Department of Psychology

Interactive Measurement Group

PSY 496 / 498

Independent Study
Independent Research


Barchard photo
Dr. Kimberly A. Barchard
Summer 2012 Syllabus


Course Overview

Lab Meetings



Team Members



Send comments on this syllabus to Dr. Barchard

PSY 496 / 498
Mission Statement

The Interactive Measurement Group will: (1) prepare students for post-baccalaureate education and careers, by helping them identify career and educational goals, develop their leadership and teamwork skills, develop their communication (oral and written) and computer skills, and develop their research skills; and (2) conduct research on psychometric topics, by collecting, scoring, and analyzing data on psychometric topics, and presenting results in professional forums (e.g., conferences, publications).

PSY 496 / 498
Course Objectives

This course will introduce students to all aspects of the research process, including (1) literature review, (2) study design and creation, and (3) scoring, data analysis, and presentation.  Students will read and present research literature.  They will be involved in the creation and administration of new research studies.  They will score, enter, and analyze data.  They will present research findings both verbally and in written form.

Course Requirements

Students can enroll in 1 – 6 credits of Independent Study or Independent Research.  Students will only be allowed to enroll in less than 3 credits if they have already been in Dr. Barchard’s lab for at least one semester.


Minimum Lab Hours

Lab Members



Liz (180 hours planned), Emily (180 hours planned), Dan (180 hours planned), Laura (40 hours planned), Jenya (60 hours planned), Dawn (5 hours planned),



Taly (180 hours planned)



Ashley (180 hours planned), Brianna



Sean, Sae Hui, Steven, Dalton

















PSY 496 / 498
Required Text

American Psychological Association (2009).  APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition.  Available from the UNLV bookstore, http://www.apastyle.org, and http://www.amazon.com.

















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Lab Hours

Recording Lab Hours

Students will record the hours they spend on general lab work and on each project to which they are assigned, using the lab hours GoogleDocs spreadsheet.  It is important that students record their hours every week, because Dr. Barchard uses these records to determine if any students are falling behind or are being overwhelmed.  It is also important that students update their planned hours regularly.  Plans change.  Students get sick and they have family emergencies.  Sometimes students have three exams on the same day.  So, if you get ahead or behind on your hours, make sure you update your planned hours for future weeks to get back on track.  There are two ways to do this.  For example, if you are ahead on your hours, you can either DECREASE your planned hours for NEXT week so that your cumulative planned hours are correct, or you can plan to work the same number of hours as usual and INCREASE your CUMULATIVE planned hours.

Don’t stress out about the distinction between general lab hours and project hours too much.  Make sure that all of your time in the lab is recorded as general lab hours or as one of the specific projects you are working on.  If you find you are uncertain about how to categorize your lab hours, ask the Lab Manager or the Lab Hours Coordinator for help.  The goal of recording general lab hours and project hours separately is simply to ensure that everyone contributes to on-going lab work and that no one lets their project team members down.

Spending Time in the Lab

Students are encouraged to spend time in the lab, even when they are not doing lab work.  However, time in the lab only counts as lab hours if the student is working on tasks relevant to the lab.  As well, during the lab hours from 3:00 – 7:00pm on Wednesday, students should be working on lab tasks such as writing, training, general lab work, and workshops.  Project and poster meetings must be done outside of the Wednesday 3:00 – 7:00 pm lab hours, so that Dr. Barchard is free to schedule training or other student meetings during those hours.


If you are taking 3 credits for 180 hours, this is 22.5 hours per week during the summer semester.  Each student must commit to at least 6 hours of general lab work per week.  Students who are working on a project and/or a poster must commit at least 7 hours to each project or poster they are working on.  However, each student will have a unique combination of general lab work and project/poster work.  Some students will spend all their lab hours on general lab work.  Some students may choose to focus their time on one project and spend 12 or more hours per week on it.  Some students may be working on a poster and a project (each for at least 7 hours per week).  Finally, some students will work on two projects (each for at least 7 hours per week).

If students feel like they have too little or too much work, or if they feel like they aren’t being challenged enough or are being overwhelmed, they should email both Dr. Barchard and the Lab Manager.  They will work with you to adjust your tasks appropriately.









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General Lab Work

General lab work is everything that is not directly related to a project that the student is assigned to.  All of the time spent on any of these will count as lab hours.  When a student provides feedback to help another team with their project, for example, that counts as general lab work. General lab work also includes creating and attending workshops (that are not directly related to a project that the student is assigned to), mentoring new students (on skills that are not directly related to a project that the student is assigned to), data entry (that is not directly related to a project that the student is assigned to), and scoring (that is not directly related to a project that the student is assigned to).  Each student must commit to doing at least 6 hours of general lab work each week.


