their half with their broker in many cases] then a property with only a 4% commission structure might NOT be a good idea because the real estate salespeople might be less inclined to show your property since their commission is lower than someone elses full commission property. What might seem like a good idea can become costly if they pass your property by in favor of one with higher commission rates so be sure to consider the advantages and disadvantages carefully.

On the other hand, I've listed quite a few properties and had some agents do a good job...and many more do a terrible job. Often the only thing you need is access to the MLS and a sign....if that is your case then consider a low cost do it yourself discount agency. Just consider all options and pro's/cons.  It doesn't make much sense to pay someone thousands and thousands for putting up a sign, filling out a few forms and submitting to mls. That's all some are doing...if that's it then don't pay for more because you arent getting more.  Ask to see everything they will do to promote your house and get it in writing. Remember, you can also demand shorter contract lengths etc...I like to go with a 3 month rather than 6 months but that's my personal preference.

Now, about sales people versus expertise. Here is something that I have found very interesting...up until a few years ago very few of the real estate sales people I dealt with had any of their own investment properties. Over the past few years, more do but they are often as new and clueless as you are...they are riding the same boom and bubble but really have little more experience or expertise than yourself in many cases. The fact is, they are SALES people just like the guy at the car dealership. When you go buy a car you dont expect the salesman to fix your car....he's not a mechanic although some car salesman might also be good at car repair it's just like anyone else...some are and some arent'. It's the same with real estate, most are sales people and that is how they make their living. A few also invest but not as many as you may thing.

So-First, don't assume the sales person knows more than you. They are simply trying to make a sale and get paid.

TWO-IF they are investors then be sure to ask yourself why they haven't taken the deal if it's such a good one! After all, they could potentially get a reduction from their own commission so it would cost even less for them than you.

So - If they are NOT investors then do NOT rely upon what they tell you a house "could" rent for...yeah, anything COULD happen but what is the most likely to happen? If they ARE investors then why aren't they buying?

Okay, next and this is simple but people overlook it all the time. Let's say you are looking at a house that's listed for $175k. You like it but you know it's priced to high [probably by some listing agent who told the seller he can get any price he wants]. You want to offer 150k. Now, the sales agent wants to make a sale but since they are paid on commission, they want to keep that sales price as high as possible...BUT, it's also a numbers game with sales so they don't want to hassle or spend a lot of time on one deal when they could be out making more deals. This works against the buyer and seller...a seller might feel pressured to make a sharp reduction to sell a house or property that could result in thousands or even tens of thousands less profit [but not that much less commission for the sales agent....consider this, at 6% commission split in two...for every $10,000 dollar reduction the seller looses the agent only looses $300 to $600. Likewise, for every $10,000 more a buyer pays, they only make $300 to $600 more in commission]. Most sales agents simply want the deal to close in as little time as possible. Do NOT assume or feel pressured either way...it's worth YOUR TIME in buying or selling to negotiate as much as possible but it's NOT worth most agents time. They just want to move on to the next deal and get you or the other party to 'give in' as soon as possible.

The above example is bad enough if you are a seller but remember, if you are a buyer then that $10,000 extra will usually equal even more--often double to $20,000 depending upon financing and interest rates.


Okay, that's it for today, sign in tomorrow for more updates. Lots of good stuff to come including making sense of mortgages, special programs for investors that you DON"T hear much about, how I bought properety for penny's on the dollar [literally...and I'll show you how to look it up to verify it AND how to do it yourself. No gimmicks!], some interesting facts about the so-called "investors" that are really pushy sales-people...and how YOU can look up what they really bought, paid and sold for property [like the guys pushing big preconstruction deals who don't own any for themselves!]....all kinds of good stuff! Be sure to check back or sign up for the feed!




 

Real Estate Investing Survival Guide

Congratulations! Chances are if you are reading this then you understand the potential of Real Estate to
enhance your wealth...and it's true, millions of people have used real estate investing to supplement
their income, create passive streams of income, retire early or even become very wealthy. On the other hand,
real estate is often a confusing and potentially high risk endeavor IF you don't understand what you
are really doing...or worse, if you happen to fall prey to the many scams, frauds, con artists and
others that take advantage of guillable newbies.  If you have already invested in real estate or are thinking of investing, take some time to read this article first. If you enjoy it, pass it along.

A little about me. I'm probably a lot like you. I became interested in real estate several years ago and have bought/sold homes and vacant land. I am NOT a realtor or broker but I have worked in the marketing area for realtors and brokers and know a few of their less than impressive tactics...tactics that disgusted me to the point that I quickly broke off that relationship. I've also been "taken" once or twice by less than ethical brokers and have known others who were as well. All in all, I've made a nice profit despite the learning curve and dealing with a few shysters.  I've also met some incredible people in the real estate field and several who helped me along. I believe in passing it along soooooo - for those of you who are really interested in delving into this, feel free to keep reading!

First - I'm NOT SELLING ANYTHING. I won't be selling anything at the end of the article either. 
I don't have anything to sell so that keeps it simple.

Second- Use common sense. What worked or didn't work for me may or may not work for you. Every situation is different, every town and location is different.

Third - Trust YOUR Instincts but educate yourself. Do NOT leave anything to 'chance' or rely upon others to have your best interest at heart. Unfortunately, there is a lot of money to be made and where there is money, there are copy-cats, shyster, crooks and just plain ignorant people. You will probably encounter most of them at one time or another but when dealing with a large dollar purchase, you don't want to make a mistake that could cost you your financial future.

Four- Understand what you are buying AND why. This sounds simple enough but a closer look will usually demonstrate that many people don't understand what they are buying or why. Do you want to hold the property for the long term? Do you want to flip it? If you flip it are you calculating all fee's including transaction costs, realtor, vacancy, repairs, income taxed at normal rate [remember, if you hold less than a year then you do NOT qualify for capital gains tax...and it very well might bump you into a higher tax bracket!].  If you intend to hold it for more than a year, what is the rental market like in your area?

Here is a "caution" area...often potential investors rely upon realtors or others who will usually say something like "This house could/should rent for xxx per month" which sounds great...ASSUMING you can rent it at all, and assuming you do not have long vacancies, assuming you don't have any repairs due to tenant neglect or malfeasance, assuming you do all the work yourself and don't hire a property manager, assuming your taxes and insurance don't increase etc...

So, by this point you are probably wondering about numbers.  Here are a few quick examples.

Let's say you are thinking about buying a small single family home to use as an investment property. I'll use my own properties as an example so you have a "real life" situation. I'm in Florida which has been a VERY high growth area but I purchased right before the current boom.  My properties are all fairly similar so I'm just going to use one as an example. It's a 3/2 in a rapidly growing area. Built in the late 90's, about 1200 sq ft living area, on 1/4 acre subdivision very conveniently located. It's in excellent condition and new homes are still being built in the immediate area.

