Assessment of changes in attitudes of graduate students towards introductory statistics

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Ounjitti, Chuket
Ali, Mir M.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department of Mathematical Sciences
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This study investigates the changes in attitudes of graduate students toward introductory statistics. The subjects are graduate students at a Midwestern university; the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics (SATS) was used to measure pre-test and post-test attitudes. Subjects in this study were grouped into three groups: experimental group (group of students who were taking the introductory statistics course), control group 1 (group of students who were required to take the introductory statistics course for their degree but had not already taken it), and control group 2 (group of students who did not need to take an introductory statistics course). The mixed design MANOVA was utilized in this study with grouping by pre-test and post-test. The between-subjects factor was group, gender, and section (with different instructor) and the within-groups factor was time. The main effects and interactive effects were tested in a multivariate sense, and then univariate statistics were used to interpret significant simple effects. This study was conducted to determine the effect of the six dependent variables (affect, cognitive, value, difficulty, interest, and effort) on students' attitudes toward the introductory statistics course. All findings were interpreted at alpha level p<0.05.Analysis of the data revealed significant differences in the attitude factor difficulty among all groups. The male and female attitude change was not significantly different among all groups. However, there were significant differences of attitudes changes between two sections (by different instructors) of students in the experimental group, but there were no significant differences of attitude changes between two sections by time.