P1-29: Investigating Levels of Graph Comprehension Using the LOCUS Assessments

By Carlotte Bolch (University of Florida)


Being able to read and interpret graphical displays is part of the statistics and probability standards of the K-12 school mathematics curriculum (Common Core State Standard for Mathematics 2010) as well as an objective in many college-level introductory statistics courses. Curcio (1987) introduced three levels of graphical comprehension questions defined as “read the data”, “read between the data”, and “read beyond the data”. The purpose of this study was to assess student graphical comprehension and performance by categorizing 25 multiple-choice graph questions from the beginning/intermediate assessment of the Levels of Conceptual Understanding in Statistics (LOCUS) project (DRL-1118168) per the levels defined by Curcio. The poster will connect the levels of graph comprehension to the types of questions that can be asked at each level to build toward a strong understanding of graphical displays. This type of instructional scaffolding allows instructors to add supports for students level by level to enhance their learning and mastery of tasks such as achieving the third level of graphical comprehension.

This poster will analyze the performance of 10th-12th grade non-AP statistics students on the three levels of graphical comprehension questions and compare their results to the performance of college students on the same assessment. Since non-AP statistics students in grades 10th-12th do not usually take a statistics class that is separate from their mathematics classes and the statistics standards are a newer addition to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, we were interested in how different students’ graph comprehension is between 10th-12th grade non-AP statistics students and college students. In addition, suggestions of resources for teaching graphical comprehension to students of all grade levels will be provided through lesson plans that teach graphical comprehension via small statistical investigations as well as suggestions of graphical software programs that teachers can use within their classrooms. For more information about the LOCUS Assessments, use the following link: https://locus.statisticseducation.org/about-locus.