This paper is from Session 1F: The importance of attitudes in statistics education: sustaining learning processes and outcomes
Full topic list
which comes under Topic 1: Sustaining strengths and building capacity in statistics education

(Monday 14th, 13:45-15:45)

A fallacy in student attitude research: the impact of the first class



Student attitudes have been shown to be an important measure in short-term learning and long-term retention of material. However, instruments like the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics (SATS) fail to show an increase in student attitudes over time. Most researchers give students the test after the first week of classes, not recognizing the impacts of the first class or first few classes on students’ attitudes and first impression. This study quantifies the impact of the first class on student attitudes, using a randomized trial design where half of the students in each class take the SATS before and half after the first class, on almost 500 students who studied statistics in different areas or contexts. Preliminary results are included here. Additional results will be discussed during the presentation.