Investigating college-level introductory statistics students' prior knowledge of graphing
Lee, Carl M.S.
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This study investigated the prior knowledge about graphing that groups of undergraduate Cypriot and U.S. students brought into the introductory statistics classroom. A total of 159 students completed a questionnaire designed to assess three aspects of graph comprehension: graph reading and interpretation, graph construction, and graph evaluation. The study findings confirm our initial conjecture that U.S. students would exhibit better graphing skills due to the higher emphasis on statistics in U.S. school mathematics curricula. U.S. students outperformed their Cypriot counterparts in all tasks. The biggest differences, however, were observed in simple reading and interpretation tasks. Both Cypriot and U.S. students had difficulties in tackling more demanding tasks involving group comparison, graph construction, and critical evaluation of information presented graphically.