Dr. Barchard and the Lab Manager will ask you to complete a number of tasks that directly assist Dr. Barchard in collecting data and publishing her findings.  You may also be asked to participate in activities that help keep the lab running.  Some activities that help Dr. Barchard collect data include: 1) designing a new psychological test, 2) selecting measures for inclusion in a new study, 3) designing a website that collects data, 4) proof-reading a website, 5) answering email questions regarding an on-going study, 6) assigning credit for an on-going study, and 7) designing a new method of scoring a test.  Some activities that help Dr. Barchard publish her findings include: 1) entering data, 2) scoring tests, 3) finding materials through PsycINFO and the library, 4) copying materials, 5) proof-reading SPSS Syntax files, and 6) proof-reading manuscripts.  Some activities that help keep the lab running are: 1) keeping the lab orderly, 2) keeping the computers running by performing virus scans and critical updates, 3) giving orientations to new lab members, 4) training other students, and 5) helping other students with their research tasks and conference presentations. 

Writing Circles

Some students will participate in writing circles each week.  This will be optional, but once you commit to a writing circle, you will need to bring 2–3 pages of writing to the writing circles.  This writing can either be lab-related, such as posters or project papers you are working on, or it can be writing for another class outside of the lab.  Your pages must be double spaced, single sided, and unstapled.  To save paper, you may re-use old paper if you like, but only print YOUR writing on one side of the page.  You must bring three copies of the paper (one copy for you, and one copy for each of two other people in your writing circle).

One hour of writing circles can count towards labs hours each week, regardless of the content of the writing that you review. If the writing you are working on is a lab project, then the additional time you spend to incorporate the feedback also counts as lab hours. However, if the writing you are working on during the circle is NOT a lab project, then the additional time you spend to incorporate feedback does not count as lab hours.







PSY 496 / 498

Projects are completed in teams. Student team members will meet among themselves once or twice weekly and will have a set of concrete goals. Most teams will meet once per week with Dr. Barchard, or will provide a detailed written progress report by email, if they cannot meet with Dr. Barchard in person. Most project teams will create a product: a website, a program, or a paper. Some project teams will create multiple products. The project team will work with Dr. Barchard to agree upon their goals. All time spent working towards any of these goals will count as project hours. Every team member must commit at least 7 hours per week working towards these goals. Some team members will focus solely upon one project and will devote 12 or more hours per week on those goals. Others may join two projects, but must devote at least 7 hours to each project each week. When a project team jointly decides that its members will work on a particular task, that time will count as project hours: the project team meeting minutes will explicitly state that the TEAM decided that a team MEMBER will do a task. However, when Dr. Barchard or the lab manager or even a project team asks a LAB member to work on a task, that work will generally fall under the heading of general lab work. For example, if a team who is creating a website asks a team member and a non-team member for feedback on their website, the team member will count it as project hours and the non-team member will count it as general lab hours.


















PSY 496 / 498

All lab members will be required to give a PowerPoint presentation at the end of the semester. The presentation will be done individually. The content of the presentation can be any projects or posters that were in process during the semester. Each presentation will last between 5 and 10 minutes. The student presenters must practice their presentations in front of at least two separate audiences before presenting a project presentation, so that they can talk fluently and only refer to their notes occasionally.

If you are not presenting your poster or project, you will still present. We have a workshop on interviews. It includes a list of questions that you might be asked during an interview for graduate school. If you will not be presenting a project or poster, then you should prepare to present your answers to 3 – 5 of these questions, in PowerPoint format. See the file S:\BarchardsLab\Lab Meetings and Training\Presentation on Interview Day\Presentation on Interview Day 7.doc















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Purpose of Lab Meetings

Lab hours will be held every Wednesday from 3:00 – 7:00pm. The lab manager and assistant lab managers will be in the lab during this time. They will help students with any tasks they are working on and also provide training. Students will usually work on general lab work during this time. Students may work on projects during these official lab hours if they have no general lab work that needs doing, but they must not have project meetings during this time.

There will be weekly lab meetings every Wednesday, chaired by the lab manager. During these meetings, students will be taught useful skills (such as how to present research, improve writing skills, and learn about various software programs) and will discuss preparation for graduate school. These meetings will also review progress on lab projects, such as data entry, scoring, and study design. Attendance at these meetings is required and counts as general lab work, regardless of the content of the meetings.


















