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Appears in:
Pages: 3075-3084
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1648

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

MORE ABOUT THE FORMAT OF PROBABILISTIC PROBLEM PRESENTATION: EVALUATING THE ROLE OF CONTEXTUAL AND INDIVIDUAL VARIABLES ON THE ACCURACY OF SOLUTION

M. Agus1, M.L. Mascia1, I. Matta1, A.M. Porru1, E. Pessa2, M.P. Penna1

1University of Cagliari (ITALY)
2University of Pavia (ITALY)
This research inquires some dimensions implied in the “graphical facilitation effect” on probabilistic reasoning, considering the associations of performance with contextual and individual features. Indeed, many authors highlighted that graphical representations might enhance problem solving in probabilistic reasoning; however, the cognitive processes underpinning these aspects have to be further deepened. Specifically, the role and the interaction between contextual and individual dimensions are not yet clearly defined.

We aim to enlighten the influence of these kinds of dimensions, comparing the probabilistic reasoning applied by the same undergraduate in similar problems presented in verbal-numerical and graphical-pictorial formats. These assessments were conducted by controlling the effects on performance of numerical and visuo spatial abilities, attitudes towards statistics, statistical anxiety, and metacognitive awareness of the correctness of response (confidence); furthermore we considered the influence of time pressure (presence versus absence) and of the type of university course enrolled (Psychology versus Business and Economics).

Three hundred and forty-five Italian first year undergraduates, lacking statistical expertise, fulfilled a protocol composed by standardized instruments of assessment. The evaluation of accuracy on the solution in both formats have been related to the aforementioned contextual variables (time pressure, university course enrolled) and individual variables (abilities, anxiety, attitudes and confidence).

At first, Hierarchical Linear Regressions were carried out separately to identify the individual variables affecting performance. Two formats of problem presentation were used. Then, the Analysis of Covariance with Mixed Design was applied, in order to highlight the effects of covariates (identified as the significant predictors distinguished in the previous regressions), the effects of the between factors (time pressure and university course) on the performance in two formats (considered as repeated measures).

It was observed that confidence is the finest predictor of performance accuracy in both formats; it means that the metacognitive dimension strongly affects accuracy. Furthermore, the effect of format was underlined ( “graphical facilitation” was highlighted) and the effect of time pressure was emphasised (the presence of time limits significantly enhances performance). No differences were found between the undergraduates enrolled in two university courses (Psychology and Business and Economics).

In summary, “graphical facilitation” might be the aftereffect of multifactorial relations between different variables. Furthermore, these findings might be considered as an evidence of the key role of individual differences in probabilistic reasoning, which, by interacting with contextual dimensions, might influence the application of strategies useful to solve probabilistic problems, specifically in undergraduates without any statistical knowledge.
@InProceedings{AGUS2017MOR,
author = {Agus, M. and Mascia, M.L. and Matta, I. and Porru, A.M. and Pessa, E. and Penna, M.P.},
title = {MORE ABOUT THE FORMAT OF PROBABILISTIC PROBLEM PRESENTATION: EVALUATING THE ROLE OF CONTEXTUAL AND INDIVIDUAL VARIABLES ON THE ACCURACY OF SOLUTION},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1648},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1648},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {3075-3084}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Agus AU - M.L. Mascia AU - I. Matta AU - A.M. Porru AU - E. Pessa AU - M.P. Penna
TI - MORE ABOUT THE FORMAT OF PROBABILISTIC PROBLEM PRESENTATION: EVALUATING THE ROLE OF CONTEXTUAL AND INDIVIDUAL VARIABLES ON THE ACCURACY OF SOLUTION
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1648
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 3075
EP - 3084
ER -
M. Agus, M.L. Mascia, I. Matta, A.M. Porru, E. Pessa, M.P. Penna (2017) MORE ABOUT THE FORMAT OF PROBABILISTIC PROBLEM PRESENTATION: EVALUATING THE ROLE OF CONTEXTUAL AND INDIVIDUAL VARIABLES ON THE ACCURACY OF SOLUTION, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 3075-3084.
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