Dissimilarities in Attitudes between Students in Service and Mainstream Courses towards Statistics: An Analysis Conducted in a Developing Country
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University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, SOUTH AFRICA
Online publish date: 2018-06-01
Publish date: 2018-06-01
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2018;14(8):em1565
In this study, we firstly investigate the attitudinal differences towards statistics between students (from a developing country) in service module and mainstream courses; and, secondly, differences in their attitudes over time, at the beginning and at the end of these courses. Knowledge regarding descriptive and inferential statistics are required for students at tertiary level in many disciplines, and the literature confirms (especially in developing countries) the under-preparedness (at all year levels), inadequate performance and low motivation of students in such courses. An international acknowledged instrument (SATS-36) revealed students’ (from different faculties) initial attitudes towards statistics on six components (affect, cognitive competence, value, difficulty, interest and effort) and statistical significant differences between pre- and post-test data. The main implication from these findings are that students (in all faculties) tend to decrease in attitudinal scores over time, and educators can take awareness of this when designing pedagogy in statistics modules.
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