P1-09: Results of a Two-Semester Study on Mnemonics Usage in an Online Introductory Statistics Course

By Megan Mocko (University of Florida); Lawrence M. Lesser, Amy E. Wagler, and Wendy S. Francis (The University of Texas at El Paso)


Mnemonics (memory aids) can be used by students to help remember a definition, formula or concept or remember a difficult term or concept so that students can better be able to reach the higher level of thinking recommended by the GAISE and GAISE 2016 report. In this poster, we are going to show the results of a study over two semesters about memory aids used in a very large hybrid Introduction to Statistics course. The students in the hybrid course can either watch the lecture in class or online. All students have the same instructor for lecture, but are broken into 40-student lab sections, each with a teaching assistant. In the Fall of 2014, the students in the course (n = 1487 respondents) were given an online survey that included questions about their use of memory aids in general as well asking for them to choose how useful they found each of the 19 memory aids from a 5 choice Likert scale ranging from “used it and it was very helpful” to “did not remember it, but would not have used it even if I had remembered it”. A table of these results with the memory aids listed will be included. In the Fall of 2015, students in the same introductory course were presented with 12 memory aids related to inference. Some of these memory aids were included in the previous set of 19, others were suggested by the students in the Fall 2014 survey, and three came from other sources. The students were then asked if those memory aids helped them with particular test questions during the actual exam. The relationship between usage of memory aid and anxiety, as well as the use of memory aids and the achievement of learning objectives will be discussed. The presentation will also include teacher recommendations for using memory aids in class. (Results and list of mnemonics also appear in the March 2017 issue of Journal of Statistics Education.)