Potential contributions of an online formative feedback tool to enhance conceptual understanding of ANOVA


Presented by:

Sait Atas, David Trumpower & Mehmet Filiz, University of Ottawa

Abstract

There is evidence in the literature which demonstrates that although students may be good at following the procedures of inferential reasoning in statistics, they still have difficulties in grasping the underlying logic of these procedures and in applying these procedures to new contexts. Therefore, the proposed study aims to explore potential contributions of an online assessment and feedback tool to increase undergraduate students’ conceptual understanding of critical concepts in Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). A website (http://www.conceptmapsforlearning.com), CMfL for short, was created based on the principals of effective formative assessment. Within the website, students first create a concept map using previously identified critical concepts in ANOVA (e.g., random factors, differences within groups, difference between groups, etc). Then, students are provided with immediate individualized visual feedback highlighting any discrepancies between their own concept map and a referent concept map created by subject matter experts in statistics, followed by multi-media instructional materials (e.g., videos, text-based examples, links to other resources) based on any missing or misconceptions indicated by differences in the student and referent maps. After acting on the feedback and instructional material, students create revised concept maps and solve problems in an informal inferential reasoning task, referred to as iANOVA, which instructors may use to monitor changes in conceptual understanding of ANOVA.

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