ERIC Number: ED440142
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
An Instrument for Exploring Students' Approaches to Learning Statistics.
This paper describes a questionnaire for exploring university students' approaches to learning statistics and investigates the approaches of more than 200 psychology students studying statistics. The Approaches to Learning Questionnaire (ALSQ) consists of two scales indicating deep and surface approaches to learning respectively. Three underlying factors of the Deep Scale were found by factor analysis. The first related to interest in learning statistics, the second denotes how personally meaningful the students found the topic, and the third factor relates primarily to relational understanding. The Surface Scale items indicate assessment as the primary focus. The results show that most of the surveyed students tended to adopt surface approaches to learning statistics. The paper outlines the relationships between students' approaches to learning statistics and other variables such as their willingness or reluctance to study statistics and performance in assessments. Four clusters of students were identified. The cluster profiles indicate markedly different orientations to and outcomes of learning statistics. The study raises issues concerning the teaching and learning of statistics as a service course. Three appendixes contain the instrument and two factor matrices. (Contains 2 figures and 22 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
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).