The PITI [principle, interest, taxes and insurance] were originally about $650 per month and I originally was able to rent it for $750 per month. The first tenants were military and broke the lease, left a few repairs but nothig major [they had a cat
which was NOT supposed to be allowed]. Meanwhile taxes and insurance went up so PITI went to about $700 per month. Vacancies in the local area began getting a bit longer so between a few minor repairs, gasoline, re-advertising etc, I was basically breaking even when I re-rented it.

Next lease was also broken and then we experienced a longer than average vacancy to find a qualified tenant. Making a couple mortgage payments resulted in a loff for the entire year but no big deal. Eventually, to fill the vacancy we had to lower the rent to $650 per month...meanwhile taxes and insurance increased to about $800 per month total.

Meanwhile, the boom has taken place and the exact same home is being built and sold for over 200% more than the price of this house....many by investors who were under the impression that the house "should" rent for $1200 a month or more. Since their base PITI is a minimum of 1k per month...they NEED it to rent for that to break even [with a property manager etc]. Unfortunately, most people who could buy--did. So there is a glut of vacancies and a glut of unqualified tenants...putting one in your home is a HIGH risk proposition. Just ask me, I did and they did over 8k in damages...lesson learned!


Now, if you had bought with the thought of renting then chances were, you were going to eventually loose some money in the short term so then you begin to consider selling. Unfortunately, if you purchased the rental for the new going rate, you would have to sell for a MINIMUM of about 10% OVER your purchase price just to get near even...realtor fee's and closing costs. That wouldn't count mortgage payments you made, down payment to take out the mortgage etc...much less any repairs or fee's.  IF you have any profit left over, then it will be taxed at ordinary income rate AND might put you into an even higher tax bracket overall. Even people who think they are making a profit are surprised to learn how little it was after everything was taken out!!

Okay, but let's say instead you decide to hold, you would be competing with people who are able to offer a lower rent cost....again, most people buy when they can so you must know what working class who rent can afford...and today, renting is VERY affordable because the market is literally flooded with "investors" who are desperate to rent out their homes to offset costs.

Here are a few facts from the US government... nearly 40 percent of homes were either 2nd /vacation homes OR investment purchases. Now, that doesn't sound to bad until you realize that over 65% of people now own their own home...it's the highest in history. So, if 2 out of ever 3 people already own their own home, and then a LOT of those people own more than one [and many own a LOT MORE THAN ONE home!!!], then it stands to reason there are a LOT of homes to choose from.  Statistics demonstrate this as according to government data, vacancies are VERY HIGH!


So, what about the so called housing shortage you hear about? Well, listen closely because it's always said very specifically...it's a lack of AFFORDABLE HOUSING!!! And what qualifies as affordable housing? By government standards its low--very low. To low for me to break even on the house in the example above and definetely far to low for the new buyer to get anywhere near breaking even.


Okay, that's it for today, sign in tomorrow for more updates. Lots of good stuff to come including making sense of mortgages, special programs for investors that you DON"T hear much about, how I bought properety for penny's on the dollar [literally...and I'll show you how to look it up to verify it AND how to do it yourself. No gimmicks!], some interesting facts about the so-called "investors" that are really pushy sales-people...and how YOU can look up what they really bought, paid and sold for property [like the guys pushing big preconstruction deals who don't own any for themselves!]....all kinds of good stuff! Be sure to check back or sign up for the feed!
 

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Assessment Team

The assessment team:

C is like many adults with age related disabilities. She does not have a caseworker or rehabilitation counselor as she is not eligible for services related to work preparation. C would benefit from the assistance of an occupational therapist if insurance would cover the expense. An assistive technology specialist and supportive life-skills personnel would further enhance C's ability to remain functionally independent.

The main problem

· C's physical limitations are threatening her ability to live independently.
· C is having difficulty maintaining a quality of life due to the loss of physical functioning.
· C lacks reliable transportation and is experiencing increased social isolation.

Goals

Goal #1: C will maintain independent living.

Objective: Adapt C's home environment to miminize the risk of injury. Specific attention will be given to C's concern over falling.
Areas of concern include:
· The bathroom
· The kitchen
· Other

Objective: Adapt C's home to maximize the use of existing physical functioning. Specific areas include:
· Door handles
· Light fixtures/lamps
· Locks
· Faucets
· Appliances
· Entry/Exits
· Other

Goal #2: C will maintain/improve her current ability to engage in meaningful hobbies and activities

Objective: Assist C in reading, writing, sewing, and gardening independently and without risk of pain or injury.




Goal #3: To allow C to shop, attend medical appointments, socializing, church and other business.

Objective: Assist C in locating reliable accessible transportation at least 2 times per week.


Method: Using a standardized Activity Analysis (act.ana.PDF) it is possible to identify activities in need of intervention given C's current level of functioning. The use of an activity analysis tool will provide baseline data to compare C's level of progress, future needs, and potential decline in functioning. First a low technology alternative will be explored and then a higher level technological intervention. It is assumed the least expensive alternative will be employed.

Measuring capacity and performance of functional activities will target
1. Mobility
2. Self-care
3. Social functioning/Quality of life
A modification scale may be administered in addition to the activity analysis to determine the needed level of adaptation.

Mobility
· Walking/standing
· Opening and closing doors
· In and out of car
· In and out of bed
· Stand/sit in shower/tub
· Ability to lift/carry objects
· Method of locomotion in and out of home
· Speed of movement
· Endurance

Self Care
· Food preparation
· Grooming and hygiene
· Laundry
· Bookkeeping
· Cleaning house
· Shopping/Appointments

Social Functioning/Quality of Life
· Social Interaction
· Problem solving
· Household chores
· Self protection
· Self-information
· Community functions
· Hobbies and other interests

Other considerations:
According to research by Technology and Disability (1997), acceptance of assistive devices by the elderly is related to device appearance and stigma as well as the perceived enhancement of individual functioning. In order to maximize potential use and acceptance, the use of "normalized" devices will be considered as possible.

