NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1046387
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1069-1898
Using Action Research to Develop a Course in Statistical Inference for Workplace-Based Adults
Forbes, Sharleen
Journal of Statistics Education, v22 n3 2014
Many adults who need an understanding of statistical concepts have limited mathematical skills. They need a teaching approach that includes as little mathematical context as possible. Iterative participatory qualitative research (action research) was used to develop a statistical literacy course for adult learners informed by teaching in traditional first year university courses, workplace based training, teacher workshops and Masters of Public Policy courses. The latter learners in particular regularly come across confidence intervals and statistical significance in their everyday reading. The goal is to give them a conceptual rather than theoretical understanding of inferential concepts by developing inferential statistics logic through the introduction of exact probabilities in simple non-parametric tests (two-tailed coin tossing) and then contingency tables and parametric situations. The final course developed for the New Zealand Certificate of Official Statistics uses "hands-on" examples to reinforce concepts before proceeding to computer simulations. It emphasizes evaluation of the strength of statistical significance and its relationship to the possible cost of making an incorrect decision. Case studies that have influenced government policy reinforce inferential concepts and demonstrate the importance of statistics in complex real problems.
American Statistical Association. 732 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 703-684-1221; Tel: 888-231-3473; Fax: 703-684-2037; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A