Limits...
The Impact of an Interactive Statistics Module on Novices ’ Development of Scientific Process Skills and Attitudes in a First-Semester Research Foundations Course †

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Evidence suggests that incorporating quantitative reasoning exercises into existent curricular frameworks within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines is essential for novices’ development of conceptual understanding and process skills in these domains. Despite this being the case, such studies acknowledge that students often experience difficulty in applying mathematics in the context of scientific problems. To address this concern, the present study sought to explore the impact of active demonstrations and critical reading exercises on novices’ comprehension of basic statistical concepts, including hypothesis testing, experimental design, and interpretation of research findings. Students first engaged in a highly interactive height activity that served to intuitively illustrate normal distribution, mean, standard deviation, and sample selection criteria. To enforce practical applications of standard deviation and p-value, student teams were subsequently assigned a figure from a peer-reviewed primary research article and instructed to evaluate the trustworthiness of the data. At the conclusion of this exercise, students presented their evaluations to the class for open discussion and commentary. Quantitative assessment of pre- and post-module survey data indicated a statistically significant increase both in students’ scientific reasoning and process skills and in their self-reported confidence in understanding the statistical concepts presented in the module. Furthermore, data indicated that the majority of students (>85%) found the module both interesting and helpful in nature. Future studies will seek to develop additional, novel exercises within this area and to evaluate the impact of such modules across a variety of STEM and non-STEM contexts.

No MeSH data available.


Post-module shifts in students’ confidence in understanding and applying basic statistical concepts are indicative of self-reported development of essential statistical knowledge. p < 0.004 for all comparisons.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5134948&req=5

f2-jmbe-17-436: Post-module shifts in students’ confidence in understanding and applying basic statistical concepts are indicative of self-reported development of essential statistical knowledge. p < 0.004 for all comparisons.

Mentions: Student responses on the pre-and post-module SPLG survey were analyzed using a series of paired t-tests with Bonferroni correction. Results indicated a statistically significant increase in self-reported confidence on all assessment items (p < 0.004 for all comparisons; Fig. 2) following participation in the interactive exercises. In particular, self-reported increases in interpreting p-values and error bars, explaining α-values, and recognizing the difference between Type I and Type II errors were of interest. Calculated effect sizes (data not shown) indicated that these elements exhibited the lowest initial self-reported confidence and the largest subsequent increase in confidence, attesting to the success of the approaches implemented in the statistics module.


The Impact of an Interactive Statistics Module on Novices ’ Development of Scientific Process Skills and Attitudes in a First-Semester Research Foundations Course †
Post-module shifts in students’ confidence in understanding and applying basic statistical concepts are indicative of self-reported development of essential statistical knowledge. p < 0.004 for all comparisons.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5134948&req=5

f2-jmbe-17-436: Post-module shifts in students’ confidence in understanding and applying basic statistical concepts are indicative of self-reported development of essential statistical knowledge. p < 0.004 for all comparisons.
Mentions: Student responses on the pre-and post-module SPLG survey were analyzed using a series of paired t-tests with Bonferroni correction. Results indicated a statistically significant increase in self-reported confidence on all assessment items (p < 0.004 for all comparisons; Fig. 2) following participation in the interactive exercises. In particular, self-reported increases in interpreting p-values and error bars, explaining α-values, and recognizing the difference between Type I and Type II errors were of interest. Calculated effect sizes (data not shown) indicated that these elements exhibited the lowest initial self-reported confidence and the largest subsequent increase in confidence, attesting to the success of the approaches implemented in the statistics module.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Evidence suggests that incorporating quantitative reasoning exercises into existent curricular frameworks within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines is essential for novices&rsquo; development of conceptual understanding and process skills in these domains. Despite this being the case, such studies acknowledge that students often experience difficulty in applying mathematics in the context of scientific problems. To address this concern, the present study sought to explore the impact of active demonstrations and critical reading exercises on novices&rsquo; comprehension of basic statistical concepts, including hypothesis testing, experimental design, and interpretation of research findings. Students first engaged in a highly interactive height activity that served to intuitively illustrate normal distribution, mean, standard deviation, and sample selection criteria. To enforce practical applications of standard deviation and p-value, student teams were subsequently assigned a figure from a peer-reviewed primary research article and instructed to evaluate the trustworthiness of the data. At the conclusion of this exercise, students presented their evaluations to the class for open discussion and commentary. Quantitative assessment of pre- and post-module survey data indicated a statistically significant increase both in students&rsquo; scientific reasoning and process skills and in their self-reported confidence in understanding the statistical concepts presented in the module. Furthermore, data indicated that the majority of students (&gt;85%) found the module both interesting and helpful in nature. Future studies will seek to develop additional, novel exercises within this area and to evaluate the impact of such modules across a variety of STEM and non-STEM contexts.

No MeSH data available.