General Fall Risk Factors (CsiA, 1998)

Age-related:
1. Sensory systems:
reduced visual acuity
reduced contrast sensitivity
reduced depth perception
reduced dark adaptation
reduced vestibular functioning
reduced cutaneous sensation
2. Musculoskeletal system:
reduced muscle strength
increased muscle fatigue
reduced flexibility
reduced range of motion
3. Nervous system:
slowing of reflex/response

Changes in balance:
1. Lateral instability
2. Variability in control of gait
3. Fear of falling

Environmental Risk Factors:
1. Doors/latching/swinging doors
2. Floors:
slippery surfaces
edges and obstacles
transitions between tile and carpet
thick/loose carpets
3. Lighting:
brightness
uniformity
glare
low-lit areas
4. Seating: lack of armrest/handrails

Interventions:
1. Floor coverings
non-skid wax on floors
non-skid strips in bathtub
avoid area rugs, tape edges of carpet/runners etctera
avoid transitions or clearly indicate variatios
eliminate trip hazards
2. Lighting
non-glare, uniform and bright
use night lights throughout house
3. Handrails and grab-bars
high visible
install in bathrooms, stairs, other high-risk areas
install for correct positioning (see Proper Handrail Design Parameters)
use vertial poles near chairs, bed, toilet, bath, other high risk areas (see Sturdy Grip example)
4. Toilets and bathtub:
raise height of toilet base and add armrests (see Toilevator example)
install low-wall bathtub (see Access Bathtub example)
5. Stairs/transitions in/out of house
remove visual distractions
remove all obstacles
ensure adequate lighting
clearly mark transition with high contrast/tactile paint or tape

What is a Therapeutic Community?

What is a therapeutic community?
Therapeutic communities provide long-term residential treatment for substance abuse in a secure, drug-free environment. The first therapeutic community, Synanon, was formed in 1958 (by an early member of Alcoholics Anonymous) to provide a safe environment in which users of alcohol and other substances could work together to help themselves and each other recover from their addictions and rebuild their lives. Since then, therapeutic communities have become the best-known and most common type of long-term residential program for substance-use recovery (Hubbard et al., 1989).

The primary goal of treatment in a therapeutic community is not simply to treat the addiction but to help a person in recovery achieve personal growth by learning new behaviors, coping skills, and attitudes that will help him or her to pursue a drug-free lifestyle. (De Leon and Rosenthal, 1989.) Social and vocational skills are also taught. Fellow residents and counselors (who are themselves usually former residents who have successfully recovered) help persons in recovery by serving as role models and setting a good example of how to handle stress without resorting to substance abuse. Peer pressure is also an important aspect of therapeutic community-based treatment.

What does therapeutic community-based treatment involve?
In a therapeutic community, treatment includes both individual and group counseling. Persons in recovery are counseled (sometimes in a confrontational manner) by their peers to (APA, 2000):

· overcome denial and accept their substance abuse problem
· understand the role of substance use in their lives
· identify unhealthy behaviors and ways of coping
· learn healthy ways to handle stress and depression
· develop attitudes and beliefs that are incompatible with continued substance use.
Therapy community programs often involve three key stages of treatment (Kooyman, 1993):
· induction (preparing persons in recovery for admission to the program)
· primary treatment (helping residents to recover and become stronger)
· reentry preparation (preparing residents for independent, substance-free living and reintegration
into society)

What is it like to live in a therapeutic community?
The therapeutic community environment is highly structured, with rules and schedules. Both penalties and rewards are used to encourage recovery and personal growth (Kerr, 1986). Newcomers to therapeutic communities are given very few privileges to start with; they are considered “low on the totem pole” and are given the least desirable work chores. As residents demonstrate that they can remain drug-free and follow community rules, they earn increasing privileges, status, and opportunities for leadership (APA, 2000).

Residents in a therapeutic community are considered “members,” not patients, and are expected from the beginning to take responsibility for themselves and to participate actively in all aspects of the community, including counseling of fellow members, community decision-making, and chores. Honesty, trust, and self-help are stressed. Members play an active role in all decisions affecting them, including admission and discharge of fellow residents, assignment of domestic tasks, and penalties for rule-breaking (Kennard, 1998).

How effective are therapeutic communities for drug addition recovery?
In order for therapeutic community-based treatment to be effective, the person in recovery must remain in treatment for an appropriate length of time. Unfortunately, only 15% to 25% of patients who are voluntarily admitted to a therapeutic community program remain in the program for a sufficient period of time (see below) (APA, 2000).

Therapeutic community-based programs may be more effective than outpatient programs in helping persons in recovery. Research suggests that one year after treatment, patients who have completed therapeutic programs are less likely to have started using drugs again than those that have undergone outpatient treatment (De Leon, 1984).

Three to five years after program completion, persons in recovery who have participated in a therapeutic community show less criminal activity and increased full-time employment (O’Brien and Biase, 1992).

Who is best suited for therapeutic community-based treatment?
Therapeutic community-based treatment may be most appropriate for people who are seeking a highly structured setting to begin their recovery. People who seek support and strong encouragement of peers who have “been there” and know what it takes to recover will do well in this treatment setting. This form of treatment may be especially appropriate for people for whom other forms of treatment have not been effective (APA, 2000).

There are two basic types of therapeutic communities for adults. The short-term type of therapeutic community, where treatment lasts an average of three to six months, is appropriate for persons in recovery who have a stable social and family environment, and focuses mainly on developing a drug-free lifestyle. For persons in recovery who do not have strong family and social support, the longer-term type of therapeutic community may be more appropriate. In this type of therapeutic community, treatment lasts an average of six to nine months; goals include both attainment of a drug-free state and development of practical living skills and social skills (Singer, 1992).

Therapeutic community-based treatment may not be appropriate for all persons in recovery. Studies have shown that people with low self-esteem, poor self-definition, and a tendency to criticize themselves heavily and overemphasize negative features are more likely to drop out of therapeutic community programs before treatment is complete (O’Brien & Biase, 1992). The confrontational style of counseling that sometimes occurs in the therapeutic community setting may be too intense for those that are highly sensitive to criticism (Singer, 1992).

What about therapeutic communities for adolescents?
Juvenile persons in recovery can also benefit from therapeutic-community based treatment. There are special adolescent therapeutic communities that have been modified to be appropriate for youths; these programs include the following features (Mullen, Arbiter, and Glider, 1991):
· shorter treatment periods
· less confrontational style
· increased supervision
· more recreational activities
· greater family involvement
· emphasis on education, including actual schoolwork
· increased staff-to-youth ratio
· separation of boys and girls (except for occasional program activities)

How long does therapeutic community-based treatment last?
Studies have shown that patients who remain in treatment for at least three months show improvement, but the greatest recovery benefits are achieved when treatment lasts from 6 to 12 months (APA, 2000), which is a typical length of stay. Treatment can last for as long as 18 to 24 months.

How much does therapeutic community-based treatment cost?
Treatment in a therapeutic community tends to be highly cost-effective. Treatment costs are lower than in clinical treatment settings, because former residents (rather than licensed professionals) serve as counselors and because residents work cooperatively to operate and maintain the residence. Costs for treatment in a therapeutic community vary depend on facility, but are approximately $55 to $60 per day for standard adult care. Treatment costs are slightly higher for adolescents, pregnant women, and other special populations (Wolf Jones, 2000). Government assistance is often available for those with limited incomes.

