The meaning of success for students in statistical methods courses: A phenomenological study

American Educational Research Association
Finney, S. J.
New Orleans

The meaning of success as experienced by students in statistical methods courses is described. Six social science graduate students who had completed several statistical methods courses were interviewed. The qualitative method of phenomenology was used to understand the essence of success by analyzing the students' experiences and perceptions. The students described success as an accumulation of conceptual knowledge that they are able to apply and communicate to others. They experienced success predominantly in the context of working in study groups. Success was precipitated by and coupled with positive feelings such as confidence and happiness.

The CAUSE Research Group is supported in part by a member initiative grant from the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics and Data Science Education