Students taking biostatistics courses typically bring a different set of skills into the course than the traditional intro stats student. At the undergraduate level, students may have encountered statistics in a lab or science course. At the graduate level, many students have taken a statistics or research course as part of their previous degree. Identifying common misconceptions that students have when starting the course can help instructors (1) tailor course material, and (2) develop interventions to effectively address these pre-conceptions.
This paper will present results of a multi-site pre/post-assessment study designed to measure pre-conceptions of statistical inference and learning gains throughout the semester. The pre-conceptions commonly held were found to vary significantly based on student background (sciences v. non-sciences) and degree program.