References

American Psychiatric Association (2000). Practice Guideline For The Treatment Of Patients With Substance Use Disorders Alcohol, Cocaine, Opioids. III: General Treatment Principles and Alternatives. (On-line: http://www.psych.org/psych/htdocs/clin_res/pg_substance_3.html)

De Leon G. (1984). The Therapeutic Community: Study of Effectiveness. NIDA Treatment Research Monograph Series, DHHS Publication (ADM) 85-1286. Rockville, Md, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1984.

De Leon G, Rosenthal MS (1989). Treatment in residential therapeutic communities, in Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders: A Task Force Report of the American Psychiatric Association, Vol 2. Washington, DC, APA.

Hubbard, R. L., Marsden, M. E., Rachal, J. V., Harwood, H. J., Cavanaugh, E. R., & Ginzburg, H. M. (1989). Drug Abuse Treatment: A National Study of Effectiveness. Chapel Hill, N.C. and London: The University of North Carolina Press.

Kennard, D. (1998). Introduction to Therapeutic Communities. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Kerr, D. H. (1986). The therapeutic community: A codified concept for training and upgrading staffmembers working in a residential setting. In: De Leon & Ziegenfuss (eds.), Therapeutic Communities for Addiction, pp. 55-63. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Kooyman, Martien (1993). The Therapeutic Community for Addicts. Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger.

Mullen, R., Arbiter, N., & Glider, P. (1991). A comprehensive therapeutic community approach for chronic substance-abusing juvenile offenders: The Amity model. In T.L. Armstrong (Ed.), Intensive interventions with high-risk youths: Promising approaches in juvenile probation and parole. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, a Division of Willow Tree Press, Inc.

O’Brien, W.B. & Biase, D.V. (1992). Therapeutic community: A coming of age. In: Lowinson, J.H., Ruiz, P., Millman, R.B., Langrod, J.G. (Eds.), Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook (2nd ed.). Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins.

Singer, A. (1992). Effective treatment for drug-involved offenders: A review and synthesis for judges and other court personnel. Newton, MA: Education Development Center, Inc.

Wolf Jones, L. R. (Executive Director, Therapeutic Communities of America). Personal communication, 11/13/2000.

Collaborative Learning with Internet Groupware - Review

Introduction:
Groupware refers to software designed to support or augment group communication or "shared interactive environments" (Wells, 1996). Originally introduced by Douglas Engelbart in 1968, Groupware has been widely used in business and the military for several years. It is now entering the academic arena as educators seek to enhance distance education coursework via on-line interactive/collaborative communications (Schrum and Lamb, 1998).
In general, collaborative learning has been documented to improve academic achievement, behavior and attendance; increase self-confidence, motivation, and liking of school and classmates (Office of Educational Research, 1992); increase academic test scores, raise self-esteem, increase positive social skills (Stahl, 1994); and encourage critical thinking (Newman, 1996; Gokhade, 1995; Nunamaker et. al, 1996).
Internet based collaborative learning, often coined "telecollaboration", can be classified into three genre with associated activity structures (Dawson, K., and Harris, J., in press). The first genre; "Interpersonal exchange", includes diverse activities such as telementoring or impersonations whereas "Information Collection and Analysis" may include a tele-fieldtrip or electronic publishing. The third genre; "Problem solving", is integral to working in groups but also includes information searches, peer feedback, simulations, and other "authentic" activities.


Internet based collaborative learning expands "community" and the learning environment (Ryder and Wilson, 1996); increases interactivity among geographically distant learners, experts, and resources (Schurm and Lamb, 1998); encourages diversity; maximizes user value on time spent gathering information and interacting with peers (Barua, Chellappa, and Whinston, 1996). It also facilitates lifelong learning skills by way of anytime/anywhere learning (Caviedes, 1998); enhances available resources via virtual libraries, publishing, presentations, communications, prints, etcetera (Caviedes, 1998), or even provides methods of instruction unavailable through other means (Bourne, Brodersen, Campbell, Dawant, and Shiavi; 1997).

GroupWare Classification:
GroupWare is classified according to: time/place, restrictiveness/ permissiveness, information sharing versus information exchange, and function.
Time/Place: GroupWare can be synchronous (real time), asynchronous (delayed/across time), or most commonly, a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous components.


















Tool
Category
Function


Whiteboard
Synchronous or Asynchronous
Shared Drawing


Interactive Slide Show &/or Web Tour
Synchronous
Presentation &/or Shared Web Browsing

Stored Slide Show
Asynchronous
Presentation

Email, Bulletin Board, Listserve
Asynchronous
Messaging systems

Chat Synchronous Text-based real time
Communication

Broadcasting/ Streaming Video
Synchronous or Asynchronous
Direct Messaging


Calendar
Asynchronous
Posting

Virtual Library Asynchronous Document

Restrictiveness/Permissiveness: Restrictive Groupware constrains or directs the behavior of the user by prescribing or restricting alternative courses of action. Permissive Groupware allows the user to do any action at any time.
Information sharing versus Exchange: Another method of classifying Groupware is according to the level of interaction. Information sharing allows users to observe and manipulate objects in a shared workspace whereas information exchange provides a medium for transference of information. Function: Educational groupware components include page and student tracking, test maker and automatic grading system features. Minimally, educational Groupware should consist of the following:
· The ability to input courseware from familiar applications
· Web based data entry
· Elimination of proprietary authoring tools or uploading of programs
· Automated test set up wizard
· Discussion groups, chat, and bulletin boards
· Email to instructor and others taking the course
· Pre-recorded streaming multimedia
· White boards, application sharing, and conferencing.
· Downloadable reference materials, bibliographies, articles, papers,
· Hyperlinks to Web sites

· Courseware search facility
· Ability to set performance criteria, control pace and testing thresholds
· Assignment creation and issuance
· Student progress tracking
· Self-correcting tests with instructor comments (Microsoft, 1999).


Levels of GroupWare Collaboration:
Groupware collaboration is divided into three levels of group effort: Individual, Coordinated, and Concerted (Nunemaker, Briggs, Mittleman and Vogel; 1996). At the individual level, work effort requires no coordination but is simply the sum of individual results. The coordinated work level requires coordination between independent individual efforts; the concerted work level requires "continuous concerted effort" (Nunemaker, Briggs, Mittleman, and Vogel; 1996).
Levels of Groupware collaboration are responsible for variations between laboratory and field findings due to the synergistic impact of collaboration in individual, organizational, and environmental process. Early laboratory findings differed significantly from "real life" applications mainly because "real groups do not perform tasks in a void, but within an organizational context which drives objectives, attitudes, and behaviors in group meetings" (Nunemaker et. al., 1996). A synergistic effect is achieved when different views of group members creates a

"greater understanding of the problem…or when the group solution is better than if produced by any member individually" (Stenberg, 1995).
The concept of synergistic knowledge acquisition has led to the development of "knowledge management" which centers on the creation of knowledge, securing/combining of knowledge, and the distribution/retrieval of knowledge (Seung, Jayl, Prasad, and Granger; 1997). Widely accepted in the business arena, the same concept is being applied to distance education and distributed learning environments.

