Statistics is known to be a difficult subject, demanding students to perceive interrelations between numerous highly abstract concepts. Many students approach the subject with an evasive attitude, often resulting in rote learning yielding little conceptual understanding of statistics. Working from a constructivist paradigm, we aimed to stimulate students to self-explain the relationship between a number of concepts and principles related to descriptive statistics. To this end we developed two complementary methods which we tested in an experiment comparing a control group with three different experimental groups in which students charted important propositions related to statistical theory and, depending on their group, complemented this activity with a construction of arguments or with a study of preconstructed arguments. The results indicate an effect from the charting task and suggest a potential effect of constructing arguments.
|Journal||Learning and Instruction|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2005|