Writing-to-learn benefits students in polishing their communication skills and understanding of statistical concepts cultivating a deeper understanding of statistics. A series of writing-to-learn activities were given to introductory statistics students at a community college in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Historically, research on the teaching and learning of statistics has been performed on undergraduates while overlooking the experiences of community college students in learning statistics. A total of 79 students completed the feedback instrument over the course of three semesters (Summer 2017, Fall 2017, and Spring 2018). The feedback instrument included three Likert scale questions, two open-ended questions and a prompt to draw their feelings about the writing assignments and statistics course. Research suggests that drawings are a creative and novel form of collecting student feedback. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics where appropriate, thematic analysis was used to evaluate written responses, and visual thematic analysis was performed on the drawings. Findings are useful to introductory statistics instructors and statistics education researchers in understanding the students’ experience with writing-to-learn assignments as the responses provide insight, feedback, and drawbacks on the assignment.


Community College, Statistics, Writing-To-Learn, Visual Thematic Analysis, Drawings, Thematic Analysis

Author Bio(s)

Samantha Estrada has a PhD in Applied Statistics and Research Methods. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Tyler in the Psychology and Counseling department where she teaches undergraduate courses in statistics and research methods. Recent publications include Air Medical Journal (2019), The Qualitative Report (2019) and the Journal of Applied Measurement (2020) in addition to an appendix in the book Ethics for Social Science Research: Becoming Culturally Responsive (2017). Her research interests include statistics, education, and applied measurement. Please direct correspondence to sestrada@uttyler.edu.


Thanks to Nancy Geisendorfer, Senior Lecturer at the University of Northern Colorado Department of Mathematical Sciences for sharing the evaluating a statistical study activity with me when I was a teaching assistant in the department.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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