Internet Collaboration…It's Different!
Laboratory results indicate variations between the use of Groupware versus none use of Groupware. However, more variations exist between "face to face" collaboration versus "distant" or Internet based collaboration made possible via the Internet (Nunemaker et. al, 1996; Stenberg, 1995). Synergistic effects occur in traditional "face to face" group encounters as well as distant encounters. However, research indicates increased synergistic effects in distance based communications. This is due to the fact "low status members have a tendency to automatically agree (with)…high status members during face to face encounters whereas the anonymity provided by distance correspondence minimizes this problem as the low-status members are unable to copy high status members " (Stenberg, 1995). Additionally, "total amount of input is higher…due to the parallel communication,

that allows the group to "talk" at once and consequently makes it possible for larger groups to be productive" (Stenberg, 1995). This increased productivity once again results in increased synergistic impact for the group. Group members often report this synergistic impact increases stimulation and results in higher overall satisfaction scores in addition to increased access to collective information (Stenberg, 1995).
Although access to collective information is increased, individual "absorption" of information and corrective communication is demonstrated to be "slower than conventional techniques. "Conformance pressure" …commonly referred to as "groupthink"… may also become problematic. Nonetheless, laboratory studies show "teams using anonymous GSS contributed more ideas when they were allowed to enter both positive and negative comments" (Nunamaker et. al., 1996).
The nature of some applications may contribute to other problems rarely encountered in face to face collaborative efforts. For example, the anonymous nature of some components may encourage "flaming" or other unbecoming behaviors. Conflict management can be difficult in a distant environment, the perceived loss of social interaction may hinder some members from full participation, and dominating members may draw undue attention to themselves therefore distracting others from the task at hand. Information overload may result in incomplete task analysis and the technology itself may become a drawback

(Nunamaker et al., 1996; Stenberg, 1995). Adoption and acceptance is fundamental to the success of an initiative as "many groupware systems simply cannot be successful unless a critical mass of users chooses to use the system" (Usabilityfirst.com, 1999). An example is the use of a chat room…it is useless if you are the only student logged in. According to Usabilityfirst, "Two of the most common reasons for failing to achieve critical mass are interoperability and the lack of appropriate individual benefit (Usabiltyfirst.com, 1999). Due to these and other potential problems, mediation is extremely important for the use of groupware applications in distance education. According to Nunamaker et. al; "…technology does not replace leadership"…or as another researcher so succinctly stated: "It's the humans, stupid" (Newman, 1996).

Leadership Issues:
Several elements have been identified as essential to the success of a collaborative learning initiative; (Stahl, 1994; Gay, 1997; Campbell and Bourne, 1997) the following criteria are critical:
· Specific student learning outcome objectives
· Student "buy in" regarding objectives and outcome
· Clear and complete task directions
· Heterogeneous groups
· Equal opportunity for success

· Positive Interdependence
· Positive social interaction behaviors and attitudes
· Access to "must learn" information
· Opportunities to complete required information processing tasks
· Sufficient time spent learning
· Individual accountability
· Public recognition for group academic success
· Post-group reflection on within group behavior
· Flexibility
· Evaluation of the learner and learning environment
· Required contribution and participation
· Non-authoritarian style and responses
· Attention to social and emotional aspects
Instructors must maintain a facilitative approach to learning; "The instructors role is not to transmit information, but to serve as facilitator for learning" (Gokhade, 1995). Instructors must be responsive to learner differences and group "personality". According to Gay, "it is important to incorporate as many approaches as possible into your design to accommodate a range of student learning styles" as well as emphasize active listening between students and instructor interaction (Gay, 1997). Research indicates students who preferred a

visual learning style reported enhanced work whereas students who preferred a verbal learning style found significantly less enhancement from the use of groupware (Becker and Dwyer, 1998).
Responsiveness involves more than just learning style; a study of collaborative learning at Western Illinois University found a "humor played a vital role in reducing anxiety" in addition to shared responsibility for problem solving (Gokhade, 1995). Another study demonstrating the importance of interpersonal relations in groupware discovered storage of information accounted for only 25% of all work surface activities while expression of ideas and mediation of interaction comprised 50% and 25% respectively. Gesturing "played a prominent role in all work surface actions", accounting for 35% of all activity (Greenberg and Gutwin, 1998). Clearly, mediation of interpersonal relations is a significant factor in the success of groupware applications.
Management issues also impact the success of collaborative learning with groupware; security, student/instructor support and training, and evaluation (Gay, 1997). "If the group is headed toward a clearly defined goal…(they) can achieve the goal more productively. If the group is unclear about its goal, the lack of direction will become immediately obvious…" (Nunamaker et. al., 1996).




Structure, Use and Interface Issues:
Groupware applications are highly dependent upon structural related issues with the most recent applications striving toward a "socially natural" setting. According to Saul Greenberg and Carl Gutwin from the University of Calgry (Greenberg and Gutwin, 1998); socially natural groupware consists of:
· Tight coupling: used in intense collaboration but highly restrictive. Tight coupling does not allow the user to move independent of other users.
· Loose coupling: used in less formal collaboration and less restrictive. Loose coupling allows the user to move independently of other users while maintaining "workspace awareness".
· Casual interaction: in daily life people maintain a "general sense of who is around and what others are up to as they work and mingle in the same physical environment…(but) casual interaction in distributed environments is difficult" (Greenberg and Gutwin, 1998). Casual interaction in socially natural groupware mimics the natural setting by allowing "peephole" functions which alert group members availability and actions (Greenberge and Gutwin, 1998).
· Seamless transactions: In the "real world, people move themselves and their artifacts continually and effortlessly between different styles of collaborations; across time, across individual and group activity, across


place, across formality, etc (Greenberg and Gutwin, 1998). Seamless transaction in socially natural groupware supplies:
· A place for individual and group work
· A place for formal and informal face to face meetings
· A place to leave reminders, note, and work artifacts
· A places that supplies opportunities for casual interaction
Socially natural groupware supports the six criteria for designing communal work surfaces (Tang, 1989) including;
1. Methods of conveying and supporting gestural communication
2. Minimization of overhead encountered when storing information
3. Methods of conveying the process of creating artifacts to express ideas
4. Allowing seamless intermixing of work surface actions and functions
5. Provision of a common work surface view with simultaneous access and sense of close proximity.
6. Facilitation of participants natural abilities to coordinate personal collaborations

