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Activity Number: 129
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Monday, August 1, 2016 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education
Abstract #318748 View Presentation
Title: Making Connections and Understanding Statistics: Students' Ratings of the Utility of Key Concepts in the Introductory Statistics Course
Author(s): Rossi A. Hassad*
Companies: Mercy College
Keywords: Introductory ; Statistics ; Literacy ; Concepts ; Curriculum ; Teaching

There is almost universal consensus that the goal of the introductory statistics course at the college level should be to facilitate statistical literacy. This study sought to identify which concepts students believe facilitated their understanding of statistics and its practical applications, and the extent to which each concept was helpful. College students (N = 52) taking an introductory statistics course were asked to list 5 course concepts which they found helpful. Their responses were then sorted, and 13 concepts were identified and presented to them for rating on a scale of 1 to 5 (least to most helpful). Macro or unifying concepts, in particular, correlation and causation, statistical significance, reliability, and confidence interval, were the highest rated, followed by variability, relationship, sampling, standard error, and formulas. The lowest rated concepts were skewness, generalizing, interaction, and confounding. Deep and meaningful learning may be fostered by organizing the curriculum to progress from the macro (or integrating) concepts to the more abstract concepts. These macro concepts can be introduced early and developed later. Further research is required.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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