Saturday, July 6, 2013


Greetings.  A lot has been going on since 2010.  At USCOTS 2011, the Attitudes cluster met and presented several posters at the poster session.  I started doing a workshop, Identifying and Addressing Difficult Concepts in the Introductory Statistics Course.  I presented this workshop in Kansas City, KS; Monmouth, IL; Boston, MA; Jacksonville, FL; and San Diego, CA.  I also presented the workshop at USCOTS 2013 as well as a breakout session titled, What? Me Change? -- How to Plan, Implement and Evaluate Changes in Your Courses."

Exciting news to the statistics attitudes research arena is that a special issue of the Statistics Education Research Journal (SERJ) was published in November 2012.  This issue of SERJ was dedicated to attitudes research.  .  I had a paper published titled, Students’ Perceptions of Statistics: An Exploration of Attitudes, Conceptualizations, and Content Knowledge of Statistics .  Here is the link: . 

At the Joint Statistical Meetings 2013, here is the information about the attitudes session:

Current Research on Students' Attitudes Toward Statistics — Topic Contributed Papers
Section on Statistical Education
Organizer(s): Marjorie Bond, Monmouth College
Chair(s): Michael Posner, Villanova University
10:35 AM Psychometric Properties of the Turkish Version of the Survey of Attitudes Toward StatisticsEsma Emmioglu, Simon Fraser University
10:55 AM The Effect of Conceptualization and Content Perception on Affect and Difficulty Subscales of the Survey of Attitudes Toward StatisticsMarjorie Bond, Monmouth College ; Susan Perkins, Northwest Nazarene University ; Caroline Ramirez, University of the Pacific
11:15 AM Examining Introductory Students' Attitudes in a Randomization-Based CurriculumJoshua Beemer, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
11:35 AM Comparing Apples with Apples: Assessing Student Attitudes in the Presence of Regression to the MeanAnne Michele Millar, Mount Saint Vincent University ; Bethany White, Western University
11:55 AM Discussant: Candace Schau, CS Consultants, LLC
12:15 PM Floor Discussion
Lastly, we are planning a session for the International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS) 2014.

Lots of fun and good research going on.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The myth is BUSTED!

I can't believe that it is the end of July already. So here is a quick summary of The SATS Project:

The Spring 2010 data collection is almost done. We've collected the student, course, & instructor data, but due to some health issues, we haven't finalized all the files. Spring 2010 was one of our largest semesters yet. We had almost 30 different sections. The bad news is that due to lack of funding we won't be collecting data in the Fall :-( We hope that we can find some $ so that we continue to build the data warehouse.

At the Joint Statistics Meetings in Vancouver, Canada, August 1 - 5, the Attitudes' Cluster Group has a topic contributed session. YEAH!

Our session is titled: "Evidence-Based Education: Improving Teaching and Learning Through Understanding Students' Attitudes" The titles of the five papers which will be presented are given at the end of this blog.

Gloria Lehr (MC grad. 2010) and I worked on the second paper being presented on students' perceptions of statistics prior to taking a statistics course. We have some awesome results which will be a shocker to some of the folks at the meetings. I'll give you a hint -- even though students may have never taken a stats course before, they have an idea what statistics actually is.

I know -- you may be thinking, isn't this like a "non-result"? Well, no. Many researchers have discounted some of our attitudes' results because they think that the results are due do some mis-preception about statistics when students take the pre-test. From our study, the "myth" is BUSTED. Students may not have a strong understanding of statistics, but they feel comfortable enough with the word "statistics" to use it themselves and their definitions of statistics are "in the ball park."

When I get back, I'll let you know how the meetings went.

Oh yes, I'm on sabbatical for the Fall semester, so I plan to write often of the progress of The SATS Project and my research.

Here are the titles of the 5 papers being presented at the meetings:

" Understanding Students' Attitudes Toward Statistics: New Perspectives Using Expectancy Value Theory of Motivation and the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics" by Caroline Ann Ramirez, University of California, Davis; Esma Emmioglu, Middle East Technical University; Candace Schau, CS Consultants, LLC

"The Hidden Attitude: Students' Perceptions of 'Statistics' Prior to Taking the First Course" Marjorie E. Bond, Monmouth College; Gloria Lehr, Monmouth College

"Should I Use Gain Scores to Determine Treatment Effect from a Pretest-Posttest Design?: A Simulation Study" Michael Posner, Villanova University; AnneMichele Millar, Mount Saint Vincent University; Philip Yates, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

"Instructor Characteristics Associated with Student Appreciation of Statistics" Philip Yates, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; Michael Posner, Villanova University

"Assessing Changes in Students' Attitudes: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" AnneMichele Millar, Mount Saint Vincent University; Candace Schau, CS Consultants

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Break 2010

I am in Albuquerque, NM, visiting Candace during my Spring Break joining us is Michelle from Canada. So it is an international meeting. LOL.

