ENHANCING PERFORMANCE AND LEARNING OF STATISTICS IN PSYCHOLOGY STUDENTS BY CREATING A SIMULATED SCENARIO OF THE PROCESS OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE GENERATION
The statistical knowledge and skills are essential tools for the work of 21st century psychologist. Multivariate analysis techniques used in psychology have been increasing due to their uselfulness for the interpretation of complex psychological reality. However, courses that have a high statistical component represent for students one of the major difficulties encountered in dealing with studies, perceiving, in many cases, as obstacles in the way to graduation. A clear indicator of this is the nickname that many students often refer to the subject of statistics: 'sadistics'. The reasons that are at the origin of this failure are varied, but clearly identified, having to do mainly with the student's attitude to the course. The relevance of the topic is high. Numerous studies highlight the relationship between the student's attitude and their performance in these courses, and even the future professional use that give to this tool. Among the most important components of this attitude towards statistics highlights the anxiety and fear of this discipline, self-confidence, the pleasure with the statistical work, the motivation towards its study and use and its perceived usefulness.
Focusing on the latter, the courses taught by the area of Methodology in Behavioral Sciences at the University Miguel Hernández, with mathematical and statistical content, are designed with a large practical component, by conducting research works. In this paper that we present now we have added the innovative contribution of publishing the work of students in an online magazine created for that purpose by the system Open Journal Systems (OJS). The students themselves, in addition to being authors, also perform the role of reviewers in the process of evaluating the work of their peers. Finally, the highest rated paper is prepared for publication in a scientific journal in the field of Psychology.
The objectives of this experience were: Increase student motivation towards work continued in the subjects of methodology in the context of the Degree in Psychology; Increase the level of student control over the outcome of their work and their learning; Enhance the learning of the theoretical content of the courses through its application in actual research work; Increase the perceived usefulness of the material studied; Increase the visibility of the work done by the students of the subjects in the context of statistical Degree in Psychology; Reduce anxiety methodology subjects; Sign the student in the research process at all stages; Educate the student of the need of the methodology for its relationship with other themes and applications of the discipline; Consider the importance of disseminating research results to the growing body of theoretical science; Educate the student of the need for critical thinking in evaluating research Works;
One hundred and ten students participated in the course, with a total of 25 research papers. The main results are related to greater involvement of students in their learning process and greater contextualization of the course, resulting in a greater commitment to it and, therefore, better grades.