Assignment FAQ

Covering anything not covered already in the assignment brief

Assessment 1

Have you got any examples we could look at?

Yes! Here are the top 2 assignments from last year’s class, plus the marker notes, kindly provided with approval by their authors. I have made redactions so you can’t see the student names, and I have also redacted the entry for one article entirely, since it comes from the assignment reading list and you might want to review that article yourself. Do not provide a review of the articles covered in these example assignments in your own assignment - they are quite idiosyncratic, which is why I am happy to share, you should find your own papers to cover, or pick stuff from the course reading list. Example 1. Example 2. The marks they got for each entry are at the end - note that the second example got a low-ish mark for their first entry, so you can compare how that differs from the more successful entries.

What do you mean “For articles which are particularly relevant to your (current) plan for Assessment 2, highlight its relevance and how it has shaped your thinking.”

This is just to help me see how the papers you are reading lead towards some (potentially vague at this stage!) plan for Assessment 2. For instance, if you review a paper on sequence learning in kittens I am going to be wondering how that fits into your plan for Assessment 2, but if you say in your bibliography “I was interested in sequence learning, and I think the method used in this paper will be ideal for an online sequence learning task with human participants, for the following reasons: …” then I can see how it fits, plus you get credit for spotting an interesting and relevant paper and for explicitly explaining your clever ideas about its potential relevance to me.

If I mention a paper in an annotation, but the paper is not one of the four I am annotating, should I include it alphabetically among the annotations? Or should I have a separate references section at the end?

My preference would be for a separate references section at the end for anything you need to cite that is not one of your 4 annotated papers.

Is a paper published in conference proceedings an acceptable choice for this assessment?

Yes absolutely! As long as it’s a proper paper and not just e.g. a 200 word abstract.

A couple of the papers I want to use do involve online experiments, but not crowdsourcing - e.g. participants were recruited via email and social networking sites. Is it still OK to use those papers?

Yes absolutely!

If we are writing about a study that involved multiple experiments, is it okay to focus mainly on the most relevant one, given the word limit?

Yes definitely!

Assessment 2

Have you got any examples we could look at?

Yes! Here are 2 high-scoring assignments from last year’s class, plus the marker notes, kindly provided with approval by their authors. I have made redactions so you can’t see the student names or other identifying information, which means I had to take out the URLs for their experiments (which include student numbers) - so I copied their code over to my jspsychlearning profile, URLs below. The marks they are at the end of the report.

Once I have built my experiment, am I supposed to collect actual data from participants?

NO. This is extremely important - you must not collect actual data! Apart from anything else, we don’t have the time or bandwidth to work through the ethical approval process with all of you, which is obligatory before collecting data. The idea is that this assessment gives you the opportunity to showcase your ability to build a well-motivated online experiment that’s designed to test a particular idea you set out in your report. But we are not running a full research project, so no data collection. It’s important that you test your experiment yourself so you can be confident it works, but no real data please!

I plan to work on something that would involve recording new audio stimuli from speakers of different languages. For this class I wonder whether I can put a sort of placeholder stimuli in instead of the actual stimuli that would be used, and perhaps describe what each placeholder is supposed to be in the report. Would this be OK?

Yes absolutely! As long as we can tell what you have in mind then that’s fine - the assessment is mainly about justifying a particular kind of experiment (in the report) and then putting that together in jsPsych (the actual code), not so much about producing professional-quality stimuli, so as long as we can tell what you intended then placeholders are fine.


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