for mathematics/statistics education

compiled by Dr. Larry Lesser


SECTION ONE: General Resources


An introduction to “APA style” (the most common style used in educational research) is at

a website to help you make complete and correct citations of any reference in APA (or in any of the other major styles) is:


Academic Integrity policy at UTEP:; also, see course #20004 at


Education/research glossary: (see "Glossary")


Research resources pages


UTEP resources:




SECTION TWO:  Literature Search Resources:


Search engine for scholarly work:,44


Search engine for articles in education:  (tip: make sure you know the difference between ED and EJ entries and make sure you don’t limit yourself to items where full text is immediately available because you can obtain them through Interlibrary Loan,, but be sure to allow enough time)


Search for dissertations & theses:  from UTEP library homepage, choose “Theses and Dissertations” from the Database pulldown menu;

UTEP theses (e.g., can be found via DigitalCommons@UTEP


From; in the “search encore” window, type the exact title of a database (e.g., “Educational Research Abstracts Online”) or a journal

Many articles are available in via the UTEP library or through sites such as

Search engines for papers in math education (or certain subareas):  

      (from UTEP library homepage, choose “Education” from the Database pulldown menu and scroll down to “MathEducDatabase”)


Search engines for papers in stat education (but be aware that plenty of stat ed papers are indexed in the above places, so don’t rely only on these two below):

      (from UTEP library homepage, choose “Mathematics” from the Database pulldown menu and scroll down to Current Index to Statistics)

LibGuides: at or at or at
This product provides online access to support materials for bibliographic instruction, subject research guides, and other useful resources compiled by librarians at the UTEP Library and delivered via the LibGuides platform, created by Springshare, LLC. LibGuides is a fully customizable Web 2.0 information management and knowledge sharing system. It enables libraries to connect with patrons and post or share research information online, thus promoting library resources to the university and surrounding community and beyond via the Internet. LibGuides is fully integrated in Facebook and uses widgets to distribute library content on social networks, blogs, and courseware systems. Updates vary. Access to licensed University electronic resources is restricted to current UTEP faculty, staff, and students and will require additional authentication or login (for more information, contact Electronic Resources Librarian Lisa Borden, x6709 or

Journals that publish math education papers: and and


Journals that publish statistics education papers (with the greatest emphasis on research listed last;

or  (UTEP library subscribes to this)


Journals that publish science education journals:


look up a journal in these resources is one way to help assess its rigor, prestige, or scope:


Databases of research instruments:

go to the UTEP library homepage, choose “database for online resources” in EDUCATION, then pick “Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print”



SECTION THREE: Getting approval to conduct (local) research in the schools:


I initiated the compilation of this page,

which was followed by UTEP publishing these pages: and


In general, the new page for UTEP’s Institutional Review Board ( has many useful pages on policies, doing public school research, required training & forms, etc.  Also, the IRB Administrator (phone 747-8841;; 404 Burges Hall; fax 747-5931; currently, Athena Fester, is extremely knowledgeable and helpful.  Here’s some step-by-step guidance for our graduate students who want to do research at the school they teach in, to make sure you have the needed approval from both UTEP and the school district involved: 


1.)  Contact the IRB administrator (see above) and request the current information about how to access your required UTEP ethics/research training and how to demonstrate completion of this training by submitting a completion certificate or copy of a completed test to the IRB administrator.  This not only satisfies one of the requirements to get a proposal approved, but it also helps you recall principles to guide you as you write the proposal in the first place.  You will receive from UTEP IRB a certificate demonstrating your training is complete and valid for a 3-year period.


2) Become familiar with IRB forms and templates by browsing Register for a free IRBnet account at  Get familiar with navigating the interface by consulting the training guides (“IRBNet Training Energizer” and “UTEP IRBNet Guide”) at the bottom of or


3.) In the “Forms and Templates” link on the left-hand sidebar of the environment, download and save to your computer the forms you will later need to fill out (as well as documents to guide you).   The exact forms you download and modify will be specific to your study, but in general, most researchers will need a “Research Proposal Template”, the “Informed Consent Template” (and “Assent Template”, if your study participants include people under the age of 18). So go ahead and download those so you can get comfortable with the language and concepts before you begin writing your own proposal.




4) Write the study proposal, filling out the forms that are required by your particular study, save them on your computer or flashdrive (and print out a hardcopy just in case!), and then log into the environment and upload your documents (as well as copies of your instruments, such as a copy of your survey/questionnaire, interview protocol, etc.) to from your computer or flashdrive.  You must designate a professor (e.g., me) as your Advisor (giving me at least “Read access” to your documents) and you and the advisor each need to (electronically) “sign” (electronically) the study in the environment. The system lets me know when you first give me access to your study, but I won’t get an automatic notification each time you upload or revise a document, so when you have everything uploaded and ready for me to review, send me an email to let me know.