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Tentative Schedule

    3:00 - 4:00 4:00 - 5:00 5:00 - 5:15 5:15 - 7:00 5:15 - 7:00 5:15 - 7:00
Week Date                                      Presentations
Break                  Websites and Select Survey


Data Verification Team
1 6-Jun Introductions and Syllabus                                         Team Building
  Websites Qualtrics problem solving Data Verification Study Administrator training
2 13-Jun Recording Lab hours in GoogleDocs     Websites Qualtrics problem solving Data Verification Study Administrator training
3 20-Jun Lab website Bios     Websites Qualtrics problem solving Data Verification Study Administrator training
4 27-Jun GRE, MCAT, LSAT Preparation  Statement of Purpose   Select Survey   Qualtrics problem solving Data Verification Study formatting training
5 4-Jul University closed          
6 11-Jul Practice your presentation     Select Survey   Qualtrics problem solving Data Verification Study formatting training
7 18-Jul Practice your presentation Project Presentations   Project Presentations Project Presentations Project Presentations
8 25-Jul Planning for Fall Project Presentations   Project Presentations Project Presentations Project Presentations








PSY 496 / 498

All workshops given during lab meetings are presented by students. The student presenters must practice their presentations in front of at least two separate audiences before presenting a workshop during the lab meetings, so that they can talk fluently and only refer to their notes occasionally. Student presenters will be expected to create visual aids to assist in communicating effectively with their audience. Visual aids might include a handout, drawings on the board, or a PowerPoint presentation. Ideally, workshops should be interactive, involving discussion, exercises, and personal examples. All presenters must complete the Workshop on Giving Workshops, at least 2 weeks before their presentation date. This workshop is given in the folder: S:\BarchardsLab\Workshops\01 Do not put on website\Giving Workshops


















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Project Overview

Students will work on their projects in groups of 2 to 4 students. Most students will find that working in groups makes it less time-consuming to complete their project and that their projects are of better quality. In addition, this will make it possible for students to work on advanced projects, even if they do not yet have all the necessary skills. For example, a student who has not yet taken a statistics or research methods course can be involved in original research.


















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Getting Help

All project team leaders will meet with Dr. Barchard for at least one hour every week. In addition, teams may email her with questions or requests for additional appointments. Most meetings will occur in-person in Dr. Barchard’s office. If the student is out of town, they will have a long-distance meeting, using phone and/or Internet. Check with Dr. Barchard regarding the workshops you should complete to prepare yourself for these long-distance meetings.

If the team is writing a document, they are also encouraged to send their document to a designated lab member each time they add a new section or do a substantial revision of an old section, to receive feedback on the clarity of their writing and their conformance to APA style. Please note that the lab member will usually not be able to provide any guidance about the direction and goals of the project, nor the content of the writing; Dr. Barchard will work with the teams on those issues. When asking the lab member for help with the clarity of your writing, tell him or her the new or revised section that you want them to provide feedback on, and ask them to answer the following questions: (1) where were you lost or confused about where the paper was going? (2) what section was the hardest to read and understand? and (3) do you see any obvious violations of APA format?

If the team is creating another product, such as a website or computer program, they are also encouraged to send their materials to a designated lab member each time they add a new section or substantially revise an old section. That lab member cannot provide guidance on the direction and goals of the project nor the content of the materials, but can provide feedback on the clarity and organization of the materials.

Project teams should also ask for feedback from additional lab members. For most projects, you will ask non-team members for feedback twice during the semester. To avoid over-burdening lab members, though, include the fact that you want to ask non-team members for feedback in your weekly goals, and receive approval from Dr. Barchard before proceeding.











PSY 496 / 498
Project Meetings

You will meet with your team members once or twice a week for a minimum of 1 hour, at regularly scheduled times.  These meetings count as part of your project hours.  The meeting requirements for each team are listed above.  Note: if you are on two teams with the same people, you will meet with those people for the required hours for each project each week.

The purpose of these meetings is to work on specific goals of the project and to discuss the topic in general. If you complete all of your goals for the week before the end of your second meeting of week, you must stay for the rest of your meeting time and discuss the topic in general.  Try discussing one or more of these topics:

If you are unable to finish all of your goals for the week during your meetings, you need to agree on a plan to get the weekly goals finished.  Allow NO MORE THAN 5 MINUTES at the END of each meeting to make this plan.  This plan may include extending the meeting, scheduling more time to meet in person or by phone, or dividing up the work and sending the completed work to one person.  This plan MUST NEVER include having a person who has been on the team for only a few weeks working on something by themselves; the entire point of having a TEAM is to mentor new students.

