New insights into an old problem–enhancing student learning outcomes in an introductory statistics course

Carl Sherwood, Do Won Kwak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many students enrolled in first year introductory statistics courses believe learning statistics is a waste of time and fear they will fail. In this study, we explored the impacts on learning outcomes for students in an introductory statistics course by allowing students to arbitrarily choose their own sequence of learning from three key learning activities, namely tutorials, Peer-Assisted Study Sessions and Computer-Managed Learning quizzes. Unlike the old regime where the learning activities followed a strict, rigid sequence, a new regime allowed students to freely choose when, where and how they engaged with the course learning activities. This allowed increased opportunities for students to receive relevant and timely feedback. Using a total of 1187 students enrolled in semester 2 of 2011, 2012 and 2013, data were collected on students’ scores from 7 assessment tasks. Our experimental design ensured as many course features as possible remained constant between the control cohorts (of 2011 and 2012) and the experimental cohort (2013), thereby avoiding potential sample selection problems. The findings showed student learning outcomes in the new regime improved significantly. Interestingly, the effects were found to be greatest in the lower percentile of the score distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5698-5708
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Economics
Volume49
Issue number56
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 2

Keywords

  • assessing learning outcomes
  • integrative assessment
  • Integrative learning
  • introductory statistics
  • peer feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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