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]]>How strong is the correlation between initial draft score and final draft score? That is an important piece of the puzzle.

Since both first draft and final draft scores are related to the course grade, you need to find out the relationship of final draft scores with final grades after controlling for rough draft scores. Why? Because it’s possible that what the correlational analysis is actually measuring is not the effect of the writing project (operationalized as the final draft score) on student knowledge (operationalized as the final course grade), but the effect of the student’s prior knowledge of the language before enrolling in the class (which is likely to vary among students, which is likely to contribute to the final course grade, and which is likely to be exhibited by their initial drafts).

This type of analysis might find that after controlling for prior knowledge (operationalized as the initial draft score), revision and submission of a final draft IS NOT related to the final course grade. Or it might find that even after controlling for prior knowledge (as exhibited by first drafts), there IS a strong relationship between final draft scores and final course grades. A simple correlational analysis will not provide the information needed to decide between these two very different possibilities.

Long story short, without an analysis that incorporates the appropriate controls, it’s not possible to conclude what effect this aspect of the course has on student learning. That’s the problem with relying only on simple correlational analyses, unfortunately. š¦

Also, doing many simple pair-wise comparisons with an alpha level of .05 or .01 increases the possibility of Type I error, and you should find some way to correct for this. There are lots of ways to do this. See for example: https://www.researchgate.net/post/Is_it_necessary_to_do_correction_to_significance_level_while_conducting_Pearson_correlation_coefficients_between_different_continuous_variables

Safe travels, if you’re traveling during the school break. Hope you have a great holiday! š

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