Changing attitudes and facilitating understanding in the undergraduate statistics classroom: A collaborative learning approach

Erin M. Curran, Kerri Carlson, Dayius L Turvold Celotta

Abstract


Collaborative and problem-based learning strategies are theorized to be effective methods for strengthening undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) is a collaborative learning technique that engages students in problem solving and discussion under the guidance of a trained peer facilitator. This comparative study investigates the impact of a PLTL-based learning community program on both content mastery and dispositions of undergraduate students taking an introductory course in applied statistics. Results suggest that students participating in the learning community program acquired significantly greater content mastery in statistics when compared to non-participating peers. Moreover, the learning community experience may provide students with a buffer against developing the negative attitudes and perceptions that often pervade the undergraduate applied statistics classroom.


Keywords


statistics education; collaborative learning; peer-led team learning; student attitudes; learning outcomes

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