ERIC Number: ED430996
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Student Response to a Systematic Program of Anxiety-Reducing Strategies in a Graduate-Level Introductory Educational Research Course.
Wilson, Vicki A.
In this study of 53 graduate students enrolled in an introductory course in educational research, the instructor employed strategies noted in the literature as effective in reducing anxiety in statistics classes: (1) addressing the anxiety; (2) using humor; (3) applying statistics to real world situations; (4) reducing fear of evaluation; and (5) encouraging students to work in cooperative groups. Students were asked to respond to a question about what the instructor did to reduce anxiety in the statistics class. The 86 responses could be classified into two groups: the teaching-related behaviors of the instructor; and the interpersonal style of the professor. Few responses related directly to strategies the instructor used to alleviate anxiety. In two focus groups of nine students, responses mirrored the written responses. The conclusion drawn from these findings is that students perceive specific teaching behaviors and the interpersonal style of the instructor as being helpful in reducing anxiety. Effective teaching behaviors included giving individual help, expressing concern about anxiety, breaking the material down into small steps, using humor, and giving the students activities to help them grasp the concepts. Interpersonal factors include having a positive attitude and being encouraging, reassuring, supportive, and calm. (Contains 2 tables and 19 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).