Michelle and her husband, Rod, arrived last week and will stay until Wednesday. They planned their visit to overlap my visit. It is wonderful to see New Mexico through their eyes. Although they were both born in England, they currently live in Nova Scotia. Candace and Michelle are working on (1) a presentation that Michelle will give in May, (2) the continuation of the same presentation which will be part of the contributed session that the cluster group has organized for the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Vancouver in August, and (3) Structual Equation Modeling.

The contributed session for JSM is titled: Evidence-based Education: Improving Teaching and Learning through Understanding Students' Attitudes. If I recall correctly, the papers that will be presented are (1) Expectancy Value Theory presentation, (2) Candace and Michelle's paper on best way to analyze pre- post- data using several SATS data sets, (3) a paper on a simulation concerning analyzing SATS data, and (4) my presentation of the work that Gloria and I are doing concerning students' perception of statistics. I think that is the session. I'll try to post the "official" names soon.

Today, I am working on The SATS Project. We have 33 different course sections this semester which is way too many for us to handle. We need funding to fully pay an administrator to handle the data collection. So one of the objectives prior to Fall data collection is to write a document which says "sorry, we can't collect your data," and we need to determine an ideal number of sections which we can handle (15 sections???) But if we find funding, then we can collect from lots more sections.

The paper for The American Statistician will be finalized during this trip. Yeah!

Well, I best get back to work.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Off to Washington, D.C.

The poster is done and printed. On Tuesday, I will facilitate a discussion about
the basics of the SATS at a breakfast at 7:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. My poster has to be up by 8:00 a.m. Hard to be in two places at once. My friend, Carmen, is going to put up the poster. I've given her a "map" of the layout of the poster. I am pleased with the final version.

Last night I send out the final SATS files to instructors. A total of 20 sections. There are 5 sections which didn't go out because we don't have all the information from the instructors yet. The database for Spring 2009 is ready for the cluster group to look at. I hope to put the final files from Fall 07, Spring 09, and Fall 08 together so that we have a complete data base for the four semesters. Candace is going to work on constructing the data file for the course surveys. I did the instructor survey data file several weeks ago.

Best sign off. It will be an early morning as we travel to D.C.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finalizing the Poster for JSM

Finalizing my poster for the Joint Statistical Meetings is much harder than I thought that it would be. I've got the paper in which I can explain things, but I feel that I need to limit the graphs and computer output. But with the poster, you want graphs and output and limit the words.

I've got around 11 - 12 sheets of paper to tell my story at 24 point font. The point of the JSM poster is to discuss simple analyses that instructors can do with their SATS results. I keep thinking of more things to add.

What about pre-test answers to "How good at mathematics are you?" Guess what . . . Students earning higher grades responded more favorably to the question. Is that so obvious that no one would want to know that? Or should it be included because it confirms what instructors would think would be true?

Tomorrow I fly to Pennsylvania to visit my friend Carmen. Carmen and I met years ago at a conference and have been friends for almost 10 years. This will be the first time that I've been to Carmen's house. We will drive to D.C. on Sunday for JSM. Finding someone that you can share a hotel room at conferences is a good thing, and it is even better when you become friends! In 2006, I visited her in Chile when she was on sabbatical and then we went to the Internation Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS) in Brazil.

Last week, I submitted to MC's Human Subject Review Board the request to continue The SATS Project. When doing research with humans, one needs to get Board approval especially if you will be presenting your work. The SATS is noninvasive and does not cause harm, but we still get Board approval and students sign a consent form (as well as instructors).

Okay, back to work.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pictures from USCOTS

USCOTS and first half of July

We have 6 members in the cluster group plus Candace and I. We had two meetings with the entire group and several individual meetings. One member is working on her dissertation -- translating the SATS and working to align elements of the SATS with some educational theories.

Working through Survey Monkey, I've got all the surveys ready for the Fall data collection (Pre-test, Post-test, Instructor survey, Course survey, and Request Survey). I spent a lot of time working on the request survey. We've had researchers who want to match the SATS results with some other results (exams, attendance, Statistical Reasoning Assessment (SRA), Comprehensive Assessment of Outcomes in a First Statistics course (CAOS), etc.). Since our Board approval and consent form does not allow us to give instructors students' names, we can't help these researchers. Our solution is for researchers to give the results which need to be matched in the Grade file. We'll do the matching and then give the researchers the file without the names. Believe it or not, this solution took us some time to develop it! It seems so simple now.

I've been chasing the last of the grade files while Candace has been writing code to help with the matching. Data collection this Spring has been a nightmare.

I'm still working on the TAS paper. This paper will be very similar to the poster that I will be presenting in D.C. in August.

Oh yes, the cluster group had its first conference call on the 21st. We discussed EVT (Expectancy Value Theory of Motivation). I must admit that I didn't follow everything that was discussed. But I will spend some more time studying.

Lots of work this week.