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 (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)
Burkhard Priemer (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)
Doris Lewalter (Technical University Munich, Germany)


Tobias Ludwig (Germany)


Evaluating experimental data calls for dealing with measurement uncertainty (MU); this is often reported as a learning obstacle to scientific concepts in lab work. We report on a study of 1,545 secondary school students who evaluated self-collected data in a physics lab. Results reveal a) that students are aware of MUs depending on data variability and b) that the odds of framing a correct hypothesis after the experiment decrease (OR=0.66[0.57;0.76], p.001) when students are aware of MUs in their decision-making process. This contradicts studies that identified students' lack of awareness of MUs as an obstacle in the evaluation of experimental data, and it could be interpreted to mean that learners decide conservatively when evaluating uncertainty-infused learning situations because of a lack of knowledge about MUs.