Groupware and Workspace Awareness:
The new generation of socially natural groupware is highly involved in integrating the social, environmental and other cues mentioned above. Workspace


awareness research has identified several kinds of awareness integral to groupwork including (Gutwin, 1996):
· Workspace awareness: "up-to-the minute" awareness of other's location, activities, and intentions relative to the task and space.
· Organizational awareness: knowledge of positioning…how the group activity fits within larger groups.
· Situational awareness: understanding of the state of a dynamic system.
· Structural awareness: knowledge of roles, expectations, responsibilities,
The issue of awareness is a recurring theme in distance/distributed education literature as it is directly related to the level of perceived comfort associated with the course and therefore, productivity. Research indicates positive results in performance and perception if design and other factors are accounted for. In fact, studies indicate: 97% of students reported "more access to the instructor than in conventional course delivery", 80% indicated "conventional courses were more boring…", and 67% reported "more communication with fellow students…" (Andriole, 1998).

Evaluation:
Groupware is measured in relation to several criteria including efficiency and effectiveness, cost, learner and faculty satisfaction, behavior and results.
Functionality is evaluated in terms of :

· Usability: the ease of learning, using, and modifying the capabilities of the product to accomplish the tasks that are common to most users...both instructor and student.
· Capability: the functionality of the product in accordance to the needs/desires of the target audience.
· Performance: the speed or capacity in performing the product's function.
· Interoperability: the ability of the product to transfer information to and from other information systems including file exchange, platform, etc..
· Manageability: the ability to configure, use, and control functions.
Kirkpatrick (1994) proposed the use of four levels of evaluation including:

1. Learner reaction (end of course evaluation sheet)
2. Learning (learner performance at the end of the course)
3. Behavior (ability to use what is learned in real-life situations)
4. Results (impact on learner/learners organization/etc.)
Three determinants of user value include level of information access (the ability to access relevant information), interaction richness (the extent to which users are able to overcome the barriers of space, time and media/document formats in an interaction with others), and information /interaction cost including the time and effort needed to use and learn supportive technology/software (Barua, Chellappa, and Whinston; 1996).


These criteria lend themselves to a "process evaluation" to determine what "influences facilitate and impede student perceived progress toward student course goals, how are these influences related, and what is their relative importance?" (Campbell, 1997). The process evaluation approach stresses the importance of learning strategy and implementation over that of delivery method but hesitates to use grades and examinations as primary modes of evaluation; "Evaluation of examinations and grades may be to limited. Instead we need to identify specific and meaningful learning outcomes using different models…meaning mastery of higher order learning (Campbell, 1997). Qualitative research is frequently used in the evaluation of groupware applications in the academic arena, however,
quantitative analysis is needed as well.
Qualitative research has traditionally focused on observations, interviews, and analysis of learner posting/feedback whereas quantitative research (widely used in the business arena) has focused on the "no significant difference" phenomena or cost analysis of comparable outcomes (Campbell, 1997). Both qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods have drawn criticism.
Qualitative evaluation focused on learner outcomes assumes all work is exclusively the product of the learner. Critics maintain security issues have not been adequately standardized to ensure testing and outcome measures are actually evaluating student knowledge (Campbell, 1997; Moonen, no date).


The "no significant difference" phenomena as well as the cost analysis approach are both considered questionable quantitative measures for the evaluation of groupware applications with further research indicated. The "no significant difference" phenomena has drawn criticism as a "weak evaluation" unable to "detect the differences… experiments can be designed using a power analysis to estimate the number of learners required to find statistical significance". Indeed, several studies have demonstrated significant improvements (Campbell, 1997).
Quantitative evaluation using cost analysis has also drawn criticism due to the difficulty determining direct and indirect cost, resource accessibility, and other factors (Moonen, no date). Until a standardized dollar value can be identified for both the direct and indirect investment and resource acquisition/access, cost
analysis will continue to draw "fire" as a meaningful evaluative measure.
To complicate matters, experts have not yet agreed upon an operational definition of "value", "efficacy", or even "benefit" in order to determine by what criteria programs will be evaluated. Generally speaking, "cost-effectiveness analysis is applied when the cost are expressed in monetary terms and the effects are measured in non-monetary terms" (Moonen, no date). These variations lend to the expectation of efficacy and effectiveness evaluations. The issue of evaluation is central to the discussion of evaluation and comprises one area in need of future research within the field of collaborative learning and distance education.

Resources
Andriole, Stephen J. (1998). Requirements -Driven ALN Course Design, Development, Delivery, and Evaluation. [On-line]. Available: http://www. Aln.org/alnweb/journal/issue2/andriole.htm

Balkcom, Stephen, (1992). Cooperative Learning. Office of Educational Research and Improvement. ED Digest 346999 June 1992.

Barua, Anitesh; Chellappa, Ramnath; and Whinston, Andrew B., (1996). Creating a Collaboratory in Cyberspace: Theoretical Foundation and an Implementation. Center for Information Systems Management. University of Texas at Austin. [On-line]. Available: http://www.cism.bus.utexas.edu/ram/papers/job/job.html

Becker, D'Arcy; Dwyer, Meg; (1998). The Impact of Student Verbal/Visual Learning Style Preference on Implementing Groupware in the Classroom. JALN Vol. 2 Issue 2-8/1998.

Bourne, J.R.; Brodersen, A.J.; Campbell, J.O.; Dawant, M.M.; and Shiavi, R.G.; (1997). A Model for On-line Learning Networks in Engineering Education. JALN. Vol. 1, Issue 1- 3/97. [On-line]. Available: http://www.aln.org/alnweb/journal/issue1/bourne.htm

Bourne, John R.; McMaster, Eric; Rieger, Jennifer; and Campbell, Olin;. (no date). Paradigms for On-line Learning: A Case Study in the Design and Implementation of an Asynchronous Learning Network (ALN) Course. Center for Innovation in Engineering Education. Vanderbilt University.

Campbell, Olin, J. (1997). Evaluating ALN: What Words, Who's Learning?. ALN Magazine Vol. 1, Issue 2-8/1997.

Caviedes, J., (1998). A Technological Perspective of Anytime, Anywhere Education. ALN Magazine Vol. 2, Issue 1-3/1998.

Dawnson, K. and Harris, J. (1999). Unpublished original material.

Gay, Greg. (1997). Using Research to Design Effective Distance Education. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). University of Toronto.

