gms | German Medical Science

Learning through Inquiry in Higher Education: Current Research and Future Challenges (INHERE 2018)

08.03. - 09.03.2018, München

Inquiry-Based Learning in Higher Education Statistics: Effects on Students’ Self-Efficacy, Attitudes, and Achievement Emotions

Meeting Abstract

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Learning through Inquiry in Higher Education: Current Research and Future Challenges (INHERE 2018). München, 08.-09.03.2018. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2018. Doc36

doi: 10.3205/18inhere36, urn:nbn:de:0183-18inhere363

Veröffentlicht: 1. März 2018

© 2018 Bod et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



Despite its importance in the age of big data, many students do not like statistics [4]. An instructional approach to change this situation could be the implementation of inquiry-based learning (IBL) in statistics classes, especially tutorials. IBL has been shown to improve students’ view of mathematics [1] and showed positive effects on students’ self-efficacy [3] and attitudes [2]. In this project, we investigated how an IBL intervention in a Master’s level statistics class affects students’ self-efficacy to learn statistics, their attitudes towards statistics, as well as their achievement emotions [5]. Our main research questions were:

  • Does IBL lead to an increase in students' self-efficacy, positive attitudes, and positive achievement emotions to learn statistics?
  • Are self-efficacy, attitudes, and achievement emotions positively correlated in the context of statistics?

The intervention spanned five statistics tutorials. Students were assessed at the beginning (N=20) and at the end (N=8) of the intervention, using three Likert-type questionnaires from existing literature, which were slightly adapted to the context.

Students showed higher levels of self-efficacy to learn statistics (d=1.10), more positive attitudes (d=0.94) and achievement emotions (d=1.42) at the end of the intervention. Pairwise comparisons revealed a significant correlation only between attitudes and achievement emotions at the pre-test (ρ=.85, p<.001), while the other correlations were non-significant.

Despite the small sample size, results underline the positive influence of IBL on students’ self-efficacy, attitudes, and achievement emotions towards statistics, which is in line with prior research [3]. Our results expand previous research by analysing the relation among the three variables, showing a high, significant relation between attitudes and achievement emotions during the IBL sessions.


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