P3-01: Drawing the normal curve: A visual thematic analysis of community college Students experiences with writing-to-learn assignments in an introductory statistics course

By Samantha Estrada (University of Texas at Tyler)


Writing-to-learn benefits students in polishing their communication skills and understanding of statistical concepts cultivating a deeper understanding of statistics. A series of writing-to-learn activities were given to introductory statistics students at a community college in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Historically, research on the teaching and learning of statistics has been performed on undergraduates while overlooking the experiences of community college students in learning statistics. A total of 87 students completed the evaluations over the course of three semesters (Summer 2017, Fall 2017 and Spring 2018). The evaluations included three Likert scale questions, two open-ended questions and a prompt to draw about their feelings about the writing assignments and statistics course. Where appropriate descriptive statistics were performed, while thematic analysis was used to evaluate written responses and visual thematic analysis was performed on the drawings. Themes of statistical conceptual understanding, and reasons for difficulties are explored. Finally, suggestions for improvement were also a major theme among participants.