Sunday, July 8, 2012

Glau's "Hard Work and Hard Data"

Glau, Gregory R. “Hard Work and Hard Data: Using Statistics to Help your Program.” The Writing Program Administrator’s Resource.  Eds. Stuart C Brown and Theresa Enos. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002. Print. 291-302. Based upon a C’s presentation from 1999.

This piece addresses statistical research in the life of the WPA. The author indicates the types of questions an administrator might get from a variety of sources that would be best responded to through researched data. To prepare for such occasions, Glau recommends that administrators prepare themselves by asking questions related to their programs and seeking the answers and analyzing the results they receive. He provides a series of Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How questions to help guide WPAs in developing questions relevant to their institutional context. Then, the author provides guidance on presenting this information to key audiences, particularly in graphic form.

Discussion: With specific case study examples and many probing questions, this piece is useful to helping WPAs consider the way statistics can be useful in helping them understand their program better, respond to inquires and even advertise and advocate for their program. Introductions to statistical practices in the life of an administrator such as these are particularly useful since firm experience with statistical research cannot be expected of all humanities scholars.

1 comment:

  1. Greg knows what he's talking about. I knew him when I was at ASU. This sounds like a good article--learning to speak in a language outside groups understand.