Investigating the Pedagogical Approaches Related to Changes in Attitudes Toward Statistics in a Quantitative Methods Course for Psychology Undergraduate Students
The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which the pedagogical approaches used in the course were related to improvements in students’ attitudes toward statistics in a Quantitative Methods course for psychology undergraduate students in a Malaysian University. The study examined whether increasing availability of the instructor and tutor, carrying out hands-on activities, using collaborative learning, and utilizing scaffolding activities would be related to the improvement of students’ attitudes toward statistics. It also hypothesized that the various pedagogical approaches used would be related to higher levels of achievement in statistics. One hundred and three psychology students from a 14-week undergraduate course on statistics volunteered to participate in this study. The study found partial support that the approaches utilized were related to positive attitude changes toward statistics as well as achievement. Limitations are discussed and future research is suggested.
KeywordsAttitudes toward statistics Statistics anxiety Student-centered learning Active learning Pedagogy for undergraduate statistics
The cooperation of the students who participated in the study is gratefully appreciated. The authors acknowledge the support for printing costs provided by HELP University, Malaysia. Versions of this paper were presented at the International Conference in Applied Psychology, Malaysia in May 2009, and the 14th International Conference on Thinking, Malaysia in June 2009. Funding to attend the conferences was provided by HELP University, Malaysia. The first and second authors were employees of HELP University during the period of the study.
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