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Use of student peers to reduce statistics anxiety in a business statistics course.

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Stars Power Point

  1. 1. Reducing statistics anxiety through use of student 1 2 immediacy behaviors and peer instruction0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 Keith Starcher CBFA Conference June 26, 2012 4 Indiana Wesleyan University
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  6. 6. Many students fear taking a statistics course0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • Statistics anxiety has been defined simply as anxiety that occurs as a result of 1 2 encountering statistics in any form and at any level. 4 • With fear of failing, students delay enrolling in statistics courses as long as possible (Onwuegbuzie, 1997).
  7. 7. Fear of Statistics as a Subject0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • Statistics is seen by large numbers of students (including college students) as 1 2 being a very rigorous and anxiety-inducing subject to study (Sgoutas-Emch & Johnson, 4 1998).
  8. 8. How to Teach Statistics0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • Many instructors are frustrated in regards to finding effective methods of teaching this 1 2 subject (Garfield and Ben-Zvi, 2002). • Garfield and Ben-Zvi (2004) wrote that 4 although there is a great deal of statistics instruction taking place, the research to support statistics instruction is not well known.
  9. 9. Most students dislike taking a statistics course0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • Empirical evidence and anecdotal data suggest that statistics is one of students’ 1 2 most disliked subjects (Sciutto, 1995). • Studies have demonstrated a negative 4 relationship between statistics anxiety and performance (Tremblay et al., 2000).
  10. 10. The Purpose of this Research0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • To reduce statistics anxiety through use of “student” (instructor) immediacy behaviors and peer instruction (in-class student tutors) 1 2 in a sample of traditional undergraduate business statistics students in a private 4 Midwestern university. • To extend the literature by offering practical insights on how course design and classroom management may reduce statistics anxiety.
  11. 11. Methodology0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • Instrument: Statistical Anxiety Rating Scale (STARS) – (Cruise et al.1985). 1 2 • STARS is a 51-item, 5-point, Likert-type instrument composed of two parts. The first 4 part includes 23 statements that are related to statistical anxiety while the second part includes 28 statements that deal with attitudes toward statistics.
  12. 12. Methodology0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • There are six subscales in STARS: – Worth of Statistics (16 items) 1 2 – Interpretation Anxiety (11 items) – Test/Class Anxiety (8 items) 4 – Computational Self-concept (7 items) – Fear of Asking for Help (4 items) – Fear of Statistics Teachers (5 items)
  13. 13. Methodology0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • This study used a pretest/posttest design with 23 traditional undergraduate students 1 2 completing the Statistical Anxiety Rating Scale (STARS) instrument at the beginning 4 and end of a business statistics course taught in a traditional classroom environment. • Pretest (1st day of class); Posttest (last week of class)
  14. 14. Instructor Immediacy0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • Williams (2010) advised that instructors increase their use of immediacy behaviors 1 2 in order to reduce statistics anxiety. • When the instructor practices immediacy, 4 she engages in additional positive behaviors such as praising students’ actions and comments, encouraging students to share their points of view, and engaging in student-initiated discussion (Gorham,1988).
  15. 15. Peer Instruction0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • Peer Instruction engages students during class through activities that require each 1 2 student to apply the core concepts being presented, and then to explain those 4 concepts to their fellow students. • Peer Instruction has been shown to improve academic performance (Crouch, 2001).
  16. 16. Student Tutor0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • In our class the students were presented with a problem. They would work on the 1 2 problem individually and then discuss the solution with their group asking clarifying questions of their group’s student tutor (1 4 tutor in each group of 4 students). • The instructor roamed the classroom checking in with each group as they wrestled with the problem solution.
  17. 17. Course Design0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • To increase the perception of the usefulness of statistics, students were required early in 1 2 the semester to read and write a reflection paper on Super Crunchers: Why Thinking- 4 By-Numbers is the New Way To Be Smart (Ayres, 2008).
  18. 18. Student Comments regarding Super Crunchers0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 I learned that statistics are used in nearly every industry and can be seen all around us. The book really made me think of daily activities in 2 a different way and opened my eyes up to how important statistics are to our society today. While super crunching helps us be more 1 4 effective, it does not mean we need to eliminate all human “gut feelings” and simply look at numbers. Rather, statistics should be a foundation for our decisions and the human “expertise” factor should be able to make a better-educated decision in the end.
  19. 19. Course Design0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • The Test/Class Anxiety subscale is assumed to assess anxiety experienced while taking 1 2 statistics courses and/or exams (higher scores indicate higher levels of anxiety). 4 • This fear was addressed through the use of open book, open note exams (test anxiety) and student tutors (class anxiety).
  20. 20. Course Design0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • The Fear of Asking for Help subscale is designed to assess anxiety experienced 1 2 when a person asks for help in statistics- related problems (higher scores indicate 4 higher anxiety). • This was addressed through student tutors.
  21. 21. Course Design0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • The Fear of Statistics Teachers subscale is supposed to measure students’ perceptions 1 2 of statistics teachers (higher scores indicate higher anxiety). 4 • This was addressed via instructor immediacy behaviors.
  22. 22. Results0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 1 2 4
  23. 23. Results0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 Cronbach’s Alpha Factor Pre Post 1 2 1 .921 .907 2 .879 .793 3 .864 .913 4 .847 .874 4 5 .611 .747 6 .596 .735 All .955 .955
  24. 24. Results0011 0010 1010 1101Did Tutor Lower Stats Anxiety? 1= not at all; 10 0001 0100 1011 = very much so 8 7 1 2 6 5 Frequency 4 4 3 2 1 0 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 More Bin
  25. 25. Results – Tutor Responses0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 1 2 4
  26. 26. Results – Non-Tutor Responses0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 1 2 4
  27. 27. Tutor Comments0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • Now, near semester’s end, how do you think and feel about the idea of working as a 1 2 student tutor? – I feel good about the idea of being a tutor 4 because I honestly think that having a student/peer explain concepts to other students helps the other students understand those concepts.
  28. 28. Tutor Comments0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 – I don’t mind it, but I don’t particularly enjoy it. – It was a good experience over all; sometimes 1 2 hard to explain everything well. – It was fine. Our group interacted well with each other. 4 – I feel the same way about the idea of student tutors because I did get to interact with and lead other students. – It was a good experience, but very stressful.
  29. 29. Non-tutor Comments0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • Now, near semester’s end, how do you think and feel about the idea of working 1 2 with student tutor? – I don’t think it was that big of a deal because it 4 just meant that if I didn’t know how to do something, I knew whom to ask for help and we’d learn together. – I liked it. It was more comfortable to ask questions.
  30. 30. Non-tutor Comments0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 – It was very helpful and made it easier to learn. – It helped out a lot by providing quicker answers 1 2 to questions I had. – I thought the student tutors were very helpful. They gave me reassurance and someone to lean 4 on when I needed help. – I liked it. Usually I don’t like to talk a lot, so when I was stuck, the tutor asked me, “Do you get it?” That helped me.
  31. 31. Non-tutor Comments0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 – I am glad I had one. She has helped me understand the material better and has been a 2 good leader. 1 – I still like it knowing they are easy to contact with any questions I have. 4 – I feel great about it. Our tutor really helped our group out. – I think it went well and benefited me. I was able to get help and work through any problems I had.
  32. 32. Next time…0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 • Obtain more individual test performance • Obtain more individual homework 1 2 performance • Provide them with a meaningful yet rich 4 data set for analysis • Make the final applied statistics paper an individual (not a group) project
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  34. 34. References0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 1 2 4
  35. 35. References0011 0010 1010 1101 0001 0100 1011 1 2 4
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