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Keywords

instructional methods, teaching methods, student achievement, introductory statistics, statistics education

Abstract

This paper compares the academic performance of students in three similar elementary statistics courses taught by the same instructor, but with the lab component differing among the three. One course is traditionally taught without a lab component; the second with a lab component using scenarios and an extensive use of technology, but without explicit coordination between lab and lecture; and the third using a lab component with an extensive use of technology that carefully coordinates the lab with the lecture. Extensive use of technology means, in this context, using Minitab software in the lab section, doing homework and quizzes using MyMathlab ©, and emphasizing interpretation of computer output during lectures. Initially, an online instrument based on Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory, is given to students to try to identify students’ learning styles and intelligence types as covariates. An analysis of covariance is performed in order to compare differences in achievement. In this study there is no attempt to measure difference in student performance across the different treatments. The purpose of this study is to find indications of associations among variables that support the claim that statistics labs could be associated with superior academic achievement in one of these three instructional environments. Also, this study tries to identify individual student characteristics that could be associated with superior academic performance. This study did not find evidence of any individual student characteristics that could be associated with superior achievement. The response variable was computed as percentage of correct answers for the three exams during the semester added together. The results of this study indicate a significant difference across these three different instructional methods, showing significantly higher mean scores for the response variable on students taking the lab component that was carefully coordinated with lecture. The authors acknowledge limitations of this study; however, their findings are in agreement with their classroom experience.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1936-4660.3.1.5

Numeracy 3(1) Article 5 Appendices.pdf (318 kB)
Appendices A-E