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ERIC Number: ED500053
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov-17
Pages: 30
Abstractor: Author
Graduate Statistics: Student Attitudes
Kennedy, Robert L.; Broadston, Pamela M.
Online Submission, Paper presented that the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (33rd, Gatlinburg, TN, Nov 17-19, 2004)
This study investigated the attitudes toward statistics of graduate students who used a computer program as part of the instruction, which allowed for an individualized, self-paced, student-centered, activity-based course. The twelve sections involved in this study were offered in the spring and fall 2001, spring and fall 2002, spring and fall 2003, and spring 2004 terms. There were 99 participants for whom there was complete data. All were enrolled in advanced statistics, with 70 females and 29 males. The study was a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design with both groups of students' being taught by the same instructor. The instrument used was the Statistics Attitude Survey (Roberts and Bilderback, 1980). The calculated chi square (244.10, p less than 0.0000005) and Cohen's w (0.19) 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 will be useful to me to test the superiority of one method over another." and "Statistics will be a useful way to help me improve the quality of my professional performance." On the other hand, they disagreed more strongly that "You should be good at math before attempting statistics" and "Statistics is too theoretical to be of much practical use to the average professional." Comments from open-ended evaluation forms may help explain the results of the survey: "freedom to learn at my own pace and style", "class flexibility", "relaxed environment", and "I have learned a lot about stat and can apply it to my profession as a useful tool." It is concluded, then, that offering the course using computers may help improve students' attitudes about certain aspects of statistics. Cross Tabulation Report, Course information and schedule, and web site resources are included. (Contains 1 figure.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A