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Sleeping vs. Cramming: Effects on Academic Performance

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Laura Pempkowski

on 20 October 2012

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Transcript of Sleeping vs. Cramming: Effects on Academic Performance

HLTH 5450 - Maureen Holden, PT, PhD Research Proposal Recitation Friday 11:15 am The DPT Physical Therapy program at Northeastern University is quite demanding, particularly the Gross Anatomy course, PT5131. Students have to learn, maintain, and master an incredible volume of information in what seems like a disproportionally small amount of time. Abstract http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150610081747652&set=o.153272774736349&type=1&theater Current research supports that sleep has a positive correlation with academic performance. Trying to balance the allure of grade-boosting sleep with tried-and-true study methods leaves stressed-out students with a troubling question: Should we sleep or study the an exam? night before Our study will evaluate PT students' academic performance on a Gross Anatomy exam based on whether they have had a full night's sleep or crammed. Sleeping vs. Cramming:
Effects on Academic Performance Current knowledge and literature: Introduction By: Katelyn Degnan, Kristin Dunn, Hillary Jackson, Kristin Moore, Laura Pempkowski & Lauren Tarsi Methods & Design Subjects: 100 Northeastern PT students Stratified into 2 groups: Random Assigment Regularly sleep
less than 6
hours per night Regularly sleep
more than 6
hours per night Sleep group Cram group Will get a full night's sleep before the exam Will attend the
cram session
the night before the exam 100 selected/volunteered subjects - consent, preliminary questionnaire, begin online sleep log
Subjects (stratified, then randomly assigned to experimental groups)
Students will prepare for real Gross Anatomy exam by means of their regular, personal study habits
One week before real exam, subjects will take practice exam
12:00am - 8:00am subjects in Cram group report to 3rd floor of Snell Library for Cram session
12:00am - 8:00am subjects in the Sleep group sleep in their own beds
8:30am subjects in the Sleep group report to Snell Library
9:00am experimenters administer exam to subjects
Subjects have 65 minutes to complete exam
Collect exams and grade with Scantron
Data analysis Procedure Definition of Terms Variables Independent: Dependent: Preparation
(Sleep or Cram group) Exam scores Exam: PT 5131 exam from prior academic year of similar material content, used as a practice exam prepping students for real exam in class Full night's sleep: Sleeping for 8 hours (12:00am - 8:00am) the night before the practice exam with no additional sleep within 24 hours of the practice exam Cram session: Studying for 8 consecutive hours (12:00am - 8:00am) the night before the practice exam with no additional sleep within 24 hours of the practice exam:
Must occur on silent 3rd floor of Snell Library
In individual cubicle
No talking allowed
Internet access allowed, with use of recreational websites or technological devices limited to 10 minutes every hour
Limited amount of 4 servings of caffeinated beverages (no food limit) Regular sleep and a full night’s sleep
prior to an exam yield higher
test results than cramming the
night before an exam. Hypothesis Null (statistical) hypothesis Alternative (research) hypothesis Ho: u1 = u2 u1 = Sleep group mean exam scores
u2 = Cram group mean exam scores Ha: u1 > u2 Sleep onset, sleep irregularity, and sleep length are correlated with higher with academic performance*

Variables which could affect a student’s grade, independent of their study habits include previous academic achievement, class attendance, sufficient sleep, night outings, and sleep quality**

There is a lack of research correlating cramming with academic performance Purpose: We hope to fill the scholastic gaps in the published literature with our results

The results from this study will benefit us directly as students and allow us to develop effective and smart exam-preparation techniques One-tailed test at =.05 because we have a directional alternative hypothesis of μ1 > μ2
Degrees of freedom is N - 2 Independent, unpaird t-test
One-tailed test at =.05 because we have a directional alternative hypothesis of μ1 > μ2
Sample size, N = 100
Degrees of freedom N - 2 = 98
Using the critical values of t table, the critical value is 1.661
Correlational comparisons between questionnaire data
Correlations with r > 7 will be considered a moderatly strong correlation Limitations Food - 4 servings of caffeine
Drugs - none
Preparation - offer extra credit (and alternative to other students)
Professor's cooperation to offer extra credit
Ethics - exam week before real exam Statistical tests: Data Analysis Plan Summary With independent groups, study the effects of sleeping and cramming the night before an exam
Use a t-test to statsicially interpret findings
Hopefully reject the null hypothesis (ie. sleeping has a greater effect on better academic performance)
Document results about the correlation between cramming and academic performance
Help students like ourselves discover a stasticially significant better way to succeed in Gross Anatomy * Medeiros, Ana Ligia D.Mendes, Denise B.F.Lima, Patrícia F.Araujo,John F. The relationships between sleep-wake cycle and academic performance in medical students. Biol Rhythm Res. 2001;32(2):263.
** Gomes AA, Tavares J, de Azevedo MHP. Sleep and academic performance in undergraduates: a multi-measure, multi-predictor approach. CHRONOBIOL INT. 2001; 28: 786-801.
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