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Statistical Reasoning Assessment: an Analysis of the SRA Instrument

By Dirk Tempelaar

Abstract

The Statistical Reasoning Assessment or SRA is one of the first instruments developed to assess students ’ statistical reasoning. Published in 1998 (Garfield, 1998a), it became widely available after the Garfield (2003) publication. Empirical studies applying SRA by Garfield and co-authors brought forward two intriguing puzzles: the ‘gender puzzle’, and the puzzle of ‘non-existing relations with course performances’. This present study aims to address those two puzzles, and in doing so to contribute to the validation of SRA, by applying the instrument to a relative large group of students participating in an introductory statistics class. Different from earlier empirical studies, we administered the SRA at the start of our course, what enables us to study the role of preconceptions, both being correct and incorrect in nature, in learning statistics. Findings in this study suggest that both puzzles may be understood in terms of differences in effort students invest in studying: students with strong effort-based learning approaches tend to have lower correct reasoning scores, and higher misconception scores, than students with different learning approaches. Implications of these findings for statistics education are discussed

Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.128.6478
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