Dear Introductory Statistics Instructors,
I’m currently developing an assessment tool designed to measure how well students
understand when and how to use statistical inference in novel problem contexts after
completing an introductory course in statistical inference.
If you are a post-secondary introductory statistics instructor, I’m writing to ask for
your help to pilot the Introductory Statistics Transfer of Understanding and Discernment
Outcomes (I-STUDIO) assessment. The I-STUDIO assessment is designed to present students
with novel problem contexts and requires students to discern between problems that would
or would not benefit from statistical inference, and then asks them to explain how they
would solve each problem.
I am developing this assessment for my dissertation research at the University of
Minnesota, where I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Psychology
with a concentration in Statistics Education working under the supervision of my
co-advisers, Joan Garfield and Bob delMas.
The I-STUDIO assessment is designed to accommodate a wide variety of introductory
statistics curricula and could be used for a variety of purposes. Statistics instructors
could use the results from the I-STUDIO assessment to refine curriculum decisions, and
researchers could use it as a tool to compare and contrast outcomes of disparate curricula
as a measure of the propensity of students to appropriately transfer learning to novel
I am requesting your help at this time to field test the assessment with your students.
The data gathered will be used to evaluate the validity and reliability of the I-STUDIO
assessment. I am searching for 6-8 class sections that represent a diverse mix of
curricula and institutions.
If you participate, I will provide summary data that describes the results for your
students as well as a summary of the results collected from other institutions for
comparison upon request. You can administer the I-STUDIO assessment to your students
outside of class, though I ask that they work independently. Students will complete the
assessment using a web-based interface called Qualtrics, and you will receive your
students’ responses after they complete the assessment.
Ideally, I would like you to administer the I-STUDIO assessment near the end of the
current academic term.
If you are interested, please contact me at beckm109(a)umn.edu by April 15 , 2015 with the
- number of students in your class;
- institution name;
- primary textbook.
I will then send you a copy of the I-STUDIO assessment and provide additional information.
I thank you for your consideration, and would look forward to partnering with you during
this phase of my research.
Department of Educational Psychology
University of Minnesota
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