Gokhade, Anuradha, (1995). Collaborative Learning Enhances Critical Thinking. Journal of Technology Education. Vol. 7, Number 1. Fall 1995.





Greenberg, Saul; and Gutwin, C. (1998). From Technically Possible to Socially Natural Groupware. Proceedings of the 9th NEC Research Symposium: The Human-centric Multimedia Community. 8-31-9-1. Naru Japan. [On-line]. Available:
http://www.krlnec-unet.ocn.ne.jp/english/tope.html

Gutwin, Carl. (1996). Workspace Awareness Research. [On-line]. Available: http://www.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/projects/grouplab/people/carl/research/awareness.html

Moonen, Jef, (no date). The Efficiency of Teletraining. Educational Science and Technology. University of Twente Enschede, The Netherlands.

Newman, D.R. (1996). How can WWW-based groupware better support critical thinking in CSCL? ERCIM workshop on CSCW and the Web. Sankt Augustin Germany, 2/7-9/96.

Nunamaker, Jay; Briggs, Robert; Mittleman, Daniel; and Vogel, Douglas. (1996). Lessons from a Dozen years of Group Support Systems Research: A Discussion of Lab and Field Findings. MIS Department: University of Arizona.

Ryder, Martin; Wilson, Brent. (1996). Affordances and Constraints of the Internet for Learning and Instruction. Association for Educational Communications Technology. [On-line]. Available: http://www. Cudenver.edu/~mryder/aect_96.html .

Seung, Jayl; Prasad, Granger. (1997). An Intelligent Agent-Based Framework for Knowledge Management on the Web: An Exploratory Study of a Virtual Team in Designing a Multimedia System. [On-line]. Available: http://hsb.baylor.edu/ransomewer/ais.ac.97/papers/back.htm

Schrum, Lynn and Lamb, Theodore. (no date). Groupware for Collaborative Learning: A Research Perspective on Process, Opportunities, and Obstacles. Journal of UCS. Vol. 2 No 10. [On-line]. Available: http://www.iicm.edu/jues_2-10/groupware_for_collaborative_learning/html/paper.html

Stahl, Robert. (1994). The Essential Elements of Cooperative Learning in the Classroom. ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies. ERIC Digest ED370881 March 1994.

Stenberg, Kettil (1995). The Effect of EMS on Group Work. Masters Thesis in Economics. School of Economics and Business Administration. Helsinki

Tang, J.C. (1991). Findings from observational studies of collaborative work. Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Groupware. International Journal Man Machine Studies, 34(2).

Usabilityfirst. (1999). Groupware Design Issues. [On-line]. Available: http://www.usabilityfirst.com/groupware/design-issues.html

Wells, David. (1996). Groupware and Collaborative Support. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency: U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Object Service and Consulting Inc..

Staying Independent - A Course for Active Adults Intro

Course Overview:
This course will focus on promoting independent living skills for adults aged 55 and over. Physical and psychological changes related to various stages of an adults life will be explored with an emphasis on healthy living and planning for future needs. Topics include: available community resources, good living through technology, tackling transportation troubles, living with age related impairments, safety in and around the home, nutrition and exercise, and other topics of concern to student participants.

Important Announcements:
· Please feel free to discuss any special arrangements you may need due to disability.
· Breaks will be given on a regular basis however, do not hesitate to "remind" me if I forget. J
· Several guests have been invited to speak on their area of expertise. It is requested that you arrive on time to class.
· This is a new course. Your participation and feedback will be greatly appreciated.
· I look forward to getting to know all of you! WELCOME!!!

Statistics Terminology

Chapter 1

Statistics: a set of methods for organizing, summarizing and interpreting info.

Population: the set of all individuals of interest in a study.

Sample: a set of selected individuals representative of the population.

Parameter: a value (usually numeric) that describes a population.

Statistic: a value (usually numeric) that describes a sample.

Data: measures or observations.

Data Set: a collection of measurements or observations.

Datum: a single measurement or observation.

Score: a single measurement or observation.

Descriptive statistics: statistical procedures used to summarize, organize, and simplify data.

Inferential statistics: techniques that allow the study of samples in order to make generalizations about the population.

Sampling error: the discrepancy or amount of error that exists between a sample statistic and the corresponding population parameter.

Variable: a characteristic or condition that changes or has different values for different individuals.

Constant: a characteristic or condition that does not vary between individuals.

Correlational method: two variables are observed to see if there is a relationship.

Experimental method: one variable is manipulated while changes are observed in another variable. Seeks to establish cause/effect. Must use randomization and a control group.

Independent variable: the variable manipulated by the researcher.

Dependent variable: the variable observed for changes.

Control group: a condition of the independent variable that does not receive the experimental treatment.

Experimental group: receives the treatment.

Confounding variable: an uncontrolled variable that is unintentionally allowed to vary systematically with the independent variable.

Quasi Experimental: Like the experimental but lacking the control or manipulation.

Constructs: hypothetical concepts used in theories to organize observations in terms of underlying mechanisms.

Operational definition: defines a construct in specific operational or procedural measurements.

Hypothesis: a prediction about the outcome of an experiment…usually about how the manipulation of the independent variable will affect the dependent variable.

Scales of measurement: Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, Ratio

Nominal: labels observations by category only. Exp: Male/Female

Ordinal: a set of categories rank ordered. Exp: Best to worst employee.

Interval: rank ordered catergories that for intervals of the same size. Allows you to measure the difference in size or amount...magnitude.

Ratio: an interval scale with an absolute zero point.

Discrete variable: separate indivisible categories.

Continuous variable: infinite number of possible values between two observed values.

Real limit: the halfway point below and above two adajacent continuous value scores.

Frequency distribution: an organized tabulation of the number of individuals located in each category on the scale of measurement.

Histogram: vertical bars are drawn above each score so the height corresponds to the frequency and the width corresponds to the real limits of the score. Used for interval or ratio scales.

Bar Graph: vertical bar is drawn above each score or category so the height of the bar corresponds to the frequency and there is a space separating each bar. Used for nominal or ordinal scales.

Polygon: a single dot is drawn above each score so the dot is centered above the score and the height of the dot corresponds to the frequency. A continuous line is then drawn to connect the dots and down to the zero frequency at each end of the range of scores. Used with interval or ratio scores.

Relative frequencies: like a polygon except there are too many scores so this shows proportions on the vertical axis in a curve rather than a series of lines…shows distribution of scores rather than individual scores as the polygon.

Rank or percentile rank: the percentage of people with a score below that level.

Symmetrical distribution: equal on each side.

Skewed distribution: scores pile up on one end and taper at the other end.

Tail: the side where the scores taper off.

Positive skew: the tail points toward the positive (above zero) end of the x axis. (Right).

Negative skew: tail points toward the negative (left) end.

