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Student attitudes toward statistics before and after a computer-integrated introductory statistics course

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2 Author(s)
Rhoads, T.R. ; Oklahoma Univ., Norman, OK, USA ; Hubele, N.F.

A validated questionnaire measuring the attitude of engineering students toward statistics was administered to 46 male and 17 female undergraduate engineers during the first and last week of class. The objective was to test the hypothesis that a newly designed computer-integrated statistics course positively affects students' attitudes toward statistics. For the students as a whole, no significant difference is found between the students' attitudes before and after the course. However, some demographic characteristics indicate distinctions among the attitudes of students. Specifically, students owning computers have initially a more positive attitude toward the course. Males also start the semester with a more positive attitude toward the application of statistics to their engineering fields. At the end of the semester, however these differences are no longer evident. On the other hand, students with previous exposure to statistics and the course with a more positive attitude than other students. Also, by the end of the semester, students in industrial, manufacturing, and civil engineering tend to have a more positive attitude toward the usefulness of statistics in their profession than other engineering students. Supporting previous educational research, it was found that a student's attitude toward the course is positively correlated with the grade received. For future curriculum development, this research indicates that integration of statistics into a student's curriculum may provide the greatest impact on improving attitudes toward statistics

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 2 )