EFFECT OF CALCULATOR TECHNOLOGY
ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
IN AN INTRODUCTORY STATISTICS COURSE
Linda Brant Collins
University of Chicago
Kathleen CAGE MITTAG
University of Texas at San Antonio
We report on a study of the relationship between calculator technology and student learning in two introductory statistics class sections taught by the same instructor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. At the introduction of hypothesis testing and confidence intervals, one class section (A) was given graphing calculators capable of inferential statistics to use for a few weeks. At the same time, the other class section (B) was given non-inferential graphing calculators. Data were collected on all test grades and daily quiz grades for both class sections. The students were allowed to use the inferential calculators on only the examination covering hypothesis tests and confidence intervals and on the final examination. Both sections received the same tests. We found that although use of the calculator with inferential capabilities is associated with improved scores on the inferential examination, the improvement is not significant once we adjust for performance on previous tests. Still, we note that on final examination questions specifically utilizing the calculator inference functions, the two classes perform similarly. In fact, both classes had trouble with “calculations” while at the same time answering “concept” questions fairly well. The inferential calculator did not appear to give students any clear advantage or disadvantage in their performance on examinations.
Keywords: Statistics education research; Introductory statistics; Graphing calculator; Inferential calculator; Student achievement
Statistics Education Research Journal, 4(1), 7-15, http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/serj
Ó International Association for Statistical Education (IASE/ISI), May, 2005
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lINDA bRANT COLLINS
Department of Statistics
University of Chicago
5734 S. University Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
United States of America