Because of the importance of meeting regularly, attendance at these meetings is required.  However, your course grade will not be automatically reduced for failure to attend a meeting.  If you are able to make a solid contribution to the project even though you missed a meeting, this will not reduce your course grade.  The day and time of the next meeting must be specified in the minutes from the current meeting, to avoid any confusion.  The day and time of a meeting can be changed (either temporarily or permanently) with the agreement of ALL team members.  It is important to note, however, that team members are under no obligation to acquiesce to someone’s request to change the meeting time.  When you agree to meet with your team at a certain time each week, it is your responsibility to do so.  Students do not expect teachers to reschedule class times to suit their schedules. 












PSY 496 / 498
Project Reports

All project teams will complete three reports: two to get organized at the beginning of the semester, and one at the end of the semester to summarize what they have accomplished.

Report 1: Project Idea

Due week 1, Thurs 4pm

To be completed by the project team leader alone

Email to Dr. Barchard:

         1.The project leader will meet with Dr. Barchard to agree upon a topic for your project.  During this meeting, discuss the questions listed below.

        2. The project leader will email Dr. Barchard to tell her:
                  a. What is the purpose of your project?
                  b. Why is this project important?
                  c. What will you accomplish on this project, in the coming semester?
                  d. What additional work will be needed on this project, next semester?
                  e. What will the team do before the first team meeting (so that team members are not behind on their lab hours)?


Report 2: Draft Time-line

Due week 2, Thurs 4pm

Email to Dr. Barchard:

1.  Create a folder in the term projects file, where you will put information to keep your team organized.

2.  Select two 60 minute meeting times, each week.

3.  Confirm the goals that your team will accomplish this semester (these may have been updated based upon the feedback the team leader received from Report 1).

4.  Draft a set of weekly goals for this semester, saying specifically what you will accomplish that week. The first several weeks should be detailed.  Later weeks can be very brief, at this point. 
        a. Remember that each team member will spend at least 4 hours on the project each week, but that they will also spend at least 4 hours each week on general lab work, and some team members will be working on a second project for at least 4 hours per week.  Therefore, do not set up a schedule that over-commits you.
        b. If you have extra time, you might get ahead of schedule.  Or, for a variety of reasons, you might end up behind your original schedule.  You should adjust your schedule every week based upon what actually happens and your current goals.  If your schedule changes substantially from your original submission, send your revised schedule to Dr. Barchard.
        c. In their weekly goals, the team members will specify that they will ask Dr. Barchard for feedback at key points during the project.  For example, after they have received feedback from the project leader and three non-team members on a complete draft of document or product they are creating, they should ask for feedback from Dr. Barchard.

 5. Email Dr. Barchard with the answers to the following questions:
        a. State the name of your team.  For example: Cottonwood, Snowflakes, Cats.
        b. List all team members.
        c. When is your project team meeting each week?
        d. Which team members will be physically present and which team members will often meet with the team virtually (through the phone or internet)?
        e. What is the folder location and file name for your weekly goals?


Last Report: Product and Presentation

Due week 13 - 15, Wednesday. Check with Lab Manager for your specific presentation time.

Part 1: Product

  1. All project teams will create a product. Often this will be a written document, website, or program.  Email Dr. Barchard to tell her the location of your document, program, or website.  Written documents or programs must be saved on the cluster server.  Websites must be on the C drive of the computer in the front office in the lab, and on the internet at http://faculty.unlv.edu/img/

Part 2: Presentation

     1.  Prepare a PowerPoint presentation that explains the purpose of your project, what you accomplished, and what the next steps in this research are.

     2.  Present your project during the lab meeting.


















































PSY 496 / 498

Kim Barchard
Office phone: 895-0758
Office number: CBC B346
Lab phone: 895-3093
Lab location: CDC 520
Dr. Barchard’s website: http://faculty.unlv.edu/barchard/

Talk to your instructor about course registration and grades.


















PSY 496 / 498
Lab Manager

Liz Craun
craune@unlv.nevada.edu, 408-2663
Lab phone: 895-3093
Lab location: CDC 520
Lab website: http://faculty.unlv.edu/img/img/

Talk to the lab manager about lab meetings and record keeping, and all the things you do to assist us in the lab that count towards lab hours: data entry, scoring, data collection, etc.


