Central Tendency: a statistical measure that identifies a single score as representative of an entire distribution. The goal is to find a single score most representative of the group.

Mean: The average.

Weighted mean: Adding scores to determine the average.

Median: the score that divides a distribution in half. Equivalent to the 50th percentile.

Mode: the most common observation among a group of scores.

Open ended distribution: when one category is left open as with 75 and above…etcetera.

Variability: a quantitative measure of the degree to which scores in a distribution are spread or clustered.

Range: the distance between the largest and smallest score in the distribution…or the upper real limit of the largest x value and the lower real limit of the smallest x value.

Interquartile range: the distance between the first quartile and the third quartile.

Semi-interquartile range: one half the interquartile range.

Deviation: the distance from the mean. (deviation scores must always add to zero)

Population variance: the mean squared deviation. Variance is the mean of the squared deviation scores.

Standard deviation: is equal to the square root of the variance.

SS: sum of squares: the sum of the squared deviation scores.

DF: Degrees of freedom: see text.

z-score: the precise location of each x value within a distribution. Can be positive or negative...the value of the score indicates the distance from the mean by counting the number of standard deviations between x and u.

Standardized distribution: transformed scores that result in predetermined values for u and q regardless of their values for the raw score distribution. Used to make dissimilar distributions comparable.

Standard score: a transformed score that provides information about its location in a distribution. A z-score is an example of a standard score.

Probability: in a situation where several outcomes are possible, probability is the fraction or proportion of any particular outcome. Must have random sampling.

Random sampling: for a sample to be random, each individual in the population has an equal chance of being selected and if more than one individual is to be selected there must be a constant probability for each and every selection.

Normal distribution: is symmetrical: the mean, median, and mode are equal; fifty percent of the scores are below the mean and fifty percent are above; most of the scores pile up around the mean and extreme scores are rare.

Sampling error: the discrepancy or amount of error between a sample statistic and the corresponding population parameter.

Distribution of sample means: the collectionof sample means for all possible random samples of a particular size (n) that can be obtained from a population.

Sampling distribution: a distribution of statistics obtained by selecting all possible samples of a specific size from a population.

Hypothesis testing: an inferential procedure that uses sample data to evaluate the credibility of a hypothesis about a population.

Null hypothesis: predicts the independent variable (treatment) has no effect on the dependent variable.

Alternative hypothesis: predicts the independent variable (treatment) will have an effect on the dependent variable.

Type I error: rejecting the null hypothesis when the null is actually true.

Type II error: the investigator fails to reject a null hypothesis that is really false.

Alpha level or level of significance: a probability value that defines the unlikely sample outcomes when the null hypothesis is true. Defines the probability of a type I error.

Critical region: extreme sample values that are unlikely to be obtained if the null hypothesis is true.

One-tailed test: a directional hypothesis: the statistical hypotheses specify an increase or a decrease in the population mean score.

Power: the probability a test will correctly reject a false null hypothesis.
Factors affecting power include; alpha level, one-tailed versus two tailed, and sample size.

The general elements of hypothesis testing:
1. State the null hypothesis.
2. Use the sample data to calculate a sample statistics that corresponds to the hypothesized population parameter.
3. Evaluate findings by measuring standard error, sampling error, variability of the scores etcetera.
4. Test the statistics using a z-score or other means.
5. Test the alpha level/level of significance.

t-test: use instead of a z-test when the population standard deviation is not known. Uses standard error.

Degrees of freedom: the number of scores in a sample that are free to vary.

Independent measures research design: an experiment that uses a separate sample for each treatment condition or each population.

Repeated measure study: a single sample of subjects is used to compare two or more different treatment conditions. Each individual is measured in one treatment and then again in the second treatment.

Matched subject study: each individual in one sample is matched with a subject in the other sample.

Estimation: the inferential process of using sample data to estimate population parameters

Point estimate: use of a single number as the estimate of an unknown quantity.

Interval estimate: use of a range of values as an estimate of an unknown quantity. When it is accompanied with a specific level of confidence or probability it is called a confidence interval.

ANOVA: a hypothetical procedure used to evaluate mean differences between two or more treatments or populations. Major advantage is that it can compare two or more.

IN ANOVA a Factor is an independent variable.
Single factor design: a research study with only one independent variable.
Factorial design: a study with more than one independent variable.

Error term: in an ANOVA the denominator of the F-ratio. The error term provides a measure of the variance due to chance. When the treatment effect is zero (the null hypothesis is true) the error term measures the same sources of variance as the numerator of the F-ratio so the value of the f-ratio is expected to be nearly equal to 1.00

Levels of the factor: the individual treatment conditions that make up a factor.

K= the number of treatment conditions / the number of levels of the factor in ANOVA

Experimentwise alpha level: the overall probability of a type I error accumlated over a series of separate hypothesis tests.

Variance between treatments.
1. Treatment effect: the different treatment conditions produce different effects and cause the individuals scores to be higher or lower in one condition than another.

2. Experimental error: anytime behavior is measured there may be error introduced. It may cause scores to be different in one individual across conditions.

Variance due to chance; the error term.
1. Individual differences: within each treatment the scores come from different individuals.
2. Experimental error: the uncontrolled and unsystematic error could always be the source of differences.

ANOVA notations
K= the number of treatment conditions

A n= the number of scores in each treatment

N= the total number of scores in the entire study.

G= the sum of all the scores in the study. The value of G corresponds to the summation of x for all N scores and specifies the grand total for the experiment.

T= the sum of the scores in each treatment condition (treatment total).

SS= the sum of the squares for each treatment (SS)
åX2= the sum of the squared scores for the entire study.

P= personal total. Used to measure individual differences in the analysis.

F-ration: requires between treatments variance and error variance.

Main effect: the mean differences among the levels of one factor.

Interaction: the effect of one factor contingent upon the level of the second factor.

Between-treatment variance is caused by the treatment effect, individual differences, and experimental error.

Positive correlation: two variables tend to move in the same direction. As the x variable increases the y variable also increases and vv.

Negative correlation: two variables tend to go in opposite directions. As the x variable increases the y variable decreases.

Correlations are used to predict, test validity, reliability, and theory verification.

Pearson correlation: measures the degree and direction of linear relationship between two variables.

Spearman correlation: measures the degree and direction of relationships between two variables where both are measured on ordinal scales…that is, both x and y consist of ranks.

Point biserial correlation: used to measure the relationship between two variables when one is measured on an interval or ratio scale but the second has only two different values (dichotomous variables such as male/female).

PHI-Coefficient: when both variables (x and y) are dichotomous.

Regression: the technique for finding the best fitting straight line for a set of data.

Standard error of estimate: a measure of the standard distance between a regression line and the actual data points.