Blog Post 3:The Effects of Peer Mentoring on First Year Student Athletes

As I described in my previous blog post, the research up until this point has not only demanded the help of my faculty mentor but also some of my peers in the Learning Assistance Center. I needed assistance aggregating the data we have collected from the previous semester and from the Fall of 2018. At one point, the data was lost in the Google Drive so it took us a little while to retrieve it.  We had no idea where or how it got misplaced and as can be imagined we experienced no small amount of stress. Once we were able to retrieve the data sheets, however, we transferred the information to a Microsoft Excel worksheet. Now that we have aggregated the data from both fall semesters, we are in the process of determining what the information tells us about the students and the effects peer mentoring might have had on them. 

Since the last blog post, Professor Buffone and I have been working on analyzing the data and processing it. Finally finding and putting both the data from last semester and the year prior, or 2018 and 2019, we have been able to draw more accurate conclusions from the years combined. Since the different areas we wanted to discuss were objective and hard to quantify, we input the data as number quantities. For instance, for the question “have you been studying for finals?,” it was first collected as either yes or no responses. When we sifted through the data again, we transformed a yes or no response to a numbered, 1 and 0. We did the same thing with the question, “do you like studying in a group?” and “do you get nervous prior to exams?” The  latter question offered the students a choice of 1-4, 1 being the least nervous and 4 being the most nervous,. In spite of the discrepancy with the other numbered questions, we were still able to extract information from a fairly impartial question. 

To date, we have been able to take the average, variance, and standard deviation of the responses to each question asked for the following questions for both semesters: “ how many textbooks do they have compared to how many should they have?,how many finals do they have?, and, how many sessions did they attend?”  Most of the data that we have sifted through up until this point has been the data from Fall 2019. When my faculty  

Throughout the semester the mentors prompted the first-year students with an exercise of computing how much time they spent on social media. Doing the exercise once towards the beginning of the semester and once again towards the end, the goal of the exercise was to make the students more aware of the time they might waste on social media websites throughout the week when they could be spending it more productively working on their academics. As an example of the data we collected and looked at, in  the fall of 2018, the average GPA of the first year student athletes was a 3.24 respectively while the average time on social media was 4 hours and 2 minutes. 

After placing all the data for the attendance of Fall 2019 into a scatterplot where we could see the affect GPA had on overall attendance, we can confidently conclude that attending more sessions positively affected overall GPA. Students who attended 8 or more sessions, had an average GPA of 3.31. Though we are still working on the social media data and a majority of the other topics discussed throughout the semester, we have been able to run regressions on the data and are currently in the process of analyzing the data from both years.

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