Students?
Attitudes and Reflections on the Integration of Graphing Technology
in the Learning of Statistics
Liew Kee Kor
korlk@tm.net.my
Information Technology Quantitative Sciences
MARA University of Technology
Malaysia
Abstract
The problem of students?negative attitudes towards statistics seems
perpetual to most statistics educators. Meanwhile, a new mathematical
realism has emerged in the mathematics classroom enhanced with graphing
technology. Many studies (Arcavi & Hadas, 2000; Selinger & Pratt.
1997; ShoafGrubbs, 1995) have indicated that graphics calculator
(GC) can enhance students?mathematical thinking through symbolic,
algebraic and graphic presentations. Burrill (1996) found that GC
can empower students to solve statistical problems by actively engage
them in ?oing?statistics with real data in the real situations.
A study was conducted on 76 Diploma undergraduates taking the Introductory
Statistics Course. Quantitative analysis on students?attitudes towards
statistics after the GC intervention shows that there is an improvement.
In addition, qualitative analysis of the students?daily reflections
in this study shows that the use of GC in the learning of statistics
seems to provide positive impacts on students? enjoyment in statistics,
their conceptual understanding and tool competency. Students claimed
that they enjoyed statistics more with GC primarily because it removes
the tedium of certain mathematical tasks such as performing complicated
computation. In addition, they regarded highly the importance of
GC technology in their future undertakings.
