ERIC Number: ED482457
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Nov
Students' Attitudes in a Graduate Statistics Class.
Kennedy, Robert L.; Broadston, Pamela M.
This study investigated the attitudes toward statistics of graduate students who used a computer program as part of the instructional effort, which allowed for an individualized, self-paced, student-centered activity-based course. The 9 sections involved in the study were offered in 2001 through 2003, and there were 75 participants for whom there were complete data. Of these, 75% were female. The design of the study was a single-sample pretest-posttest with no control group since the students were taught by the same instructor. The instruction was the Statistics Attitude Survey (D. Roberts and E. Bilderback, 1980). Findings indicate 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, 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 provide a useful way to improve the quality of professional performance. They disagreed more strongly that one should be good at mathematics before attempting statistics and that statistics is too theoretical to be much use to the average professional. Comments from the open-ended evaluation forms may help explain survey results. Findings suggest that offering the course using computers may help improve students attitudes about certain aspects of statistics. The course syllabus is attached. (Contains 2 tables and 15 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 (Biloxi, MS, November 5-7, 2003).