CEC Faculty Articles

Title

Developing Conceptual Understanding in a Statistics Course: Merrill's First Principles and Real Data at Work

Document Type

Article

Date

6-2017

Publication Title

Educational Technology Research and Development

ISSN or ISBN

1042-1629

Volume

65

Issue

3

First Page

579

Last Page

595

Description

Difficulties in learning statistics primarily at the college-level led to a reform movement in statistics education in the early 1990s. Although much work has been done, effective learning designs that facilitate active learning, conceptual understanding of statistics, and the use of real-data in the classroom are needed. Guided by Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction (First Principles), a blended, introductory college-level statistics course that incorporated real data was designed and implemented. A single descriptive case design was used to investigate how the course design facilitated learning and the development of statistical conceptual understanding (i.e., statistical literacy, reasoning, and thinking skills). Results from both quantitative and qualitative data analyses indicated that the course designed using First Principles as a guide was effective in promoting students’ conceptual understanding in terms of literacy, reasoning, and thinking statistically. However, students’ statistical literacy, specifically, the understanding of statistical terminology did not develop to a satisfactory level as expected.

DOI

10.1007/s11423-016-9482-1

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