PSY 496 / 498
Lab Members

Psy 496 Sean Hartlieb (3 credits), Brianna Maxim-Trumbo (3 credits), Dalton Terry (3 credits), Sae Hui Lee (3 credits), Steven Anderson (3 credits), Ashley Anderson (2 credits), Marielle Leo (3 credits), Theresa Ross (3 credits)
Psy 498 Taly Alsaid-Habia (full-time)
Volunteers Liz Craun (full-time), Dan Erosa (full-time), Emily Anderson (part-time), Jenya Verenikina (part-time), Laura Sepulveda (part-time), Anum Warsi (part-time), Dawn Nielsen (consultant), Spencer Hensley (consultant)



















PSY 496 / 498
Project Teams

Project Teams


Team Meetings

Meetings with Dr. Barchard

Team 1: Ashley, Administrators

Data Verification Study



Team 2: Moana


none none

Team 3: Emily, Steven

Measure of Emotional Connotations



Tean 4: Dan LEAS Glossary As needed Weekly
Team 5: Dan, Sean Qualtrics Weekly Weekly
























PSY 496 / 498
Grading Overview

Grades will be based upon two criteria: lab hours and quality of work.  Each of these will be marked out of 50, and then these will be added to obtain your final grade.  In addition, penalties will be applied to the final course grade if students miss meetings or fail to complete workshops.

Completing Required Lab Hours

You will receive a base grade of 50 for completing your required lab hours.  If you do not complete all of your required hours, you will receive a lower grade.  You will lose 1 point for each 1% of missing time.  For example, if you were taking a 3-credit course and were required to complete 180 hours but only completed 162 hours, this is a 10% loss, and so you would receive 40 points for your lab hours.  Although I will be very grateful if you work additional hours beyond the minimum required for this course, there will be no extra points for additional hours worked.

Quality of Work

You will receive a grade out of 50 in terms of the quality of your research assistance.  If you performed poorly, you might get 20 or 25 out of 50.  If you performed well, you might get 40 or more out of 50.  Thus, someone who did a moderately good job and completed all of their required hours would get 30/50 plus 50/50 = 80/100.  The most important qualities in a research assistant are work quality (primarily accuracy, the ability to follow instructions, and problem-solving skills) and a good attitude (primarily cooperativeness, interest in the material and willingness to accept feedback).  Quality is much more important than speed.


Incomplete Workshops

All students are required to complete certain workshops (such as library workshops, writing workshops, and workshops on Excel and PowerPoint).  If students do not complete the specified workshops as required, they will lose 1% off their final course grade. Contact Dr. Barchard if you think it will be impossible to complete one of the required workshops.

Missed Lab Meetings or Missed Poster Meetings

Attendance at the Wednesday lab meetings and poster meetings is required.  If students miss meetings or are more than 5 minutes late and do not have an extremely good reason, they will lose 1% off their final course grade. 

The following are considered compelling reasons for missing a meeting: being out of town to attend a professional conference or because of a family emergency, and being sick.  If you are sick, please do not come to the meeting (not even to tell someone that you are sick). Instead, let the Lab Manager know afterwards: No one in the lab wants to get sick.  The following are not considered compelling reasons for missing a meeting: going to work, and being on holiday.  These will result in reductions in your course grade.  Students are not required to attend meetings that fall on a day when the university is closed: Students are welcome to meet that day or to schedule an extra meeting at a time when the university is open, but this is not required.  If they are out of town, students can attend project meetings by phone or Internet to avoid receiving a penalty, but they will usually not be able to attend lab meetings this way.  If you know in advance that you will be out of town, please notify the lab manager and Dr. Barchard as soon as possible, preferably by the end of the second week of the semester.  Also, if you do miss a lab meeting for any reason, you should make arrangements to complete the workshop or read the handout within 7 days.   If it will be impossible to attend lab meetings this semester, contact Dr. Barchard within the first week of classes to discuss individual arrangements.

Missed Project Meetings

Attendance at project meetings is also required.  However, your course grade will not be automatically reduced for failure to attend a meeting.  If you are able to make a solid contribution to the project even though you missed a meeting, this will not reduce your course grade.


During the summer, students are expected to take holidays.  It’s good for their mental health and increases productivity.  Please notify the lab manager and Dr. Barchard by Wednesday, June 13 about any holidays that you are taking that will prevent you from attending meetings.  Also notify your team members for each project you are on.  Students may miss up to one week of meetings with no penalties in the summer. Alternatively, students may arrange to attend the meetings virtually, using the phone and/or various software programs.  If you will miss more than one week of meetings, please notify Dr. Barchard immediately.













PSY 496 / 498
Grading Scheme

The following grading scheme will be used:



93 – 100


73 – 76


90 – 92


70 – 72


87 – 89


67 – 69


83 – 86


63 – 66


80 – 82


60 – 62


77 – 79


Below 60


PSY 496 / 498

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