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J Online Learn Teach. 2010 Sep;6(3). pii: http://jolt.merlot.org/vol6no3/dinov_0910.htm.

A Study of Students' Learning Styles, Discipline Attitudes and Knowledge Acquisition in Technology-Enhanced Probability and Statistics Education.

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1
Statistics Online Computational Resource University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 90095 USA.

Abstract

Many modern technological advances have direct impact on the format, style and efficacy of delivery and consumption of educational content. For example, various novel communication and information technology tools and resources enable efficient, timely, interactive and graphical demonstrations of diverse scientific concepts. In this manuscript, we report on a meta-study of 3 controlled experiments of using the Statistics Online Computational Resources in probability and statistics courses. Web-accessible SOCR applets, demonstrations, simulations and virtual experiments were used in different courses as treatment and compared to matched control classes utilizing traditional pedagogical approaches. Qualitative and quantitative data we collected for all courses included Felder-Silverman-Soloman index of learning styles, background assessment, pre and post surveys of attitude towards the subject, end-point satisfaction survey, and varieties of quiz, laboratory and test scores. Our findings indicate that students' learning styles and attitudes towards a discipline may be important confounds of their final quantitative performance. The observed positive effects of integrating information technology with established pedagogical techniques may be valid across disciplines within the broader spectrum courses in the science education curriculum. The two critical components of improving science education via blended instruction include instructor training, and development of appropriate activities, simulations and interactive resources.

PMID:
21603097
PMCID:
PMC3098746
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