Instructional Science

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 341–366

Assessing schematic knowledge of introductory probability theory


    • School of PsychologyUniversity of Sydney
  • Gerard J. Fogarty
    • University of Southern Queensland
  • Ashley Plank
    • University of Southern Queensland

DOI: 10.1007/s11251-005-3198-7

Cite this article as:
Birney, D.P., Fogarty, G.J. & Plank, A. Instr Sci (2005) 33: 341. doi:10.1007/s11251-005-3198-7


The ability to identify schematic knowledge is an important goal for both assessment and instruction. In the current paper, schematic knowledge of statistical probability theory is explored from the declarative-procedural framework using multiple methods of assessment. A sample of 90 undergraduate introductory statistics students was required to classify 10 pairs of probability problems as similar or different; to identify whether 15 problems contained sufficient, irrelevant, or missing information (text-edit); and to solve 10 additional problems. The complexity of the schema on which the problems were based was also manipulated. Detailed analyses compared text-editing and solution accuracy as a function of text-editing category and schema complexity. Results showed that text-editing tends to be easier than solution and differentially sensitive to schema complexity. While text-editing and classification were correlated with solution, only text-editing problems with missing information uniquely predicted success. In light of previous research these results suggest that text-editing is suitable for supplementing the assessment of schematic knowledge in development.


assessing schematic knowledgestatistical probability theorytext-editing

Copyright information

© Springer 2005