By Nina G. Bailey, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Today’s society is data driven and number saturated. Students need to be able to critically examine quantitative messages they will undoubtedly encounter in the real world. This study examined the asynchronous online discussion board posts of eight undergraduate students taking introductory statistics with the goal of exploring how students demonstrate critical statistical literacy (CSL) skills (Gal, 2002). The prompts varied but generally asked students to critically examine and reflect upon articles or popular media. The results indicate that the majority of students (75%) exhibited CSL across all discussion prompts. An important aspect of CSL that emerged was that of active citizenry (i.e., social awareness of inequities and motivation for action to improve inequities). Active citizenry was expressed by all students in at least 50% of the prompts which demonstrates the potential that discussions boards have to bolster engagement, increase interest, and stimulate reflective thinking within introductory statistics courses.