ERIC Number: ED365405
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Attitudes and Achievement in Introductory Psychological Statistics Classes: Traditional versus Computer-Supported Instruction.
Gratz, Zandra S.; And Others
A study was conducted at a large, state-supported college in the Northeast to establish a mechanism by which a popular software package, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), could be used in psychology program statistics courses in such a way that no prior computer expertise would be needed on the part of the faculty or the students. Central to the course was the development of a manual which provided detailed, step-by-step instructions for creating a database, uploading the file into SPSS, and then using SPSS to compute statistics typical of an introductory statistics course. Student achievement and attitudes were compared between a sample of 28 students whose statistics course relied on calculators (TRAD) and 27 students who used the manual to compute the necessary indices via SPSS (COMP). Study findings included the following: (1) there was no significant difference between the TRAD and COMP classes on multiple-choice scores, but TRAD students outperformed COMP students on open-ended questions, while COMP students were more likely to compute the desired statistic correctly than TRAD students; (2) there were no significant differences between TRAD and COMP students on measures of attitudes toward statistics, the discipline of psychology, or the course; (3) positive attitudes towards statistics increased over the course of the semester regardless of type of class; and (4) COMP class students were able to use the SPSS software and express pride in their computer skills and appreciation for the computer resources available. (AC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Statistical Package for the Social Sciences
Note: In: Teaching of Psychology: Ideas and innovations. Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Undergraduate Teaching of Psychology (7th, Ellenville, New York, March 24-26, 1993); see JC 940 159.