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P1-05: Pre-Conceptions of Statistical Inference in Biostatistics

By Aimee Schwab-McCoy, Creighton University


Students taking biostatistics courses typically bring a different set of skills into the course than the traditional intro stats student. At the undergraduate level, students may have encountered statistics in a lab or science course. At the graduate level, many students have taken a statistics or research course as part of their previous degree. Identifying common misconceptions that students have when starting the course can help instructors (1) tailor course material, and (2) develop interventions to effectively address these pre-conceptions.

This poster will present results of a multi-site pre/post-assessment study based on the RPASS-10 instrument (Lane-Getaz, 2017) designed to measure pre-conceptions of statistical inference and learning gains throughout the semester. Approximately 600 students taking an introductory course in biostatistics participated in the study at both the graduate and undergraduate level. The pre-conceptions commonly held were found to vary significantly based on student background (sciences v. non-sciences) and degree program. Understanding how students evaluate statistical evidence BEFORE taking our courses is key to developing strong statistical thinking.