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critically appraise the reported experimental design and statisticalanalysis methods for the article: Hardy JL, Nelson RA, Thomason ME, Sternberg DA, Katovich K, Farzin F, et al...

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INFS 2049 – UO Experimental Design
Assessment 1.3 – Critical Review
Due: Monday in Week 8 at 12PM

• This assessment is worth 20% of your final grade. It is due no later than 12 pm on Monday in
Week 8.
• You will need to submit your assignment via learnonline. The file you submit needs to be in a
pdf format.
• Your submission will be marked out of 20.
• The word limit for this assignment is 900 words +/- 10%. Marks will be deducted if the
assignment is too short (min 810 words) or too long (max 990 words).
Assessment Task Overview:
Read the following paper and critically appraise the reported experimental design and statistical
analysis methods:
Hardy JL, Nelson RA, Thomason ME, Sternberg DA, Katovich K, Farzin F, et al XXXXXXXXXXEnhancing
Cognitive Abilities with Comprehensive Training: A Large, Online, Randomized, Active-Controlled
Assessment Task Details:
1. (2 marks) Summarise the objectives of the study conducted by the authors. What did they set
out to show?
2. (6 marks) Summarise the experimental design reported in the paper:
• What are the experimental units? How many are there and how they were selected?
• What are the treatment factors? How many levels do they have? Are they categorical or
• What are the response variables? How are they measured?
• What are the key features of the experimental protocol?
3. (2 marks) State the types of statistical analyses employed to analyse the data from the reported
4. (2 marks) Briefly describe the outcomes of the analyses presented in the paper.
5. (8 marks) Critically appraise the experimental design and analysis methods. Are there any issues
with the design that influence or limit the drawing of meaningful conclusions from this study? Is
there any way in which the design of this study could be improved?
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Key assessment criteria for this assessment:
You will be assessed on your ability to:
• Summarise an experiment discussed in a research paper.
• Critically evaluate the merits of that experiment and point out any issues with the design.
• Suggest improvements to the experiment based on your critique.
• Clearly communicate your appraisal and any suggestions for improvement.
Grade How it may be earned
High Distinction All requested points have been addressed; excellent quality discussion
indicating high level of reflection and excellent understanding of all study
design aspects; very well written; excellent presentation.
Distinction All requested points have been addressed; good quality discussion indicating
very good understanding of all study design aspects; well written; very good
Credit Most requested points have been addressed; good discussion indicating solid
understanding of most study design aspects; reasonably well written; good
Pass Only some requested points have been addressed; poor quality discussion
indicating understanding of only some study design aspects; discussion
ushed or not well written; too much direct quoting from the paper with
minimal attempts at discussion; lacking in presentation.
Fail Most requested points addressed poorly or not at all; poor quality discussion
indicating little to no understanding of study design aspects; at best some
direct quoting from the paper without any attempt at analysis; written
discussion rushed; poor presentation.
    Assessment 1.3 – Critical Review
    Due: Monday in Week 8 at 12PM
Answered Same Day Aug 06, 2023


Pratibha answered on Aug 07 2023
25 Votes
Enhancing Cognitive Abilities with Comprehensive Training: A Large, Online, Randomized, Active-Controlled Trial
Student Name:
Student ID:
Student Note:
Q1] Answer:
The authors aimed to assess the effectiveness of a specific cognitive training program compared to an engaging control activity (crossword puzzles) through a large randomized trial. They sought to demonstrate that the cognitive training program would lead to
oader improvements in various cognitive skills, as measured by neuropsychological tests and participant-reported outcomes, surpassing the benefits of the active control group.
Q2] Answer:
Experimental Units:
· The experimental units are individuals who were recruited from the Lumosity website.
· A total of 11,470 individuals consented to participate in the study and completed a baseline assessment.
Treatment Factors:
· The primary treatment factor is the type of cognitive activity: cognitive training using the Lumosity program (treatment group) and crossword puzzles (control group).
· Both treatment and control groups were instructed to engage in their respective activities (cognitive training or crossword puzzles) for 10 weeks, with daily participation reminders.
Response Variables:
· The primary response variable is change in aggregate cognitive performance, measured by the Grand Index, a composite score derived from seven neuropsychological tests.
· Secondary response variables include changes in performance on individual subtests within the neuropsychological battery and participant-reported outcomes related to cognitive failures, successes, and emotional status.
Key Features of the Experimental Protocol:
· Participants were randomized into either the cognitive training group or the crossword puzzles control group.
· Random assignment to treatment conditions occu
ed after a pre-test assessment.
· Participants were between the ages of 18 and 80 and had created an account on the Lumosity website.
· The cognitive training group used the Lumosity program, which included daily sessions of five cognitive training tasks targeting various cognitive abilities.
· The crossword puzzles control group completed as many crossword puzzles as possible in a 15-minute daily session.
· Compliance with the study protocol was assessed based on the number of active days participants engaged with their assigned activity.
· The primary outcome...

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