# Thesis / Dissertation

• ### How do college students reason about hypothesis testing in introductory statistics courses?

By videotaping students' statistical conversations on hypothesis testing, I was able to analyze students' reasoning at more depth and observe more closely what students understand and do not understand. Two statistics instructors and eight pairs of community college students were asked to solve hypothesis test problems and answer questions about their work.

• ### Methods of learning in statistical education: Design and analysis of a randomized trial.

The primary objectives were to evaluate and compare the addition of two active learning methods (cooperative and internet) on students' performance: assess their impact on performance after adjusting for differences in students' learning style; and examine the influence of learning style on trial participation. No performance differences by group were observed by intent-to-treat analysis. Participation in active learning appears to improve students performance in an introductory biostatistics course and provides opportunities for enhancing understanding beyond that attained in traditional didactic classrooms.

• ### Improving statistical education through the experience of reflective practice.

This thesis is the recount of a study that began with the aim of unpacking the statistical expertise of the teacher and author, with the intent of improving statistics teaching and learning. In the process of doing this, the researcher examined the expertise of other experts through a case study of a statistics professor, concept mapping of ideas of statistics professionals and through an examination of statistical literature. As the researcher and teacher moved to a position of accepting that statistics is a study of variation, she discovered a failure by authors of many introductory textbooks to appropriately acknowledge variation as a (the?) fundamental statistical concept.

• ### The relationship between mathematical and statistical anxiety and statistical attitudes

The research literature on affect and statistics consists of many studies that examined the relationships between mathematics and statistical anxiety and achievement, and between statistical attitudes and achievement. However, what has not been looked at is the relationship between mathematics and statistical anxiety and statistical attitudes. This is an important relationship to examine because it may help explain the relationship in these two bodies of research. Therefore, the current study was designed to investigate the relationship between students' pre-course mathematical and statistical anxiety and their post-course statistical attitudes. In addition, gender differences and graduate/undergraduate status differences will be examined to see how they figure into this relationship.

• ### The relationship between the use of multimedia instructional software and student attitudes toward statistics

This paper begins by summarizing the research on attitudes toward and anxiety about statistics, distinguishing between studies in the two areas. Next, a research project that explores the relationship between attitudes toward statistics and a particular instructional method is described. A discussion of the results is followed by implications and suggestions for future research.<br>There are three main questions that this study addresses.<br>1. Are there differences in attitudes toward statistics for students in classes that use multimedia software, other software, or no technology?<br>2. Are there differences in how students in these settings view the role of technology in doing statistics?<br>3. Are there gender differences in attitudes toward statistics and views of technology in doing statistics?

• ### Technology supported inquiry learning in mathematics and statistics with Fathom: A professional development project

This study utilized teacher development experiment methodology to support, and deeply examine, three teachers' understandings and practices regarding content, pedagogy, and technology as they learn about and strive to integrate Fathom, data analysis software, into their curriculum and instruction. Surveys, observations, and interviews were utilized to gather data in order to research the interactions among these three factors and how they were associated with the effectiveness of the three teachers' integration of technology. Pictures of weak, developing, and exemplary facilitation of Technology-Supported Inquiry Learning, as outlined by an effective learning environment conceptual framework, resulted from this study. Exemplary practices occurred in teachers who held strong understandings and practices in all areas; content, pedagogy, and technology. This implies that professional development must be provided in such a way that teachers can learn about, practice with, and reflect on all areas simultaneously.

• ### The relationships between visual-pictoric ability and understanding of statistical concepts in graph reading

This thesis aims to analyze factors that determine success when reading statistical graphics, based on Krutetskii's mathematical ability theory and Pinker's graphical comprehension theory. 814 undergraduate students attending Statistical courses were investigated. Six instruments were used: a questionnaire; two attitudes scale towards Statistics and Mathematics; and mathematical, statistics, and verbal aptitude tests. Findings show that success when reading statistical graphics lie on the understanding of the statistical concept, level of knowledge of graphics, visual-pictorial ability, and gender. Male students show more positive attitudes, and higher scores at cognitive tests, except at the verbal aptitude test. Instruction also shows to play a significant role on the development of statistical and graphic abilities.