10th International
Conference on
Teaching Statistics
8 – 13 July 2018
Kyoto, Japan
Contributed paper list

Contributed Paper C105


School students’ skills to compare datasets


Burkhard Priemer (Germany)
Wiebke Musold (Germany)


Burkhard Priemer (Germany)


In a study with 156 school students, we investigated the influence of the number of decimal places in measurements on students’ decision to change or keep an initial hypothesis in physics. Participants were introduced to two experiments for the same quantity, provided with datasets (three groups with different numbers of decimal places), asked to compare the sets, and reconsider their hypothesis. Results show: When the number of decimal places increases, 1. the number of students that change from an incorrect hypothesis to the correct one decreases, and 2. the number of students that change from the correct hypothesis to an incorrect one increases. This shows that exact results may hinder learning due to students’ lack of knowledge in core statistical quantities like the variance.