Data Collection is Almost Done & the Score is Now: Jeff = 1, Microsoft Excel = 0

Data collection for my dissertation is nearly done – I’ve been at it, nearly full-time, since mid-January. Although the participants are great, I’m simply exhausted. Fortunately, essentially all of my data collection will be done this week. As a result, I will now be entering the final stage of the program – writing up the “Results” and “Discussion” sections of my dissertation (the lit review and methods sections were completed and approved last Fall). Although this final stage should be the most “fun,” I’m engaged in yet another battle with Microsoft Excel. It always amazes me as to how clueless programmers are to the needs of real users. I’ve now spent days/weeks fighting with Excel in order to create graphs for my multiple-baseline across-participants single-case research and finally conquered the last hurdle, thanks to a response to a question I asked on an Excel Forum. Here’s a sample:

Sample Graph from Actual Data
This is a sample graph that is very close to what I’m going to be creating from the mountains of data I’ve collected.

I’ve also created an “instruction guide” (for me) so I won’t forget how to create the graph. Here’s the link to: Jeff’s Single Case Design Graph Instructions. Please note that I did not proofread it – it was created only for my use but I’m posting it here, just in case someone else is interested in “how I done did it.” Enjoy!



On to part 2 . . .

Well, I’ve had a few days of sleep (still need more) and I’ve already ordered and received my first set of books for next quarter from Amazon. So far, there are only nine books on my list (for three classes) and I’m going to start reading one tonight. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to make a dent in them before classes begin in three weeks. After last quarter, which I hit running, I get a bit of a head start and am very grateful for that.

In addition, I’ve got to spend some time before the next quarter learning how to use MS Word and a couple of other programs a bit better (I was a whiz with Office 2003 but Office 2007 is another animal). Off to read a bit before calling a night!