5) After your package has been SIGNED by you and me(your advisor), you then need to SUBMIT the proposal for the IRB review to begin (that’s right – “sign” and “submit” are two separate required steps).  Check the “status” of the study to make sure you did “submit” successfully:  it should now say “Pending Review”, not just “Work in Progress”.  This will lead to your getting a letter of “conditional approval” from UTEP, usually after about 2-3 weeks unless additional information is requested by the reviewer (so try to cover everything clearly the first time).


6) Go to your school district with this “conditional approval” in hand (as evidence that the IRB has approved your study pending the site approval) and get formal approval from the superintendent or research supervisor for the district (it can’t be your school’s principal, for example) to do research at a site in the district.  Their site letter should be very formal on letterhead. A template of sample text can be downloaded from  School districts do not typically have their own IRBs, but you may be able to learn what specific form or contact person your district uses at: or


Letters from private institutions should be signed by an appropriate director, executive, or owner.  IMPORTANT:  Because the school district approval process usually takes longer than UTEP’s process, you can save valuable time by submit your paperwork simultaneously to UTEP and to the school district.


7) Upload the formal school district approval letter as a document in IRBnet.  Then, send an email to the IRB administrator to let her know it has been uploaded.  She will then know to go into the system and (usually, within 24 hours) convert your “conditional approval” into “final, full approval.”


8) When your study has been fully approved, you should automatically receive notification by email (if, for some reason you don’t hear anything in a week, contact the IRB office), and then you will be able to download or print out UTEP’s document that proves you have final full approval to begin the study (data collection, etc.).


9) About a year after you get approval, UTEP’s IRB will ask for a simple update on the progress of your study, and there is a template form to follow for this as well.  Consult with your research advisor when you fill this out.




SECTION FOUR: Statistical computation resources:

TI-84+ Graphing Calculator Resources:

Guidebooks (User Manuals) are available at,

the calculator has built-in “help” (using the APP called CatalogHelp:,

and the Internet has lots of support for doing statistics on a graphing calculator, such as:

A useful paper in the Jan. 2007 Mathematics Teacher (pp. 375-8):  “Using Graphing Calculators to Do Statistics: A Pair of Problematic Pitfalls.”

Two one-time things to do:  2nd CATALOGàDàDiagnosticOnàEnteràEnter; APPSàCtlgHelpàEnteràEnter has commands for other calculators as well


Stats Software (in increasing order of appropriateness for younger audiences):

Minitab (in Bell 130 lab and also in some other campus labs such as CRBL 401-402;

for current hours of the CRBL lab, try 747-5223 or

options to demo, rent or buy at;

tutorials at or

UTEP students/faculty can also access Minitab from home by logging into the remote server, after first opening a Remote Desktop Connection (which is standard on computers running Windows; also available on Macs) and connect to UTEP's VPN (instructions for this are on IT's web page Students who need help with how to access the remote server can stop by the new Student Technology Support Center, on the 3rd floor of the Library. HelpDesk staff can show them this procedure as well as help them with other technology-related issues (help with their laptops, setting up UTEP's wireless network on their  computers, setting up a VPN connection, how to use mspace, how to use blackboard, installation of software legally obtained, etc.).

StatCrunch:   (e.g.,

Fathom (grades 8 – College):

For introduction to Fathom, see pp. 598-603 in Nov. 2003 Mathematics Teacher

Tinkerplots (grades 4-8):

Probability Explorer (in Bell 130 lab):


Excel Spreadsheet Resources:

some may want to enhance Excel with an additional “add-ins” package such as

Useful articles include: and

Christie’s “Extracting Data off the Internet” on pp. 23-25 of the spring 2008 issue of Teaching Statistics

If you’re used to Office 2003, here’s how to find it in Office 2007:

Tip:  If “Data Analysis” is not listed as an option from the dropdown Tools menu of Microsoft Excel 2003, then from the Tools menu, drag down and select Add-Ins, then check the top 2 boxes for Analysis ToolPak.  If you’re using Excel 2007 and the “Data Analysis” icon is not in the DATA menu, here’s what you do:


Go to the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Excel Options.

Click Add-Ins, and then in the Manage box (at the bottom of the page) select Excel Add-Ins. Click GO. In the Add-ins available box, select the Analysis ToolPak check box, and then click OK—a window will appear asking you if you want to install this feature, click on OK. Once the add-in is installed, you can click on Data Analysis.