At the end of January, we had our first meeting since the undergraduates on the team left for winter break. During the break, members of our team continued to work diligently on data collection. Last semester, our original research idea of measuring changes in teaching techniques after teachers received Voices Together music therapy training went through several revisions after we encountered a few obstacles. Since then, we have decided to assess the impact of Voices Together music therapy on students with autism in classrooms of a local county.
Two of our team members have been going to the classrooms and collecting baseline data on the students; during our team meetings, we all had the opportunity to see some of the collected data. After watching a few videos, we realized how difficult it would be to code these students’ responses. The students varied drastically in their abilities to spontaneously answer questions and communicate clearly with our fellow team member. Additionally, because of differing circumstances in each classroom, the baseline data was sometimes taken in noisier places which often made it hard to hear the students in the videos. A timeline has been made that pinpoints the dates on which data collection for the baseline probes and music therapy sessions will occur.
As undergraduates, we each agreed to be a Task Manager for one or two of three major tasks: a) Entering and verifying teacher measures, b) Probe coding, and c) Session coding. All four of us have different levels of experience with data entry and verification, but we decided that taking responsibility for a chunk of the data will allow each of us to develop our skills as leaders and data analysts. So far, we have scanned the consent forms and half of the teacher measures and started coding the probes.
I’m looking forward to jumping right into the data entry and analysis portions of our study and working with the team to finalize our coding schemes and databases.