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The paper "" is currently making the rounds:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5604013/

The Carpentries have a considered response to it:

http://www.datacarpentry.org/blog/reponse-to-null-effects/

Several of the details about the study data struck me. The sample size of workshop participants was 48 among 294 PhD students across 53 institutions. One of the Carpentries concerns was that it is hard to know what workshops these students attended and how the material was reinforced in their regular courses. We at UF have an n of similar size to this study at one institution and we know positively (we can get access to course history and transcripts w/ appropriate IRB) what has happened to our learners. We further have Ethan's semester course which is a direct extension of the Carpentries workshop so we could consider 4 populations: no intervention, workshop, workshop + course, course. There are other courses too that we might consider like ones from stats that teach a little R and Gitzendaner's BIO course as well as other activities like DSI or ACM participation.

I've started trying to reach out to Academic Advising to see if they can get us some help designing a study of this stuff. Does anyone have a strong motivation to pursue this next semester or know someone who would?

Matthew Collins
Technical Operations Manager
Advanced Computing and Information Systems Lab, ECE
University of Florida
352-392-5414