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ERIC Number: ED408524
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Aug
Pages: 29
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Heuristics for Improving the Interpretation of Research Reports.
Forsyth, G. Alfred; And Others
Many students view statistics as their worst college course. Four heuristics that can improve students' proficiency in statistics and in interpreting reports of research are presented in this paper. The heuristics guide students' judgments about significance, generalizability, cause-and-effect, and strength of independent-dependent variable relationships. Previous studies of students' abilities to interpret research indicated that few of them understood random sampling and random assignment research methodologies as determinants of generalizability and cause-and-effect conclusions. It is supposed that students may fail to interpret research correctly because of the exclusive attention given to factual knowledge and statistical procedures rather than to interpretation abilities. It is recommended that a large set of vignettes (research-report summaries) can provide the critical methods needed for assessing student interpretations. One way to improve students' interpretation-of-research abilities is to develop a taxonomy that guides students in their judgments. A set of taxonomies is provided that can further aid students in answering questions about vignettes. A sample interpretation-of-research vignette is presented in which seven questions are posed to students when interpreting any research report. The students' answers to the questions can identify specific interpretation problems. (RJM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A