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

Contributed Paper C152


Decision-making in uncertainty-infused learning situations with experiments in physics classes


Tobias Ludwig (Germany)
Burkhard Priemer (Germany)
Doris Lewalter (Germany)


Tobias Ludwig (Germany)


Evaluating experimental data calls for dealing with uncertain measurements; this is often reported as a learning obstacle to scientific concepts in lab work. We report on a study of 938 secondary school students who evaluated self-collected measurement data in a physics lab. Results reveal that the odds for framing a correct hypothesis after the experiment decrease (OR=0.45 [0.33;0.61], p.001) when students consider and are aware of measurement uncertainties in their decision-making process. This contradicts studies that reported students’ lack of awareness of uncertainties in measurement (e.g., Kanari & Millar 2004) and may be interpreted to mean that learners decide conservatively when evaluating uncertainty-infused learning situations because of lacking knowledge about measurement uncertainties.