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Activity Number: 476 - Teaching Introductory Statistics
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 2, 2017 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education
Abstract #324911 View Presentation
Title: Students' Conceptions and Misconceptions in Judging Variability in Various Graph Types That Use Bars
Author(s): Linda Cooper*
Companies: Towson University
Keywords: graphs ; variability ; misconceptions ; histograms ; bar graphs

Histograms, bar graphs, and value bar charts [aka case-value plots] are ubiquitous in everyday life. Though superficially they appear similar as they share the characteristic of using bars, their underlying structures differ greatly. This study examines students' conceptions and misconceptions of how variability is perceived in histograms, bar graphs, and value bar charts. Students in an introductory college level statistics course were asked to compare the variability of pairs of same type graphs via a multiple choice assessment that allowed for written justifications. The study reveals that students experience difficulties in making sense of the underlying structure of the various graph types and often transfer correct conceptions of variability for one type of graph erroneously to other types of graphs that use bars.

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

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