Friday, June 25, 2010

Friends Confirm My Biases

FB friend Brandon posted two pieces yesterday that I found interesting because they confirm my predispositions.  Ooops, another conformation bias sighting!

First, Brandon linked to a paper that argues and seeks to prove that distance learning provides inferior results to non-distance learning (that would be live learning--for undead learning, see Drezner's forthcoming textbook):
Counter to the conclusions drawn by a recent U.S. Department of Education meta-analysis of non-experimental analyses of internet instruction in higher education, we find modest evidence that live-only instruction dominates internet instruction. These results are particularly strong for Hispanic students, male students, and lower-achieving students. We also provide suggestions for future experimentation in other settings.
So, modest in general but strong for groups that are already facing significant educational challenges.  Yes, males are facing challenges, including being out-numbered in higher education.  Well, among the students, we males still dominate in the professorial ranks, but you get the idea.  This study may not be definitive, and will certainly not end the debate.  But, anything that justifies my current occupation has got to be right.

Second, Brandon linked to a piece agreeing with my stance that Republican immigration posturing is going to bite the party and not just on its ass (where would that be?).  This should not be too surprising as politicians often pursue the short term rather than the long term.  But it could be the case that the effects of pandering to the anti-immigration folks may be much more immediate than the long term--like losing the Texas governor race this fall. 

Of course, this just confirms that friends are those that share my biases.  But then again, Brandon and I argued a lot about The Pacific until he saw the error of his ways.

No comments: