ERIC Number: ED471303
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Graduate Students' Attitudes in an Activity-Based Statistics Course.
Kennedy, Robert L.; McCallister, Corliss Jean
This study investigated graduate students' attitudes toward statistics in a class in which the focus of instruction was the use of a computer program that made possible an individualized, self-paced student-centered, activity-based course. The six sections involved in the study were offered in 2001 and 2002. There were 43 participants for whom there were complete data. All were enrolled in advanced statistics. The instrument used was the Statistics Attitude Survey (D. Roberts and E. Bilderback, 1980). Both chi square (21.69, p=0.0002) and Kendall's Coefficient of Concordance W (0.36) indicated that there were differences in the distributions of ranks between pretest and posttest results. Most of these differences occurred as increases in the rankings marked at each end of the scales. That is, after the course, more students felt more strongly that they agreed or disagreed with statements about some aspects of statistics. For example, students agreed more strongly that statistics would be useful to test the superiority of one method over another, and that statistics would be useful in evaluating other people. They disagreed more strongly that one should be good at mathematics before attempting statistics and that it is unreasonable to expect the average professional to master and apply statistics. Comments from open-ended evaluation may help explain the results of the survey. Findings suggest that offering the course using computers may help improve students' attitudes about certain aspects of statistics. An attachment contains the course syllabus and schedule. (Contains 2 figures and 11 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 Mid-South Educational Research Association (Chattanooga, TN, November 6-8, 2002).